Clean Beauty – The next step in sustainable living
The beauty industry is known to be a trillion dollar industry, with Clean Beauty trending in skincare across the world. The rise of the sustainability movement has never been more prevalent to look after Mother Earth, along with the desire to lead a cleaner lifestyle — including diet— free from toxins, nasties and anything overly processed. But what about our skin? Although there is currently no regulated definition, clean beauty products are designed with a sustainable approach to the health of the environment, planet and our skin. This includes products with non-toxic formulas, plant-based ingredients, cruelty-free certification, biodegradable or recyclable packaging, and transparent labelling. Social impact company abillion published a report on the rise and demand for clean beauty products, with countries like Mexico and the UK showing potential as “emerging vegan beauty markets”.
Evidence of the widespread clean beauty trend can be seen in the rise in demand for vegan and cruelty-free beauty products by consumers alike. Body and skincare products currently dominate the clean beauty market, comprising more than half of all beauty reviews. The abillion report spotlights consumer attitudes towards sustainable beauty and promising markets for skincare, cosmetics, hair and fragrance products. An increase in demand for sustainable beauty options was observed across product types, with body and skincare dominating the market, comprising more than half of all beauty reviews and experiencing 8.5 times growth during 2020. Similar growth rates were also reported for hair and fragrance products.
Indie beauty retailers like Tatcha, Drunk Elephant and Indie Lee were the first few brands in the market that developed a loyal following but individually could not make a dent in the overall cosmetics market. Once consumers became aware of the importance of clean beauty, the demand for conscious beauty began to grow. Eager to snatch a share of this increasingly lucrative market, big-name players followed suit. Within the past two years, Sephora created icons to distinguish their “clean” products. Shiseido announced it would acquire Drunk Elephant for $845 million, and Unilever, which now owns Ren, said it would buy Tatcha for a reported $500 million.
Flexitarians have the highest level of engagement with beauty products, followed by vegetarians and omnivores. According to the report, plant-based members have the lowest concentration within the clean beauty segment but have the highest engagement with food-based products. This shows the higher likelihood of flexitarians pursuing a more holistic sustainable consumption module outside the food space than individuals who identify as plant-based or vegan.
The report outlined a sharp growth in consumer interest for sustainable beauty products. Driven by the awareness of cruelty-free, environmental and health concerns, demand for skincare, cosmetics, hair and fragrance products has grown significantly in the past year. With sustainable and conscious living becoming an increasingly important social issue across all industries, the clean beauty industry is here to stay and help consumers transition to a more eco-friendly and self-aware lifestyle.