Water has long been a fundamental cosmetic ingredient, with some formulations consisting of up to 90% of water. Euromonitor predicts that with global concern over water scarcity intensifying, it will remain among the top ten environmental priorities in the next five years.
Waterless products do not just save on precious water resources, they also require less packaging, are less heavy to transport, and require less use of preservatives.
The British brand has been advocating such initiatives since its founding 27 years ago with its brand of ‘naked’ products – namely, solid products that require no packaging. But its only recently that more of its fellow cosmetic makers begun innovation in the waterless space.
Speaking exclusively to CosmeticsDesign-Asia’s Beauty Broadcast series, director of Lush Cosmetics Singapore, Nafees Khundker, revealed that sales of waterless products have double in the last five years.
Khundker attributed the increase to better knowledge and education about sustainability issues such as plastic waste and water scarcity. This trend has accelerated over the past two years in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve been here for 10 years, and in the first few years, things were very, very different. After five to six years, when people had more access to information, it started changing. But during COVID, in the last two years, people have become way more concerned about what they use and what goes into their products,” he said.
Khundker believes it is possible for the modern personal care routine to be completely water-free, noting that Lush has made advancements in the area with self-preserving formulas.
“At Lush, we are now bringing up self-preserved products. Aqua is not the key element anymore. So even skin care is possible with less or no water, where you don’t need synthetic preservatives. So, it’s possible to go 100% waterless.”
For more insights into the future of waterless beauty, check out our video with Lush Singapore above.
While we are familiar with waterless products such as Lush’s naked shampoo bars, cleansing bars and facial oils, Lush is taking its waterless innovations into the colour cosmetics space.
The brand dropped its first naked foundation, Slap Stick in 2018 and has been expanding it with concealers and lipsticks. Khundker told us that fans of Lush can expect to see more make-up this year.
“Lush coming up with a new make-up range. We actually had a soft launch last year. You will see very interesting things if you go into our shops now like lipstick refills. This is something Lush is working on and you'll see a lot more on the make-up side soon.”