Article by: Perry Romanowski

According to the Kline Group, the world wide sales of natural cosmetics is about $30 billion. This is roughly 7 or 8 percent of the total global market which is estimated to be about $430 billion annually. cosmetic raw materials

I’m actually surprised the natural cosmetic market isn’t bigger. I would have figured it was about 15% or the market but it’s not.

I suppose it really depends on how you define a naturals market. Since anyone can call themselves natural it is hard to distinguish between “real” natural products and “greenwashed” natural products. Of course, there aren’t true lines for the industry and on some level all cosmetics that are processed in any way can be considered greenwashed natural products.

At least until someone grows a shampoo tree.

Natural Cosmetic Formulation

This market doesn’t seem to be going away and as a cosmetic formulator you need to be aware of what is considered a natural cosmetic and what isn’t. This is not an easy answer because it depends on different things and who you ask.

Ultimately, the important definition of what is a natural cosmetic is your consumer. If your consumers think that parabens do not belong in natural cosmetics (despite the fact that you can find naturally occurring parabens) then you should probably avoid formulating with them.

At the end of the day however, consumers want products that work. This trumps whatever is in the bottle. You can make a nice natural cosmetic avoiding all hint of synthetics but if the product doesn’t deliver benefits that the consumer wants, you’re going to have a hard time keeping up sales.

We’re working on a new online course which will teach you how to make natural cosmetic formulas. It won’t be ready until January but in the meantime, you can click on the following link to sign up to get a free copy of our Natural Cosmetic Formulating report.

Natural cosmetic formulating report



  1. Avatar
    Nathalia Arbeláez

    I’m interested in learning about natural cosmetics formulation. For that reason I would like to know more information about the course that you will have available next january.
    PS: I tried to sign up to get a free copy of your Natural Cosmetic Formulating report, but the link you posted did not work.

  2. Avatar
    Gillian Fryer

    There are several natural foaming agents used by indigenous people… soapwort, soapnuts… even yucca root. Soapnuts are popular as a natural substitute for laundry detergent.

    1. Avatar
      Perry Romanowski

      Indeed there are some natural foaming agents but these don’t work as well as modern shampoos. They don’t foam as well, they don’t clean as well, and they aren’t as aesthetically appealing. The reason that modern cosmetic products were invented is because natural solutions don’t work as well. In a case where a naturally occurring ingredient does work as well, the product finds a market. Vaseline is just refined petrolatum taken directly from the ground. For many applications we have not been able to produce a formula that is superior.

  3. Avatar

    “At least until someone grows a shampoo tree.”
    – There is such a thing, isn’t there? Some kind of tropical tree that can be used as soap?

    1. Avatar
      Lise Andersen

      Clive , you are correct. Soapnuts (sapindus mukorossi) grow on trees can be used to make a deconcoction to wash hair with.

      1. Avatar
        Perry Romanowski

        Sure, you can find things in nature to wash your hair with but they won’t have the effectiveness and aesthetic appeal of a well formulated shampoo.

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