With the growing popularity of vegan skin care products, it becomes all the more necessary to completely understand what the term ‘vegan’ actually stands for. The term vegan stands for “vegetarian”, wherein animal products are completely devoid from being used or consumed. For example, meat, eggs, dairy and honey are completely omitted and plant based products such as whole grains, green vegetables, fruits and beans are included in your daily diet. This is also true with regards to your skin care products. Vegan products do not contain animal products and are completely derived from plant based ingredients.
How to Find Good Products For Vegans
1.) The Label Check – The most suitable way to check whether your skin care product is vegan or not is by reading its label. If the label reads ‘Product Uses Vegan Ingredients’ or, ‘Meant Exclusively for Vegans’, or, ‘Vegan Certified’, or, “Contains No Traces of Animal Ingredients”, you can be rest assured that this product does not include animal derived ingredients.
2.) The Ingredient Check – Sometimes, you may get confused whether a particular ingredient is derived from a plant based source or an animal based source. A suitable example could be “whey”, which comes under the category of dairy produce and is therefore not a vegan product. In order to avoid making such minor mistakes, always read the ingredient list of your chosen product carefully before finalizing your purchase.
3.) The Allergy Check – Each and every skincare product does mention its allergen information. Just take a careful look towards the bottom end of the ingredient list and you may find something written in a similar fashion, “Product Contains Milk” or, “Product Contains Egg” or, “Product Contains Shellfish”. If you are a pure vegan, you may want to avoid using such products.
Vegan and Cruelty Free – What is the Difference?
Any skin care product that is completely devoid of animal based ingredients is termed as vegan. At the same time, vegan products do not involve animal testing. Cruelty free products imply that no animal testing has been performed on the skin care product. Nonetheless, it does not necessarily imply that a ‘cruelty free’ product does not contain ingredients derived from dead or alive animals.
The 7 Most Common Non-Vegan Ingredients Present in Your Daily Use Skin Care Products:
1.) Beeswax – This wax is secreted from the underbellies of bees or from their scales. Each bee needs to consume at least four pounds of wax in order to secrete a pound of wax. Also known as cera lava, beeswax is usually used in lipstick foundations and in eye shadows.
2.) Squalane – When oil is forced from the liver of a shark, it gives rise to a compound called Squalane. This is an active ingredient in several skin moisturizers.
3.) Carmine – Cochineal insects are first crushed and then their remains (eggs and battered bodies) are used for formulating a special color. This extract is used as a colorant in blushes and lipsticks.
4.) Lanolin – Made from the grease that is found in the hair of a sheep, lanolin is an active ingredient in lip balms and in greasy lotions meant for dry skin.
5.) Collagen – This is a very popular skin care and cosmetic product that is derived from the cartilaginous material of dead animals. This includes the connective tissues, the bones as well as the skin of a dead animal. Collagen is primarily used for firming and plumping up the skin. It is found in anti-aging creams, lotions and even in lipsticks.
6.) Keratin – This is a famous product that is used in most hair care products such as shampoos, conditioners etc. Keratin is derived from the nails, horns and the hair of animals.
7.) Guanine – This is a by-product of dead fish scales that are dipped in alcohol to create an essence. This essence is used in several skin care products. The fragrance in nail polish is a suitable example of a cosmetic product that uses Guanine.
Advantages of Using Vegan Products:
1.) Not Using Dead Animal By-Products- The biggest benefit of using a vegan product is that you no longer need to apply creams or lotions that contain animal by-products. Extracts from cows, insects and bees are usually found in most skin care products. They are not suitable for the human skin in the longer run. When you avoid making use of them, you end up saving your skin from absorbing dead animal extracts.
2.) Skin Improves Considerably – When you apply plant based skin care products, your skin tends to absorb these ingredients easily. People with sensitive skin would definitely benefit from plant based creams, lotions and other cosmetic products.
3.) No More Allergic reactions – Natural ingredients such as aloe vera, neem, tulsi and turmeric are vegan ingredients that have medicinal properties. Not only do they soothe your skin, they also keep it free from harmful free radicals. The lack of chemicals in natural products saves your skin from experiencing allergic reactions. In a nutshell, when you use vegan products, your skin tends to remain youthful and healthy.
4.) Animal Testing is Passe – Vegan products do not involve animal testing procedures. This helps save the lives of poor animals and allows them to lead a torture free existence.
5.) Recycled Packaging – Most skin care products make use of Eco-friendly packaging, so as to reduce environmental pollution. When you switch to vegan products, you are directly contributing towards saving your planet from unnecessary pollutants.
6.) Not Expensive – Some vegan brands are very expensive yet, if you conduct your research well, you would find several brands to be competitively priced. Ironically, the ingredient list of both the expensive as well as the economical vegan skin products is mostly similar. So, you end up saving money while you continue to beautify your skin.
The plant based ingredients used in vegan cosmetics are far more superior when compared to non-vegan skin cosmetics. The natural ingredients found in vegan cosmetics help your skin get cleansed, healed from infections, remain soft, protected from external pollutants and moisturized. Besides, you also end up saving innocent animals from getting cruelly misused. It is therefore in your best interest to use vegan cosmetics and avoid animal based skin care products at all costs.