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Russia: Successful event for beauty bloggers at InterCharm
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by Kirsten Huettner, editor-in-chief ekokosmetika.ru
The international community of beauty industry met end of October in Moscow for the largest perfumery and cosmetics exhibition, the InterCharm 2016. It was visited by 69 864 unique visitors within the 4 days. This is definitely the most professional place to be for all cosmetics players and their fans in Russia. But what about natural and organic cosmetics at the fair? Dr.Kirsten Hüttner, former consultant for natural and organic cosmetics and editor-in-chief of the online magazine ekokosmetika.ru reports from the "green side" of the show and two seminars.
Again, there was a dedicated area, the so called Green Valley, with focus on natural products. Although there was also some greenwashing shown under the natural flag of the section, there were quite a few serious and truly natural brands present at it – so it was worth to visit the fair also for lovers of natural and organic brands. In addition, there were also two notably green events in the exhibitions conference program with participation of ekokosmetika.ru: the informative presentation “New natural brands in the Russian market” and a discussion for beauty bloggers.
"New brands of natural cosmetics in the Russian market"
The lecture was held by Dr. Kirsten Hüttner, Stuttgart, consultant and editor-in-chief of the online magazine ekokosmetika.ru.The presentation highlighted global trends in the development of the market of natural cosmetics and gave a brief overview of natural cosmetic certificates to enable the participants to establish a clear distinction between truly natural cosmetics and those products that only want to look natural in the eyes of the consumer.
Ms Huettner told about the principles of organic raw materials and listed the main groups of ingredients that cannot be used in the formulations of natural cosmetics. In the second half of the lecture new brands of certified natural cosmetics from Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and other countries which appeared last year in the Russian market, were presented: among them Speick, Khadi, Biokosma and i+m Naturkosmetik Berlin. More information about the presented brands can be found at Arnebia.ru,(in Russian language) where the presentation can also be downloaded.
Picture: Presentaion of Dr Kirsten Hüttner
"Natural cosmetics: myths and reality"
That was the title of the round table discussion for beauty bloggers which was one of the highlights at InterCharm 2016 from the journalist’ perspective with focus on natural and organic cosmetics. Planned by ekokosmetika.ru and the Russian online magazine for the organic market lookbio.ru - and InterCharm as co-organiser - the round table was devoted to actual issues of natural cosmetics circulating in the blogosphere. Over 40 professionals had followed the invitation, among them the most popular bloggers writing about natural cosmetics, who wanted to get to the bottom of myths and facts about cosmetic’s ingredients.
The honourable Anna Dycheva-Smirnova, Sales & Marketing Director, Reed Exhibitions (Organiser of InterCharm) opened the serious discussion of more than two hours. She greeted the audience and confirmed that InterCharm believed in the growing importance of green topics in the professional world of beauty.
A short presentation held by the two editors-in-chief of Lookbio (Tatyana Lebedeva) and ekokosmetika.ru (Kirsten Hüttner) with basic definitions of natural and organic cosmetics prepared the participants for the following quite extensive list of questions to the experts. The podium consisted of well-prepared specialized professionals from various fields of cosmetics, who tackled the challenges of a serious discussion without any problems: Marina Kruchkova - candidate of biological Sciences, (Biozka Concept Store), Alexander Stukalin - Director of technology companies, "Pervoe Reshenie" and Natura Siberica, Stepan Shepel, General Director of Russian company Tushe Flora (import and raw material supply), and Valeria Podgornaya - idealissta.blog. Blogger idealissta shared with the audience how she usually decides about which products should be written, which serious research she does in order to make sure the alleged natural product is no greenwashing, and informed the professionals which ingredients are currently the most disputed in social media and www.
The audience listened attentively, when Stepan Shepel explained the big price difference in natural oils and aroma oils which are mainly due to quality matters. Very remarking was the answer of the representative of Natura Siberica to the question, why some products of Natura Siberica contain microplastics like polyethylene or polyacrylate. This clearly is a contradiction to the brand proudly positioning itself as "the first Russian brand of high quality organic cosmetics”. However, Alexander Stukalin explained that their products containing microplastics are only rare older product formulations from a time when the company still did not pay attention to it. All new products of the brand Natura Siberica should not contain microplastics in any form, and in 2017 all products containing it will be removed from sales, or their composition will be changed.
The discussion went into detail when it came to the question how to assess the efficacy and safety of such preservatives as Honeysuckle or Phenoxyethanol, which Marina Krioutchova explained. And why some ingredients are allowed in Cosmos Standard (like Cocamidopropyl betaine, or Propylen glycol and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate from natural origin), and others are not (e.g. Behentrimonium chloride, Allantoin or Panthenol). For these difficult questions the organiser had received in advance, written answers from Dr. Roland Grandel from BDIH, part of Cosmos group, who unfortunately could not participate in the podium in person.
Although there were many difficult questions and thus terribly complex answers, the audience listened with great attention until the very end of the event. Because time still did not seem enough, the organisers invited to a little afterparty in a near restaurant, where a large amount of bloggers continued their interesting discussions with good Usbekian tea and food.
In general the attention, wide interest and positive feedback from participants and experts about the events confirmed again how important it is to provide sophisticated information about the matter of natural and organic cosmetics. And the fact that Intercharm had organised the Green Valley and mentioned itself the green events in their final press release give evidence that natural cosmetics is becoming more actual every year for overall cosmetics business in Russia.