This research examines recent trends in the cosmetics industry toward the development and marketing of cosmetics and personal care goods that incorporate higher proportions of botanical substances and derivatives of such substances into product formulations. The cosmetics industry produces and markets both cosmetics and toiletries (personal care goods). The term "cosmetics" as used in this research, includes both cosmetics and personal care goods.
Cosmetics are by and large discretionary products. Thus, retail sales are heavily influenced by both advertising and new product introductions. Product differentiation through advertising is essential in the successful marketing of cosmetics. Cosmetics, however, are relatively recession proof, as demand tends to remain strong during economic downturns. Each of these factors is applicable to and is in turn affected by the development and marketing of botanical cosmetic products.
Some botanical cosmetic products are marketed as "natural" cosmetics. The term "natural," while appealing to many consumers, tends to be both inaccurate and misleading. The term is inaccurate because biological (animal) substances and derivatives from such substances are as natural as are botanical substances, while consumer attraction to "natural" cosmetics is based on assumptions that animal substances or derivatives are not used in product formulations, and that animals are not used in the testing of such products. Recalcitrants within the drug and cosmetics industry prefer the term "natural" because, as there is no standard definition of the term with respect to cosmetics, any manufacturer can call any cosmetic product "natural." Thus, the term "natural," when used in conjunction with cosmetics, tends to be misleading.
The preferred term is "botanical" cosmetics. A botanical cosmetic is a product whose formulation includes a high proportion of plant substa...