70% of German consumers choose sustainable cosmetics



Today’s customers have more options than ever before. Drugstores are filled with many different products and the variety of them can make it hard to make the right choice. Lately, new criteria such as sustainability are influencing the consumption behaviour of the German population when it comes to cosmetics products. According to a study by the German Consumer Centre, more than 70% of German consumers give consideration to sustainability when purchasing cosmetics and personal care products. In particular, the demand for products without parabens, silicones and microplastics has increased. More and more people value natural and sustainable products rather than chemical ingredients. They pay attention to the fact that the products they buy not only benefit their body but protect the environment too. This includes, for example, avoiding packaging waste, using natural and organic ingredients, and supporting social and environmental projects.

The helpful apps

An important factor which makes the decision-process easier is the transparency of products. Apps have been developed to check products whilst shopping, enabling users to scan the barcode of a product and get an indication of whether the product is “green” or not. The trend towards eco-friendly products has led to a greater availability of such cosmetics products and inspired many manufacturers to switch to natural ingredients and sustainable packaging. According to a study by market research company Nielsen, the revenue from natural and organic cosmetics products in Germany almost doubled between 2012 and 2017. Especially the high representation of organic and natural cosmetics not only in organic stores and pharmacies, but also in common drugstores, increased the sales. In 2021, the organic cosmetics market in Germany was worth €2.2 billion, with an estimated growth rate of 8.5% through to 2026.

German government support

However, it should be noted that the term “natural cosmetics” is not protected in Germany and the manufacturers are responsible for the designation of the products. Only companies that use certain seals and certificates (such as Demeter, Nature, the vegan flower) must fulfil specific standards and comply with strict guidelines. Nevertheless, the increase in sales in the natural cosmetics sector is clearly discernible and its growing market contributes to the growth of the overall beauty industry. This positive development is supported by the German government, for example via tax exemptions for companies producing natural cosmetics or subsidies in the areas of natural cosmetics development and research.