Switching your skincare and makeup regimen is not an easy task. You probably have products you’ve been using for a long, long time and have grown to love. Even just the thought of changing them for something you’ve never tried before gives you the chills!
It can be even more overwhelming when it comes to building a beauty routine that is vegan and cruelty-free. Where do you start? Which products are free from animal-derived ingredients? Which has not been tested on animals?
While more and more brands offer vegan & cruelty-free skincare and makeup products, getting started can still be challenging. We’re here to help, and give you a few tips to help you create a vegan & cruelty-free beauty routine.
Vegan Doesn’t Mean Cruelty-Free
Yes, we know, it’s confusing. But just because a product claims to be vegan, it doesn’t mean it’s also cruelty–free. Let us explain the difference between the two:
- Vegan products are those that contain no ingredients derived from an animal
- Cruelty-free products have not been tested on animals
It’s just something to remember when looking for vegan & cruelty-free skincare products because although some brands claim to be vegan, they may still be testing their products on our furry friends.
Vegan Beauty Product Labels and Certifications
The Vegan Society
The Vegan Society is a British organization that takes credit for the word “vegan”. If you see their label on a product, rest assured it wasn’t tested on animals and is vegan.
The Vegan Certified is a registered trademark for products that do not contain animal products or by-products and that have not been tested on animals.
If you’re in the US or Canada, you may already be familiar with The Leaping Bunny program which puts brands under the microscope and a rigid set of standards to ensure their products are vegan & cruelty-free.
Skincare Ingredients That Aren’t Vegan
We don’t need to tell you that some brands can be very shady when it comes to their advertising claims. Knowing some of the most common skincare ingredients of animal origin can help you make more informed choices regarding which products are and aren’t truly vegan or cruelty-free.
- Casein (or Sodium Caseinate) is a complete protein found in cow’s milk. In fact, it’s what gives milk its white color.
- Oleic acid (also known as oleyl stearate, oleyl oleate, or tallow) is often used to soften the product’s texture and is made of animal fat (but it can also be plant-derived).
- Beeswax is often used to keep liquid ingredients from separating in products like mascaras or lip balms.
- Shellac is commonly used in the production of nail polishes or hair sprays. Companies obtain it by killing thousands of female lac bugs.
- Squalene is an additive derived from shark liver oil and is often used for anti-aging purposes.
- Glycerine, although this compound can also be plant-derived, glycerine is traditionally obtained from animal fat.
- Lanolin can often be used to soften and moisturize in lotions or moisturizing creams, but this additive is obtained from the glands of sheep.
- Carmine, similarly to Shellac, companies kill thousands of female Cochineal insects for their red pigment to infuse products like lipstick, nail polish, or blush.
Are You Ready For Your New Skincare Routine?
We get it, it’s easy to get attached to our beauty products. However, creating a cruelty-free & vegan beauty routine doesn’t mean that you have to toss your old makeup bag in the trash and immediately run out to purchase entirely new products! To create a vegan & cruelty-free beauty regimen, take it slow – one step at a time.