Beeswax is probably one of the oldest ingredients used in cosmetics, with reports it was first used as far back as 7000 BC.
Being natural and non-toxic, with benefits to the skin, it is commonly used in lots of formulas including lipsticks, fragrance and hair products.
But Aveda, the plant-powered hair care brand owned by Estee Lauder Companies, has announced a new milestone in the brand’s sustainability journey – all of its hair care, hair colour, body care, makeup and aroma products are now 100 per cent vegan.
Christine Hall, Aveda’s VP of research and development, said removing beeswax from Aveda products was one of the brand’s biggest challenges.
“Removing beeswax was one of the biggest challenges for Aveda formulators because it helps to create texture, structure, colour payoff, and smoothness,” Christine explained.
“One common alternative to beeswax for lip products specifically is synthetic beeswax, a wax that is petroleum derived. But at Aveda, because we are committed to maximising our use of naturally-derived ingredients, we opted instead to create a unique blend of plant-based butters and waxes that are strong enough for application, but also feel good on your lips.”
Beeswax can also have an impact on aroma and is often found in products containing fragrance.
Kate Rosso, Aveda’s principle perfumer said: “We used an ingredient called beeswax absolute in some of our aromas. It is extracted from honeycomb or from cakes of beeswax. It provided a sweet, warm, complex note and helped increase its ‘staying power.’ We have worked hard to recreate these formulas using only non-animal derived ingredients to ensure that our iconic aromas would not be affected.”
Vegan products are defined as those that are created without any animal or animal-derived ingredients.
Many such ingredients are used in beauty including the aforementioned beeswax and honey, as well as silk, keratin, glycerin, non-vegetal squalene, lanolin, collagen and carmine.
The global beauty company’s portfolio of more than 500 products now contain no animal derived ingredients.
Aveda has always been a pioneer when it comes to sustainability – the brand has been cruelty-free since it was founded in 1978 and was largely vegan with the exception of some products that contained honey, beeswax and beeswax-derived ingredients.
Aveda was the first company to sign the Ceres Principles in 1989 for corporate responsibility, which calls for the safeguarding of the Earth and its inhabitants.
Barbara De Laere, Aveda global brand president, said behind the Aveda brand was a team of people that were passionate and energised by their mission to care for the world we live in.
“Our transition to 100 per cent vegan formulations is a testament to the hard work of this team as they embarked on reformulating and repackaging our products,” she said.
“This work has been in progress for more than three years and it is a big milestone for us: it is part of our brand promise to create high-performance products that are 90 per cent naturally-derived, on average, and formulated with our mission of sustainability in mind. We believe in no-compromise formulas at Aveda: there is no reason why we can’t have sustainable, animal-friendly products that work for all hair types and textures.”