Cruelty-free cosmetics: The rise of vegan beauty

They’re cruelty free, eco-friendly and taking the beauty world by storm. We take a look at the booming vegan beauty trend.

Demand for eco-conscious, cruelty-free products has well and truly spread to the beauty industry.

Sales of vegan beauty products in the UK increased 38 per cent in the past year, according to a recent report by The NPD Group. It says the growth is driven by social media and campaigns like Veganuary, as consumers embrace a more wellness-oriented, eco-conscious lifestyle.

A variety of brands are adapting their ingredients to better reflect the consumer trend.

“I think vegan beauty is trending at the moment because people are generally becoming more interested in where the items they use and consume comes from,” says Sarah Jean Baker, founder of cruelty-free, PETA-certified false lash company Sarah Jean.

But the benefits of vegan make-up and skincare go beyond their ethical impact; they’re also better for you, says Sarah.

“For me, it’s important to use products that are more natural and with fewer chemicals as overall it’s better for me,” says Sarah.

“From a business perspective, I knew from the beginning I did not want to work with a factory that tested on animals. There are so many excellent, high-quality and affordable alternatives for false eyelash materials that using real hair or fur for our lashes just wasn’t even a consideration.”

Everything applied to our skin has the potential to be absorbed by the body – which means that as much as 2kg of chemicals from skincare and beauty products enters the bloodstream each year.

Sarah stresses the importance of researching what is being absorbed by your skin.

“Some beauty products may use natural or organic ingredients but there’s a difference between synthetic ‘natural’ and an ingredient that’s actually naturally grown and sourced,” she says.

Aussie make-up brand Nude by Nature is among those leading the way in naturally derived, cruelty-free, PETA-approved beauty. Since launching in 2008, the company has become the biggest-selling mineral make-up in Australia and is now stocked around the world.

Another Australian beauty brand doing well for itself is Sukin, which prides itself on using natural skincare ingredients as well as being vegan, carbon neutral and cruelty-free and has recently expanded into haircare. The brand has environmental cred too, using recyclable packaging.

For more information on natural, cruelty-free products, check out or

Thinking of going vegan or vegetarian? Try some of our delicious meat-free recipes.

Written by Charlotte Brundrett