What Is a Vegan Beauty Routine & Is It Better for Your Health?
In the last few years, we’ve heard a lot of buzz about veganism on social media and in the news.
Milk alternatives are becoming more widely available. People are sharing their vegan cooking hacks on TikTok, and major celebrities are announcing their veganism. And when many of us think about veganism, we tend to focus on the food industry, especially with tags like #MeatlessMonday.
But did you know that veganism is an important facet of the beauty industry, too? Switching to a vegan beauty routine can help you to reduce animal cruelty, as well as maintaining healthier skin. Read on to learn more about what a vegan beauty routine looks like and how it can benefit you today.
The Basics of Veganism
Before we dive into all the benefits of a vegan beauty routine, let’s talk some about the basics of veganism. Most of us have heard of veganism, especially since celebrities like Beyonce and Jay-Z have started endorsing the lifestyle. But what is veganism, and how is it different than vegetarianism or any of the other myriad diets and lifestyles out there today?
Veganism is a lifestyle in which you don’t buy or consume any animal-based products. On the diet side of things, this means not eating meat or dairy, as well as avoiding honey and gelatin.
On the lifestyle end, veganism means not wearing leather or fur. You may avoid beeswax and choose products that don’t have any animal-based ingredients in them.
What Is Vegan Beauty?
As you might guess from the name, vegan beauty is a facet of the beauty industry specializing in vegan products. You might be surprised to learn that a number of different beauty products contain animal-based products. Everything from your shampoo to your foundation could contain products derived from animals.
In the last few years, we’ve seen the vegan beauty industry take off as the vegan lifestyle has become more popular. Consumers are becoming more curious and critical about what ingredients are in the products they buy. Brands have become more incentivized to find alternatives to their animal-based ingredients.
Vegan vs. Cruelty-Free
It is important to note that there’s a big difference between vegan products and cruelty-free products. Although the two may overlap, they are not mutually inclusive, and you may need to check your beauty products for both criteria. And while cruelty-free products have been around since the late 1990s, vegan beauty product designations have only begun to emerge in recent years.
The “cruelty-free” label simply means that a product has not been tested on animals for safety. This label often refers only to the final product testing. Individual ingredients may still be tested on animals during the production process.
Vegan means that the product does not include any animal-based ingredients. It does not reflect anything about the production process.
Common Animal-Derived Ingredients
While it’s relatively simple to look out for animal products in your diet, finding them in your beauty products can be more challenging. There are several animal-based products that are used commonly in beauty products, beginning with the more innocuous honey and beeswax. Lanolin, a natural oil that sheep produce and which is found in their wool, is another common ingredients.
However, beauty products can also contain ingredients like shark liver oil (squalene), allantoin (cow urine), and ambergris (whale bile). Some of your beauty products may contain gelatin, a gelling ingredient made from animal bones, tendons, and ligaments. You may even find placenta, a lining from the inside of a pregnant animal’s uterus, in some of your beauty products.
Vegan Is Not Always Healthy
After hearing that ingredient list, you may be running to the nearest drugstore or cosmetic store to buy new vegan makeup. And while we applaud that effort, take a moment before you start grabbing vegan products at random. It’s important to note that just because a product is listed as vegan doesn’t always mean it’s healthy.
As with vegan foods, vegan beauty products can contain no animal products at all and still not be healthy. Many vegan products make up for the lack of animal-based products by using synthetic ingredients and harsh chemicals. If you want to stick to something more natural, you’ll need to do a little more homework.
Importance of Evaluating Ingredients
When you get ready to look at new vegan beauty products, it’s important to take a hard look at the ingredient list. For one thing, you want to make sure you avoid any of the ingredients we discussed that come from animals. But you should also keep an eye out for harsh cleansers or preservatives that may not be the healthiest for your skin.
You should also do some research into the company’s overall ingredient sourcing practices. Some ingredients may be vegan and natural, but may be harvested using exploitative labor practices. It’s a good idea to make sure that your products are cruelty-free and sustainable from start to finish, if possible.
One of the biggest benefits of switching to a vegan beauty routine is that you know you’re a part of helping to save lives. Each year, the agriculture and beauty industries kill millions of animals, many of whom may wind up being thrown away in the end. Product demand may lead to inhumane and unsustainable harvesting practices.
By using vegan beauty products, you make sure that your money doesn’t go to support companies that kill animals to create their products. This sends a message to manufacturers that they need to start looking for alternative ingredient options. If enough people band together and prioritize using vegan products, we could one day see a world in which no animals are killed for their body parts.
Reduce Animal Cruelty
Even before animals are killed to make beauty product ingredients, many live in awful and inhumane conditions. Manufacturers are more interested in making a profit than in providing a good life for their animals. Many experience overcrowding and cruel breeding practices before they’re slaughtered.
Companies that don’t commit to cruelty-free practices also contribute to animal misery during their production process. Some test products on animals, which can be dangerous and even deadly for these animals. When you choose a vegan beauty routine, you take a stand against these processes that devalue life so seriously.
Choose Better Ingredients
Aside from the moral importance of switching to a vegan beauty routine, there are also some benefits for you and your skin. For one thing, going vegan means you can be more thoughtful about the ingredients you put in your body. Your skin is your largest organ, so it’s a good idea to be careful about what you expose it to.
By going vegan, you’re already spending more time considering what ingredients are in the products you use. And when you buy from vegan companies, you’re buying from businesses that think carefully about their ingredient choices. This sort of consideration can lead you to beauty products with better quality ingredients.
Get More Nutrients
Because your skin is your largest organ, it should come as no surprise that we absorb a lot of important substances through it. While much of our nutrition comes through our diet, our skin can also play an important role. This is especially true in the case of nutrients that directly support your skin health and wellness.
It should also come as no surprise that our bodies are better-equipped to absorb natural ingredients than synthetic ones. Many vegan beauty companies focus on creating products with as many natural ingredients as possible. This means that your skin will be able to more effectively be able to absorb nutrients from the products you’re using, giving you healthier skin.
Help the Environment
You may have heard that the meat industry is one of the largest contributors to climate change in the world. And while many of these products wind up in the meat aisle in the grocery store, many of the byproducts land in your beauty products. Choosing vegan beauty products (and food products) can help to reduce some of the harm the meat industry is causing to our planet.
Non-vegan shipping materials can also be very harmful for the environment. Vegan companies are generally more focused on sustainability and using eco-friendly shipping methods. They may use recycled and/or recyclable materials, as well as taking other steps to offset the carbon footprint of their shipping process.
Manage Sensitive Skin
If you have sensitive skin, finding a beauty routine that works for you can be a nightmare. You may have to avoid fragrances, fight products that make you break out, and scan labels for trigger ingredients. Switching to a vegan beauty routine can help you to manage your sensitive skin and give it the care it needs.
Because many vegan beauty ingredients are more natural, they tend to be less triggering for people with skin sensitivities. The best brands also avoid the kinds of harsh chemicals and artificial scents that can cause breakouts. And avoiding substances like lanolin can help to keep oily skin acne-free and naturally glowing.
As you’re reading this article, you may be thinking to yourself, “All that sounds great, but there’s no way I can afford all those fancy vegan beauty products.” And it is true that in the past, vegan products have come with a specialty price tag. But what would you say if we told you you could swap to a completely vegan beauty regimen for the same cost, if not less, as your current products?
As the vegan lifestyle has become more popular, more and more brands have begun offering vegan products. This has increased competition in the vegan beauty products market, bringing prices down. These days, a vegan beauty regimen doesn’t cost any more than a non-vegan routine, and, in some cases, may cost less.
Get the Same Great Products
Another common hesitation when it comes to switching to a vegan beauty routine is the worry about having to give up certain products. After all, if you’ve ever tried the vegan diet, you’ll know that some substitute products just aren’t the same. But the good news is you don’t have to swear off mascara or moisturizer to live a vegan lifestyle.
Vegan beauty product manufacturers are finding new substitutes for animal-based ingredients every day. The range of product offerings is wider and better-quality than ever. You may even find that you like the new versions better than you liked the old products that also left you smearing sheep placenta on your face. For instance, there are a variety of plant-based hair restoration products that can keep you looking your best without the environmental and ethical concerns associated with some other products.
Discover the Benefits of a Vegan Beauty Routine
When it comes to living a vegan lifestyle, many people tend to focus on their diet and maybe their clothes and little else. But switching to a vegan beauty routine can be just as important and can have a number of amazing benefits for you as well. Not only will you be helping to save lives and the planet, but you may also find that you get better nutrition and healthier skin from the swap.