Beauty brands are evolving to exclude ingredients that are not only harmful to humans, but to the Earth, as well.
Ingredient lists are straying farther away from chemicals with toxins and parabens and embracing products that avoid possible water contamination when washed off. The idea is that specific chemicals often found in makeup are hard to filter out of water supplies when washed down a drain—these chemicals then wind up in waters where ocean-based creatures (and the animals that eat them, such as humans) ingest harmful ingredients. Though the concept is nothing new, the recent push towards clean, cruelty-free beauty has put this idea at the forefront of beauty innovation. More indie brands are coming about on the platform of clean beauty, with avoiding water contamination a business priority. According to a Gartner report on the topic, skincare brands understand the importance of building trust among consumers. As such, one way trust can be built is through ingredient transparency.
Younger consumers in particular are seeking out beauty and skincare products that have a minimal impact on environmental and human health. Many beauty brands embracing clean products directly market to “activist beauty consumers” because it’s these customers that are most actively voicing the need for toxin-free products. Sally Beauty, for example, recently responded to consumer demand, announcing the company will phase out single-use plastic and is turning 30% of its product lines vegan—with the goal of having 80% vegan lines by the end of 2021. Vegan products, which contain no animal byproducts, and in beauty also mean the products were not tested on animals, have become an ethical and sustainable trend consumers continue to adopt.
The next generation of beauty trends is taking shape and if younger consumers have their way, these changes could benefit the environment. Some trends that were once considered niche, like vegan skincare, may become more widely available as more brands embrace clean beauty.