Exploring the Vegan Cosmetics Explosion
With the global vegan cosmetics market size projected to reach $20.8 billion USD by 2025 at a CAGR of 6.3%, and the vegan cosmetics market witnessing an incredible 175% increase in product offerings since 2013, the message is clear. Vegan cosmetic products will be in high demand from consumers in the coming years.
One of the largest drivers behind the swelling demand for vegan cosmetic products is the positive, green-tinted values a vegan claim denotes to the consumer: cruelty-free, formulated without animal products, animal-friendly, eco-friendly, natural, or any combination thereof.
Viewed as one of the most environmentally sound ways to make new purchases, many consumers now see vegan cosmetic products as the “ultimate ethical claim,” and for formulators, “…highlighting that products have been developed in a way that is not only animal friendly, but also cutting edge, socially acceptable, and with a high level of transparency,” according to Simon Pitman for Mintel, in “The rise and rise of vegan claims for cosmetics.”
In short, while the FDA does not currently have a definition of “vegan” cosmetics, for consumers concerned about the impact of their purchases on the environment, or who hold ethical concerns, a vegan claim on a new mascara or eyeshadow could be the ultimate deciding factor for purchase.
Rebranded as “better than before”
The exploding vegan cosmetics market is also tied to an effective rebranding of the word “vegan.” While the vegan claim on a cosmetic once used to signify “earthy, cardboardy and decidedly unglamorous,” today that crunchy connotation is gone. Now, vegan cosmetic products are viewed as “cool girl makeup,” ”impressive,” and “not only ethical, but just as effective.”
In fact, this reputation shift in efficacy is perhaps even more important than the ratcheted up glamour of the vegan claim. No longer perceived as mere second-rate options, vegan cosmetics are now beloved for the vegan claim – and their effectiveness.
“Perceivably unable to measure up to the results of chemical science, vegan products have had an unfair rep for being the “fluffy” alternative… No longer are they the fermented-smelling pulp from a hippy era, nor are they harder to get your hands on than a pet unicorn… They’re (vegan skincare) masters of plant science with cutting-edge formulas that will make you wonder how we ever survived without them.” – When Vegan Skincare is As Effective As It Is Ethical, Coveteur
By shedding a long-held reputation for second-rate results, vegan cosmetics are now seen as cool, effective – and highly desired by demanding consumers.
Vegan goes more mainstream
Finally, the explosion of the vegan cosmetics market is also linked to the mainstreaming of vegan claims on cosmetics, by smaller and bigger brands alike. Recently, several longstanding cosmetic companies have gone entirely vegan, or reformulated popular products to fit the vegan claim. Some of the most newsworthy cosmetic vegan reformulations of late include:
- Buzzy brand Milk Makeup reformulated popular products to become an entirely vegan company this year
- Trendy Kat Von D makeup line recently branded products with a #VeganAlert alert label to “indicate that the finished product is vegan”
- Prestige beauty brand Hourglass Cosmetics has pledged to become vegan by 2020
- Covergirl is Now Cruelty-Free Certified by Leaping Bunny
- E.l.f. Cosmetics replaced their animal-hair makeup brushes with synthetic hair, turning their makeup brush collection entirely vegan
As more and more trending indie brands and beauty behemoths reformulate popular products or even entire products lines to become vegan, the “vegan” claim will begin to signal high quality and great results to increasing numbers of consumers – people who’ll want to feel as good about their purchase choices as they do about their appearance.