Vegan Beauty is on the rise nowadays, having doubled over the past couple of years. Conscious consumers are becoming more aware of the harsh ingredients in their skin and hair products which has caused brands to create a space for women that are health conscious and not only in what they put in their bodies but what they put on their bodies. Growing up, our mothers purchased products that consisted of sulfates from the shampoos and hair grease we used (which also contained petroleum). Sulfates are salts from sulfuric acid and are widely present in every day life. They were initially developed in cleansers for their industrial cleaning ability, as they are excellent at removing dirt and oils. They then started being used in personal care products. However, their cleaning strength is also known to strip away natural oils from the scalp and hair which can leave effects such as very dry, brittle hair, with raised cuticles. If we knew what harmful ingredients were in the products that we used, it would certainly make us think twice. But now we have better technology and alternative ingredients we can use to customise our hair and beauty regimens.
With an increase of individuals becoming more intentional of what they use on their bodies and hair there has been a significant shift in the beauty sphere. More women of colour are adopting vegan beauty and supporting the benefits of a ‘cruelty free diet’. Women of Colour in the limelight such as Beyoncé, Meghan Markle and Lavern Cox have spoken about their passion for the plant-based diet and the positive benefits. With improvements to the beauty industry and veganism not only being considered for Caucasians, Black women are seeing the positives of veganism. As we know Black women are more likely to suffer from health issues such as Uterine fibroids which is a common female problem which can affect fertility. Unfortunately the causes of fibroids are unknown however it has been proven a health-conscious diet can significantly minimize them. Having a plant-based diet can lower the risk of developing fibroids. Again, women of colour are more likely to suffer from mental health issues with factors that stem from mental health stigma, inequality and other disadvantaged factors. WOC are finding that not only vegan beauty is great for their skin and hair due to it being organic it can also improve one’s lifestyle. Veganism has become more than a lifestyle fad but now has become a way of life. At Bourn Beautiful Naturals we are passionate about health and wellness and we love the fact that clean beauty has become more inclusive.
However, it is important to understand the term ‘natural’ does not assume ‘vegan’ on labels as a shortcut for healthy, which applies to both food and personal care products. Plenty of plant derived ingredients can cause allergic reactions (e.g. witch hazel, tree nut oils), or be harmful to human health (castor beans). Many synthetic materials are technically vegan but it may not be necessarily right for your body or compatible for you. As with all things, continue to read labels carefully and research any terms you may not be comfortable or familiar with. Trustworthy sites, such as the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetic Database, can be very informative.