Why is Algenist going vegan?

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (Velvetfish)
© Getty Images \ (Velvetfish)
This week the algae beauty brand announced its new product formulation and marketing strategy, adding the on-trend ‘vegan’ qualifier to its already of very contemporary list of designations: marine, biotech, naturally derived, etc.

‘Vegan’ is shaping up to be a valuable variant of the clean, green, and natural beauty movement. Vegan resonates with today’s conscious consumers looking to purchase from ethical brands and support sustainable sourcing while also allowing for safe synthetics and other ingredients that aren’t necessarily fully ‘natural’ (a term that is itself increasingly contentious).  

Rose Fernandez, CEO at Algenist, affirms as much in the company’s press release announcing the shift to vegan formulas, saying, “It's not a secret that global pollution is on the rise – our consumer is ever-aware of the environmental impact on her health and actively making lifestyle changes for the better. She prefers brands to also be environmentally and socially-conscious without compromising results.”

“Commitment and consistency are key. We aren't shying away from ingredients that work and we know to be safe under EU regulation,” ​emphasizes Fernandez, suggesting that biotech and lab-made molecules will likely be considered and used in current and future Algenist product formulations. “Rather,” ​she adds, “we are committed to holding ourselves accountable to finding alternative plant sources to ensure that our luxury formulas are safe and effective while still leveraging our sustainable use of algae across all categories.”  

The brand’s commitment to ‘vegan’ isn’t so much a strategy or formulation change as it is a commitment to source, formulate, and market only vegan beauty products.   

Biotech beginning

Algenist is a skincare brand founded (in 2011) on a distinctive biotechnology that relies, as one would expect, on algae. The company extracts polysaccharides from living algae and produces its patented hero ingredient Alguronic Acid from that extract. The algea, according to the brand, continues to live: “to survive, thrive and regenerate in the world's most extreme environments.”

Focused on safety and efficacy

Like any truly viable brand, California-based Algenist invests in clinical testing that demonstrates product benefits: “We test our products in three different areas to meet rigorous standards of safety, efficacy and integrity – there is a traceability of our supply chain to ensure our ingredients meet EU standards, which are currently the most stringent for new product introduction to market,”​ explains Tammy Yaiser, VP of product development, in the release.

“As a brand,” ​she tells the press, “we strive to drive change: through our use of algae, vegan alternatives, and renewable resources driving back to our biotechnology roots; and through our partnerships, like with IIVS to eliminate the need for animal testing by means of broader education and policy change. We are ever-evolving, ever-discovering, ever-exploring."



Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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