Veganism, a lifestyle aimed to exclude the consumption of animal products, is on the rise, especially with with younger generations. Vegan beauty products are inherently more sustainable than those that use animal products.

Thirty percent of Gen Z claim to not eat animal products, for a variety of reasons. The production of animal products is a resource-intensive process and directly contributes to the rise of greenhouse gas emissions

With the addition of the novel coronavirus, more people have joined the movement away from animal products. The novel coronavirus is a zoonotic disease, meaning it’s derived from an animal, as were the diseases SARS, MERS, AIDS and Ebola. Avoiding the consumption of animals also lowers the risk of contracting zoonotic diseases.  

Vegans often struggle to find products that match the quality of items made using animal products, especially when it comes to supplements like collagen. Yet, as the popularity of the vegan lifestyle grows, so brands are working to cater to this demand. Vegan beauty products have changed and improved dramatically over time. 

Vegan Collagen

 Hydrolyzed collagen, often sold as powder, claims to strengthen bones and improve skin and hair. Although our bodies naturally produce collagen, the production slows down as we age. Because of this, the desire for collagen supplements comes mostly from the desire to improve our skin. 

Collagen improves skin elasticity and moisture content in skin. However, collagen is a protein usually taken from cow tissue and tendons, chicken bones, pig skin, or fish. This poses an issue for vegans who might want to take collagen supplements. Luckily, some brands produce good quality collagen.

Rae Vegan makes a collagen supplement that uses vitamin C and bamboo to encourage collagen production in the body. The brand Moon Juice does the same with their Collagen Protect product. To make things even easier, many vegan brands have turned to collagen serums to fulfill the role of dietary products.  

The serums use retinol, vitamin C, collagen and peptides to increase the elasticity of the skin. Most of the topical serums also contain hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E, which have anti-aging benefits. One brand, in particular, Algenist Genius Liquid Collagen, is great for vegans, as it uses completely plant-based collagen.

Vegan Beauty Products

 For many, vegan beauty products are a healthier alternative than animal-based products because of their effects on the body. For vegans, veganism is not just about diet but also lifestyle and ethics. Therefore, they are often more comfortable with products that don’t contain animal products. 

 However, vegan beauty products extend way beyond just supplements. Famous makeup brand Kat Von D rebranded itself to KVD Vegan Beauty, to emphasize their stance on veganism. The brand is a pioneer of completely cruelty-free makeup and has been 100% vegan since 2016.

 As the beauty industry changes, vegan ingredients are becoming more and more available. Common animal products found in beauty products include glycerin, squalene, keratin and beeswax. With the growth of vegan resources, animal-derived products can be replaced. The removal of animal testing is another goal sought after by vegan beauty brands, and ties into the values of veganism itself.

When it first emerged, vegan beauty was less appealing to a more general audience because of how earthy and unrefined the products were. Ericka Rodriguez, founder of Axiology makeup used to make her own lipstick in her kitchen, because she couldn’t find a vegan brand that suited her needs. Her homemade lipstick did not appeal to the public. 

However, the growth of vegan beauty goes hand-in-hand with stylish, aesthetic products. Makeup brand Glossier, while not entirely vegan, boasts more than twenty-five vegan products in chic, stylish designs. “Lip gloss,”One of their first, and most popular products is completely vegan and comes in an eye-catching design and multiple colors. Most of their products come in pink, minimalist packaging that is visually appealing to consumers.  

As the beauty industry evolves, the range of products that appeals to vegans are growing. As more brands turn to more sustainable, cruelty-free methods, costs of vegan beauty products will likely go down. As going vegan becomes more accessible across all sectors, the beauty industry being just one, veganism itself is likely to become more and more popular.