How the beauty industry has changed over the past 23 years

Our birthday month is here again, and we can’t believe it’s been 23 years since MV was first started by founder Sharon McGlinchey. In that time, we’ve witnessed many trends come and go and plenty of positive changes too. The beauty industry is becoming increasingly complex, but the fundamentals of good skincare remain the same.

Though it only seems like yesterday since MV opened its doors, the world has since caught up with Sharon’s pioneering philosophy of natural and organic beauty to some extent. While there are still proponents of the ‘scorched earth’ approach to skincare, more people are pursuing an ethos which is gentler on our bodies largest organ, and on our planet.  Come for a walk down memory lane with us as we look back on some of the biggest developments in skincare - including all the ‘bad’ beauty habits we’re finally saying goodbye to (hopefully for good!)

Animal Testing 

All that hard work by animal rights activists has paid off; in 2022 you’re likely to find a greater abundance of products not tested on animals than ever before.

Consumer tastes have changed for the better in terms of placing greater value on ethical brands. Most people demand cruelty free cosmetics, and the beauty industry and regulators have been forced to pay attention. Products that cause harm to animals are being rejected to the extent that a 2015 Nielsen survey found a “not tested on animals” product label is more favoured by consumers than any other type of label.

* At MV, we have never (under any circumstances) allowed animal testing of our products. We have also banned the sale of MV in regions where animal testing is mandatory.

Unsustainable Packaging

Along the same lines sustainability is another non-negotiable these days, with environmental concerns such a critical topic. Consumers want to purchase responsibly and expect brands to meet them halfway in terms of minimising plastic packaging and using recyclable or sustainable sources where possible.

MV products are packaged in sustainable materials like aluminium for reduced shipping weight and recyclability, as well as glass and cardboard. As regulators move to ban single-use plastics many brands are proactively managing their impact on the environment by seeking more sustainable alternatives to get their products to market.


Artificial Ingredients

When it comes to skincare, it seems as though the list of ingredients to avoid

is growing longer by the minute. Egregious offenders that can still be found in beauty products include carcinogenic formaldehyde, endocrine-disrupting phthalates (which likes to hide under the general umbrella of 'fragrance'), oxybenzone and hormone-disrupting parabens. To make matters worse, it’s impossible to pronounce most of the ingredients listed on products let alone decipher what they are.

It's no wonder then that many people are making the switch to vegan and plant powered products in droves. Not only are they kinder and cleaner than synthetic formulations, you also won’t need a science degree to understand what goes in your favourite products!

Awareness about the effectiveness of plant-based ingredients is at an all-time high – consumers are now accepting that good skin comes from having the right information and judicious use of pure, high powered plant-based products.


Diverse Representation

A survey conducted in 2019 of more than 2,000 consumers showed that 61% of participants thought that diversity in advertising was important, and 38% were more likely to trust brands that do well with showing diversity in their ads. This includes showing people of different orientations, ethnicities, abilities and body shapes.

Not only is it great to see more diversity in advertising and on screen, it also sends the message that modern brands must embrace diversity, inclusiveness and belonging to stay relevant to their markets. For everyone to feel seen and their needs catered to is a powerful driver of a brand’s reputation. Those that continue to whitewash will continue to fade into oblivion.


Greater knowledge of skin microbiome and the effect of diet on your skin

The body’s largest organ (the skin), is teeming with trillions of microorganisms that include various bacteria, fungi, and viruses. This ecosystem of invisible life forms is collectively known as the skin microbiome or skin flora. As an important part of your overall health, the skin’s microbiome hosts over 1,000 different bacterial species and up to 80 different fungi species at any given time.

The skin microbiome is the barrier that protects you from the outside world. It’s responsible for fighting infection, assisting the immune system, healing wounds, and controlling inflammation. When something goes wrong with your body your skin is often the first indicator. Unfortunately the skin barrier can be very delicate; it’s affected mostly by diet, lifestyle factors like smoking and exercise, the environment, air pollution and UV light.
Though there’s much we don’t know about the skin microbiome, science does suggest that the microbes in your gut can also affect the microbes on your skin. We now know that a good balanced diet is essential to maintaining optimal skin health – think lots of plant based foods like fruit and veg and a healthy dose of prebiotics too.  23 years ago, this was something that almost all consumers and most skin therapists were unaware of - a major change with positive results.


Harsh treatments - apricot face scrub we’re looking at you!

Studies suggest approximately 60-70% of women and 50-60% of men report having sensitive skin with estimates suggesting that sensitive skin afflicts up to 71% of the total global population. But the truth is, unless you have the right genes, very few of us have genuinely sensitive skin. What’s behind the epidemic of sensitive skin?

It’s thought that instead of sensitive skin, many suffer from sensitised skin, a condition exacerbated by modern day living where we’re exposed to more skin irritants and pollutants than at any other point in time. Redness, flushing, tightness, burning, and itching are all symptoms of this condition. On top of environmental factors, we’re also using way too many harsh products that scrub away the skin’s delicate surface like inappropriate microdermabrasion, foaming cleansers, granular scrubs, alcohol-based products, chemical, fruit acid and herbal peels.  23 years ago, the main culprit was supermarket apricot kernel face scrubs, but there are plenty of equally harsh products on the market today which your skin would thank you to avoid.

What’s next?

In many ways MV is still rebelling against the prevailing skincare trends of the day, although a small number of brands have jumped on the bandwagon of late. As trailblazers in organic and natural skincare, the challenge remains to convince consumers that plant ingredients can be just as effective as synthetic. This is - and has been for 23 years - a process of ongoing education which hinges on the understanding of the varied strength and quality of essential oils.  As with most things in life, you get what you pay for, and pure, active natural ingredients are never cheap.

Luckily the desire for natural and holistic multitasking products that nourish the body from the outside-in, is looking to become the new norm is skincare. Whatever the future brings, MV is sure to be at the forefront of skincare innovation with our ‘Less is More’ approach.


'I have the most unbelievably sensitive skin in the world, so I love the Rose Moisturiser.

It's extra hydrating and smells of roses - which is heaven.'

Emma Watson