How to introduce vegan beauty into your salon authentically

The vegan beauty trend is booming, in fact the number of vegans in the UK quadrupled between 2014 and 2019 to reach 600,000, according to research from The Vegan Society. So, offering products and treatments to meet these clients' needs has never been more important.

Meanwhile, a study last year showed that vegan beauty sales are even increasing among non-vegan consumers, with 56% of make-up-wearing women between the ages of 18 and 45 now buying vegan beauty products, even though a third (39%) of those aren’t actually vegan.  

What is vegan beauty?

It can be hard to know what to look for when it comes to clean, conscious beauty, but the main terms to be aware of are vegan, cruelty-free and free-from. “People often confuse vegan and cruelty-free, which isn’t surprising,” says Dominika Piasecka, media and PR officer for The Vegan Society.

“A vegan beauty product is one that does not contain animal ingredients and has not been tested on animals. The term ‘cruelty-free’ only refers to animal testing. A vegan product by definition is cruelty-free but a cruelty-free item isn’t necessarily vegan – it may not have been tested on animals but could, ironically, contain animal ingredients.”

Three brands helping salons embrace vegan beauty

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Heaven Nettle Venom collection

Royal facialist Deborah Mitchell’s latest innovation is the first vegan-friendly anti-ageing facial range to use nettle venom. Containing the powerful patented Nettatoxin ingredient, the anti-ageing Cream, Eye Cream and Serum in the Nettle Venom collection harness the carefully extracted sting of the common British nettle.

 The venom causes a similar reaction to that of bees when they sting – the skin goes into rapid repair on first contact. The nettle sting makes the skin tingle before your own serotonin gets to work to heal blemishes and redness leaving you with a lifted, more radiant complexion. The power comes from the skin’s own ability to tighten, firm and renew.

RRP: £145 for Nettle Venom Set

Kaeso Collection Facial Kits

Kaeso products are natural, vegan and always cruelty free. The Kaeso ethos is to combine naturally derived ingredients with essential treatment formulas to deliver quality, professional products. All formulas are free from parabens, sulphates, propylene glycol, mineral oil and any harsh chemicals.

The Kaeso Collection Facial Kits contain everything you need to perform a replenishing facial on your clients. The three ranges are specifically designed for each skin type – Hydrating for normal to dry skin, Calming for sensitive skin and Rebalancing for oily/combination complexions. Each kit contains a cleanser, toner, exfoliator, moisturiser and mask that are formulated to nourish and soothe no matter what the skin concern.

Trade price: £14.70 per Kit

Hive Lash Tint range

Hive Lash Tints have been developed for salon professionals with high-grade, fast-acting crème-based formulations that are all vegan friendly, paraben free and cruelty free.

Using Cortex Colour Technology, the Lash Tints penetrate deep into the cortex of each individual hair to provide an intense, vibrant colour and a luscious, voluminous appearance lasting up to six weeks. Five exceptional and intermixable base tints provide a platform to an endless array of bespoke colours and tones that can be created and customised to meet individual clients’ needs. The colours are Impact Black; Uptown Brown; Twilight Blue Black / Black; Urban Grey; and Espresso Dark Brown. 

Trade Price: £4.50 per 20ml tube 

What vegan ingredients should I look for?

Many beauty brands now carry the Vegan Trademark (The Vegan Society’s symbol, which guarantees the product complies with its requirements). This makes it easier to find vegan beauty easier, but if a product doesn’t carry it, there are other ways for salon owners to determine whether it is vegan.

Animal rights organisation PETA has published a list of animal-derived ingredients on its website, but its director Elisa Allen states that the big ones to look out for are “cows’ milk, lanolin (from the oil glands of sheep), honey, beeswax, royal jelly and carmine (red pigment from crushed insects).”

Read more: In 2020, Salons Direct created an interactive vegan salon map which lists businesses by location and provides details of treatments on offer