The Korean beauty industry is setting one trend after another. Recent? Waterless beauty products that are considered to be more powerful and durable.
Water plays an important role in cosmetics. It is like a delivery system that takes the active ingredients to where they need to go. Nevertheless, Korean beauty trendsetters have started making 100% water-free cosmetics. We know that water is important for skin health – after all, the skin contains 644 percent water – so why are some brands and consumers becoming dehydrated?
Most skin and body products contain up to 95 percent water, with only 5 percent for active ingredients. Check the label of your preferred moisturizer, serum or shampoo and you will probably find that water is the first ingredient. Since the ingredients are listed by weight, this means your products contain more water than anything else.
Creating products without water means brands may be able to give more space to active ingredients, making products stronger. Since water is a limited resource, water-free cosmetics may also have environmental and sustainable benefits.
Here’s what you need to know about waterless beauty and what toxic products you should start with.
What is waterless beauty?
Waterless beauty products are quite straightforward. These are cosmetics that are made without water, although they may contain other liquids as a base. They can also come in powder or condensed form which is activated when mixed with household water. Learn more about waterless beauty
Dehydrated skincare and hair care products are the most common. Some dehydrated shampoos are highly concentrated so customers simply mix water in their hands and do not require any water for use like others, water-free moisturizers and serums, making them truly water-free from start to finish.
What is in waterless beauty products if not water? These are often made by hydrating botanical oils, aloe vera juice, plant extracts and other active ingredients. Some adopt the gel texture while others retain the serum silkiness.
The benefits of waterless beauty:
Waterless beauty has two main advantages. They contain high levels of active ingredients and use fewer resources to produce them. Both advantages make them attractive to followers of beauty fanaticism and low-waste lifestyle.
Spend hundreds of dollars on cosmetics to find out just about 90% of the formulas contain plain water. Water certainly provides no function in cosmetics, but it raises the question: are skincare products watered down? Yes and no.
Water-based skincare products contain a low concentration of active ingredients. But this is not a bad thing. The active ingredients may be effective in a lower percentage. Water is multi-functional. It provides active ingredients to reduce concentration to a tolerable level.
While water makes a great delivery system, it has its drawbacks that make drinking-free skincare even more appealing. One component of skincare effectiveness is molecular size. Water molecules are instantly much larger, meaning less formula enters the skin. Dehydrated skincare may have the advantage of creating the formula for deeper travel of the skin.
When you need more powerful and effective skincare products, dehydration can be the way to go.
There can be no conversation about sustainability in the beauty industry without addressing the issue of water scarcity and conservation. All products have an environmental footprint, and beauty products are no exception. Adequate resources are needed to make the original product in the case of cosmetic manufacturing and to package, shipping and disposing of it.
Although we often hear about plastic waste related to the beauty industry, the use of heavy water is often overlooked. Some brands and customers are starting to talk.
We often forget that clean usable water is a limited resource. By 2025, an estimated 1.6 billion people will face water shortages. Some brands are running free water-free formulations for environmental reasons.
Trend forecasting agency WGSN predicts a significant shift toward zero-waste and socially conscious values, including waterless, plant-based, recyclable, and transparent brands and products.