Ingredients To Look For And Avoid In Vegan Skincare

You may or may not be vegan, but you must have definitely noticed vegan options when going to a restaurant or grocery store. Veganism has grown significantly in the last few years, with research in the U.K. discovering that the number of vegan individuals has gone up by "350% in the last decade," per Healthline. While some may consider veganism to be just a diet, it is actually more of a lifestyle. According to The Vegan Society, vegan persons don't use animals or animal products for anything, including "accessories, makeup, clothing, and bathroom items," and also stay away from products tested on animals. It might sound confusing to find something genuinely vegan, but now there are "over 60,000 products and services registered with [The Vegan Society's] Vegan Trademark alone" to make it easier for you.

You have to remember that "vegan skincare," "cruelty-free skincare," and "clean beauty" are three different classifications entirely. According to The Washington Post, clean beauty products are created without any ingredients that might harm our health; however, there is no set global standard because the European Union bans 1,300 chemicals, whereas the U.S. bans only 11. "Cruelty-free" products, on the other hand, are those that haven't been tested on animals but might still contain ingredients that aren't entirely safe for humans or use animal-derived products, per The U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Let's find out what makes a skincare product truly vegan.

Vegan skincare doesn't include any animal-derived ingredients

Choosing vegan beauty products is a way for people to show their compassion to animals by eliminating all products made with "animal-derived" ingredients. If you want to go 100% vegan, look out for these ingredients.

Honey is a common moisturizing agent used in many skincare products because it helps to hydrate your skin. Honey is not considered vegan to some, however, because it's produced by bees. According to MindBodyGreen, honey is a substance you should avoid, and the same applies to beeswax. You've also probably heard of shellac nails if you get your nails done. The Kind Store Online notes that "shellac is a resin obtained from female lac bugs." Another common skincare ingredient used in lip balms is lanolin, which comes from sheep wool, making it non-vegan (via Plant Based News). However, there is "synthetic and plant-based" lanolin available. 

Squalane is all the rage in skincare due to its moisturizing benefits, but it was initially extracted from shark liver, per Allure, but now you can find plant-based squalane that comes from olives. Just double check the source before choosing a product. If you use anti-aging skincare products, you must have heard of collagen, glycerin, and retinol, which help keep your skin plump and reduce wrinkles. Unfortunately, none of them are vegan either, per Health Shots. To be 100% sure your skincare product doesn't have any non-vegan ingredients, check for a label that says it's "Suitable for Vegans."