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1 July, 2021

A green uprising: the rise of the conscious beauty consumer

Beautyworld Middle East expert webinar panel says COVID-19 accelerated shift towards conscious consumerism in the beauty industry.

Dubai, UAE: There has been a change towards a more conscious and sustainable approach to beauty over the past few years. Consumers are increasingly discerning towards the products they purchase and the brands they support, and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this pre-pandemic trend.

Industry experts highlighted this during Beautyworld Middle East’s recent webinar Pulse of the Industry: Skincare & Personal Care, part of a series of online content sessions hosted by organiser Messe Frankfurt Middle East in the build up to the region's largest international beauty trade fair, taking place from 5th-7th October at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).

According to statistics published by Euromonitor International, the official knowledge partner of Beautyworld Middle East 2021, the beauty industry is moving towards holistic sustainability as consumers increasingly opt for eco-friendly product features.  

As a result of today’s generation of environmentally aware and socially conscious consumers, natural, sustainable, and ethical beauty products have emerged as one of the primary growth drivers alongside the traditional beauty industry, as the Middle East and Africa’s beauty and personal care market grows at a CAGR of 10 per cent, reaching US $53.3 billion by 2025.

Speaking as a panellist in the webinar, Amna Abbas, Senior Analyst for Beauty, Health & Fashion, Euromonitor International, said: “Since the beginning of the pandemic, personal care shifted from cosmetic purposes towards self-care as a holistic focus towards overall health and wellbeing. Skincare and non-colour cosmetics are on the rise, a trend that we expect to continue growing over the coming years.”

In Euromonitor’s Voice of the Industry Sustainability Survey, 60% of beauty and personal care respondents reported that their company will balance social and health issues with environmental issues in the future. “We predict that sustainability will be equally adopted by brands and consumers alike, as beauty brands continue to explore clean, green and conscious space within the industry,” added Abbas.

With digital technology making it easier than ever to research products and ingredients, consumers in the beauty and personal care industry are becoming increasingly knowledgeable and more conscientious in their buying choices, taking into account broader health, environmental, and societal concerns. COVID-19 has spurred a renewed sense of conscientiousness as consumers increasingly look for brands that align with their values so that they can feel good about their choices as well as their looks.

As the pandemic promotes a ‘back to basics’ approach when it comes to beauty and personal care, brands that emphasize simplicity and transparency, such as The Ordinary and Drunk Elephant, have seen increased popularity.

As public interest in sustainability and eco-consciousness continues to climb, industry players seek ways to reduce the adverse effects on the planet, from carbon-neutral practices and eco-friendly formulas to refillable containers and recycled packaging.

“There is an emphasis on conscious consumerism and cleaner living. Customers have begun to prioritize wellness and detoxification, both in terms of diet and products, fuelling the demand for safe ingredients and brand transparency,” said Anisha Oberoi, CEO & Founder of The Secret Skin - a tech-enabled enterprise based in UAE for sustainable beauty that brings together conscious brands with a focus on social and environmental impact.

“Consumers, with the intention of being ‘mindful,’ are now paying more attention to labels, processing methods, sourcing practices, and other details associated with the creation and representation of personal care products before making a purchase. And on account of this, many beauty brands in the international scene have decided to clean up their act and made the decision to stop using potentially harmful ingredients in their products and are now on a mission to educate and encourage consumers to make the switch,” added Oberoi.

Many big brands have already responded to the shift towards conscious consumerism, including Rihanna’s cosmetics line, Fenty Skin, which features refillable packaging and globally sourced clean ingredients; Estee Lauder’s Aveda, which piloted blockchain technology to account for sustainable sourcing and improve the traceability of its Madagascan vanilla supply chain; and L’Oreal’s Garnier, which pledged to become 100% carbon neutral by 2025, along with using no virgin plastics and all plant-based, renewable ingredients.

Victoria Neyman, the founder of VRFD SA, a Swiss luxury natural cosmetics company who will be exhibiting at the 25th edition of Beautyworld Middle East, said: “For many consumers it became more important to be socially responsible and to think about the future of our planet, as a result of the pandemic.

“Our brand is the first 100% natural, luxury Swiss cosmetics brand and we try to maintain very high ethical standards across every aspect of our business. VRFD SA is based on ethical sourcing and manufacturing, and our products are sustainable inside and out, using only 100% natural, vegan ingredients and recyclable packaging.”

With conscious consumerism expected to keep growing, all aspects of the beauty industry will continue to be influenced. Consumers will continue to look for high-quality, effective cosmetics while scrutinizing the values of beauty companies and favouring the brands with more eco-friendly, ethical, and sustainable products and practices.

The 25th edition of Beautyworld Middle East will feature six distinct product segments, including natural & organic; cosmetics & skincare; personal care & hygiene; hair, nails & salon suppliers; machinery, packaging, raw materials & contract manufacturing; and fragrance compounds & finished fragrance.

Beautyworld Middle East 2021 will take place with thorough health and safety measures in accordance with official government, local authority guidelines, and the Dubai World Trade Centre venue.  More information is available on the show’s website and at


  • 2021