The beauty industry has a notoriously problematic history with diversity. And there has never previously been the space to question the ethics of the beauty and skincare industry. Many of us have simply never thought to question certain protocols, standards, or ‘norms’ that have been—in hindsight—pretty unethical because the marginalization didn’t affect us.
While inclusivity has previously been a taboo topic, it's now becoming more common for people to actively support diversity and stand as allies for accessible beauty. Beauty can be inclusive and you can proactively support anti-racism in the beauty industry.
In this article, you’ll learn some easy and simple ways that you can be an ally for inclusive beauty.
Is Beauty Becoming More Inclusive?
Beauty and skincare are becoming more inclusive but we still have a long way to go. Brands are beginning to widen their shade ranges for facial makeup such as foundation, blusher, highlighter, concealer, and BB cream. And brands that focus on the needs of people of color and minorities—such as textured hair, darker skin tones, and gender-neutral beauty products—are gaining access to drug stores and high street stores in some countries around the world.
However, not everyone got the memo, and we are still waiting for many mainstream beauty brands to catch up. Problematic inclusivity not only lies in shade ranges and gender accessibility but also in marketing, advertising, and product pricing.
Where Is There A Lack Of Representation In The Beauty Industry?
There is still a huge lack of representation in marketing and advertising. Not only in representative models but also in advertising that speaks to and includes people of color and minorities.
Most branding is still aimed at specific genders and completely ignores non-binary folk. You’ll also notice that all campaigns that use sex to sell their products focus on the attraction in heterosexual relationships as opposed to same-sex relationships.
Ways To Support Inclusive Beauty Standards
So you’re interested in supporting inclusivity, but not quite sure where to start? Here are our top tips on how to support inclusivity by being an active ally.Buy From Minority Owned Brands
An easy way to support minorities is to buy from minority owned-brands, as this helps to funnel funds back into certain communities. Not only does this allow the minority brand to expand and thrive, it also inspires other brands to find the courage to shine.Educate Yourself On Anti-Racism + Inclusivity
Learning about anti-racism and inclusivity is a great way to be an ally. There are loads of great books, podcasts, YouTube videos, and blogs dedicated to educating us on how to be an ally to minorities.
Make the effort to learn about how you can help. There are lots of free resources that can deepen your awareness of anti-racism and inclusivity.
A really simple way to encourage inclusivity is to write and email brands when you notice they need to improve their inclusivity. The more social pressure brands have to improve their stance of accessible and inclusive beauty and skincare the more likely they are to do it.
Unfortunately there are many businesses who do not change their protocols unless they have societal pressure applied. For example, if you notice that a company’s models are all a certain size and skin color then write to them to advocate for better representation of minorities.
If you notice that a brand only speaks to certain people in their marketing, and are alienating or marginalizing a group of individuals—then speak up and advocate for those needing to be supported.
*Remember to approach all communication in a respectful manner. Surprisingly, brands are not always aware that they are marginalizing people. Marginalization can unfortunately be an overlooked aspect, so don’t assume that it is done purposefully.
Asking those from marginalized groups what they need to be empowered, uplifted, and supported is vital to effective ally-ship. It is impossible to guess what a minority group needs, and this needs to come from the group itself.
Minority groups should be empowered to voice their needs and their voices deserve to be listened to and honored.
Not everyone is exposed to the same information, so sharing important resources that you value and have found useful is vital for ally-ship and proactive social justice. You can easily repost youtube videos to your Facebook profile, or recommend books to your friends. Help to share the word about inclusivity, and advocate for why it is important.Promote The Products And Services Of Minority-Owned Businesses
An easy way to use buying power to funnel finances into minority communities is to share and promote products that you like that come from minority-owned businesses.Encourage Brands To Give Back
By encouraging brands to give back you can help to uplift those who need it. Make suggestions for relevant charities related to minority causes. Brands can either directly give a percentage of profits to relevant charities, or they can provide free products and services to those who wouldn’t usually have access.Write Reviews Online For Minority Owned Brands
Word of mouth is a powerful tool to help sell products and services. Writing reviews online is an easy way to uplift and help brands out. You can also give them helpful feedback which can improve their services or products.Be An Intentional Ally
It requires love and intention to be an ally. It is not always easy and requires sacrifice. Whether that’s sacrifice of time, ease, or peace. It’s not always easy to be the person drawing attention to unethical behaviour, but it’s even more taxing to be the person being marginalized. Use your voice and privilege to advocate for others and help uplift them.Inspire Conversations In Your Community
A great way to support diversity is to inspire and lead thought-provoking conversations about inclusivity with your friends and family.
Sustainable Beauty Brands Owned By Women Of Color
Fait avec Coeur partners with sustainable beauty and skincare brands that are ethical, eco-friendly, and diversely-owned. If you are looking for beauty brands that are kind and gentle to animals, humans, and the planet—then here are some top brands to support.
Axiology creates luscious zero-waste Balmies and highlighters. These are a 3-in-1 crayon that can be used on lips, cheeks, and eyelids.
Their founder, Ericka, started Axiology after she learnt that all of her lipsticks were tested on animals. Other more ethical brands that existed at the time were not as good, many of them would dry up and crack because the ingredients were just not up to standard. Ericka decided to design a lipstick that was clean and hydrating, and didn't impact animals or the environment in any way.
Dew Mighty’s serum bar is perfect for the minimalist beauty and skincare lover. Totally zero-waste, travel friendly, and multi-purpose—this serum bar is essential for eco-friendly skincare lovers.
Tiffany has been in the beauty industry for years, so she saw first-hand the problems with packaging and ingredients were causing for our planet, and our health. Dew Mighty is a powerful little bar that solves both of these problems.
Fait avec Coeur supports sustainable beauty brands and also holds some of their own products. You’ll find zero-waste beauty and skincare accessories as well as hyaluronic acid for radiant and bright skin.
When starting Fait avec Coeur, Yuan found a huge gap in the market where beauty retailers were not doing enough to bring sustainable beauty to consumers. Brands like Sephora and Ulta will stock literally any brand, with no standards for protecting our environment. Fait avec Coeur means "made with heart", and that's exactly what the brands we partner with do.
If you’re looking for skincare that bridges tradition and the modern world then look no further than M.S Skincare. Anit bridges the gap between her Ayurvedic roots and the needs of the modern skincare enthusiast.
Anit wanted to build a beauty and wellness brand that she could infiltrate into her busy lifestyle in New York. M.S.Skincare's products rely heavily on Ayurveda, as well as scientific research.
Nopalera is a brand that is rich in culture, beauty, and love. Their eco-friendly skincare products are made with natural butters and oils to ensure a strong connection to the earth and its wisdom.
Sandra hails from California, where her Mexican culture runs deep. The reason behind Nopalera was to bring artisanal Mexican skincare products to consumers using one of the most abundant succulents in her formulations: cactus (nopales).
Ally-ship can be performed in simple steps. It doesn’t need to take a lot of time, it simply requires consistent effort, dedication, and loving intention. Use these tips to inspire ally-ship to diversity in the beauty and skincare industry and in your community at home.
Carmen Lee is a certified yoga teacher, childbirth doula, and wellness coach. She educates on womb wellness, sacred wisdom, and ancestral-connected living. You’ll find her passionately advocating radical self-care and transformational self-empowerment through sustainable beauty and self-love rituals.
Some of the products promoted in our blog are from our online store. Many others are brands we have researched and found to be great examples of sustainable, ethical, and innovative brands in their field, and we don't make any profit from mentioning them in our blog. #CollaborationOverCompetition