Q&A with Kunal Mahajan, Kline

Kunal Mahajan of international market researchers, Kline, will present a session entitled ‘How formulators embrace the natural trend in Asia and across the globe’ on 30 October 2018 between 12:00-13:45 in the Marketing Trends & Regulations Theatre at in-cosmetics Asia. Based in Hyderabad, India, Kunal Mahajan is a project manager for the Chemicals & Materials and Energy practices at Kline. Personal Care spoke with Kunal to find out more:

How localised are the natural trends in Asia? 

You see natural trends in the cosmetics industry growing everywhere in Asia. This is an important trend both in Asia and on a global scale. The arrival of internet and social media have made people aware about the benefits of natural ingredients and this is leading to increased demand for such products. The trend can be termed localised only to the extent that the formulators are now relating products that have been launched in the recent past to the traditional ancient knowledge of those countries. For example, in India, formulators will relate ingredients used in their products to Ayurveda. This resonates with the consumer as well and help to market the product. 

How important are traditional medicine forms to natural cosmetics?

As described in the previous question, it is important to the extent that the ingredient is related to the traditional ancient knowledge of the country. So, in China, it helps if the ingredient is related to Traditional Chinese Medicine. In India, it helps if the relation is drawn to Ayurveda. This helps in developing a connection with the consumer as consumers are expected to be more responsive to something which they know originated in their country and the familiarity of the ingredient resonates with their heritage. 

Does the need for China approval affect the use of natural ingredients?

Yes, this does have some adverse impact on the introduction of natural ingredients in the global market. However, it is to be noted that Chinese regulations are more tolerant towards botanical ingredients as a good number of botanicals are already included in the approved list of ingredients.  For certain botanicals, the extract from various parts of the plant or the whole plants is also already included in the list of approved ingredient. Further, it should also be noted that this is only expected to impact global formulators, who have presence in China. Formulators, who are only active in their home countries or have little presence in China may not be affected as much.

What new natural trends are developing at the moment?

One trend I can think of is the growing interest in the use of food items in cosmetics. This is not something new as the ingredient suppliers and formulators have always been interested in this. And many of such ingredients are already in use in cosmetic products. I think the things that are changing is that ingredient suppliers and formulators are looking at new food ingredients like superfruits for instance and using them in cosmetic products or using the same ingredient in a different way like fermented products. 

Have fermented natural products gained momentum over the past 12 months?

This trend originated in South Korea and is now increasingly adopted globally. There is certainly more interest on this concept in the last few years and we are seeing new products coming up in the market that are using fermented natural ingredients.

What other areas will be covered in your presentation?

In my presentation at in-cosmetics Asia, I will also focus on providing an overview of personal care ingredients industry in Asia and how natural ingredients are becoming more important in the region.


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