Vegan beauty is on the rise, even without Veganuary (I wonder if any of have been doing that, hope it’s going well!) It’s such a huge trend that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. However I often find that it can get confused with organic and natural beauty; some people assume that because a product is vegan, it is ecologically friendly as well. This is often not the case – of course there are brands that do tick all the boxes, but for a product to be certified vegan there are very different criteria than to be certified organic for example.
Looking for certification is a great way to tackle any confusion when choosing products. The Vegan Society trademark is a really great way to ensure products are truly vegan – it also ensures they are cruelty free, which isn’t always the case even if a brand claims to be vegan.
The Vegan Society trademark guarantees“that the development, manufacture and ingredients of the product must not involve, or have involved, the use of any animal product, by-product or derivative. That the development, manufacture of the product, and its ingredients, must not involve, or have involved, testing of any sort on animals conducted at the initiative of the company or on its behalf, or by parties over whom the company has effective control. The word animal refers to the entire animal kingdom, that is all vertebrates and all multicellular invertebrates. The development and/or production of genetically modified organisms (GMO) must not have involved animal genes or animal-derived substances.”
This certification does not guarantee however that the product is natural or organic or has been made in a sustainable way – going back to my point above. These products can contain many synthetic ingredients, of which many will be by-products of the petroleum industry. Packaging will not be a criteria either. Of course these are all different values to the basic fundamentals of being vegan so wouldn’t have to be in that certification. That’s cool, I think it is just important to show the difference and great to be aware of it. These values are still ultimately linked though – sustainablility and respecting the planet is key to the welfare of animals. Like everything, we need to decide as individuals what is important to us, and then make conscious decisions reflecting that.
It has often been assumed that my kit is vegan because I call it ‘green’ but it isn’t – yes I have great vegan beauty options for sure but there are some ingredients that can cause conflict. For example a lot of organic beauty will contain beeswax and honey, this creates mixed feelings I’ve found. I know that some vegans won’t have honey or beeswax but I know that some will, if its organic. Carnauba wax and candellila wax which are often the vegan alternatives to beeswax come with their own issues from a sustainability point of view. My brilliant friend Khandiz has written a wonderful article on it which I highly recommend reading…
Another thing is carmine – this bright red pigment has traditionally been used in make-up, it can be hard to replicate naturally, so for a vegan product a synthetic colour would need to be used. Again, it’s about choosing your camp. The synthetic colour means that a product can’t be certified organic, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the ingredients can’t be organic or good – this is when it is important to read labels and/or ask brands questions to clarify things. The synthetic colour sits easier with me, but I do still have a few bits with carmine in my kit.
So I don’t have a completely vegan kit but I do have some wonderful brands in my kit that are completely vegan and are also made with brilliant natural and organic ingredients that respect the planet too 🙂 Some of my favourites include Inika, Ere Perez (all vegan apart from their mascara), Hiro, Axiology, Hynt and Sappho. There are also many vegan options from other brands such as the colour block lipsticks from Ilia which I love. For skincare BYBI, Nourish, Evolve and Nini Organics are great favourites but again there are more!
I did a 5 mins with Justine Jenkins who is a wonderful make-up artist who works a lot with vegan beauty a few years back now, but still a nice read if you fancy it..
Do you use vegan beauty products? What are your favourites?
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