There are various dimensions of “being vegan” — from diet to fashion to beauty — that one can incorporate into their daily life.
A while back, we went over a crash course on veganism overall, emphasizing a “little by little” approach. It’s pretty eye opening when you consider how adopting the diet even just a day or two a week can help the environment, possibly your health and maybe even your cash flow.
You can check out “Incrementally Vegan: Benefits of a Partially Plant-Based Life” for a refresher!
Today, let’s talk about beauty, specifically products. Regardless of how you shop, be it online or in an actual store, abstaining from purchasing and using beauty products — hair, skincare and makeup — that contain animal by-products is easier than ever.
According to The Economist, 2019 is “the year of the vegan.” Although The Economist mostly focuses on the rise in popularity of vegan food, The New York Times followed up with an article that emphasizes how far vegan beauty has come.
“Beauty follows food because we use a lot of the same ingredients,” Tata Harper, the founder of the Tata Harper beauty, which is mostly vegan, said to The Times. “If they’re good to ingest, then they’re typically great to apply topically.”
What is “vegan beauty”?
Anything that’s considered vegan is free of all animal ingredients, and “cruelty-free refers to a product that doesn’t test on animals,” The Times reported.
One program that helps consumers quickly tell if a product is vegan or cruelty-free is the Leaping Bunny Program. This program “grants certification to personal care and household product companies that ensure that no animal testing is done at any phase of the production process,” The Times explained.
Another program consumers can check out is PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies Program, which “lists every registered company that is either cruelty-free or both vegan and cruelty-free.”
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Curious if any of the products you currently use contain animal-derived ingredients? Look for the following words on your products’ labels:
- Lanolin (wool grease)
- Squalene (shark liver oil)
- Carmine (crushed-up beetles)
- Gelatin (cow or pig bones, tendons or ligaments)
- Allantoin (cow urine)
- Ambergris (whale vomit)
- Placenta (sheep organs)
— all information from The New York Times
Affordable Vegan Beauty Products
Just because something is vegan doesn’t mean it’s great, and The Times points out that there are plenty of vegan beauty products that aren’t worth buying.
“Just because it’s vegan and cruelty-free doesn’t make it healthy… Its ingredient list can be chock-full of unhealthy chemicals and fillers,” Sunny Subramanian, owner of the Vegan Beauty Review site, told the Times.
Also, some products that are “natural” can experience “separation and bacteria growth,” said Dennis Gross, a dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon. “With vegan beauty, you can use a pure nature-derived ingredient along with important additives to prevent them from spoiling. It’s in the right combination.”
A couple brands that achieve this balance of affordable and well-formulated include some of my favorites — Pacifica and Derma E.
One of my favorite sites to consult that regularly lists and updates what brands are vegan and more is the Ethical Elephant. You can visit this personal beauty blog for more helpful vegan beauty information.
Take a moment to look into the products you use every day. Even checking up on one or two can be eye-opening. Aside from being mean, the use of whale vomit and wool grease on your face and in your hair is just plain gross and unnecessary in 2019.
Shopping side of banner image via Oleg Magni and Pexels.