The Economist magazine declared 2019 to be the year of the vegan in the kitchen, restaurant and supermarket. But it seems that veganism is also on the rise in the bathroom - the vegan skincare market is growing rapidly to keep up with demand for plant only based products.
Vegan skincare products contain only plant based ingredients and no animal derived ingredients (honey, beeswax, keratin, egg whites, lanolin, collagen, silk worm powder or carmine dye). What used to be a very small, fringe group of consumers is now swelling in numbers so significant that even multinational brands are starting to take note. The vegan cosmetics industry is expected to reach $20 billion globally by 2025.
Mintel Global Consumer Trend reports further recognise changes in attitudes whereby consumers are driving beauty brands to recycle, reuse and reduce all plastic waste. The farm-to-fork and plot-to-plate movements that have shone a light on how food is grown, transported, packaged and sold are increasingly turning to the beauty industry.
In recent years consumers have become much more educated and selective at choosing what products to buy - be it in the acquisition of food, fashion, flowers or face creams, more and more demand traceability, provenance and ethical standards of welfare in production.
Botanical actives in vegan skincare are natural ingredients that have been scientifically proven to change the structure of skin at a cellular level. Botanical properties work to repair, rejuvenate, hydrate, protect or nourish the cells. Since ancient times the power of plants was used to make skincare products.
The ancient Egyptians used castor oil and moringa oil to minimise the appearance of wrinkles, aloe vera was used to cleanse the skin and kohl was used as eyeliner. Ancient Greeks used crushed mulberries as lip and cheek stains, and a blend of charcoal and oils to create eyeshadow. They also used olive oils to moisturise the skin. Women in ancient Roman times used honey, frankincense, vinegar and almond oil as cleansers. Ayurveda, the 5,000-year-old Indian form of holistic medicine, teaches that only edible products, like sesame oil, sandalwood, and turmeric, should be put on the skin.
It's interesting to track the progress of modern day small, independent, family owned skincare brands that are growing botanicals, distilling plants, harvesting seaweeds and creating their own recipes for natural skincare products with no toxins, chemicals, plastics or cruelty.