How to Make it in the Growing Natural Beauty Market
Concerns about the environment and health are the driving forces behind the burgeoning natural beauty market in Australia, which includes chemical-free, organic or vegan cosmetics, skincare items, haircare products, perfumes and fragrances.
It’s a sector that continues to grow at an astonishing rate. By the end of 2024, the global market is expected to be valued at more than US$21 million.
Two of the Australian industry’s most successful entrepreneurs in this space – Cindy Luken from Luk Beautifood and Julie Mathers from Flora & Fauna – say while local demand continues to grow, anyone wanting to venture into the space needs to fully understand the market.
Here they share their top tips for aspiring natural beauty producers and retailers.
Create a point of difference
Nowadays it’s not uncommon to see all-natural beauty products, so producing something that stands out from the pack can heighten the appeal.
“With Luk Beautifood, not only are our lipsticks made from natural ingredients such as avocado and coconut oil, they are also flavoured with natural fruit and spice ingredients such as peach, cinnamon and mandarin so they taste great,” said Cindy. “You can often end up swallowing lipstick when you lick your lips, so it may as well be healthy for you and taste good.”
Scientific developments are happening all the time, so do your research.
Embrace social media
Julie says social media has always been a huge thing for Flora & Fauna, who in addition to creating products for their own brand, stock Australia’s largest range of cruelty-free, vegan and eco- friendly beauty products.
“Many customers are massively influenced by social media now, so if you can put out core messages of health, vitality and positivity about your product, then you’ll make much more of an impact. The core demographic for beauty is also millennials, and as they’re the demographic the most into social media, it’s something that shouldn’t be ignored.”
Create a personality for your brand
Customers are more likely to engage with a product if you have a solid backstory full of purpose and heart.
“It’s important to formulate a relationship with your customers and reassure them you’re in trusted hands,” said Cindy.
“We emphasise on our site the importance of being healthy, have information about vitamins and antioxidants, have healthy food recipes on our blog, articles about combatting stress and ways you can create your own beauty products yourself.”
Get smart with packaging
Julie says one big trend in the beauty space has been the move to more eco-friendly packaging.
“Not only are people wanting things wrapped in less plastic, they’re also seeking out products which use less plastic with containers. Some really exciting innovations have been shampoo soap bars, deodorants in cardboard tubes, refillable makeup pots and mascara in glass tubes. It’s important to make as much as a committed difference with your product as possible.”
Convey important messages in your branding and labels
As consumers are taking a lot more care with what they put into their bodies, they also now want to feel safe about what they are putting on their bodies.
“Highlighting natural healthy messages and ingredients on your product’s packaging and on the website is vitally important,” said Cindy. “People want reassurance that they’re health won’t be compromised and want to fully understand what something is made from.”
Take a reality check
The beauty business can be tough, and even if you think you’ve got a good product and stellar marketing, at the end of the day you’re still at the mercy of economic forces.
“We are currently in a very soft retail market and a lot of people are struggling,” said Julie. “You need to have solid marketing and contingency plans in place as well as a good deal of resilience. Don’t venture into something blind.”