For the past sixty years, vegetarians have been the minority of the world population in terms of diet. Of the vegetarians all over the world, only a small percentage were vegans. The last three years, however, have shown dramatic worldwide growth in the number of individuals opting to go vegan. Supermarket shelves are now stocked with vegan options to keep up with the demand. Significant indie brands in the cosmetic and skin care industry have launched vegan skin care products to satisfy the needs of the growing vegan market.
Veganism: Evolution of its definition
It was in 1944, when the word, “vegan” was coined by Donald Watson, a co-founder of the Vegan Society. The term was used, at that time, to describe a vegetarian who does not consume dairy products. The word’s definition then evolved and was updated in the early 1950s. Not just taking diet choice as the primary consideration, veganism was then described to include a lifestyle choice that “excludes all forms of animal exploitation.”
Fast forward 2020, vegans now fall into two groups. The dietary vegans or strict vegetarians avoid all animal-derived products including meat, eggs, dairy products, and honey from their diet. The lifestyle of vegans or ethical or moral vegetarians forms the second group. They apply the vegan philosophy passed just diet, but onto all possible areas of their lives including fashion, leisure activities and even their beauty regimen.
Natural Skin care: Now a common choice
Vegans and even some health-conscious non-vegans believe that what you take in affects your body and your consciousness. That includes what you apply to your skin. With several synthetic components in cosmetics and skin care products declared as harmful; healthier, natural options are now the common choice. Shampoos, lotions, and make-up, now have plant-based ingredients to replace synthetics and animal-derived components.
Vegan Skin care: Not just natural
Vegan skin care products are on a higher niche in the natural products realm. They are produced without any animal-derived components. Honey, beeswax, collagen, lanolin and keratin which are traditionally used in many skin care products are not in their roster of ingredients. Additionally these products are cruelty-free. They are not tested on animals during the product development process.
Vegan Skin care: Their claimed benefits
Ingredients that come into these products are natural and for some brands even organic. Botanical ingredients are known sources of powerful antioxidants, vitamins and other nourishing compounds which have proven benefits for the skin.
Some brands subject botanical ingredients through a special process where they are synthesized to mimic skin structures and help heal, repair, and regenerate skin. Healthy, soft, glowing skin is what these products promise. And like any product, only time will tell if promises are kept.
As of September 2020, the world vegan population was estimated to be 78 million. Following the trend of its growth in recent years, this number is expected to increase at an accelerated rate in the next few years. With this expected development inevitably comes the growth of the vegan skin care product market. New products will be developed. More options will be available. Consumers need to be more informed and discriminating to be able to make the right choice. It is skin health at stake and let’s face it, it matters a lot.