Currently, there is a growing awareness of the ecology and treatment of animals in the world. Many people change their model of looking at their neighborhood and make more conscious purchasing and food choices. The vegan ideology is spreading from food products to other industries. Today we will check whether it is possible to completely abandon the use of animals in the production of cosmetics.
You will know them by the ingredients
The basic determinant of whether a cosmetic is vegan is, of course, its composition. It must not contain any substances of animal origin. Therefore let's read the labels of the products we intend to buy. Below is a list of ingredients, the presence of which disqualifies the use of a given cosmetic by vegans:
- Lanolate (lanolate, laneth) - heavy wax derived from sheep fat; often used in soaps and bath lotions, but also in shampoos. It is also found in some perfumes!
- Cochineal (E120) - a red dye that has received much attention due to its controversial origin; it is extracted from insects and is often used in food production
- Keratin - most often comes from the hair or hooves of animals; it is often used in protein hair conditioners or rich hand creams
- Elastin - obtained from the skin, tendons and blood vessels of animals; used in anti-aging products
- Silk - obtained from silkworm cocoons; has a moisturizing effect on the skin and hair
- Collagen - currently obtained from bovine or fish tendons; widely used in anti-wrinkle and soothing after-sun products
- Milk - milk proteins are often present in skin and hair moisturizers or conditioners; they regenerate and re-build the hair structure
- Beeswax and honey - some vegans consider them vegan, but they appear on our list because of different vegans' perceptions about their use
As you can see, ingredients of animal origin can be found in many cosmetics, moisturizing and regenerating - sometimes even where you do not expect them.
Vegan ingredients - what to look for on the labels
When mentioning the ingredients that should be avoided in vegan care, it is impossible to omit the plant ingredients. They often have a very similar effect to products of animal origin, but no creature suffered when obtaining them! Fortunately, the list of vegan ingredients is very long and it is impossible to describe them all here. However, let's pay attention to the most important and common in cosmetics. Shea butter is definitely the leader here. It is a natural-origin oil, which has the consistency of wax or chilled butter at room temperature. However, try to rub it a little in your hands and because of some heat, it turns into a pleasant balm suitable for all skin types. You can use it all over your body, with particular emphasis on dry skin, and even as a lip balm. It has a strong nourishing and moisturizing effect. You can buy it pure 100% shea butter, but it is also a popular ingredient in numerous hand creams and hair conditioners. However, it often appears in the company of milk proteins, so read labels carefully if you want your cosmetics to be completely vegan.
Her majesty, the olive
Olive oil is also a commonly used ingredient (also in non-vegan cosmetics). It is added to a wide variety of products - from soaps and shampoos to moisturizing lotions. In cleansing products, it is designed to mitigate the drying effect of SLS-type foaming ingredients. However, its moisturizing and nourishing properties have been known for centuries, and used as a beauty ingredient by women in antiquity which makes it an extremely effective and simple addition to moisturizing face masks.
The best of plants
Vegan care is often based on various plant essences and extracts. They are used in many different types and are usually rich in vitamins. Cosmetics with green tea extracts are known, for example, for their antibacterial and cleansing properties. Natural tea extracts pleasantly refresh the skin and reduce imperfections. It is also common to add natural vegan oils - for example, argan, coconut or avocado oil. Oils have a positive effect on the condition of hair, skin and nails, giving the effect of strengthening, moisturizing and even reducing discoloration. Plants willingly share their unique properties with us, so it is worth reaching for their extracts present in vegan cosmetics. Particularly noteworthy is bakuchiol, which is a plant equivalent of retinol, known for its lifting effect. It is often used in rejuvenating serums and anti-wrinkle creams.
Treasures from the sea
Sea algae extracts are unique and obligatory ingredients in vegan care. Their positive effect on the skin is extremely wide. They are often present in anti-wrinkle and regenerating cosmetics. These extracts are particularly rich in vitamins and minerals and are very effective in daily care. Due to their versatile action, they are used as a base for a whole range of cosmetics: face masks, hair conditioners and eye products.
Unethical laboratory - testing on animals
The cosmetics industry has a strong tendency to abuse animals in many ways. Not only are animal products used, but many companies also carry out animal testing. Needless to say, such products automatically become non-vegan? Often, laboratory animals are treated in an extremely cruel way and kept under conditions that do not allow them to meet their basic needs. Of course, they can also experience many undesirable side effects related to the substances administered to them.
Unfortunately, many of the top major beauty networks are still testing on animals. Although in many countries these are illegal activities, several brands still manage to bypass regulations and move production to, for example, China, where animal testing is still legal and obligatory. Therefore, it is important to raise consumer awareness of this issue. Many people are privately boycotting producers that use animals and are not buying products from these brands. The more of us stop supporting the cruel treatment of animals with our wallets, the sooner companies will stop using such procedures. It is the choices of consumers that determine the actions of producers the most and they have a significant impact on the policy of companies.
Lucky for us, there are many more manufacturers who have stopped unethical procedures than those who still test on animals. The number of these "good" brands is growing every year. Currently, they include, for example:
…and many other famous brands. Therefore, it is relatively easy to find ethical cosmetics on the shelves of popular drugstores.
Vegan daily face care
If you are worried that you will not find the right products during your switch to vegan skincare, we are here to help. Large cosmetic brands are aware of the ongoing social changes and the growing awareness of their customers. That is why they release entire lines of vegan products covering all types of cosmetics. When it comes to face care, we recommend Bielenda Vegan Muesli products. You will find many natural regenerating and moisturizing ingredients for all skin types, as well as body lotions.
Excellent creams tailored to different needs are also offered by the Eveline Natural Beauty Bio Vegan line. Here you will find moisturizing, matting and nourishing creams, that is everything that everyone's face needs. However, the selection is not limited to these two manufacturers, we encourage you to do your own research. A cosmetic does not always have to include "Vegan" in its name to be vegan. maybe your favorite products also contain no animal ingredients and are not tested on animals. A brand that focuses exclusively on plant-based ingredients in all its products is, for example, Alkemie.
Strong hair and moisturized skin in vegan care
It is best to look for body and hair cosmetics that fit into a vegan lifestyle among the aforementioned "green" brands. Finding and completing the full care should not be difficult, because often the whole series of cosmetics bear the name "Vegan", which manufacturers strongly distinguish on the label. This way, you can create a vegan beauty bag from head to toe. We especially recommend the Bielenda Vegan Friendly series, in which you will find beautifully scented body lotions. They contain a wealth of natural vegan ingredients and their texture is extremely pleasant. The lotions are quickly absorbed, leaving the skin soft and fragrant, without leaving the greasy film on. Despite the vegan formula, they meet all the requirements for this type of cosmetics.
You may be surprised, however, veganism has penetrated not only into daily care but also into color and make-up cosmetics. After all, vegans also put on makeup, right? Cosmetic brands are trying more and more to meet their needs. Ecocera with a series of loose vegan bronzers may be a good example. Vegan makeup, however, unfortunately, is still not very common (luckily, this is continuously changing!). Another example of a vegan-minded producer is Annabelle. From this brand, we can find mineral foundations and highlighters.
As you can see, you can find vegan alternatives for virtually any product. All you need is to do a little research and read labels, and you will find everything you are looking for in almost any drugstore. So you are not condemned to animal products in cosmetics. Remember that you always have a choice!
- Search engines such as doublecheckvegan.com can help you determine if a product is vegan. Just enter the name of the ingredient you have doubts about, and the algorithm will search for it in its database and determine its origin. However, if a given ingredient can be obtained from both plants and animals, it is worth contacting the manufacturer directly, who should provide information on the nature of the ingredients used in production.
- Some brands that offer cleaning products and household chemicals also meet the needs of vegans. An example is Zaa Zoo Laa with its Vegan & Natural series.
- Look for the indication "Cruelty-Free" on the packaging to be sure that the product was produced without the use of animals