2019 was dubbed ‘The Year of The Vegan’ and by now a quarter of millennials identify as vegan or vegetarian. Whatever your views on the vegan diet might be, you may still want to consider more deeply about what you’re putting on your face. Our skin absorbs around 60% of the products we apply to it, so it’s probably a good idea that we research carefully into what we want to slather on.
Common animal-derived ingredients used in beauty products include lanolin (grease secreted by glands of wool-bearing animals), squalene (shark liver oil), allantoin (cow urine), carmine (crushed beetles), gelatine (frequently pig bones, tendons or ligaments) and ambergris (whale vomit). Sound nice? I don’t think so. There are so many more wholesome vegan alternatives that don’t leave you feeling repulsed.
What’s worse is that the use of animal ingredients have not been proven to be superior or necessary in the manufacturing of beauty items. In fact, animal ingredients can clog pores and generally be harsh on the skin. While vegan products can actually be better for you. This is especially true if your skin is sensitive.
So what does it mean for beauty products to be vegan? Well, it means there are absolutely no animal ingredients present. Whereas when a product is cruelty-free, it means that no animals were tested on or harmed in the making of the product. An easy way to decide whether a product ticks both of these boxes is to look for the Vegan and Leaping Bunny logos. The majority of animal testing occurs on the ingredient level. Therefore with the Leaping Bunny logo you can be 100% sure that no animal testing has occurred.
Plant-derived ingredients contain far more antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which hydrate and repair your skin. Your skin will only thrive being exposed to natural, vegan ingredients. Vegan beauty products, just like a vegan diet, are also beneficial in reducing environmental damage and promoting kindness towards animals. Great natural ingredients include vitamins A, C and E, natural oils (such as coconut, argan and rosehip), soybean and hemp seed extracts, and algae. Many of these ingredients have been used for hundreds of years and for a variety of beneficial purposes.
In 2020 there is no need to exploit animals, many big companies are already making the change. The future of the beauty industry is vegan and cruelty-free.