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The waterless wave: welcome to the future

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Did you know that your cosmetic products and shower gels are made up of 70-95% of water (Aqua)? Indeed, water is one of the most popular ingredients found in beauty products and it is often used as a solvent or as a means of enhancing product consistency and/or spreadability. According to the World Wildlife Fund: “two-thirds of the world’s population may face shortages by 2025, as only 1% of the earth’s water supply is accessible freshwater, the rest is trapped in glaciers and snowfields”.



The idea of “waterless beauty” originally emerged in South Korea and has caught up very fast ever since. Waterless products can come in a variety of forms including: cleansing balms, powders, solids, concentrated oils, body butters, masks and pressed serums and can be incorporated within skincare, haircare and make-up. Besides the obvious fact of saving water, these products allow smaller packaging and are mostly preservative-free, since these additives are utilized to circumvent bacterial contamination that is very common in water. Furthermore, the use of additives has been linked to immune system dysfunctions and reproductive disorders. In addition, while water appear like it would be a hydrating ingredient, water-based products have actually been found to dry out skin and hair because of the water evaporation process taking many of the skin’s healthy and natural oils along with it which can lead to breakouts and inflamed irritated skin especially if you have sensitive skin type.

Nowadays, most products are mapped out to be profitable and long-lasting so by adding water as a filler, the effectiveness of the product is somewhat reduced because there is less space for incorporating other beneficial active ingredients. Therefore, the equation is simple: the less effective a product is, the more you consume of it. The more product you consume, the more packaging is required, which then creates more water pollution and plastic waste that isn’t always recyclable or reusable.

For instance, vitamin C serums are notoriously unstable and can be less potent when combined with water, this is why waterless vitamin C serums are trendy and commercialized by different beauty brands.

Recently, l’Oréal Paris has partnered up with Gjosa, a swiss environmental innovation company, and came up with an advanced technology that applies “the principle of fractioning used in rocket engines to water flows ». The explanation behind it is the following: water droplets collide according to a specific direction and uniform distribution thus reducing particle size and accelerating their speed, guaranteeing every drop of water is utilized in the hair washing and rinsing process while making shampoos, conditioners and treatments easier to rinse off. Hence water usage is reduced by up to 80% with this breakthrough product!

In conclusion, the fact that we still can’t live without water doesn’t imply that we can’t use it wisely in our beauty routines and this is where smart, sustainable, eco friendly innovations come in handy!




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