November 2018 is World Vegan Month! Where people and brands come together to raise awareness on the vegan lifestyle and provide advice on how to adopt this way of life.
With over half a million vegans in the UK alone, this lifestyle choice is having a huge impact on the food, beauty and fashion industry. As a vegan brand, we believe in creating products which are both vegan and vegetarian friendly and have recently discontinued our lip care range to become a fully vegan brand. You can choose from hair-care, body-care, bathing and foot-care products as part of your vegan beauty regime.
But if you’re new to or interested in living a vegan lifestyle, could you make the change to vegan beauty as well? We’ve gone into more detail below on what vegan beauty is and what to look out for when shopping for vegan friendly products.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE VEGAN?
According to The Vegan Society, veganism is – “A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude — as far as is possible and practicable — all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.”
As you can see, it goes far deeper than just avoiding meat and dairy products. It’s about adopting a way of life which is more sustainable and making ethical choices across all aspects of life.
VEGAN BEAUTY – WHAT IS IT?
You’ve guessed it – to be a vegan brand all ingredients within your formulations must be animal-free.
From make-up to skin care, there has been a huge increase in the number of vegan brands available, and the beauty industry has made it even clearer for consumers to understand what products are vegan to help the de-coding process of the ingredients on the back of packs.
MAKING THE CHANGE
Time and education are the main factors in making the change to vegan beauty products. You don’t need to break the bank to go vegan, as high street retailers are stocking even more reasonably priced vegan brands in store to reach the demand of consumers.
We’d recommend looking at The Vegan Society website and following vegan brands, social media influencers who provide advice on what to look for in vegan beauty to help you. There is endless advice available, so it’s worth the time to do your research before you start shopping.
INGREDIENTS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Even though the industry is improving, it can still be tough to try and find a vegan beauty brand if it isn’t clearly stated on the packaging. To give you a head start in what to look for, we’ve complied the top 10 ingredients that are a big NO in vegan beauty:
- Allantoin – or uric acid is derived from cows and used in creams and lotions. Look for comfrey root instead.
- Alpha-Hydroxy Acids – specifically, lactic acid which is popular in liquid exfoliators & skincare. Focus on products that include glycolic acid, citric acid or salicylic acid which are plant or fruit-derived.
- Bee Pollen – used in some shampoos, toothpastes and deodorants. Substitute with plant based amino acids.
- Caprylic acid – this is a liquid fatty acid derived from cow’s or goat’s milk. Look for coconut oil as a natural alternative.
- Casein, Caseinate and Sodium Caseinate – this is a milk protein used in cosmetics, haircare and skincare masks. Switch to soy protein and soy milk instead.
- Collagen – usually derived from animal tissue. Look for soy protein or almond oil as vegan alternatives.
- Hydrolyzed Animal Protein – Used extensively in shampoos and hair treatments. Opt for soy protein, vegetable proteins or amla oil instead.
- Keratin – used a lot in shampoos. Keratin is derived from ground up horns, hooves, feathers and hair. Go for almond oil, soy protein, amla oil or rosemary and nettle for a similar hair strengthening action.
- Lanolin – this is derived from sheep’s oil glands and is extracted from their wool. Used as an emollient in skincare. Look for plant or vegetable oils as vegan alternatives.
- Shellac – is a resinous excretion from insects. Used in hairspray and nail care. Go for plant waxes or zein (derived from corn) instead.