There are a lot of different facets to take into consideration when you’re choosing skin care and other beauty products. You likely want formulas that will actually benefit your skin and you may also be interested in natural ingredients and sustainable packaging. But what about vegan beauty care? You don’t have to eat a vegan diet to be curious about what it means to stick to vegan makeup, hair care or skin care. Here’s what you need to know to decide if vegan beauty products are right for you.
What does vegan mean when it comes to beauty products?
Vegan beauty products contain no animal ingredients of any kind. That means no animal by-products or animal-derived ingredients (e.g. cow’s milk isn’t made of an animal, but it’s derived from an animal). Here are some examples of common animal ingredients found in beauty care:
- Glycerin (although there are plant-based alternatives)
The words “vegan” and “natural” are not synonymous. A natural beauty brand can still use animal by-products and derivatives, although it may choose not to for ethical reasons.
Are vegan beauty products good for your skin?
Being free of animal derivatives and by-products doesn’t automatically make a product good for your skin. It could still contain allergens, synthetic chemicals, fragrance and other irritants.
That said, there are many ingredients that go into natural, vegan skincare that are particularly good for your complexion, like aloe, calendula and lavender, purifying kaolin and bentonite clays and hydrating cucumber, evening primrose and rosehip. They may be rich in vitamins and boast natural anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
Are vegan products better than non-vegan products?
It depends on your goals. If you want a beauty routine that takes animal welfare into account and reduces environmental damage, then yes, vegan products are often better. Since animal farming is hard on the planet (especially when it comes to water use and greenhouse gas emissions), cutting back on the use of animal derivatives and by-products can be a good step to reducing the environmental footprint of your cosmetics.Plus, no animals will be used or harmed in the actual sourcing of ingredients. Just keep in mind that “vegan” does not mean “cruelty free.”