The year 2019 has been declared as “the year of the vegan” by The Economist. More people, including celebrities, are choosing this kind of diet to promote good health and to reduce harm to the environment.

As a natural progression, the popularity of the “vegan” culture has also transformed the beauty industry. Plenty of people are searching for cosmetics and skincare products that do not use animal by-products.

Skincare products without any of these animal ingredients make them fall under the category of vegan skincare. These are usually plant-based.

What are the animal by-products used in skincare? 

It would surprise people to know that traditionally accepted ingredients in their lotions and anti-aging creams are animal-derived.

  • Beeswax, secreted by bees when they build their honeycombs, are emollients.
  • Lanolin, made from the fatty substance found on sheep’s wool, is also a known emollient.
  • Keratin derived from horns, hooves, claws, and nails is a protein used as a skin conditioner.
  • Collage, another fibrous protein from the bone, teeth, cartilage, and ligaments, is used against wrinkles and as a humectant.
  • Snail mucin, an extract from the slime of snails, is used to improve the elasticity of the skin and to heal scars.

These products can be potentially harmful to sensitive skin. Therefore, most consumers are shifting to a healthier plant-based alternative – vegan skincare.

What ingredients do vegan products have? 

 Nature-based skincare is not a new concept. Grandmothers have used fruits and vegetables as part of their regular beauty routine for centuries. Having good complexion proves that these natural ingredients work.

However, aside from being messy, fruits and vegetables are only useful for one to two applications. Moreover, these may irritate some people if left on the skin for too long.

The solution for busy people is to have these plant-based products in attractive jars and bottles.

To know if the product is vegan, it can contain any of the following natural ingredients:

  • Oils like kukui nut oil, papaya seed, sweet almond, safflower, castor seed, camellia, sunflower seed
  • Essential oils like blue yarrow, yuzu, jasmine absolute, clary sage
  • Sandalwood
  • Jasmine
  • Lavender

Why should people switch to vegan products? 

Vegan skincare products are useful because they gently nourish the skin. For centuries, they have proven cosmetic and healing benefits.

Moreover, because of fewer ingredients, they are unlikely to cause skin reactions or aggravate existing skin conditions, making them ideal for sensitive or allergy-prone skin. Continual usage also supports natural collagen production.

Another plus for plant-based products is that they are not harmful to the environment.

Choosing vegan skincare creams also means that animals are protected. The bad news is that animal skin tests involve rubbing chemicals onto the shaved skin of animals to check for allergic reactions. The substances cause pain, bleeding, and even death in animals.

Concerned groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) educate the public by supplying a list of companies that do not test cosmetic products on animals.

How can one be sure that the skincare product is vegan?

Certified vegan products have two logos on their packaging – Vegan Action and The Vegan Society. PETA also publishes a list of vegan products.

It is our responsibility as consumers to make informed decisions on the products we consume.  From our meals to our skincare products, these should all contribute to a sustainable environment.