Global speciality oil supplier Kerfoot says five natural hydrating oils are proving popular with consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have noted a number of plant-based oils that are finding particular favour in this environment, and a noticeable spike towards oils that can offer natural emollient qualities and soothe the skin,” said Kerfoot sales & marketing manager Simon Corner on 5 August.

“We saw behavioural changes in consumers during lockdown, which may develop into behaviour changes as we move through the ongoing pandemic.”

Kerfoot had noted a rise in the popularity of coconut, grapeseed, jojoba, argan and olive oil.

"Coconut oil in particular has been growing for some time but is accelerating in today's market. Grapeseed is another great example of an oil that is less commonly used but is finding favour with consumers,” he said.

“It’s ideal for body butters and face creams, and its moisturising qualities are resonating with shoppers. Formulators and product designers will be pleased too. It has a light texture that makes it versatile and flexible and contains more linoleic acid than most carrier oils, which allows it to hydrate, while also reducing the size of skin pores.”

Consumers were also looking for products that did more than one job, according to Corner, and this explained the rise in demand for jojoba and argan oil.

“Jojoba, for example, has a similar structure to the skin’s natural oils, which can nourish and moisturise without feeling slick or oily to the touch, ideal for sensitive skin. Similarly, argan oil’s ability to protect skin by restoring elasticity, alongside its anti-inflammatory qualities, is making real waves in the sector. This upward momentum is likely to continue being introduced in new product development projects as we move forward,” Corner added.

The kitchen staple, olive oil, was also enjoying a resurgence, according to Kerfoot.

“It’s building a strong footing in personal care formulations as a powerfully hydrating ingredient in a surprisingly diverse array of applications; from shampoos and conditioners to hand creams, balms and moisturisers. Consumers are starting to rethink how they’re approaching skin care, and natural oils are playing a central role,” Corner said.

A global supplier of bulk and packed, refined and speciality oils, Kerfoot is part of the Avril Group, a French agro-industrial company.