In its most simplistic definition, vegan beauty is made without any ingredients from animals. Many vegan beauty brands are also cruelty-free, which means they don’t test their products on animals.

In recent years, vegan and cruelty-free beauty brands have risen in popularity. In late 2018, Mintel’s Global New Products database revealed that vegan beauty brand launches had more than doubled since 2013, growing by 175 percent. Much of this growth is driven by millennial and Gen Z consumers who tend to be concerned about the ethical and environmental impact of products derived from and tested on animals.

In a related survey, Vitacost found that 76.4 percent of women would buy a product labeled “cruelty-free” over one that did not bear that label. Additionally, 36.7 percent of women said that most or all of the beauty products they currently own are cruelty-free. The strong surge in the popularity of brands that are vegan and cruelty-free has led to the emergence of numerous beauty brands that are setting new industry standards. Read on to familiarize yourself with some of the sector’s rising stars.

1. Blüh Alchemy
Becky Blüh’s foray into natural, vegan skincare began in 2011 after her daughter was diagnosed with a life-threatening autoimmune disease, that, among other things, made her skin very dry and sensitive to the touch. As she began looking more closely at the ingredients in her skincare, she realized how many of them were lab-created and potentially harmful. So she set out to create her own line of clean skincare. Blüh Alchemy’s mission is to “set the benchmark for people inspired to elevate their daily skincare ritual with the cleanest, organic, and scientifically advanced formulas, delivering luxurious, uncompromising results while promoting social and environmental stewardship.” The brand’s skincare products are vegan and cruelty-free (with the exception of their lip balm which is made with ethically-sourced beeswax).

2. NCLA Beauty
NCLA Beauty was founded by Elin and Anh-Thu Dannerstedt, two Belgium-born, beauty-loving sisters. In 2010, the animal lovers sought to create clean, high-quality cosmetics that would be kind to animals and the environment. Over the last decade, the brand has experienced an impressive rise to fame with help from collaborations with celebrities and influencers from Beyoncé to Barbie. the range of lip and nail products has stayed true to the original mission, remaining clean, vegan, animal-friendly, and 7-free. Adventurous beauty junkies will love the brand’s mystery lip and nail bags, which include four fan-favorite mystery products from the NCLA Beauty range.

3. Ethique
In 2012, Brianne West began making natural beauty bars as an alternative to the 80 billion plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles thrown out each year. Since then, Ethique’s range has expanded to include 40 products, from shampoo and conditioners to face washes, moisturizers, and deodorants, which are shipped worldwide. To date, the sustainable company has stopped more than 5 million plastic bottles from being created and eventually disposed of in landfills. The entire range of products is plant-based and vegan, and nothing the company makes has ever been tested on animals. Those who are unsure where to start with the beauty bars can order a sampler which allows them to try out some of the most popular body, face, and hair products without the commitment of a bar that’s designed to last 2-5 times longer than a bottled beauty product.

4. Faith in Nature
Founded in 1974, Faith in Nature was inspired by the belief that natural, ethical products should be available to everyone. Founder Rivka Rose grew up in New York City growing avocados on her windowsill and herbs in her kitchen, but it was her move to Scotland that inspired her to take her passion a step further and start her own skincare line. The products, which range from hair care to hand cream, harness the power of nature without harming it in the process. Everything in the brand’s range is vegan, cruelty-free, and made with the best, naturally-derived ingredients on the market. Even better, the company’s top-selling, fan-favorite products can be found in 5 L refill sizes, which are more cost-effective and save you the hassle of frequently reordering your products.

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