Vegan Skin Care? Watch Out For These Ingredients

My sister is a vegetarian and sometimes a vegan. So if we eat together I take that into account. And because of that I discovered some tasty vegetarian/ vegan dishes!

She recently told me that the vegan lifestyle was more difficult to maintain than the vegetarian. She found out that a lot of things are made from animal products, including cosmetics. Yet she tried to pay attention to whether products have a so-called vegan label.

I honestly don’t pay attention to that label. It must happen to be on my skin care product.

Last week my sister and I had dinner at a vegan restaurant and I ate pretty good spaghetti there. When we talked about vegan beauty, I realized how little I know about it. So after a good conversation with my sister about vegan beauty and some online research, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about it!

What is vegan beauty?

Photo: paullynnphotos

Vegan beauty is vegan cosmetics that contain no animal ingredients or animal by-products. The products are also not tested on animals.

But note, this doesn’t have to be the case the other way around. A product that hasn’t been tested on animals isn’t necessarily vegan.

Skin care ingredients that aren’t vegan

When I look at my own skin care products, I have quite a few that contain animal ingredients. My KAHI Wrinkle Multi Balm contains salmon complex and my lip balm contains beeswax.

During my vegan beauty research I also found out that some ingredients had an animal origin, while I didn’t know this!

Animal ingredients in skin care products

  • Beeswax
  • Carmine comes from scale
  • Collagen comes from cattles, pigs and fish collagen
  • Elastin comes from cows
  • Glycerin sometimes comes from animal fat
  • Honey
  • Hyaluronic acid comes from a rooster’s comb
  • Lanolin comes from sheep wool
  • Propolis
  • Keratin comes from the hairs and horns of animals
  • Snail mucin
  • Squalene comes from sharks

Are there alternatives?

Yes they are! More and more plant-based options are coming onto the market:

  • Beeswax can be substituted for soy wax.
  • Collagen can be substituted for almond oil and plant peptides.
  • Coconut oil and shea butter are good alternatives for lanolin.
  • And olives, amaranth and sugarcane are used to obtain squalene.
Almond oil is a good alternative for collagen
Photo: Antonio Romero via Getty Images

The popular ingredient hyaluronic acid is also increasingly being obtained animal-friendly by sourcing it from microbial fermentation in the lab. In addition to being much more animal-friendly, it’s also much cheaper and more efficient!

Vegan labels

Luckily you don’t have to find out for yourself whether a product is vegan. On these vegan labels you can trust that your cosmetics are really vegan:

  • Vegan Action
  • Vegan Society
  • PETA
  • The Vegetarian Society

Photo by Marco Xu on Unsplash

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