“Until recently the beauty industry could be split into two camps – either all natural and organic or high-tech science. Nature and science sat apart from each other,”Jeanette Thottrup of Seed to Skin skincare, tells British Vogue.
The average consumer in 2020 is much more savvy than ten years ago. This thanks to social media and the over-saturation of bloggers, vloggers and influencers. While it may sometimes seem overwhelming to have so much information shared everyday, it seems to be having an effect on what the average person expects from a brand. The ‘jar of hope’ is no longer a suitable marketing strategy for a generation that has the ability to find the answer to anything with one search on Google.
Clinical trials are by far the most substantial piece of marketing a brand can do to back their claims but they still face a challenge because they are expensive and are most beneficial when the test group is large.
We spent £86.5 million on certified organic and natural skincare products in 2018, which was a 14 percent rise from the previous year. A natural brand is much more susceptible to scrutiny than a high-tech one because there has been fewer case studies on natural ingredients in comparison to synthetic ones. This is why more and more natural brands are putting their money where their mouths are, and carrying out independently-led clinical trials. Natural brands like Seed to Skin, Votary and Wildsmith have began this movement and are investing thousands on these trials to prove their product’s efficacy.
With both scientific and technological advances clinical testing is much more rigorous than it used to be. There are devices that can test both the depth and height of wrinkles, telling you whether anti-aging products do in fact anti-age. That’s strong evidence and so if a brand can afford the up to £70,000 it can cost to run a small trial it would be worth the investment.
So, does the future hold the ability for natural skincare brands to become as scientifically backed as their high-tech counterparts? Time, more money and a determination of brand founders to prove efficacy will tell. However, it is possible.