IN the past decade, the number of people who consider themselves vegan has rocketed from 150,00 in 2006 to 542,000, according to the Vegan Society and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
And it’s also becoming a growing trend among our celebrities, with the likes of comedian Russell Brand saying “I don’t see why someone should lose their life just so you can have a snack”. A vegetarian since the age of 14, he went vegan in 2011.
It’s no surprise then, that veganism is now stretching from our kitchen tables to our beauty regimes.
Superdrug’s budget B Beauty vegan range has just launched and the Body Shop, Odylique and Hourglass are just a few of the brands with entirely vegan make-up ranges.
Now Essex’s Beauty Shop is among a handful of the county’s businesses capitalising on the trend, by offering a unique vegan beauty treatment menu.
So how did the idea for the menu come about, I ask salon owner, 26-year-old Courtney Smith?
“I first heard about the vegan lifestyle when my cousin introduced me to the Deliciously Ella cook book years back,” she explains.
“I find eating vegan meals creative, fun and inspired me to have more of a plant based diet myself, and even become more conscious about my personal effects on the environment as a whole. I have always wanted to offer a vegan and eco-friendly alternative in my salon.
“Actively looking up other resources and seeing a lot of demand for vegan friendly menus in restaurants I felt it was time to venture into really looking at what my business was offering for the vegan community and also how eco-friendly my salon actually was.”
The idea of there being animal-derived ingredients in cosmetics might come as a surprise for some, but it’s actually very common, as the colours and dyes that make up lipsticks and eyeshadows can be harder to formulate without animal products.
Carmine, derived from crushed beetles, is often used in red lipsticks, while boiled animal bones provide the fat (or tallow) – used in foundations, eyeshadows and lipsticks
So just how un-vegan are standard beauty treatments, such as facials and full-body exfoliations?
“What makes a standard beauty treatment not vegan are the ingredients used, such as bees wax in the hair removal wax, lanolin (wool grease) in some skin care products and if the ingredients in the products have been tested on animals, even if the company itself does not test on animals,” Courtney says.
“Sadly, the beauty industry as a whole doesn’t take in consideration vegan friendly products, but I have seen a slow change towards offering more alternatives. It has deemed very difficult to offer a lot of services on the menu to such high quality when looking for vegan beauty suppliers, but I am determined over time to increase the services offered on this menu, as more beauty suppliers agree to become more cruelty free and vegan friendly.”
But is vegan beauty about to become the big new beauty trend, I wonder?
“I have noticed professional beauty brands have started to label products vegan, organic and cruelty free within their product ranges even if their whole range isn’t,” says Courtney.
“I feel there are some active thoughts going on about the mass vegan demand.
“I believe that more businesses in the industry will start to follow the vegan conscious direction and trickle down to the department stores even more so. Even looking at the fashion industry too where Gucci has declared to ban fur within their clothing range by 2018.
“There are great steps that have started to take place shaping the future of the industry for the vegan consumer.”
For more information, go to www.thebeautyshopessex.co.uk or call 07468 425977. The Beauty Shop is in Plaza Way, Southend.
PS I tried out the full body exfoliation treatment off the vegan beauty menu and It. Was. Ah-mazing. I leftf feeling totally pampered and more relaxed than I had been for months.
More vegan beauty
- THE GARDEN OF EDEN – at Lucky Rose Tattoo Clinic, in Eld Lane, Colchester, offers vegan, cruelty-free treatments to clients. 07943 955396.
- BLUSHBAR – The Blow Dry Bar, in Broadway, Leigh, is now a cruelty-free, vegan friendly salon. 01702 470535.
- ORGANICS AT HOME – Hockley-based business creating organic, vegan skincare, with ethically sourced ingredients. Against animal testing. No petrochemicals. Email: email@example.com