The Vegan Beauty Breakdown

Updated: Nov 24, 2019

Vegan Beauty is here to stay. As conscious consumers, we are demanding changes in all facets of mass production and beauty brands are stepping up to deliver.

The New Wave

Since 2012, the number of google searches for vegan beauty trends have continued to double year on year. We want to know how our lotions and potions have been formed and more and more black women are ditching the age old staples like hair relaxers because of their raised risk for breast cancer. In their place vegan beauty, has fast become the new wave for ethical consumers. According to the Economist 2019, it is officially ‘The Year of the Vegan’, with a quarter of American Millennials who now consider themselves vegan.

But What Does it Mean?

There are two main terms to get to grips with when it comes to breaking down vegan beauty.

  1. ‘Cruelty Free’, any beauty product that proclaims to be cruelty free is letting you know it has not been tested on animals. The Body Shop, for example, is a market leader in this area and one of the UK’s most recognisable cruelty free brands.

  2. Vegan-friendlyor Vegan beauty, products that contain no animal by products of any kind. Natural beeswax for locs, honey, lanolin (wool grease), milk or collagen are not classed as vegan friendly, although they may still qualify as cruelty-free. Other animal by-products that are often found in cosmetics include squalene (shark liver oil), carmine (crushed-up beetles), gelatin (cow or pig bones, tendons or ligaments), allantoin (cow urine), ambergris (whale vomit) and placenta (sheep organs) so you can begin to see exactly why consumers are shifting away from the use of these animal by-products more and more.

Money Talks

Beauty buyers are now looking to spend our money on products that are far more in keeping with our personal values, and major brands are beginning to action that change. Dove has now gained accreditation by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Dove’s cruelty-free status has been granted in recognition of the brand’s commitment to not conduct any tests on animals anywhere in the world. PETA’s cruelty-free logo began to appear on Dove packaging from January 2019 to assure customers that Dove does not, and will not test on animals. l’Oreal meanwhile has been making great strides into the plant based world not just in their acquisitions but also in terms of the packaging types they are employing for their products.

Vegan Beauty is not just for big brands

As well as some of the more established brands, Vegan Beauty is big in the hair and beauty start up scene too. With this focus on conscious consumerism and the ease of access to high quality ingredients, the barrier to adoption is also lowered for new brands like Flora & Curl, OBIA Naturals, Afrocenchix and more. If you're starting a product line, why not try Vegan friendly or Cruelty free.

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