Vegan Cosmetics

So how do you find vegan beauty products?

Finding vegan cosmetics follows much the same process as buying toiletries. Non-vegan cosmetics can contain nasties such as fish connective tissue, fat from sheep’s wool, fish scales and crushed insects. Who wants that on their face? Vegan beauty items are free from any animal-derived ingredients, like silk, dairy, collagen, egg protein, beeswax, honey, gelatine, and carmine. Many are cruelty-free (do not test on animals) but strangely enough, a product can be labelled vegan, even if it is tested on animals.

Key points to help you identify vegan cosmetics:

tested on animals in cages, china

Photo by Mia Jiang

  • Not everything labelled cruelty-free is vegan.
  • Look out for the Vegan Society’s logo – you’re safe to buy these products.
  • Use google to find out if a cosmetic item is vegan.
  • Use apps to find out if a product is vegan.
  • Check regular products that you buy, every time you buy, as ingredients can change.
  • Buy from your local vegan shop.
  • If in doubt, don’t buy. Contact the company and ask if the item is vegan.
  • PS. It’s a learning process, so don’t stress – enjoy it!

If you haven’t read the full piece, head over to our Toiletries page where we explore in more detail.

Any company that sells their products in China is automatically unsuitable. That’s because China requires sellers to test their products on animals, by law. We’re hopeful that this may change in the future. And, as we’ve mentioned previously, both Procter & Gamble and Unilever openly admit to testing on animals, so you can avoid those companies. They are also ‘parent companies’ to other brands (for example, P&G owns Olay and Pantene) so be sure to check the back of packaging for their logos.

And if you’re really into your beauty, subscribe to these lovely UK ladies. Cruelty Free Becky posts regular reviews, and Lovely Witches writes fantastic round-ups and gift guides.

Some cosmetics brands in the UK that we love:

makeup cosmetics vegan on nails and mouth

Photo by Oleg Magni

  • Barry M – have a vegan range on their website, and are also sold in Boots and Superdrug.
  • Urban Decay – have a vegan range clearly labelled.
  • Kat Von D – high quality, long lasting and completely vegan.
  • B by Superdrug – this is their completely vegan range, and very affordable.
  • Eco Tools – beautiful, vegan makeup brushes. Some synthetic brands use animal hair – yuk!
  • The Vegan Kind – now do a subscription beauty box. Yes, it comes straight to your door! Perfect for trying out new products.
  • GOSH – some excellent products labelled as vegan.

As a final word – if unsure, don’t buy. When a company is sketchy about its policy, it’s probably because they’re not vegan-friendly or test on animals. Most cruelty-free companies are outwardly proud of it. As compassionate shoppers, we can take a stand against the horrific acts of violence towards animals. The sale of vegan beauty products increased by 38% in 2017 (data from The NPD Group), so you’re in good company.

Happy shopping!

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