Veganism is growing more popular practically by the minute. What started as a simple set of dietary rules has now become a complete lifestyle focused on changing the world for the better. For example, going vegan with your cosmetics can benefit not only you but the animals and the planet too. Let’s take a closer look at these benefits together.
What does “vegan” stand for in beauty products?
But first, let’s cover the basics – a cosmetic is vegan if it doesn’t include any animal-derived ingredients. This includes both the things that come straight from the animal’s body parts, e.g., carmine (which is crushed Dactylopius coccus insects) or lanolin (oil/wax from sheep’s wool), and any byproducts such as honey and beeswax. What’s the difference between products and byproducts? Well, this depends – the USDA considers everything apart from meat as an animal byproduct, while in the EU this term refers to the materials that people don’t consume. Either way, any true vegan beauty brand stays clear from all of them.
Most vegan beauty brands also produce cruelty-free cosmetics, which means there is no animal testing involved. But you should keep in mind that vegan doesn’t necessarily equal cruelty-free, especially when it comes to mass-producing brands. It’s also true for the other way around – cruelty-free products may contain animal-derived ingredients, which in essence invalids any cruelty-free claims. So how to make sure the products you use are both vegan and cruelty-free? Always check the ingredients list thoroughly and look up the brand on the certified cruelty-free lists (e.g., made by Leaping Bunny or PETA). Or switch to local, dedicated providers that are easy to verify.
What benefits does vegan beauty have?
Now, when you know what to look for, let’s go through the benefits of switching to a vegan beauty routine. Here are some of the main ones:
Every ingredient used in vegan products comes straight from nature and is 100% plant-based. There are no artificial add-ons or potentially harmful ingredients such as Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) or Propylparaben. So switching to, e.g., vegan makeup brands is guaranteed to save your skin from all those toxic chemicals still commonly used in many “mainstream” products.
2. Better for our bodies
Our skin absorbs up to 60% of what we put on it, and all of that goes straight to the bloodstream. Let this information sink in for a second.
With vegan skincare products, there’s no risk of getting any unwanted substances into our bodies – they contain only the necessary few without any fillers. Plus, they’re full of vitamins, nutrients, and moisturizers that will keep the skin healthy and hydrated.
3. Less skin-irritating
Animal-derived ingredients, such as already mentioned lanolin, are prone to clogging pores and irritating the skin. Thus, picking beauty products can be a real chore, especially if you have sensitive skin.
Vegan ingredients are far gentler and have a soothing effect – the risk of irritation is far lower, as long as you’re not allergic to any plants involved.
4. Lowering the demand for animal products
With the rise of vegan and cruelty-free brands, the demand for products including animal-derived ingredients can be significantly lowered – by switching to vegan beauty and makeup products, we can end the suffering of animals in the beauty industry.
5. Eco packaging
Vegan brands put their products in containers that came from recycling and are themselves 100% recyclable or biodegradable. So picking them reduces the amount of waste that litters our planet – we already have country-sized “islands” of trash floating in the oceans and an obscene amount of waste landfills across the globe.
6. Sustainable crops
Plants used for vegan beauty formulas are grown and harvested in an eco-friendly, sustainable manner. Therefore, this kind of farm doesn’t have a permanent impact on the environment.
7. It’s affordable
Contrary to popular opinion and cultivated myths, vegan brand skincare isn’t absurdly expensive. In fact, many products are way cheaper than those coming from renowned non-vegan brands, as you don’t pay just for the brand’s name. Plus, their overall quality is higher as they’re rarely mass-produced.
Vegan beauty products benefit both us and the planet. As the main reason for not switching to them – high prices – is no longer valid, there’s no better time to hop on the veganism train than now. If enough of us decide to take that step, we’ll achieve a great win for the planet, animals living on it, and our own health.