A growing preference for natural products free from chemicals, along with a concern for the environment is driving the demand for herbal beauty products, which includes our indigenous herb, Rooibos.
Currently, the global herbal beauty products market size is valued at USD 78.5 billion and is anticipated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2% within the next few years.
Adele du Toit, spokesperson for the SA Rooibos Council (SARC) says that not so long ago natural products were sold primarily in health food stores and farmers markets. “It was very niche and not taken seriously by the beauty industry, but now sleek new natural alternatives to mainstream beauty products are exploding onto the scene.”
She says there has been a universal shift towards ‘clean beauty’ across all cosmetic categories, with half of consumers seeking out organic, herbal brands, which in turn, is driving a growing preference for products containing Rooibos.
“Consumers are on a journey of exploration. They are enjoying new products and experimenting with new brands. This is part of a larger generational shift of younger consumers seeking out locally made, artisanal, natural products in all consumer categories.
“Beauty products made from botanical and/or herbal extracts offer environmentally conscious consumers a choice of natural ingredients that are considered the best form of skincare by dermatologists. Moreover, these products are suitable for all skin types and are available in a variety of products.”
While herbal products aimed at women still account for the largest share of revenue (72.4%) around the world, the men’s segment is gaining momentum. According to market analysts it’s forecasted to grow by a CAGR of 5.6% between now and 2027. Plant-based haircare and anti-ageing products targeted at men are most in demand.
Along with shea butter, coconut oil, liquorice extract and frankincense oil, Rooibos has also caught the eye of many local and international beauty houses that have incorporated Rooibos extracts in skin, hair and nailcare products, as well as make-up and even fragrances.
“Rooibos extracts contain concentrated plant ingredients that are packed with antioxidants and helps to prevent wrinkles, ageing and acne.
“Apart from the US, the European beauty market, especially Western Europe, is a good market to explore for natural ingredient exporters in developing countries, such as South Africa, who are looking for opportunities to promote their products,” remarks du Toit.
The increasing global demand for Rooibos pushed exports up to more than 7600 tons last year, inclusive of tea and extract.