There’s a lot to get excited about when it comes to vegan beauty. If you’re thinking about giving your beauty stash an animal-friendly shake-up, there’s never been a better time. Dozens of trailblazing brands like Milk Makeup, Rare Beauty and Le Labo delivering on trending and luxe-feeling formulas without compromising on their ethics. And they’re just the tip of the iceberg.
While the vegan beauty options available were once minimal, the sector has evolved endlessly. And nowadays? Vegan beauty products easily stand up against their non-vegan counterparts, with ingredient innovations meaning that the formulas deliver on performance, where both quality and price are not compromised. From powerful pigments, to potent plant-based alternatives, choosing vegan beauty isn’t purely a matter of ethics anymore, it’s a lifestyle.
I tried vegan beauty products for a month, here’s what actually happened to my skin
Even so, more of us are questioning the need for animal-derived ingredients, especially given the huge advancements that have been made in plant or lab-based alternatives. And the comparatively earth-friendly impact of veganism, undeniably factors in, too.
But what exactly is vegan beauty?
Strictly speaking, vegan beauty means products that contain no animal derivatives (which includes ingredients such as lanolin, from sheep’s wool, honey and beeswax from bees and carmine, a red pigment derived from insects that’s often used in lipsticks). So although it goes hand in hand with the Leaping Bunny accreditations for Cruelty-free, it’s not quite the same. Cruelty-free means that the product was developed without any tests on animals, while vegan means that the product also does not include any animal-derived ingredients.
Your ultimate guide to the difference between vegan, natural, organic, clean and fair trade beauty
Isn’t animal testing already banned in the UK?
Animal-testing is banned in the UK and Europe in general, so none of the products you buy here have been tested on animals. A couple of years back, some brands that sell in China (and many choose to), used to first subject their products to third-party animal testing. Therefore, some vegans prefer not to buy from beauty brands that sell in China, as it indirectly supports animal cruelty. However, as of 2023, China has officially banned animal testing for all cosmetic products, both domestically produced and imported.
General cosmetics includes beauty products that do not have claims such as ‘anti-ageing, skin whitening or anti-acne’. These comprise the bulk of the market and that means that some of our favourite brands will not need to compromise animal testing if they want to sells their goods in China.
How to know if a beauty product is vegan?
To really be able to determine if a beauty product is vegan, you need to check for a certification from a reputable organisation such as The Vegan Society or PETA. Additionally you could also carefully examine the product label and look for phrases like “vegan-friendly”, “cruelty-free”, and “no animal-derived ingredients”. Do some Googling or if you’re really unsure don’t be afraid to contact the brand directly through their website or social channels.
Read the full article here