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The Beauty of Naturals--Your Buying Public

By: Jeb Gleason-Allured
Posted: June 23, 2008, from the April 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Truth 8. As naturals break into mass-market channels, a split reveals itself between natural newbies and old-school enthusiasts. The latter are label scrutinizers who cannot be fooled by greenwashing—the process of simply slapping the word “natural” on a jar. They know what to look for, and they know when they are being lied to. Old-school naturals consumers also could be called cultural creatives.

CulturalCreatives.org describes this group as “50 million Americans who care deeply about ecology and saving the planet; about relationships, peace and social justice; and about authenticity, self-actualization, spirituality and self-expression.” In short, they are the most loyal and demanding naturals consumers.

Truth 9. Natural must mean effective. The Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) has stated that 28% of the general population desire natural personal care products fortified with functional ingredients. Merely calling something natural isn’t enough. There must be results. Seeing is believing.

Truth 10. The rise of the do-it-yourself (DIY) culture is good news for the naturals segment. Young women are knitting again. They’re making their own cosmetics. They can go online and design a personalized fragrance. The prevalence of this culture reflects consumers’ desire to connect with the things they use and to take charge of their lives.

This trend has reached every kind of woman, from homemakers to punk rockers. Whether they’re seeking independence or comfort, DIY consumers want to know where things come from and how they affect them. If we are what we buy, it goes double for what we make.