In a time when being gender-neutral or genderfluid can be part of one’s identity, beauty brands must reflect the needs and wants of society. Now, with the convenience of online shopping, more brands are having their chance to shine. For decades, The Pink Tax was a normalized part of marketing beauty products, but the demand for radical change is ever-growing and necessary. Business owners are revolutionizing the industry with gender-neutral beauty products, and are being met with a tremendous following.
For many consumers, labels with dividing product lines for ‘men’ or ‘women’ don’t apply to them because they identify as non-binary and there shouldn’t be a price difference for anyone to ‘pick a side.’ There are such limited studies on transgender and nonbinary peoples, but as many as 25-35% of the transgender population identify as non-binary. Pair the ever-growing demand for genderless beauty products and the demand for organic and paraben-free ingredient lists and you’ve got some amazing companies who give major beauty brands a run for their money.
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It’s worth acknowledging that every body is different, and because of that not all companies can gear their products to a ‘one size fits all’ mentality. We understand that specificity is important with products. There are some ingredients that are more beneficial to certain individuals. Whether estrogen or testosterone is more dominant in your hormones can be telling for what ingredients will prove to benefit you. But acknowledging the science for ingredients doesn’t mean lending a product to gender confinement anymore. Thus allowing an endless possibility for unisex, gender-neutral beauty products.
We interviewed Nima Jalali at Salt and Stone and Emma Allen at Everyday Oil on what it means to run a company that upholds these standards, and hope their insight inspires you to examine which beauty brands you support and why.
We believe genderless beauty brands are the wave of the future because so many individuals are no longer allowing themselves to be defined by labels or social constructs. The demand for diversity translates into consumerism. It’s finally good to be different, in fact, it’s celebrated.
Salt and Stone tinted SPF 50 stick from the unisex beauty range. Image via Instagram
Why was creating a brand that was genderfluid, organic and cruelty-free important for the foundation of your company?
Nima Jalali (Salt and Stone): Because we do not feel skincare needs to be gender-specific and we really wanted it to be very inclusive of all genders.
Emma Allen (Everyday Oil): I did think a lot about creating something that felt approachable for any gender, it seemed to me that a lot of skincare was unnecessarily gendered one way or the other and it felt important to create something that felt comfortable for anyone to use and to feel beautiful in anyone’s space.
Making it organic and cruelty-free were just very obvious choices for me. I’m grateful that there are farmers all over the world working hard to farm without pesticides and I believe strongly in supporting them for the good of the earth and our bodies and all living things. Who ever thought of testing things on animals in the first place? That’s definitely a ‘no’ for us. Thankfully, all of the ingredients we use are plant-based.
In my opinion, if you are using things that are potentially toxic in skincare and it seems so risky you need to test it on an animal, maybe you should rethink the whole plan.
Salt and Stone Lavender and Sage unisex deodorant. Image via Instagram.
How did your brands come to life?
NJ: I used to be a professional snowboarder and I really understood the need for natural sunscreen and skincare. There was nothing on the market that I was excited to use so I set out to create something superior to what was on the market at the time.
EA: It was something that grew out of me simply being a nerd and reading a ton about plant oils and skincare and reading scientific journals to see what work was being done in that space. For years, I was ordering oils and experimenting with my own blends for fun. When I finally came up with Everyday Oil it was just really amazing to me what it did for my skin, and for my friends and family, and I was really inspired by that and wanted to share it with the world.
Everyday Oil: Mainstay features a blend of organic cold-pressed plant oils. Image via everydayoil.com
Do you believe that the future of beauty is moving towards unisex products, and why?
NJ: Yes, for sure. I think Aesop is a great example of this. Skincare does not need to be gender-specific. All of our skin is generally the same whether you are a man or woman so we feel unisex is the future in skincare.
EA: I think that there will always be a variety of approaches to beauty and I think that’s beautiful! I do think that there has been a specific gap in the market for more unisex products and I think it’s cool that more companies seem to be seeing that.
How important is inclusivity when creating campaigns and marketing for your customers?
NJ: Very very very important. We really focus on being inclusive and we strive to be a brand for all races/genders/skin types.
EA: Very important. Everyday Oil is for everyone and I hope to capture that in the images we put into the world. I feel very strongly that the world is tired of seeing one type of beauty portrayed, and it is truly harmful for us all and the way we see each other and ourselves. It feels so beautiful and exciting to see so many brands changing that narrative.
While there are many beauty brands announcing their gender-neutral and unisex focus, we still have much ground to cover. It’s now in the power of our hands, as consumers.
Who we buy from says everything. Choosing to support brands that are inclusive with both their products and their model representation is a start but there is more to consider. We need brands that don’t participate in animal testing, have quality ingredient lists, and whose political funding is transparent and moral.
Knowing who you’re buying from is where the real work begins. Consider taking the time to do the in-depth research before clicking ‘purchase’ on your online shopping cart. Taking that extra moment to research, may seem like a drop in the bucket, but if we all begin to care what our brands stand for, it’s a trickle effect that can change the world.
Written by Laura Ornella
Feature image via Everyday Oil Instagram.