woman shopping for skincare products

What Consumers Value Most in Skincare

The way consumers shop for beauty products is constantly evolving. Modern beauty shoppers want more than just a product: they want to put their money where their values are. Most of all, they want to know exactly what ingredients they are putting on their skin and whether a product lives up to the hype. 

With the clean beauty trend going more than skin-deep in 2022, today’s health-conscious consumers choose brands and products that align with their values. As innovators in our field, pH Factor has insight into what consumers value in their beauty products. 

Here are the stand-out features consumers look for and avoid when purchasing beauty products in 2022:

Safe & Non-Toxic Products

Consumers often seek cosmetic products that they consider safe and free of ‘toxic’ ingredients. However, the allowed ingredients that are used in all cosmetic products in Australia are regulated. This means they have gone through testing and have been deemed safe for consumer use, so there’s nothing ‘unsafe’ or ‘toxic’ to be afraid of. 

What does product regulation entail? Here are two ways the team at pH Factor regulates our products to safety standards: 

  • Ingredients: We only use ingredients deemed safe for personal use, formulate with a safe percentage, and exclude any ingredients from our products that are restricted for cosmetic use. 
  • Formulation Testing: We offer exceptional product standards and quality control through our efficacy and testing procedures.


Once a product has undergone industry standard regulation process, such as listed above for product safety, they are safe for personal use. So referring to a product as “toxic” is really a claim that the product has not undergone sufficient product regulation testing. 

The misconception that there might be “toxic or unsafe” ingredients or products in cosmetics is due to misinformation. Our recommendation is that the word ‘toxic’ should be avoided when referring to cosmetics, as these claims are not scientifically backed.

Another essential point to note is that cosmetic safety is not only limited to how a product is formulated or what ingredients are used. The real safety of a product lies in how a consumer actually uses it. If a product is not used in the intended way, any product can become unsafe. 

Keeping this in mind, consumers also have to factor in their own skin concerns – such as whether they have sensitive skin – as these can change the safety profile of a product. As a beauty brand owner or formulator, it is essential that you appropriately label any of your products that may not be suitable for sensitive skin types. 

Nevertheless, consumers are still concerned about ‘non-toxic’ formulations, so how do we navigate this? Transparent ingredient labelling can help. Consumers who are concerned about ‘safe’ products tend to favour purchasing from brands that transparently label all of the ingredients used in their products.

What some consumers don’t understand is that beauty ingredients don’t have to be strictly all-natural, organic, or preservative-free to be deemed safe – so it’s important to educate consumers on the importance of your safety standard testing, too. After all, any ingredient can be ‘safe’ and ‘non-toxic’ when appropriately used and tested.

Some common natural ingredients consumers value include:

  • Botanical extracts and ingredients – Botanical ingredients contain high levels of antioxidant properties. Some examples include CBD, Hemp, Elderberry, Green Tea, Aloe Vera, Lavender, Honey, and more.

Synthetic ingredients are also safe for consumers and can sometimes be more agreeable with sensitive skin types and be more eco-friendly than natural ingredients. 

Some common synthetic ingredients consumers value include:

  • Vitamin C – L-ascorbic acid –  L-ascorbic acid (the most potent form of Vitamin C) is an antioxidant and powerful anti-inflammatory ingredient known to brighten the skin and boost collagen production.
  • Hyaluronic acid (HA) – Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring ingredient that acts as a magnet for water. HA boosts hydration and is responsible for giving you that plump look.
  • Synthetic SPF – Synthetic SPF is 100% safe for use and is highly effective at protecting against UVA and UVB rays. They contain any of these ingredients: oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, and avobenzone. It is often referred to as “chemical sunscreen” which can be misleading as most skincare ingredients, even water, are “chemicals.”

Eco-Friendly & Animal Friendly

Consumers have become increasingly conscious about their impact on the world, and a large portion expects beauty brands to do no harm to animals and respect the environment. They actively look for ingredients from ethically verified sources such as plant-based, vegan, and cruelty-free. 

More consumers today are willing to pay a premium on beauty brands that use sustainable packaging, natural and/or organic ingredients, and no testing on animals. 

Some ingredients that are known to have an environmental impact and that you should consider avoiding are:

Results-Driven, Quality Skincare

One of the most shared issues consumers have in the beauty market is skincare products not meeting their needs and living up to the promises marketed to them. Consumers want skincare that works. It is important to create a product that contains high-quality, potent ingredients and formulations that suit a wide range of skin types. After all, without a quality product, how can you expect your consumers to see results?

Here are our top recommendations for skincare ingredients that are scientifically proven to work with the correct potency: 

  • Retinoids – At least 0.25%
  • Niacinamide – 2% or more
  • Vitamin C – 5-20%


Ultimately, to create skincare products that will sell, you need to think about the efficacy and sustainability of each part of your supply chain. This includes abiding by cosmetic safety regulations, sustainable practices, and quality proven-to-work ingredients. By keeping up with what your consumers value and tailoring your products to their expectations, you can stay ahead of the curve. To help you navigate through the true science and specific regulations, reach out to our qualified team at pH Factor