A Brief Guide to Vegan Cosmetics

A Brief Guide to Vegan Cosmetics Veganism is the strictest form of vegetarianism that involves abstaining from the use of animal products. The so-called ethical vegans not only follow a vegan diet but oppose the use of animals for any purpose. This means that they can’t use cosmetic products with animal ingredients, among other things. That’s why vegan cosmetics exist. Let’s take a closer look at vegan cosmetics and figure out what’s so special about them.

As we’ve already said, vegans abstain from the use of all animal products. This includes not only meat, eggs and dairy products, but also fish and seafood, honey and other bee products (beeswax, propolis, royal jelly), gelatin, leather, wool, silk, and any other animal-derived substances.

Mass market cosmetic brands often use animal-derived ingredients in their products because many of them are cheap and effective. For example, lip balms often contain beeswax due to its occlusive properties. Lanolin (a wax obtained from sheep wool) is a popular ingredient in various creams, and hydrolysed keratin (a protein derived from sheep or goat wool, bovine hooves or horns, bird feathers, and other animal sources) can often be found in shampoos and hair conditioners. All these ingredients are completely unacceptable for vegans who need plant-based or synthetic alternatives.

Vegan skin and hair care products do not contain a single ingredient associated with the killing or exploitation of animals. Besides, neither the product nor its ingredients can be tested on animals. To be labelled as vegan, personal care products must contain only plant-based, mineral or synthetic ingredients, and must be tested using methods other than animal testing, for example, computer simulations, in vitro screens, and other alternatives that don’t involve harming animals.

It should be noted that vegan cosmetics don’t have to be 100% natural, because some animal-derived ingredients are replaced with synthesized alternatives. Besides, the term “vegan cosmetics” isn’t synonymous with “organic cosmetics”, “bio cosmetics” or “eco cosmetics”. The two key criteria of vegan cosmetics are no animal-based ingredients and no animal testing, and that’s all.

There are vegan alternatives to any personal care or makeup product you can think of, and most of them are just as effective as their counterparts with animal-based ingredients. Common ingredients that can be found in vegan cosmetics include carrier and essential oils, flower waxes, plant extracts and distillates, vegetable proteins (soy, wheat, corn, etc.), and mineral ingredients (clay, sea salt, mud, etc.).

To make sure that the product you’re considering buying is vegan, pay attention to its label and ingredient list. Most brands that produce vegan cosmetics label their products accordingly. Look for labels that say “Vegan” and “Not tested on animals” or “Cruelty-free”. Keep in mind that vegan products are not tested on animals, but not all products that are not tested on animals are vegan. So if you’re not sure about a certain product, peruse its ingredient list.

For example, vegan cosmetics must be free of the following ingredients:

  • beeswax, honey, propolis, royal jelly;
  • lanolin;
  • carmine (cochineal, crimson lake, CI 75470);
  • guanine (an amino acid obtained from fish scales);
  • mucin (snail secretion filtrate);
  • silk or cashmere proteins;
  • cysteine;
  • chitin (chitosan);
  • retinol (vitamin A);
  • gelatin;
  • tallow (animal fat);
  • dairy products, eggs;
  • fish oil, caviar extract.

Besides, vegan cosmetics must not contain glycerine, collagen, elastin, keratin, hyaluronic acid, albumin, ambergris, oleic acid, stearic acid, palmitic acid or squalene if they have been derived from animal sources. These ingredients are acceptable in vegan cosmetics only if they have been derived from raw plant materials or synthesized.

In our online shop Organic Store, you can find a great selection of natural and organic vegan cosmetics, for example, Ayurvedic powders by Triuga that are 100% plant-based, practically all products manufactured by Agor, fragrant waters and oils by Mayur, Botanica products by Bio World, certain products from Planeta Organica’s Pure collectio, and many more. We offer affordable prices, convenient payment methods, and international delivery to most corners of the world.

Vegan Products in Our Store

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