Yikes! Vegans are trending! Let’s count some of the recent ways.
In 2017, Beyoncé became vegan and urged the beyhive and the world (I mean who doesn’t catch a cold when Beyoncé sneezes) to do the same for both ethical and health benefits.
Globally in 2018 vegan manufacturers witnessed a whopping $3.3 billion in sales.
And in January the Economist, declared 2019 the year of the vegan with research indicating that nearly ¼ of millenials in the US identified as vegetarian or vegans.
These numbers have been a huge awakening for other industries especially in the beauty and skincare industry where consumers are demanding greater transparency about products and the ingredients in them.
It was exactly that kind of awakening that happened to me recently.
My diet is plant-based and I had been looking for ways to take my vegan lifestyle into other aspects of my life beginning with my beauty regimen.
You see, I take my skincare regimen seriously. I move constantly between using one brand for long periods on end, to totally switching things up and trying new trends.
It was during one of these big switch-a-roos that something struck me; I had no idea what I was actually putting on my face. I just simply trusted any brand that came in a shiny package with an even shinier label had to be good for my skin
“I was wrong”
According to Gabrielle Agostini, the marketing whizz behind Cedros Bay, a locally manufactured vegan beauty and skincare brand, “not all personal care products are tested for safety and there are no regulations around organic, natural, hypoallergenic products and what brands have in their ingredient statements.”
Here’s another fact, the skin care industry is highly unregulated, which means it’s like the wild, wild west. Did you know for instance and while 1,300 ingredients have been regulated or banned in the EU, only 11 have been banned in the US large
That’s scary stuff considering where most of the products in our beauty cabinets come from but it is also actually the point from which education about the products we put onto the largest organ of our body can begin.
What’s Vegan Beauty?
In a nutshell, vegan beauty means the absence of animal ingredients in our beauty and skincare products.
Vegan beauty products doesn’t always mean cruelty free but in the case of the Cedros Bay, Agostini says consumers win both ways as the products are not tested on animals nor do they contain animal by-products so common in other brands.
Instead in their line of body lotions, scrubs and lip balms you’ll find 100% organic virgin coconut oil from Cedros, alongside other good for you ingredients like shea butter, vitamins C, E, B, and peppermint oil.
All of this seems a much better choice over products that contain common animal-derived ingredients: sodium tallowate/ tallow (animal fat), lanolin (wool grease), squalene (shark liver oil), carmine (crushed-up beetles), gelatin (cow or pig bones, tendons or ligaments), allantoin (cow urine), ambergris (whale vomit) and placenta (sheep organs).
Why use vegan products?
If the thought of smearing animal products over your body doesn’t seem a tad bit weird then consider what’s been happening around the world.
In case you’ve been living under a rock recently, women are the ones who have been calling and driving the discussion around accountability and transparency whether it’s the Me Too Movement, climate change or education. Women are also the ones asking for transparency into what goes onto their skincare products.
“We made a decision to make Cedros Bay vegan. It was our way of assuring our customers the safety, ethics, and quality of ingredients and care we are putting into products,” says Agostini.
But don’t be mistaken, vegan beauty is for everyone whether you eat plant based or not, whether you wear leather or not. When you hit your local pharmacy, buying vegan simply means that you’re deciding to put something on your skin that is safer and healthier for you. It’s a conscious choice, which for Cedros Bay also has a deeper meaning other than the story of beauty.
A key singular ingredient in Cedros Bay’s products is 100% organic virgin coconut oil and with the coconuts taken from the groves of Cedros. Agostini says sustainability in local farming is something the company is concerned about and focused on. So, regardless of why you’re buying a vegan product, it’s smart to understand the brand you’re buying from is concerned about the proper harvesting of product and the survival of local farming ecosystem.
Vegan Beauty’s Last Word
There is no doubt that vegan beauty is a booming niche in the skincare market, all the big global players in the industry are already adding new product lines. The fact that we have a local grown brand that offers products with the same effect, impact and benefits that can compete with the best of the best is impressive.
“Our skin is the largest organ in our body. It absorbs up to 60 percent of the products we apply onto it so it is 100% better if those products did not contain processed preservatives, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and toxins and more natural oils, minerals, and antioxidants to repair and hydrate the skin,” says Agostini. To this we say a hearty ‘Amen’ and welcome to our beauty cabinets, Cedros Bay!
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