For many people, the switch to veganism is a decision which doesn’t come lightly. Despite the current vogue for making the lifestyle change, with the ranks of vegan celebrities seeming to grow by the day, it’s still a significant commitment to make, no matter how much it fits with your lifestyle and ethical values. But while following a vegan diet has become easier thanks to the growing availability of plant-based meat and dairy alternatives, beauty has been playing catch-up. And for some of us, although we’ve happily swapped our beef casseroles for lentil stews and our milk and yogurt for almond and coconut dairy alternatives, giving up our favorite cleanser or mascara is far harder.
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Your Vegan Beauty
You may not have considered the adjustment you will need to make to your personal care products and cosmetics when committing to a vegan lifestyle. Most of us are used to choosing the things we use on the basis of how they work and whether they make us look good, rather than what chemicals are in the formulation and whether they are tested on animals. A vegan diet can make you more inspired to care about both your health and the environment, and from there it’s an easy step to want to change your routine to make your beauty bag vegan as well. After all, if what’s entering your body as food is pure and natural, why wouldn’t you want what goes on your skin to be pure and natural too? Luckily, there are now plenty of vegan-friendly brands on the market, from little known start-ups to titans of make-up like Urban Decay. You can even sign up for a vegan beauty subscription box to get mailed new products to discover every month – get more information at https://veganproducts.org/vegan-box-delivery/vegan-beauty-boxes/.
Avoiding Animal Derived Ingredients
Much like certain foods, some makeup and skincare products which look harmless on the surface are actually harboring animal-derived ingredients such as beeswax or lanolin. Honey, bee pollen and beeswax can be found in many skin care formulations, and while some vegans treat these as a grey area, others are not willing to let it slide. And you’ll need to look for a vegan lip balm as most conventional ones are packed with lanolin, a substance taken from the sebaceous glands of sheep.
Products Not Using Animal Testing
More and more products by big name brands are turning cruelty free by opting not to test on animals, but there are still cosmetic giants like MAC which do. Check the packaging of your favorite products for the mark of the Leaping Bunny to be sure that your favorite blusher or lipstick has not been tested on any of our furry friends, and visit the company’s website for information if you aren’t sure. Stuck for an alternative? The Cruelty Free International Database is a treasure trove of information and lists companies which don’t use animal testing in making their products.
Although palm oil is derived from plants rather than animals, many vegans have made the decision to avoid it due to its devastating environmental impact, which is causing mass rainforest destruction. A lot of soap products, unfortunately, contain palm oil, so put the research into finding an alternative such as Alaffia African Black Soap, which uses only sustainably sourced ingredients.
Sorting Out Your Skincare
Coconut oil is an amazing all-rounder with hundreds of uses from conditioning your hair, to acting as a shave lotion and facial moisturizer, and even whitening your teeth using the oil-pulling method. And oils, in general, are amazing tools for vegan skincare, as they are wonderfully conditioning and offer a host of different benefits, such as cold pressed rosehip oil which is packed with antioxidants and has an anti-aging effect on the skin. Even if you have oily skin, using a small amount of oils on it can actually balance out the problem. Take a look at oils such as sea buckthorn, moringa, tamanu, and argan. Experiment and find out what best suits your particular skincare needs.
Making Over Your Makeup
There are plenty of vegan-friendly beauty brands which have appeared over the last few years – check our brands such as Ilia, Modern Minerals and Inika Cosmetics. For brushes, you need to remember that a lot of conventional makeup tools are made of hair from mink, sables or even ponies. Ecotools is a great brand of brushes which are made from recycled synthetic materials and bamboo wood, are sustainable, top quality and inexpensive as well.
Switching to a vegan beauty regime doesn’t have to be hard – there are so many great alternatives out there just waiting to be discovered.
Love & Peace