Personal Care Ingredients Market Faces Tough Road Ahead

The global personal care ingredients market, according to Transparency Market Research, is estimated to expand at a 5.20% CAGR from 2015 to 2023, fueled by surging sales of cosmetics and beauty products.

This market, however, has been facing a major challenge given the restrictions for personal care ingredients, especially in Europe and North America. Often called a ‘chemical minefield’, personal care products are being thoroughly scrutinized after several chemical ingredients were linked to cancer. After the introduction of the Personal Care Products Safety Act in the US, cosmetics have become subject to strict compliances, causing manufacturers of personal care products as well as providers of the ingredients much worry. 


Here’s a look at some of the personal care ingredients under the scanner.

Researchers at UC Berkeley Raise Concerns over Parabens

Parabens are found in a wide range of personal care products such as creams, deodorants, and lotions. A study recently published by the University of California, Berkeley indicates that low doses of chemical preservatives used in skin lotions, cosmetics, shampoos, and other personal care products might be linked to breast cancer. Earlier, scientists argued that the concentration of parabens in personal care products was too low for any concern. However, the UC Berkeley team shows that the effect is much stronger when parabens interact with other biochemical changes. This could result in more aggressive growth of tumors as well as formation of malignant cancer.

Formaldehyde Causes Allergic Skin Reactions

One of the most frightening truths about formaldehyde, apart from the fact that they can cause severe allergic skin reactions, is the ingredient is found in a number of personal care products intended for infants. Used in baby shampoos and liquid soaps, formaldehyde is considered to be a carcinogen that is banned from use in toiletries and cosmetics but only in Japan and Sweden. However, a recent article in The Daily Beast reveals that even though formaldehyde is now rarely used in personal care products, chemicals such as quaternium-15 are closely related to formaldehyde and can result in similar allergic skin reactions. Quaternium is a cosmetic preservative commonly found in eye makeup, foundation, shampoos, blush, and facial cleansers.

Mixed Opinions about Coal Tar

Coal tar has been used in shampoos, skin creams, and bath oils for decades to control psoriasis. Coal tar is known to reduce itchiness and inflammation and has been a mainstay treatment for several people. However, studies show that coal tar has been associated with neurological damage as well as cancer of the digestive tract, bladder, kidney and lung. An article in the Daily Mail reveals that even before the European Union banned the use of coal tar in cosmetics last year, studies as early as 1985 have shown that prolonged exposure to coal tar may result in skin cancer. 


Players within the personal care ingredients market will need to look for safer, natural, and even organic alternatives in order to sustain themselves in a highly challenging environment.

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