The beauty industry is rapidly going green. Consumers are choosing gentler and nature-based products instead of the cosmetics infused with animal by-products and heavy-duty chemicals. According to Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD), vegan skin care launches have seen an unprecedented growth at 175 percent in the past five years, from July 2013 to June 2018.
Various studies have proven that harmful substances such as parabens and phthalates are ultimately damaging our skin. Preservatives are an emerging concern for the environment globally. Thus the big question posing the beauty industry is—is it possible to develop skincare products that are good not just for the skin, but for the world around us at large?
Chemical-free: The skin is the largest organ in the human body and anything applied to it quickly gets absorbed into our blood stream thus effecting our bodies. Fewer chemical ingredients are used to make vegan products thus making them a better choice for sensitive skin types. The careful choice of ingredients reduces the risk of reactions. Plant-derived ingredients are typically richer in antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, which are well accepted by our bodies (a phenomenon known as bio-similarity). The sheer variety of plant-derived ingredients available in the market makes it possible to design products for every need and every skin type.
Healed environment: The chemicals that are applied on our face, body and hair, when washed away add to the pollutants in the environment. As pollution levels grow, and the ozone layer depletes itself every day, our skin directly bears the brunt of this, and its abilities to repair and replenish itself become inhibited. Excessive dryness, eczema, early signs of ageing, dandruff—these are all due to the environmental impact of pollution on our skin.
Vegan products don’t add any pollutants to the environment and are easily decomposed. Not only does going vegan give us the opportunity to reverse the strain on our planet, but it also protects our skin. It is important to keep in mind that when buying vegan products one is making a cruelty-free choice. We can avoid dead animal by-products and also say no to animal-testing. Research by Cruelty Free International
suggests that at least 115 million animals may be used in beauty experiments worldwide each year.
The good news is that with veganism gaining popularity in the beauty industry, these products are now available at affordable prices. This also takes away the effort of creating home-based concoctions. By giving us effective, safe, and an undeniable positive impact on our wellness and the environment around us, veganism is certainly a wiser choice to make in these changing time.
The author is Shankar Prasad, Founder of India's vegan beauty brand Plum.