You’re probably wondering: what difference does it make if my skincare products are vegan or not?
For those seeking to truly improve the health of their skin and flaunt a radiant, glowy complexion, no option is better than trusting in vegan skincare. Sourced from organic ingredients—as opposed to synthetics and harsh chemicals—vegan products are free of all animal-sourced materials and byproducts. The best part? You can reap the benefits of using plant-based products regardless of your personal eating philosophy.
Above all, quality vegan products heal and treat skin more gently than non-vegan alternatives. Your skin absorbs 60 percent of all applied products—those ingredients enter the bloodstream without undergoing the natural filtration and detox processes performed by the kidneys and liver. The preservatives, toxins and chemicals found in many commercial skin products can therefore acclimate in your body, potentially leading to negative side effects.
“Vegan skin care products contain more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to repair and hydrate the skin,” says Julie Russak, MD of Russak Dermatology Clinic in NYC. “They generally nourish the skin, rather than cause irritation.”
Consider how healthy you feel after eating natural, vegan ingredients like fresh fruit, veggies, legumes or nuts. Eating foods in their natural state, as opposed to processed foods, rewards your body with the most benefits. The same logic follows with skincare sourced from clean, natural ingredients.
Good for every skin type, the botanical substitutes from which vegan skincare is crafted soothe those with sensitive or allergy-prone skin. And because vegan ingredients are sourced from pure, non-synthetic sources, increased potency means you’ll see longer-lasting results.
Unfortunately, from cleansers and moisturizers to fragrances and cosmetics, animal by-products are commonly found in the majority of products from leading brands. Not only is it difficult to establish source purity and quality control for these ingredients, but the ingredients themselves are just gross. Plus, they can be harsh and clog pores, worsening your skin issues rather than effectively targeting them.
Take the following examples:
- The vibrant red carmine dye, collected from crushed cochineal beetles, is found in most lipsticks and blush products.
- Guanine, sourced from crushed fish scales, is found in most mascaras, nail polishes and lipsticks.
- Tallow—the fatty substance that comes as a byproduct of boiling animal carcasses—is common to eye makeup, lipstick, plus makeup foundations and bases.
- Used in nail treatments and creamy cosmetics, gelatin is sourced from boiling the bones, ligaments, tendons and skins of various animals.
- Lanolin, found in most makeup removers and lipsticks, is the excretion from wool-bearing mammals, like sheep.
- Shark liver oil—known as squalene—is a common moisturizing ingredient, added to eye makeup and lipsticks.
- Ambergris, sourced from the waxy oil lining whale stomachs, is used to set scents in perfumes.
- The fibrous protein from animal tissue—collagen—is found in lip-plumping glosses.
- Found in many perfumes, restorative lotions and creams, estrogen is extracted from the urine of pregnant horses. Need we go on?
Though it may seem tedious, devote time to reading the ingredient labels on your skincare and cosmetics—you owe it to yourself to know what you’re putting on your body. For help navigating the unfamiliar names, several databases exist to help consumers identify ingredient sources, including CosmeticsInfo, EWG and PETA.
Because Nolaskinsentials strives to be socially conscious, all our products are also cruelty-free, meaning we never test our products or ingredients on animals, nor do we buy from suppliers who do. After all, animals are friends, not makeup test subjects. Unfortunately, animal testing has not been banned in the U.S., and testing on mice, rats, rabbits and guinea pigs still continues. According to a 2017 report, several popular companies continue animal testing, including L’Oreal, Estee Lauder, Proctor & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and others.
Choosing vegan, cruelty-free skincare and cosmetics goes beyond following the most recent trend or fad—it means choosing to respect your body, the well-being of animals and supporting the companies who are driving positive change.
The Nola Team