Personally, I have been wearing makeup since I was 12. I remember going to Estee Lauder with my mother and learning how to best apply foundation and eyeshadow for my skin tone. As much as I cherish this memory, I also remember how heavy the makeup application felt. Even though this was over 15 years ago, I didn’t start purposely buying paraben–free, cruelty-free and vegan makeup until about a year ago. I was using natural cleaning products and buying grain-free pet food but I wasn’t giving my body the same consideration.
Cosmetics have existed since ancient times but, like countless other industries, Millennials are completely changing the beauty game. This decade has been pivotal to the “clean beauty movement” and consumers have the Millennial generation to thank for continuously pushing the need for change. At first, beauty conglomerates and large organizations thought this was a fad, but when the movement was still gaining traction in 2013, the big brands had some strategizing to do in order to keep up.
“What am I putting on my face?”
Until recent years this question rarely popped into the minds of beauty consumers. We are so accustomed to trusting brands and not looking at ingredients that cosmetic wearers have been putting chemicals on their skin for years. However, Millennials are changing that.
We are a generation that asks a lot of questions and are therefore a unique group of consumers. We demand trust and transparency from the brands we support so, rather than following in the footsteps of previous generations and being complacent with the makeup options, we are instead asking, “what am I putting on my face?”. Ironically, cosmetics were originally created using naturally occurring ingredients like beeswax and berries. It wasn’t until the rising costs associated with cosmetic distribution and shelf-life that chemical ingredients entered the equation. However, because of the unapologetically vocal Millennials, we are starting to see a shift back to natural.
Vegan isn’t just a diet anymore
Other generations may not fully understand why makeup needs to be all-natural or even vegan as that also means the products themselves are more expensive. However, innovative brands like Tarte have proven that beauty advocates will pay for ingredients they actually recognize. According to Artemis Patrick, Sephora’s SVP of merchandising “Natural skin care is growing fast, almost eight times as much as compared to last year in terms of searches.” Now, we are even seeing well-established, cosmetic conglomerates like Estee Lauder replace potentially damaging ingredients with natural ones. Best of all, we are seeing a huge increase in the scrutiny of companies who test on animals.
Bunnies don’t wear makeup…
We all know about PETA as they are one of the most visible and vocal non-profits in existence, but the organization who deserves equal credit is the Leaping Bunny Program. They are the gold-standard for not testing on animals. So, not only have Millennials helped to make paraben-free, gluten-free, and organic terms that are now commonly seen on beauty products, but now you will also often see cruelty-free.
While bunnies and other common lab animals everywhere are rejoicing, this is not a change that will happen for all cosmetics companies overnight. Many brands are slowly working on changing their formulas for the better but we will need to be patient. Lucky for these organizations, crowdsourcing platforms like MindSumo exist to help gather unbiased insights and new, naturally-derived product ideas from consumers. Our community is comprised of over 350,000 driven Millennial and Gen Z solvers who are eager to share their innovative ideas and strategies with our corporate partners! If you are interested in learning more about how we could help to bridge the gap between your organization and our community, feel free to reach out on our site.