The truth is if you’re going to clean up your diet, why wouldn’t you do the same to your beauty cabinet and make-up purse? But what is vegan skincare? Is it natural, organic, preservative-free? They are all excellent questions.
Our skin absorbs a remarkable 60% of the products we apply to it. Let that sink in for a moment. Take a moment to consider your make-up and think about how many synthetic chemicals, plastics, preservatives and toxins have been used to make it?
Let’s try and answer some of these questions, starting with the big one – what is vegan skincare?
What is vegan skincare?
The vegan diet is one free of meat and animal by-products such as milk and honey. Much like these dietary restrictions, vegan skincare also removes animal-derived ingredients when formulating products.
Not only is mainstream skincare full of nasties, but they also contain animal ingredients such as:-
- Carmine (red color from crushed cochineal insects)
- Uric acid from cows
- Silk protein
Vegan skincare products also steer clear of animal by-products that are ethically sourced, such as lanolin (grease from sheep’s shorn wool).
Vegan skincare products tend to use plant-based or synthetic ingredients instead.
Where’s The Best Place To Buy Cruelty Free Vegan Skincare?
Does vegan and cruelty-free the same thing?
When you see a product label that states it is vegan and free of animal by-products, you’d think that it’s cruelty-free, right? Not necessarily.
A Cruelty-free product is one where its ingredients have not been tested on animals by a supplier or manufacturer. Some brands may be cruelty-free and ethically sourced without being vegan whilst, some may have vegan ingredients but also be tested on animals. It pays to do your research and read the labels and ingredients list.
Is Vegan skincare organic and natural?
You might also assume that vegan skincare products are always considered organic or natural since they tend to use plant-based ingredients. But they often use synthetic colorants and fragrances.
Organic means that the product was grown without the use of pesticides, or synthetic fertilizers. The term natural implies the product does not contain anything artificial or synthetic. As mentioned before, it pays to read the labels and ingredients list.
How can I tell a product is vegan?
That is a great question. Keep your eyes open for the essential ingredients, including aloe, shea butter, green tea and many essential oils. But if you are pressed for time, and don’t have a science degree to pour over the ingredients list, you can always look for the common vegan seals on products.
There is no official governing or certifying agency. But there are groups such as PETA that do label certain products as being vegan. You can also go to the significant vegan websites where you can source comprehensive lists of certified vegan products.
Is Vegan skincare better for you?
Vegan products are better for your skin. Especially if you are someone with sensitive or condition-prone skin. Animal ingredients can be harsh and clog the pores, so vegan products tend to be a soothing alternative. But this isn’t always true.
Just because something is vegan, it doesn’t mean you can’t be allergic to it. If you want to minimize the potential for irritation, check the label for preservative-free, since it is the preservatives that often cause the irritation to the skin.
Also, when products are absorbed by the skin, they go straight into the bloodstream – bypassing the kidney and liver for a natural detoxification process. Over time, the absorption of non-vegan ingredients can potentially cause negative effects to your body, not just your skin.
The plant-derived ingredients in many vegan formulas are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to repair and hydrate the skin. Admit it, you feel healthier if you eat foods in their natural state. The same logic applies to skincare. Your skin will thrive off being fed natural, vegan ingredients.
The ingredients used in vegan skincare include vitamins A, C and E, natural oils, such as coconut, argan and rosehip, algae, soybean extracts, hemp seed extracts, Camu Camu berry, aloe, ginger, garlic, mint and lavender. These ingredients have been used for centuries for their healing properties and are often more effective than their synthetic counterparts.
Another bonus is that vegan products typically contain fewer ingredients and the product labels are easier to understand. So you know exactly what you are putting on your skin.
Do vegan products expire faster?
Since vegan products use a lot of plant-based ingredients, you might think they don’t last as long. Vegan products can use preservative ingredients, they just can’t be animal-derived. If that is the case, their shelf-life is comparable with mainstream products.
If the vegan products forgo chemical preservatives, they can expire faster and require storage in lower temperatures to extend their shelf life. That is why it is crucial to read the labels and do some research into the brand you use.
Vegan skincare, as with the vegan lifestyle, is becoming more accepted and accessible. With that, the prices of the products are becoming more affordable. Remember to always check your labels and be clear on what organic, natural, cruelty-free and vegan actually mean. This will help you to pick the products that work for you and your lifestyle choices.