The Boom of Vegan Cosmetics in 2018

Oct 22, 2018

Veganism is on the rise worldwide, with Australia the third fastest growing market globally. Roy Morgan Research has shown that between 2012 and 2016, the number of Australians eating a vegetarian diet rose from 1.7 million to 2.1 million (just over 11 percent of the population). The logical step for anyone pursuing a vegan diet is to select their fashion, beauty and hair products according to their vegan credentials.

“But my lipstick doesn’t have beef in it!” you cry. Sure, but if you scroll the ingredients of the lipsticks, blushes, glosses and brushes in a typical makeup aisle, you’re likely to see the following ingredients: cochineal (a dye made from crushed beetles), guanine (crushed fish scales), tallow (animal fat), gelatine (bones, fat and ligaments), squalene (derived from shark livers) and ambergris (the lining of whale stomachs).

Australia and the Vegan Industry

“Australia is leading the way when it comes to interest in vegan living,” says Emma Hurst, PETA spokesperson. “According to 2018 Google Trends data, Australians have the world’s biggest appetite for learning about being vegan, with the highest percentage of searches for the word “vegan” of all countries around the world.”

This trend is attracting business to the meat-free market. Market research firm Euromonitor International predicts that by 2020, Australia’s packaged vegan food market will be worth $215 million.

“Along with the interest in vegan eating, demand for vegan beauty products is also skyrocketing,” says Hurst. “Many lines have seen a 38 percent rise in sales [according to a report by NPD Group] in the UK alone and a report by Market Research Future predicts a 6.1 percent growth in the global market within the next 5 years. The future of vegan beauty has never looked so good.”

Australian beauty lovers have a wealth of vegan cosmetics brands catering to every demographic in terms of age, ethnicity and every price point.

What It Means to Be Vegan

Janet Southern of Helios Health admits their brands are not 100 percent vegan but many of the products in every brand line qualify as vegan.

“Our brands are all premium natural and organic, more so than completely vegan. For example Dr. Hauschka Skin Care and Make-up is natural and organic skincare and make-up, NATRUE certified. Most ingredients in Dr. Hauschka Skin Care products are of plant origin. This also applies to glycerine, stearic acid and other fat constituents, which are solely obtained from plant raw materials. We do not test on animals. Some of the common ingredients originating from animals that are used in Dr. Hauschka are beeswax, propolis, honey, silk powder, wool wax and carmine as a dye in make-up products.”

“For Helios Health & Beauty premium authentic natural and organic brands is where our demand lies. Our major brand, Dr. Hauschka, has many vegan top sellers. These products tick several boxes: natural, organic, biodynamic, certified natural and organic, no animal testing, vegan and of course for their performance. Skin care does tend to be a results based category,” explains Southern.

Helios Health & Beauty – Dr Hauschka Skincare Products

Vegan Beauty Across the Globe

China still requires all makeup brands to prove they have tested their products on animals to be retailed. This has meant vegan and cruelty-free brands are denied access to this marketplace. But the demand for vegan makeup and skincare hasn’t slowed down in Australia, America or the UK. Both male and female beauty consumers are being targeted by conscientious brands.

“We have definitely noticed a growing demand for vegan products. In line with this demand Dr. Hauschka launched vegan high-quality make-up brushes last year,” says Southern.

According to Google Trends, between 2004 and 2018, the countries with the most searches for “vegan” include Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Canada and Austria. Natalie Portman, Ruby Rose and Ariana Grande are all evidence that the modern face of veganism is beautiful, youthful, smart, socially engaged and healthy. It isn’t a coincidence that makeup and hair care brands are seeking to align themselves with these same celebrities. In fact, Ruby Rose is the face of Urban Decay, which boasts a cult-like following in the US and Australia particularly.  

Apart from cosmetics and skincare, self tanners, body lotions and deodorants are also in demand by the vegan consumer. Australian brand Kind-ly is 100 percent natural and vegan.

Even major supermarkets are competing to grow and market their vegan, wholefood and plant-based product lines. If veganism is a fad, it shows no imminent sign of slowing. Savvy beauty retailers and producers would be wise to cater to the affluent and conscientious vegan consumer market.


About the Author

Cat Woods is a Melbourne journalist and also teaches yoga, barre and Pilates. She is an advocate for healthy body image, ethical beauty and lifestyle choices.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now