Cleaning up Beauty

In 2018, the UK was the market leader in the EU and second in the world for ‘clean’ cosmetics, accounting for 21% of clean beauty products globally.

Clean beauty has many definitions but one that illustrates best is beauty made with mindfulness in mind. The photo-ready look is no longer the end solution, consumers want products that are healthy for them and the planet.

This realization has rippled through the beauty industry resulting in a year-on-year increase for organic and natural products. Sales reached £86.5 million in 2019 and there are now 10,000 certified organic products across794 brands in the UK.

However, this industry shift didn’t happen overnight. The British Soil Association Certification reported that beauty conscious consumers, led by Gen Z and millennials were one of the biggest advocates and pushed the market to an all-time high.

Sustainability is no longer a choice for beauty brands, but a way of life and should be implemented into their business plans. In saying this, certain brands have been labelled as ‘greenwashing’ a term used to keyword stuffing their products with terms such as ‘clean’, ‘natural’ and ‘organic’.

In reality, there are no basic standards set to measure if a product is in-fact clean or not. By piggybacking on this trend, brands could potentially pollute clean beauty’s reputation.

Private Equity firms have been fast to act on this growing trend. SLG Group, designer, developers and manufacturers of beauty collections acquired three brands in 2019. After receiving £10 million from BGF and a further £10 million in 2018, SLG now has plans to expand into the US.

The three brands acquired were –Amie Naturally Kind Skincare, Johnny’s Chop Shop, and COLAB Dry Shampoo. This is a strategic move to support market relevance specifically Amie Natural Kind Skincare whos products are 95% natural and is rooted in the brand’s DNA.

In terms of global deals, Japanese beauty conglomerate Shiseido acquired a “clean” skin-care brand Drunk Elephant reported at $845 million. This was the second-largest deal of the year after the acquisition of Elemis to L’Occitane’s for $900 million. Both Drunk Elephant and Elemis are renowned for their skin-care and clean-beauty categories.

Interested in finding out more about our work in the Beauty industry? We facilitate investment, company acquisitions, disposals and sales.

For more information, get in touch with our Data Analyst, Jill Wylie.

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