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Water has been a key ingredient in the beauty industry for years. Often used as a solvent or filler to improve product consistency, you can find water (sometimes referred to as “aqua” or “eau”) in the majority of beauty products we use every single day, from moisturisers to shampoos. In fact, water makes up the vast majority of our skincare; it’s often the first ingredient you’ll see on the list, which also means that it’s the most abundant.
Cosmetic companies across the globe use water in their products for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s fairly cheap to source and easy to come by. Secondly, as water effectively serves as a product filler, it means that brands can use less expensive active ingredients in their products, which allows them to sell at a cheaper price.
So, why are so many brands, companies and businesses across the world turning off the taps and striving to go waterless today?
The truth is, water-based products are having a huge impact on the environment – and not in a good way. Below, we take a look at the problem with water-based products and how switching to waterless beauty could help save the planet.
Let’s get straight to the point: around two thirds of the world’s population already experience water scarcity, and with climate change making dry regions even drier, the situation is only set to get worse. Access to safe clean water is increasingly becoming an issue; by 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries with absolute water scarcity, while, according to the World Wildlife Fund, two-thirds may be living under water-stress conditions.
As we see water all around us, many of us think that we have a never-ending supply of it. However, the harsh reality is that only 1% of the earth’s water supply is accessible freshwater, with the rest being trapped in glaciers and snowfields. The message is clear: we need to start reducing our water usage in every way that we can, and this includes cutting it out in the beauty industry.
Interestingly, it’s not just the environment that water-based products are affecting. While it’s well-known that water is good for skin, the use of it in beauty products could actually be doing more harm than good. For years, we have associated water-based products with hydration, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that filling cosmetics with water isn’t the right way to quench our skin’s thirst. In fact, prolonged exposure to water can actually be drying for skin.
Cosmetics that contain water can become a breeding ground for bacteria. The more water a product contains, the more preservatives and anti-microbial ingredients it needs to combat bacterial growth – and while preservatives help to extend the shelf life of a product, they are also linked to lots of health issues and one of the main causes of sensitive skin.
Fortunately, there is a solution to the water problem in the beauty industry. As more and more brands realise the detrimental effects of using water in their beauty formulas, waterless beauty is becoming increasingly popular. Waterless beauty refers to water products that don’t use water in their formulas. Not only does this help to reduce the gallons of water consumed by the beauty industry every year, but it leaves room for more active skincare ingredients too – ones that can do your skin a whole lot of good.
In place of water, waterless beauty products use nourishing carrier oils, such as Jojoba and Rosehip, or plant extracts such as Aloe Vera. When used topically, these oils and bases can be more hydrating for skin than water, and you don’t run the risk of your skin drying out when the water evaporates.
Using oils and other natural bases is better for long-term skin health and directly tackles the issue of water consumption in the beauty industry – basically a win-win situation!
If you’re ready to cut water out of your beauty routine, there are a few simple ways you can get started. When shopping for beauty products, always choose oil-based products over water-based ones, and choose solids over powders where possible too. Switch to using soap instead of water-based shower gels and always check the ingredients when adding a new product to your beauty cabinet. All of these small changes can make a huge difference and will help to ensure that water stays out of your skincare regime.
If you want complete control over what goes into your skincare and you’re serious about cutting down, why not try making your own waterless beauty products? At Naissance, we have a whole range of natural, nourishing carrier oils and bases available at your fingertips. Whether you choose to create your own natural soap or you formulate your very own hydrating waterless facial oil, we’ve got you covered.
Send us your waterless beauty creations on social media using #WaterlessBeautyNaissance – we’d love to see them!