Vegan beauty goes mainstream


For all the clamor and controversy over being “cruelty-free,” little attention is paid to the animal derivatives used in the products themselves. There is a small but growing band of thought leaders — brands, bloggers and activists — who are determined to raise awareness and create a market for those who want to lessen the environmental impact of animal agriculture by offering vegan beauty products.

However, this message is not resonating with consumers yet. In a survey conducted by Statista, “vegan” ranked as one of the lowest concerns (6%) among features valued by consumers using organic personal care products. However, “environmentally friendly” and “made from natural sources” ranked very high. So, it seems that the issue lies in communicating actionable goals rather than abstract concepts.

According to Mintel’s 2017 report, “Farm to Face Makes a Good Ethical Message,” consumers want to connect with the source of their skin and beauty care. Whole Foods is one retailer on the ground floor of this trend. They employ strict standards for their beauty and skin care brands and they seek out brands with vegan offerings.

100% Pure, a pioneering brand for vegan beauty, is embracing the environmental aspects of veganism, but pushing for scientific breakthroughs. Founder and chief of creative Susie Wang told Drug Store News, “One of the crowning jewels in our natural repertoire is our fruit pigments. We dehydrate fresh fruits and vegetables and then extract their natural, intensely vibrant pigments.”

Balanced Guru, a certified-organic brand that is vegan except for organic beeswax, has created an alternative to silicone for their hair oils. Brand director Juan Pinto said, “With our oils, you get the immediate benefits of frizz control, softness and shine, while you also get long-term benefits of healthier hair.”

Skinfix has brought vegan branding to mass market retail with a dermatologist-approved line of skin care products that are all vegan, except for ethically sourced beeswax.