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Personal Care

Outdoor Protective Beauty

In recent years, there has been a boom in the concept of outdoor wellness, with consumers discovering a newfound appreciation for the positive benefits that the great outdoors can have on their physical and mental wellbeing. More time spent outdoors brings greater exposure to environmental aggressors as a result of weather conditions, which are becoming more extreme due to climate change. With consumers placing greater emphasis on their overall health, there is a growing desire for products that will allow them to customise their skin care and hair care routines to protect and adapt to local climates.

With increasing awareness of climate change, we are witnessing a greater demand for beauty and personal care products that can help reduce an individual's impact on the world around them. Although consumers may seek beauty and personal care products that protect their skin and hair from the elements, it is the challenge of cosmetic formulators to develop high-performance solutions that also consider the consumer desire to make eco-conscious choices by formulating sustainably.
happy women wearing blue coat yellow headband backpack on windy coastal walk

Outdoor Wellness and Climate Awareness

Following the global pandemic, increased time spent outdoors has become a daily ritual for many consumers. The limited time we were able to enjoy some fresh air was the highlight of our day, and now as restrictions are lifted this has fuelled a desire for many to explore new places and try different outdoor pursuits. Since the global pandemic, 60% of men and 72% of women in the UK said they want to spend more time outdoors in the future [1] . This was also demonstrated by the lifestyle app Strava that reported an all-time record number of users in 2021 at 95 million [2] . Aside from the obvious physical health benefits, time spent outdoors also boosts our psychological wellbeing. Particularly with more frequent working from home arrangements, it’s a tonic at the end of the day for many of us to offset our screen time.

Consumers are also increasingly aware of climate change and how this is impacting weather conditions. This is influencing purchasing decisions for many, leading to a greater demand for beauty and personal care products that reduce an individual's impact on the world around them. There has been growth in several eco-conscious claims over the last 5 years, such as the use of sustainable resources, biodegradability, environmentally friendly and refillable packaging.

[1] WGSN - Key Trend 2023: Outdoor Protective Beauty
[2] WGSN - Future of Outdoor


 mintel eco conscious claims graph


Source: Mintel GNPD

As a result, in creating beauty and personal care products, we must also consider consumer desire to make eco-conscious choices by formulating sustainably. When it comes to sustainable formulation design, increased scrutiny of carbon emissions has enhanced focus on the use of bio-based ingredients, cold processable manufacturing methods and even the use of renewable energy in the production of beauty and personal care formulations. As a result, all of the ingredient solutions and formulation inspiration included throughout this blog have taken these factors into consideration, to help you make the most sustainable choices.

Sustainability at Croda

At Croda, we are committed to helping our customers, and in turn the end consumer, to make sustainable choices. That is why we have established targets to reduce our average product carbon footprint by 35% through reductions in our Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions associated with the manufacture and raw material sourcing of our ingredients. By committing to this change, we are supporting our customers in reducing their own upstream scope 3 emissions. In fact, since 2018, our total Scope 1 & 2 emissions have reduced by ~20% though initiatives such as the use of renewable energy at our Atlas Point site, and investing in improvements to the acid chloride reaction process at Rawcliffe Bridge, which has resulted in approximately 50% reduction in the associated greenhouse gas emissions.

carbon emissions sustainability information

Environmental Aggressors

As mentioned earlier, more time spent outdoors results in greater (potential) exposure to the effects of more extreme weather and associated environmental aggressors, such as UV radiation, air pollution, extreme temperatures, humidity, and wind. With more consumers placing greater emphasis on their overall health, we are seeing this interest extend to a desire for products that will allow them to adapt their beauty routines to protect the health of their skin and hair, and adapt to local climates. This is shown by an increase in claims such as “UV protection” and “protecting against the elements” seen on-pack in recent years.


environmental aggressors

UV radiation

UVA and UVB radiation each present different issues for the hair and skin, so need to be targeted holistically to provide full protection.

For the skin, UVB radiation leads to sun burn and the visible reddening of the skin. Whereas UVA radiation is responsible for deeper damage to the skin’s structure and is responsible for signs of skin ageing.

For hair, UVB radiation disrupts the sulphide bonds within the hair fibre, which will impact many of its mechanical properties. UVA can cause hair colour to fade, particularly for colour treated hair but also for our natural hair colour.

If a consumer is exposed to UV radiation without the correct protection, they may notice that their skins appears red and feels itchy or irritated. They may also notice changes in their skin texture, with early signs of wrinkles and dark spots, particularly after prolonged exposure. They may also notice that their hair feels rough and is unmanageable, is more prone to breakage and their hair colour appears less vibrant.

consumer dilemma uv radiation effects on skin and hair

To combat these issues, we have the Solaveil™ Clarus range to deliver skin protection from UV radiation. With its excellent transparency on the skin, it is perfect for inclusion in daily wear skin protection products. We also have the Solaveil MicNo range of zinc oxide filters, whose unique structure also helps to deliver enhanced transparency on the skin.

To protect the internal hair structure, we have Crodasorb UV-283*, a highly substantive quat that will shield the hair’s protective proteins and lipids from damage following exposure to UVB radiation. It can also help to protect the hair’s natural colour from fading or discolouration, including grey hair. ChromAveil™ can also help to protect the natural hair colour and is a great choice where protection from UV exposure for colour treated hair is required. 

*Crodasorb UV-283 is not a Category I sunscreen agent and no SPF claims should be made regarding its use




Air pollution

With increasing carbon emissions, particularly in urban areas, it is no wonder that air pollution is an increasing concern for consumers. It can lead to oxidative stress for the skin, disrupting the skin barrier and contributing to skin ageing. As well as impacting the deeper skin structures, it can also lead to a generally unclean feeling on the skin, with the perception of blocked pores. Air pollution can also attack proteins and lipids on the hair’s surface which can lead to structural damage. It can also impact the visual appearance of the hair, which will usually appear dull with less shine.

Consumers may notice skin inflammation and irritation, or that their skin appears oilier, is more dehydrated, or is dull in appearance. Their hair might feel rough and become unmanageable, whilst also appearing dull and less healthy.

consumer dilemma pollution effects on skin and hair

Citystem™ has been designed to fight against both the visible and invisible signs of skin damage as a result of pollution. Where exposure has already occurred, Cithrol™ 10GTIS delivers proven pollution cleansing efficacy, allowing the creation of high-performance facial cleansers.

To protect the hair from damage inflicted by pollution, Fruitbio prevents the deposition potential for pollution particles onto the hair’s surface, whilst Kerestore™ 2.0 intelligently repairs the most damaged areas of the hair’s surface. 

Extreme temperature and humidity

Extremes in temperature or humidity can lead to a multitude of issues for consumers. Colder weather tends to bring lower humidities and both can cause dry or cracked skin that is more prone to irritation, which can also extend to the scalp. Lower humidity can also leave hair more prone to frizz and static build up. Warmer weather can leave the skin looking and feeling dehydrated, whilst also more prone to increased oiliness, again all of which can extend to the scalp.

Some consumers might notice that their skin is drier, dehydrated and cracked, whilst others may suffer from more breakouts as a result of increased oiliness. Their hair may be more prone to breakage, frizzier and with more static flyaways.

consumer dilemma extreme temperature and humidity effects on skin and hair

Climate-responsive moisturisation for the skin is the perfect solution to combat the effects of extreme temperatures and humidities, which is exactly what DuraQuench™ IQ SA has been designed to do by delivering temperature and humidity responsive moisturisation for up to 72 hours. Due to increased skin oiliness, consumers may also find that their make-up doesn’t last throughout the day and requires touch ups. Crodabond™ CSA is the perfect solution for long-wearing colour cosmetic formulations.

To reduce the effects of extreme humidity on the hair, MiruStyle™ MFP can help to reduce frizz and static flyaways with outstanding style retention and humidity resistance. To reduce scalp sebum as a result of hotter weather and higher humidities, Nutrinvent Balance can not only help to noticeably reduce the level of sebum on the scalp, but will help to deliver continued improvements with repeated use, for hair that looks and feels cleaner for longer. 


Particularly windy conditions can weaken the skin barrier, leading to skin that looks and feels dry and feels more sensitive. It can also wreak havoc on the hair, leading to knots and tangles which can ultimately lead to hair breakage.

Consumers may feel that their skin is red, inflamed and dehydrated, whilst their hair is unmanageable with knots and tangles, leading to more breakage which can appear as more hair fall when brushing or styling.

consumer dilemma wind effects on skin and hair

To prevent dry and dehydrated skin, Crodamol™ ISIS works in synergy with the skin’s natural barrier to reduce water loss, which has been proven to outperform petrolatum. Dry, chapped lips are a common result of wind exposure, so NG Shea Unsaponifiable can help to soothe inflamed lips by restoring their barrier function.

To improve the manageability of hair, Crodazoquat™ MCC delivers exceptional conditioning to a range of hair types, to improve the appearance, feel and manageability of hair that may already be damaged. To try and prevent the formation of knots and tangles, KeraDyn™ HH improves the fibre alignment to reduce any friction, for hair that has weightless movement. 
Our botanical alliance have recently explored the concept of Geoskincare and the importance of tailoring skincare routines to the specific environmental conditions. To learn more you can read the blog article here, but I have included a selection of ingredients offered by Crodarom and Alban Muller that offer environmental protection that can complement the ingredients already mentioned throughout this blog.

Formulation inspiration

We have a number of different formulations that can help to meet the outdoor protective beauty trend that utilise many of the ingredients I have already mentioned and, additionally, have been created using our sustainable formulating principles. Here are a couple of my top picks…

Gel-oil-milk transformative cleanser
This is my ‘go-to’ type of cleanser in my own skin care routine, and I love the transformative texture of this particular formulation. The gel melts into a luxurious oil when massaged into the skin to remove make-up, sunscreen, and excess sebum. The addition of Cithrol 10GTIS delivers proven pollution cleansing efficacy, helping to remove all impurities in one simple step when emulsified into a milk with the addition of water. Hybrid cleansers that deliver transformative textures are having a resurgence right now, appealing to consumers that want to streamline their skin care routines, whilst maintaining effective skin cleansing and make-up removal without disrupting the skin barrier and ensuring optimum hydration.

Primed for perfection pre-style treatment
I would describe myself as pretty low-maintenance when it comes to hair styling, but as someone that often suffers with the effects of humidity playing havoc with my hair, I am constantly on the lookout for products that promise to offer long-lasting, frizz-free styles. My approach is to blow out my hair to smooth out any frizz, so I love the idea of this pre-style primer that I can apply before styling to help eliminate any frizz or static, with the help of MiruStyle MFP. Meanwhile, KeraMatch™ V has been proven to improve the strength and overall feel of hair, helping to combat many of the issues inflicted as a result of exposure to environmental aggressors.

But this is only a small selection, and we have a whole range of formulations that can help to meet this trend, so I have also included some other options below: 
Outdoor Protective Beauty