The rise of vegan skincare in Canada ATTITUDE
October 26, 2023The rise of vegan skincare in Canada

Check out the plant-based ingredients that make up our selection of powerful vegan skincare, available throughout the US and Canada.

It only takes a quick scroll on Instagram or TikTok to come across vegan-based content. Plant-based food’s popularity is growing by leaps and bounds, yet the vegan trend is impacting more than what we put on our plates: It’s shaping the future of the skincare industry, leading brands to think outside the box.

In fact, with the demand for vegan beauty care becoming stronger than ever, the vegan skincare market is booming and is projected to reach $21.4 billion by 20271.

Let’s take a look at the factors that shaped the rise of vegan skincare in Canada and around the world.

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The origins of the vegan lifestyle

Adopting a plant-based diet and eliminating clothing, cosmetics or products that were made from animal-derived materials and substances was coined “veganism” in 1944 by The Vegan Society, a British-registered charity and the oldest vegan organization in the world.

However, the concept of meat-avoidance can be traced back over 2,000 years. As early as 500 BC, the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras espoused benevolence among all species and adhered to what could be described as a vegetarian diet. At around the same time, Siddhārtha Gautama (aka “Buddha”) was promoting vegetarian diets to his followers.

In the modern era, Gandhi was born into a vegetarian family and later vowed to give up milk and milk products, inspiring others to do the same. Unbeknownst to these historical figures, they were among the first influencers of what we now call the vegan movement.

What is “veganism”?

As described by the The Vegan Society, “Veganism is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude – as far as is possible and is practicable – all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promoting the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals."2

Why are people switching to vegan products?

In 2022, the Good Food Institute reported that plant-based food sales were growing three times faster than total food sales, with plant-based foods amassing $7.4 billion in sales in 20213. Why is there such a large increase in demand for vegan skincare in Canada? It’s mainly due to today’s consumers being far more enlightened shoppers, with eco-consciousness and health being among their top priorities. They want to engage with companies that align with their own values. And for many, the reason for cutting out animal-based products from their daily lives is based upon environmental protection.

According to the David Suzuki Foundation – long considered to be the most credible and reliable source of evidence-based environmental information in Canada – meat and dairy production accounts for 83% of all agricultural land use, takes up 30% of the planet’s land surface and is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, including methane and nitrous oxide. Livestock farming is also the cause of 14% of global deforestation4.

By switching to vegan products, whether it be food or cosmetics, one individual can greatly reduce his or her carbon footprint, in addition to saving approximately 200 animals per year5.

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The future of vegan skincare

The vegan skincare market in the US was estimated to be $4.1 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 6.3% from 2022 to 2030. This steady boost in popularity is encouraging brands from all over the world, including Canada, to explore the potential of a growing number of powerful plant- and mineral-based ingredients, such as phytoglycogen, peptides, vitamin C and algae, that provide outstanding benefits for the skin.

Consumers’ concerns with environmental issues are also leading brands to rethink their production methods and focus on more environmentally friendly practices. For instance, carbon-neutral delivery, biodegradable packing peanuts, eco-refills and plastic-free skincare are becoming more predominant in the beauty industry.

What’s the difference between plant-based and vegan skincare?

All plant-based products are vegan, but not all vegan products are plant-based. Say what? Vegan products, especially cosmetics, can be formulated with substances that are neither animal- nor plant-based. A purifying mask can be made with clay and a cream with SPF can contain zinc oxide, both of which are vegan, but mineral-based ingredients!

While some may dismiss veganism as just a fad, the growing interest in plant-based food and vegan skincare in Canada says otherwise. If you’re looking for vegan skincare in Canada but don’t know where to start, check out the Oceanly skincare and makeup lines. It’s plastic-free, EWG VERIFIED™, made with more than 94% naturally derived ingredients and available online across the United States and Canada.

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Written by Team ATTITUDE