Vegan cosmetics are on the rise and projected to reach $21.4 billion by 2027, according to a report released by ReportLinker. Though vegan beauty isn’t entirely a new concept, how has it just recently become popular? Two major factors carry this trend: conscious consumers and advanced formulations.

Thanks to the internet, people are doing their own research and learning all the science and ethics behind product ingredients. More are becoming well-informed of the animal cruelty and environmental damage caused by the industry. Now, beauty brands that are in line with the consumer’s values are favored over legacy beauty brands, and digital platforms have made it easier to look them up. Following this shift in consumer behavior, the beauty industry is forced to adopt a more sustainable approach. 

There is now a stronger demand for cosmetics with cleaner formulations, safer ingredients, and that don't cause unnecessary harm to the animals and the planet. To meet this demand, companies are moving away from animal testing, using better alternatives such as using human cells and tissues (also known as in vitro methods) or advanced computer-modeling techniques (often referred to as in silico models). Developing vegan formulations is also easier than ever, with many good plants or synthetic alternatives available, and various technologies that are able to mimic the effects of non-vegan ingredients. 

Not just in Western markets, the vegan beauty hype is felt through Asian countries. South Korean beauty companies recently introduced a new wave of brands embracing greener formulations and practices, such as BEIGIC, Dear Dahlia, and Krave Beauty. Being at the forefront of the global beauty industry for its non-stop innovation, the k-beauty industry is set on developing more vegan formulations. China and Japan are following suit with a potential market, with as many as 70 million people in China and Japan identifying themselves as vegan, according to a Fact.MR analysis. Indonesia and Malaysia will further complement the trend, with vegan cosmetics catering to the demands of clean, safe, and halal formulations.

The beauty industry in Indonesia itself is dynamic and ever-changing, where veganism could make a promising growth. According to Globaldata, the world-leading data analysis company, the market size of Indonesia’s beauty industry will reach IDR 10.51 trillion (about US$7 billion) in 2023. 2016 marked the starting point of vegan beauty in Indonesia, with the launch of the first certified vegan local brand, ESQA Cosmetics. Also, with one of the biggest cosmetic manufacturers, Cosmax Indonesia, obtaining COSMOS and EVE Vegan certification, we are now able to produce our own certified vegan cosmetics. 

According to Na Sung Min, the Strategic Marketing Leader of Cosmax Indonesia, the trend in Indonesia’s beauty industry for 2022 is CHANGE, short for Collaboration, Hybrid, Advanced, Natural, Glass Skin, and Eco-Friendly—where vegan beauty falls under the ‘Eco-Friendly’ category alongside sustainable, natural and clean beauty. 

With the collective demand and the positive impact it brings to the industry’s ethical and sustainable issues, the vegan beauty trend will sustain locally and globally in the coming years.