A Natural Choice
Organic, natural and eco-friendly products are this year’s buzzwords for bath and body products. Environmentally conscious consumers also appreciate transparency in ingredients, though they are still seeking affordability in their purchases. And packaging is important to people, be that attractive packaging or, perhaps more importantly, sustainable packaging. And on the heels of a worldwide pandemic, self-care often underlies purchase decisions.
There is nothing more natural than products that come directly from the hive. Honey House Naturals started out 25 years ago in farmers’ markets, as the owner was a hobbyist beekeeper and made lotions out of beeswax for a friend whose hands were always cracked and dry. Today, the small, women-owned company produces hand and body lotions, bee butter cream, beehive-shaped soaps, and lip butter. The company also makes its Bee Manly product line for beards, some of which are organic, including the Bee Manly Beard Elixir and the Bee Manly Beard Balm.
Pure Energy Apothecary, based in Vermont, manufactures soaps, candles, lotions, whipped butters, skin oils, salt scrubs, massage oils, bath crystals, as well as aromatherapy products and more.
“Pure Energy is all about plant-based goodness,” said Owner Dawn Lancaster. “Aloe is our best friend, and we complement it with the remarkable vitamins in Sunflower, Rosehip and Jojoba oils to mention a few. We love infusing comfrey, calendula, arnica, yarrow, St. John’s Wort, CBD and other herbs to create amazing products.”
Stonewall Kitchen, headquartered in Maine, has a large line of bath and body products through the Stonewall Kitchen Fine Home Keeping line as well as the newly acquired Michel Design Works. Specific products include fragrances, foaming hand soaps, bath bards, hand creams, and lotions, including its new Iced Berry Collection.
“Each year we see that there are new scents and ingredients that begin to trend when it comes to bath and body, but they all share two common goals – comfort and wellbeing. Whether this be through aromatherapy, cleansing or moisturizing, the product should make the consumer feel better,” said Jacob Ouellette, social media and relations specialist.
“We’re seeing a mixture of two trends, which are affordable luxury, but also eco-friendly. Consumers are taking more interest in packaging of products and whether or not they are recyclable, or if they can be reused or repurposed,” he added.
Going a step further, some consumers are looking not just for eco-friendly and natural brands, but bath and body products that promote wellness, particularly as a result of an anxiety-filled, stress-producing pandemic. AdoraTherapy in Asheville, North Carolina, sees itself as a conscious beauty brand. “We are introducing the consumer to the idea of healing and balancing their chakras and their aura, an aspect of wellness that is more mind, body and spirit,” said Laura McCann, founder and CEO.
Consumers can shop by chakra (energy centers of the body), scent, or mood. The company’s Alkemie Collection, a new body care line introduced for Mothers’ Day in 2021, for example, contains body oils, healing lotions and bath soaks. “The benefit is not just that the product is moisturizing or fragrant, but you are getting an added benefit to solve a specific problem—it is a beauty product that can also help you breathe and remind yourself to do acts of self-care,” said McCann.
Another self-care brand is Bubbly Belle, based in Florida. The company manufactures bath bombs, each one containing a ring inside after the bath bomb dissolves. The rhodium-plated rings, which are made for everyday wear and made to withstand water damage, are meant to last and be wearable. The product is not only a reminder to engage in self- care but an experience for the customer, said Veda Frumkin, brand manager.
“Recently, we just finished production on our entire body care line, which extends beyond bath bombs—bath salts, bubble bath, shower steamers, and mani-pedi bath bombs,” said Frumkin. The new bath and body care product line comes in five fragrances, such as lavender lemongrass, citrus burst and spearmint eucalyptus.
Consumers can choose bath bombs in various shapes, including butterflies, flowers, bears and the newly launched donut, all of which incorporate the company’s signature rings after the bath bombs dissolve.
The pandemic has shifted consumers’ buying habits. Specific to the bath and body market, consumers are focusing more on the importance of cleanliness and personal health, which has catapulted the bath and body industry, explained Ouellette.
“There’s a large demand for skincare in general with all the washing and disinfecting we’ve had to do all the time,” added Kitty Carpenter with Honey House Naturals. “People are really noticing changes in skin, and we have an increased demand particularly for lotions.”
Frumkin pointed out that with the pandemic came a greater awareness of the importance of mental health. “A lot of things are out of control, but what is in control is taking care of yourself, finding time to relax, breathe, and mentally pick ourselves back up through these little pieces of sunshine.”
“Consumers are smart, they read ingredients, they know what they are looking for, and they make aware choices,” said Lancaster.