COVID-19 and climate crisis bolstering vegan beauty demand: Review

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

Beauty consumers are looking to improve consumption patterns amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and climate crisis which is driving demand for vegan offerings [Getty Images]
Beauty consumers are looking to improve consumption patterns amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and climate crisis which is driving demand for vegan offerings [Getty Images]

Related tags: vegan, vegan beauty, inside-out beauty, ingestible beauty, customisation, COVID-19, Environment, Sustainability, Sustainable packaging, sustainable beauty

The global COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing climate crisis has bolstered demand for vegan topical and ingestible cosmetics as consumers look to improve consumption patterns beyond food, finds a review.

Writing in Cosmetic Dermatology​, researchers from Korea conducted a literature review analysing the potential for vegan cosmetics following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Findings showed that the need amongst beauty consumers and industry to improve consumption patterns given worsening environmental problems had clearly increased following the pandemic.

“The climate and environmental crisis will be one of the greatest challenges in human history. As a result, consumers become more obsessed with good consumption and good ingredients, and the trend is gradually spreading from vegan food to vegan cosmetics,” ​the researchers wrote.

Vegan beauty – safe and good ingredients

This, they said, alongside a heightened demand for “safety-orientated beauty”,​ was fuelling opportunities in vegan topical cosmetics and inner beauty applications post-pandemic.

“Lately, as consumers are increasingly interested in products made with safe ingredients, cosmetics that have been certified as vegan are increasing in the cosmetic market. In this situation, consumers are analysing cosmetic ingredients or receiving information about products using various contents such as social media and applications to meet the needs for products made with safe ingredients,”​ they wrote.

But, as this interest in “good ingredients”​ continued to grow, the researchers said it would be important more research was conducted on vegan ingredients suitable for beauty.

“Based on the results of this study, it will be necessary to identify consumer needs for vegan cosmetics that started from vegan food and develop applications for the development of customised vegan inner beauty products and customised vegan cosmetics,” ​they wrote.

The potential for vitamin B12 fortified toothpaste, for example, was currently being researched – looking into whether such a product improved the blood markers for B12 – as well as the active properties of plant extracts on the skin to treat conditions like atopic dermatitis but also offer better foaming properties.

To truly tap into the opportunities presented by vegan beauty, the researchers said customisation would be key, via digital apps and services. “Additional research through customised inner beauty and customised cosmetics and research on the development of vegan cosmetics matching convergence service application development according to changes in the beauty consumption market will be required.”

Ongoing COVID-19 requires ongoing research

However, any future research would need to be ongoing, the researchers said, given the COVID-19 pandemic was not yet over.

“It will be necessary to continue research on the possibility of developing cosmetics with safe ingredients, vegan foods, reflecting the needs of consumers in future,”​ they wrote.


Source: Cosmetic Dermatology
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1111/jocd.15028
Title: “Good ingredients from foods to vegan cosmetics after COVID-19 pandemic”
Authors: J. Lee and H. Kwon

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