How To Tell If Your Makeup Is Really Vegan

Going on a plant-based diet may be a challenge, but it's not a huge challenge as far as avoiding animal products goes — because its just a matter of avoiding things that come from animals (eggs, dairy, honey) or that are made with animals themselves (beef, pork, chicken, and seafood). But what happens when makeup is involved?

We may not know it, but a good number of personal care products we use have animal derivatives in them. A product called guanine comes from fish scales and can be found in many cosmetics, ranging from lipsticks to body care products (via Cosmetics Info). Lanolin oil, which is found in creams and serums designed to prevent chapped skin, is a sheep secretion (via Healthline). Keratin, the name of the animal protein you see on many shampoo and conditioner bottles, comes from poultry feathers, as well as the horns and hooves of slaughtered animals (via Cosmetic OBS). Honey and beeswax are, of course, from bees. 

This means that even if your makeup is "animal-friendly" or "cruelty-free" (in other words, the company does not make use of any form of animal testing at any point during the production process, via Logical Harmony), it still could make use of animal products — which makes it a no-no in the vegan world. 

Signs your makeup is vegan

Cosmetic items, including bath products and lotions, as well as makeup, are vegan if they contains absolutely zero animal products or animal derivatives. In some cases, it's easy to tell when makeup is plant-based if it carries a Certified Vegan logo (via I Love Vegan). But its just as important to know that just because a product is vegan (or is marked as such), that doesn't necessarily mean it isn't tested on animals — so something could be plant-based, yet isn't cruelty-free. Faith in Nature suggests you might want to make sure a "not animal tested" seal (which has a leaping bunny in it) is on a label, too. 

But the best way to avoid the grief of combing through ingredient lists looking for hidden animal products is to use PETA's database, or by packing a brand list like this one available on Logical Harmony, which features both cruelty-free and vegan classifications.