Vegan Skincare and Why You Need to Make the Switch
As beauty and skincare consumers, we all know how important the ingredients inside our products can be. Not only is it important to listen to our skin when using products with harsh chemicals but it is also important to think about where your skincare ingredients come from in relation to animals.
Vegan skincare products, similar to a vegan diet, are products which contain no animal products or byproducts. Using vegan skincare can be a great way to avoid those harsh chemicals found in most skincare products while also protecting animals and using products you can feel good about. Throughout this article we’ll dig deeper into what vegan skincare is, the major benefits of vegan skincare and what to look for when buying vegan products.
What is Vegan Skincare?
Like the vegan diet, vegan skincare avoids the use of animal-based products and byproducts. Surprisingly, this omits a large portion of ingredients found in many skincare products including:
These products are often cheap and easy for commercial skincare brands to purchase, but as products or byproducts of living animals they are not conducive to the intent of veganism.
Instead, vegan skincare emphasizes using plant based or natural ingredients as an alternative. While the process of creating vegan skincare can be more complex than that of commercial products, there are a multitude of benefits that make vegan skincare a much better alternative to many of the marketed commercial brand skincare products.
What are the Main Benefits of Using Vegan Skincare?
Using vegan skincare not only benefits the planet and the animals impacted by commercial skincare production, but it can also be great for your skin. Below we do a deep dive into some of the amazing benefits of using vegan beauty and skincare products.
Vegan Skincare Helps Protect Animals
Beyond the fact that vegan skincare avoids the use of animal products and byproducts most products are also cruelty free and do not partake in animal testing. This protects not only the living animals that most non-vegan skincare ingredients come from but also protects those impacted by cosmetic animal testing. Vegan skincare allows you to shop with a clear conscience knowing the products you’re using contribute towards a safer planet for animals.
Vegan Skincare Decreases Your Environmental Impact
Because vegan skincare avoids the use of animal products and byproducts, it means less animals are being farmed which can reduce the carbon footprint needed to make these products. Most vegan skincare brands use products which are naturally sustainable and are at less risk for destroying natural habitats or running out. For the most part, vegan skincare brands also utilize eco-friendly packaging and shipping materials that are recyclable.
Vegan Skincare is Safe for the Skin
Our skin can absorb 60% of the products applied to it making products with harsh chemicals extremely difficult for the skin to process. Using products, such as vegan skincare products, that are made of natural ingredients rather than toxic chemicals can greatly benefit the skin by avoiding allergens or irritants. As such you can diminish the risk of skin conditions such as acne and eczema or in more extreme instances, cancer. Vegan skincare is also a great option for those with sensitive skin as it gives the skin a break from harsh chemicals and additives.
Vegan Skincare is Vitamin and Antioxidant Rich
Another benefit of vegan skin care is that because most of the ingredients are naturally derived from plants, they are full of vitamins and antioxidants. These natural benefits are great for repairing the skin and maintaining a healthy skin barrier. This can keep your skin feeling clean and refreshed while also helping to protect against the skin conditions mentioned earlier.
Using vegan skincare allows you to use products that you can support not only for the wonders they do for your skin but also for the planet. When purchasing these products, you can be assured that you’re putting the protection of animals and sustainability first. However, in your journey to make the switch to vegan products it is important to focus on the vegan certification of the products you’re purchasing.
What are Some of the Vegan Certifications to Look For?
The vegan certification of skincare products can look different depending on who they are issued by, however it is important to pay attention to the certification of your products to ensure they meet the standards you are looking for in your vegan skincare products. Here are some of the certifications to look for when shopping for vegan and cruelty free skincare products:
The first certification logo to look for is issued by Vegan Action. Vegan Action is an American nonprofit created to eliminate animal suffering, reduce environmental impacts, and improve health through vegan diets.
This certification is recognized internationally but is most common in the US and is specific to individual products not entire companies.
Vegan Action certified products do not use any animal ingredients in their manufacture and do not partake in animal testing of the ingredients or product by any party involved in the manufacturing process. The company must provide verification of supplier ingredients, testing and processing.
Another common certification logo is the one issued by The Vegan Society.
The Vegan Society is a European based organization that promoted dairy-free vegetarianism and would later coin the term vegan. The trademark helps to certify that products contain no animal ingredients and have also not been tested on animals by or on behalf of the company.
The manufacturing process is also vegan and contains no GMOs from animal genes. This certification reviews applications and performs audits for cross contamination and a company can hold a 12-to-24-month license. This certification is recognized globally and can be found on many household products and companies.
The American Vegetarian Association (AVA) is another vegan certification which serves to confirm that food products, skin care and vitamins are either vegetarian or vegan and have not been tested on animals. Their logo certifies individual products rather than companies. They also offer an AVA RECOMMENDED which is an endorsement utilized by restaurants and merchandise for marketing purposes.
There are other vegan certifications to look for as well, but these are the most common logos found on vegan beauty and skincare products. It is important to evaluate whether the level of certification you desire is ensured by the certification company or trusted by the self-reporting of a given company.
Frequently Asked Questions about Vegan Skincare?
What is the difference between vegan skincare and organic, natural or cruelty free skincare?
With so many different options for natural and sustainable skincare it can be hard to differentiate amongst the assorted products. To learn more, VOGUE wrote a deep dive article about the difference in all of the natural, vegan, organic, and cruelty free products available in the beauty and skincare market. But here is what you need to know about the differences between organic, natural, vegan and cruelty free products.
Vegan products are those which do not use any ingredients that come from animals or animal by-products. Most vegan products are cruelty free meaning they do not test on or harm animals in their production. When looking for a vegan and cruelty free product it is important to look for the proper certification to ensure that your vegan product is also cruelty free.
Natural skincare products are products that are generally free of synthetic fragrances, dyes, parabens, sulfates and are usually naturally sourced. When looking for natural vegan products you should be wary of companies who claim their products to be natural for marketing purposes but do not source from natural resources of avoid animal products.
Organic products also have their own level of certification necessary and must follow strict guidelines to be considered organic. Organic products will have a separate certification logo to indicate such.
Where can I find vegan and cruelty skincare?
Vegan and cruelty free skincare products can be purchased directly from vegan and cruelty free skincare brands and businesses. However, vegan and cruelty free skincare has become more accessible being sold in major beauty retailers such as Sephora and Ulta.
Is vegan skincare affordable?
A large misconception of vegan skincare is that it is expensive. While this can be true for some products, they are affordable for the benefits offered.
Because of the sustainability benefits as well as skin benefits available through the use of vegan and cruelty free products their cost is often met by their value. With vegan skincare products you are paying for not only the sustainability of the product and its packaging but also paying for the protection of the animals that are impacted by the production of non-vegan products. You are also benefiting from using a natural product that is great for sensitive skin and can help reduce acne, eczema, and rosacea.