7 mins read
  • cruelty-free
  • vegan beauty
January 30th, 2024

Skincare for a Sustainable Future: Inside the Vegan Beauty Movement

Skincare for a Sustainable Future: Inside the Vegan Beauty Movement

Vegan beauty is more than a fleeting fad; it is a deliberate decision that reflects the values and beliefs of a growing segment of consumers worldwide. Projections indicate that the global vegan skincare market, valued at $18.3 billion in 2022, is poised to reach $29.3 billion by 2030. This surge reflects a profound shift in consumer preferences towards cruelty-free, ethically sourced, and environmentally friendly products.

The label “vegan” on skincare products signifies a commitment to the absence of animal-derived ingredients or by-products. However, this designation doesn’t automatically guarantee a product’s naturalness or immunity against potential allergens. As we explore vegan skincare, it becomes clear that this choice extends beyond aesthetics; it’s a conscious effort to harmonize personal values with discerning purchasing decisions.

In response to the increasing consumer preference for products aligning with their ethical beliefs, this article delves into the intricate aspects of formulating vegan beauty products. From reducing waste in the food sector to strengthening ethical bases, the vegan beauty movement is a comprehensive method that connects mindful consumption with sustainability in the beauty sector.


cruelty free skincare

The rise of vegan beauty reflects a profound shift in lifestyle philosophy, extending beyond ingredient choices. Consumers now seek skincare products aligning with ethical principles, mindful of the broader impact. Credit: Shutterstock


Embracing Veganism: A Conscious Lifestyle Shift


The surge in the popularity of vegan beauty is more than a cosmetic choice; it reflects a profound embrace of a broader lifestyle philosophy. It transcends the act of simply avoiding ingredients of animal origin; it signifies a conscientious shift in consumer behavior. Today’s consumers are increasingly mindful of their choices, seeking skincare products that align seamlessly with their deeply rooted ethical principles.

Within this paradigm shift, it becomes paramount to communicate a crucial perspective – many animal-derived ingredients employed in cosmetics are, in fact, by-products of the food industry. Understanding this context unveils a unique facet of the vegan beauty movement, one that contributes to preventing the wastage of materials like bones, dermis tissue, or viscera.

Exploring this aspect helps skincare enthusiasts understand the complexities of vegan skincare, reinforcing ethical values. It acts as a bridge for consumers questioning the ethics surrounding using such ingredients, aligning conscious consumption with sustainability and ethical stewardship within the beauty industry.


Vegan skincare brand

Crafting vegan beauty goes beyond simple substitutions. It’s a nuanced process, navigating challenges from verifying ingredient origins to ensuring product safety and effectiveness. Credit: Shutterstock


Nevertheless, the formulation of vegan beauty products proves to be a nuanced task, extending beyond merely substituting animal-derived ingredients with plant-based alternatives. The process involves navigating numerous challenges and considerations, ranging from meticulous verification of ingredient origins to ensuring the safety and effectiveness of the final products.

Here are the paramount five considerations for seamlessly transitioning to the realm of vegan beauty products:


Formulating Vegan Beauty Products: Top 5 Considerations


1. Ingredient Origin Verification

Before acquiring raw ingredients, it is imperative to ascertain their source from suppliers meticulously. This verification process is indispensable for excluding any components derived from animals, aligning seamlessly with the core principles of vegan skincare.

By implementing this crucial step, the formulation process upholds a standard of transparency within the supply chain, ensuring the integrity and ethical foundation of the ingredients used.

Do you know?

Collagen, a vital structural protein in animal connective tissues, is critical in maintaining skin elasticity. This protein is formed through collagen synthesis, where amino acids like glycine and proline combine to create triple helix procollagen chains. Our body relies on vitamin C, zinc, and copper, acting as essential cofactors, to facilitate this synthesis.

Skincare products often utilize these amino acids and nutrients for their anti-aging effects, contributing to stabilized enzyme structures in collagen production. In a shift towards plant-based alternatives, plant-derived collagen, rich in amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, mirrors the effects of animal collagen. This plant-powered solution supports the body’s natural collagen production, promoting skin health and overall well-being. It’s a simple yet impactful embrace of nature’s contribution to timeless beauty.

2. Collaboration with CDMOs

Finding alternatives to animal-derived components is a hallmark challenge in developing vegan beauty products. Traditional ingredients like collagen, hyaluronic acid, and placenta hormones, historically sourced from animals, now face innovative solutions driven by technological advancements. For instance, biotechnological production of hyaluronic acid from agriculture exemplifies cruelty-free skincare alternatives with identical benefits.

Collaborating with Contract Development and Manufacturing Organizations (CDMOs) becomes invaluable navigating the intricacies of vegan product development. CDMOs possess expertise in the specific challenges posed by vegan formulations, covering aspects like ingredient sourcing, compatibility, and overall product stability. Brand owners can expedite the development process by tapping into their specialized knowledge, ensuring efficiency from conception to production.

In addition to their expertise, partnering with a CDMO offers access to established networks with suppliers of plant-based raw materials, streamlining procurement. This not only saves time but also guarantees access to premium vegan ingredients, enhancing the overall product’s success. Beyond convenience, a CDMO partnership provides advantages in quality control, regulatory compliance, and scalable production, making it a strategic asset for brands in the competitive market.


3. Ethical Communication with Customers

Ethical concerns extend beyond the laboratory, shaping a brand’s identity and communication strategy. When a business embraces vegan beauty branding, clarity and consistency in communication become vital.

Articulating the brand’s unwavering commitment to vegan, cruelty-free, and ethically sourced products is essential. This informs consumers and aligns these choices with the brand’s overarching values and vision.

Through honest and resonant communication, trust is fostered with consumers who share these values, creating a connection with those seeking products that align seamlessly with their lifestyle choices.


4. Third-Party Certifications

Securing third-party certifications from esteemed organizations dedicated to vegan standards is a pivotal strategy to enhance the credibility and trustworthiness of vegan skincare products. Early research into the requirements and criteria of these certifications is indispensable during the product development phase, considering potential variations based on country, region, or market.

Notable certification bodies for vegan skincare include the Vegan Society, Certified Vegan, PETA’s Global Beauty Without Bunnies program, and V-Label. Each organization boasts distinct standards and logos, signaling that the products adhere to rigorous criteria, ensuring freedom from animal ingredients, by-products, and testing.

While the term “vegan-friendly” is commonly used to describe products without animal elements, it is not a registered certification, and products labeled as such may not be certified by the organizations above.

vegan society logos sanderstrothmann

Some notable certification bodies for vegan skincare. Logos adapted from Vegan Society, Certified Vegan, PETA’s Global Beauty Without Bunnies program, and V-Label.


5. Comprehensive Formulation Strategy

Formulating vegan beauty products is a dual challenge that demands a blend of creativity and ethical consciousness, marked by meticulous research, testing, and collaboration. The intricate process involves a multifaceted approach, encompassing the selection of plant-based alternatives for traditional animal-derived components while upholding ethical and sustainable practices. Additionally, it mandates the assurance of quality, safety, and optimal performance of the final products.

Among the challenges vegan skincare brands face is maintaining product stability and shelf life without relying on joint animal-derived stabilizers and preservatives like lanolin, beeswax, or gelatin. Achieving the desired texture and consistency necessitates the exploration of plant-based emulsifiers and thickeners, such as lecithin, xanthan gum, or agar-agar. Furthermore, the efficacy and suitability of vegan formulations demand meticulous consideration of active ingredients, ensuring compatibility with diverse skin types, conditions, and concerns.

For instance, plant-based ingredients may pose a higher potential for irritation, sensitivity, or allergy than animal-derived ones. Certain ingredients may only be universally suitable for some skin types or climates. Therefore, brands must conduct rigorous research and testing to tailor each formulation, ensuring optimal results for every product in their lineup.


Formulate vegan cosmetics

Meticulously verifying the source of raw ingredients is a crucial step in upholding transparency and ethical standards in the supply chain. Credit: Shutterstock


In the fast-paced world of cosmetics, it is also necessary for brands to routinely review existing product formulations for ingredients that may no longer be accepted by consumers, such as those of animal origin, undesirable preservatives, or substances suspected of causing allergies.

Brands often focus on launching new products but may overlook ensuring that existing ones align with consumer expectations regarding the ingredients. Emphasizing a brand’s ability to reformulate products can ensure that bestselling products remain appealing to consumers and maintain their popularity.



Vegan skincare, extending beyond aesthetics, emphasizes a holistic approach. Plant-based alternatives highlight industry innovation. Collaborating with CDMOs is beneficial for efficient vegan product development.

Effective communication, third-party certifications, and meticulous formulation are essential. These factors build credibility in a competitive market, meeting consumer expectations for ethical and sustainable skincare.

The beauty industry’s embrace of veganism aligns with evolving values, contributing to a conscious and sustainable future.

A flexible approach, customized to meet your requirements

We develop exclusive science-based products at the shortest time

Back to Home

A flexible approach, customized to meet your requirements

We develop exclusive science-based products at the shortest time

Back to Home