What is Vegan Skincare?
Vegan food is starting to become more well known and appreciated, with new cookery books being published all the time and events like Veganary being a fixture on the calendar for thousands of people every January. But what has it got to do with skincare?
Animals & Skincare
I’m inspired every day by the Buddhist aspiration ‘May all be happy’ and as someone with a home full of furry family members (including Belle and Basil of course), animals are at the top of the make happy list.
The promise that vegan skincare makes is never to harm animals, never to use any animal ingredients, by-products and animal-derived products and not to test any products on animals or use ingredients that have been tested on animals.
You may be surprised to hear that lots of skincare products contain animal-derived ingredients. Many do. Have a look at the back of your regular jar of skincare and you might find ingredients such as:
- Lanolin - this is used to soften and moisturise the skin and is derived from the grease in sheep’s wool.
- Oleic Acid - this is animal fat which is used to soften and condition the skin.
- Gelatin - this is a protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments and bones, usually from cows or pigs. It is very common in skincare, shampoos and soaps.
- Squalene - this is extracted from shark liver oil and is commonly used in moisturisers, lip balm and deodorants for its anti-ageing properties.
- Stearic Acid - this usually comes from pigs’ stomachs and is often found in moisturisers, deodorants and soaps.
- Collagen - this is a protein often taken from the bones, skin or ligaments of cows or fish and used in anti-ageing products.
- Beeswax - commonly used in skincare and cosmetics to keep the oil and water from separating.
- Carmine - a red colour used in cosmetics made from crushed cochineal insects.
This is just a shortlist of a few of the animal-derived ingredients that regularly turn up in skincare and cosmetics. See peta.org for a full list.
When you learn that our skin absorbs up to 60% of the products we put on it then it becomes even more essential not to use products that are synthetic, full of artificial preservatives, toxic chemicals, petrochemicals or animal products. Do you really want animal fat and sheep’s grease on your face? Learning how many skincare products contain animal-derived ingredients was one of the motivations behind developing 100% natural, vegan skincare at Belle&Basil.
Environment & Skincare
Containing no animal ingredients means that vegan skincare is far more environmentally friendly then non-vegan skincare. Researchers at Oxford University found that becoming vegan could reduce your carbon footprint by up to 73%. Choosing a vegan lifestyle is not just about diet, it is also about fashion, furniture, cosmetics and skincare. In fact, it’s a whole approach to life.
Your Health & Skincare
The good news is that as well as being good for animals and the environment, vegan skincare is better for you too, especially if you have sensitive skin. Animal-derived ingredients can be harsh, block pores and cause spots. Whereas vegan products contain more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Vegan skincare is normally also more natural, without petrochemicals, sulphates and known irritants. This is particularly true with Belle&Basil products which are all 100% natural and contain active botanicals made from organically grown flowers and herbs in our garden. In fact, we take it so seriously we became registered with The Vegan Society so you were in no doubt about our skincare being free of all animal-derived ingredients.
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