In 2018, there had been a global outcry to stop animal testing, a brutal procedure that tests the effects of certain chemical ingredients on animals, usually rabbits, mice, and beagles. According to PETA, the realities of animal testing are even more graphic than most of us are aware. Hence, the rabbits pictured with mascaras or eyeliners could be one of the “mildest” procedures.
The 8.3 million people who protested against this practice, together with Cruelty Free International, had fortunately made a change. Two of the most known participants of the protest are The Body Shop and Leaping Bunny, both of which have been working with Cruelty Free International since the 1980s.
Following the global petition to end animal testing, cruelty-free cosmetics rose to popularity. Governments from several countries started to ban the practice, such as Israel, Turkey, India, Taiwan, South Korea, New Zealand, and Guatemala. However, the plea to stop animal testing goes way back to 2011, when it was initiated by the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods.
But as of 2019, there are still countries that continue animal testing, including the USA. The good news is that they’ve started the process of phasing it out.
With all these said, you have all the reasons to start a cruelty-free skincare line, not just to hop into a trend, but to make the world a safer place for the poor animals often subjected to testing.
Natural Plant-based Ingredients Have Improved
Natural cosmetic products tend to be inferior to chemical-based ones, but they’ve significantly improved over time to satisfy their users. Skincare manufacturers are now more aware of the growing preference for cruelty-free and vegan products, so they’ve enhanced the properties and effects of their natural ingredients.
It is worth noting that natural ingredients aren’t always vegan, and therefore not automatically cruelty-free. For instance, carmine is a colorant sourced from beetles and usually found in lip and cheek makeup. Though it counts as natural, it isn’t wholly cruelty-free because beetles were harmed in procuring it.
However, the use of animal byproducts creates confusion on what’s really considered cruelty-free. Some cosmetic companies claim to be cruelty-free by inserting a “Not Tested on Animals” label on their products. Still, in actuality, their finished products are only the ones that weren’t tested. They might still have ingredients that were animal-tested by their suppliers.
Hence, if you’re committed to launching as a cruelty-free brand, might as well go all the way to veganism. As such, no ingredient of yours will come at the expense of any animal. And, considering that the FDA has no legal definitions for “Cruelty-Free” and “Not Tested on Animals,” it’s wiser to avoid everything animal-derived altogether and confidently market as an authentic cruelty-free brand.
Besides, vegan ingredients do wonders for the skin, and a lot of them have been well-loved for a while now, such as aloe vera, mint, and lavender. Their healing properties have been renowned for centuries now, making them a holy grail of many skincare aficionados and influencers.
Moreover, vegan ingredients are packed with vitamins rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. As such, they cure various skin issues with lower risks of irritation and allergic reactions.
To further decrease the chances of your vegan skincare product causing reactions, skip the preservatives because those often aggravate sensitive skin.
Food Ingredients Have a Good Reputation
Coconut oil, seaweed, and matcha are all technically still plant-based, but we know them more as food. Virgin coconut oil is hailed for its wonderful health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and supplying hydration. It’s also effective in soothing psoriasis, eczema, and other dry and itchy skin conditions.
Seaweed is an antioxidant that increases skin elasticity and builds up its collagen. The one from Japan is often used in skin-firming products, while the one from the North Atlantic is famed for its collagen-boosting effects.
Matcha, the popular Japanese green tea we often see in baked goods, turns out to be an effective skincare ingredient as well. Matcha leaves can be ground into an antioxidant powder, which protects our skin from the effects of pollution. And since most antioxidants also have anti-inflammatory properties, matcha can also soothe reddened or blotchy skin.
Gotu Kola, another food ingredient that is a herb often used in Asian cuisine, has extended to skincare products. Its wound-healing properties are found to cure skin injuries faster and strengthen the skin afterward.
Oatmeal, a popular high-fiber breakfast meal, has remarkable skincare properties as well. Like coconut oil, it also soothes psoriasis and eczema. Even better, studies show that oatmeal doesn’t tend to trigger irritation and allergies.
These natural and vegan skincare ingredients are just a few of the many. You’ll find more of them in existing brands, but despite their fame, starting a new skincare line with those ingredients will still make a good selling point. Just find a niche in the market, and you’d reach success in no time.