The popularity of veganism has skyrocketed in recent years. In fact, the Economist proclaimed 2019 to be ‘The Year of the Vegan.’ Although, going vegan isn’t just about your diet anymore. Veganism has taken over the beauty world, too! Find out what all the fuss is about with vegan skincare.
Fruits and vegetables nourish our tummies. Why shouldn’t they nourish our skin, too? Using nature’s bounty to craft skin care products has plenty of benefits. One of the more significant advantages is that these products don’t source ingredients from animals. That means less pollution, less strain on the environment, as well as, a push for less animal cruelty.
Furthermore, our skin is porous and can absorb up to 60% of the products we put on it. Essentially, most of what goes on your skin (depending on molecular weight) goes into your body. Therefore, pushing for all-natural, vegan skin care seems logical. In fact, plenty of dermatologists recommend vegan skin care, because it has more natural and minimalistic compositions. The nutrients and gentle care that vegan skincare provides work exceptionally well for those with sensitive or problem skin.
Although before we get too excited about vegan skin care, we need to make a distinction. As you already know, reading cosmetics labels can be confusing. There are two terms in particular that we’d like to clarify before moving on.
Animal testing is terrible. Unfortunately, it still happens even today. That is unless a product is cruelty-free. If a product is cruelty-free, that means it does not test on animals. However, that may not make it vegan.
Now, if a product has a vegan label that means it doesn’t use any ingredients derived from animals. Some common animal ingredients in the beauty world are honey and beeswax. Other components range from lanolin (from Latin lāna ‘wool’, and oleum ‘oil’) to carmine (blood of crushed-up beetles) to allantoin (cow urine).
Lanolin, also called wool wax or wool grease, is a wax secreted by the sebaceous glands of wool-bearing animals. Yuck! Lanolin used by humans comes from domestic sheep breeds that are raised specifically for their wool. It can be skin irritant and may cause allergic reactions. While most allantoin nowadays is of plant or synthetic origin, you must check the technical documentation on the ingredient.
Lucky for us, those animal ingredients all have great vegan alternatives. Still, vegan and cruelty-free are not the same thing. Vegan products can use animal-tested ingredients. Cruelty-free products can include animal ingredients. If you are looking for both, then you’ll have to search for both distinctions on the label.
Proceed with Caution
At any rate, a vegan logo doesn’t equate plant-based or even natural ingredients. There can be harmful, synthetic chemicals in a vegan or cruelty-free product. Just because it says vegan on the label, doesn’t mean it’s safe for you. Always do your research and read the ingredients list! Re-read our post on how to interpret cosmetic labels, if you need any tips.
There are lots of brands that get away with filling products with cheap, synthetic and potentially toxic ingredients. These products have no animal ingredients, but aren’t natural either. Seeing a ‘Vegan’ stamp on a label doesn’t always make it healthy for you to use. Companies that wish to target the vegan market are taking advantage of good-natured consumers. Don’t let them fool you with their potentially toxic products.
Brands to Know
Granted, we aren’t doing any promotion of beauty brands here. Although, we’d like to mention some great vegan beauty companies. Here are beauty lines that caught our eye.
- Pacifica – This brand goes back to natural beauty basics. They are also entirely vegan! Find your new favourite animal-friendly BB cream or lip gloss in their line.
- PHB Ethical Beauty – Natural and organic, as well as, vegan and cruelty-free. Need we say more? Choose from beautiful eyeshadows, protective mineral powders, and award-winning mascaras.
- CoverFX – Designed by MD and MAC chemistry royalty. CoverFX comes with a beautiful reputation. The entire line (except two products) is vegan and cruelty-free.
- INIKA – This brand is PETA certified vegan and cruelty-free. If that doesn’t convince you, their luxurious liquid foundations and super soft lipsticks will.
- Dirty Hippie Cosmetics – The vegan beauty thunder from down under. This Aussie brand strives for sustainability with their vegan ingredients and is totally cruelty-free.
- Axiology – While this brand focuses solely on lipsticks, their specs are impressive. They push for natural and organic ingredients, skip the palm oil and ethically source everything. They’re also cruelty-free and completely vegan!
- ZAO – For those looking to be animal-friendly and reduce their waste, this brand is ideal. They use sustainable bamboo containers for their makeup. Bye-bye plastic! Their products are also 100% natural and do not use any harmful synthetic materials.
Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned vegan beauty pro, there are products out there for you. Of course, as with anything else, it’s essential to make decisions for yourself. Find the beauty products that work best for you and fit in with your ethos. Remember that you can always learn how to make your own cosmetics at home. Homemade cosmetics can easily be 100% vegan and cruelty-free!
About our bloggeR
Ashuni Pérez is an American writer based in Valencia, Spain. She has a passion for natural beauty and the environment. Ashuni loves to cycle and drink smoothies in the sun. Follow her on Instagram at @ashuuuuni