14 non-vegan makeup ingredients you need to avoid!

19 Feb 2021

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Veganism is more than just a diet, itโ€™s a way of life! Although more people understand veganism as not consuming anything thatโ€™s made with animal byproducts, the same applies to the products you use as well, including cosmetics!

Whether it be mascara, lipstick, balms, moisturizer or shampoo, a lot of cosmetics products are made with some sort of animal-derived ingredients, so itโ€™s best to check the ingredient list before purchasing. The idea of spreading bug juice across your lips, or applying ground-up animals to your eyelids with the tail-hair of a mink is not cool anymore! Vegan cosmetics are products that do not contain any animal ingredients to many vegans it also means that the product is cruelty-free and not tested on animals.

Check out the list of ingredients that come from animal sources. Keep an eye out for these components.

1. Lanolin: Derived from sheep's wool. Commonly found in lip products like balms, sticks, glosses, as well as hair products. The vegan substitute is made from coconut, olive and shea butter.

2. Shellac: Derived from Lac bugs, shellac is used in nail products, as well as some hair lacquers. FloZein Products produce a corn-based, vegan alternative to shellac called Zein.

3. Glycerin: Derived from animal fats. Commonly used in a range of products including soaps, hair care, make-up, and moisturizers. Some products use vegetable glycerin, which is suitable for vegans. Vegan alternatives are derived from soya, coconut oil, vegetable glycerin or palm oil. Look for palm oil that is sourced ethically and made sustainably to avoid exploitation.

4. Casein: Derived from cow's milk. Used in conditioning hair products and face treatments. A vegan alternative can be derived from plant-based milk and will usually be labeled as a vegetable protein.

5. Squalene: Derived from sharks liver oil. Commonly used in lip balm, deodorants, and moisturizers, among other products. The vegan substitute is made from olive oil, rice bran oil, and amaranth oil.

6. Guanine: Derived from fish scales, used to make sparkly nail polish, eyeshadow, highlighters, bronzers and blushes.

7. Oleic acid: Derived from animal fats, used as a softening and conditioning emollient in nail polish, soap, moisturizers and make-up. The vegan substitute is made from plant-derived sources including coconut, olives, and nuts.

8. Stearic Acid: Derived from a pig's stomach also cows and sheep. Commonly found in deodorant, soaps, hair products and moisturizers. The vegan substitute is made from vegetable oils.

9. Carmine: Derived from cochineal bugs/insects. The red colorant, which is often used in lipsticks, blushes and nail polish. Urban Decay, Kat Von D Beauty, and many other brands make some all-vegan lipsticks

10. Collagen:- Used in lots of anti-aging products, as well as lip plumping items, this fibrous protein is derived from animal tissue, bone, skin, or ligaments โ€“ often from cows. Plant-based alternatives include soya protein and almond oil.

11. Elastin: Derived from ligaments of various animals. Vegan alternatives include hyaluronic acid and MSM.

12. Keratin: Derived from the hair and horns of animals. Commonly used in nail and hair products. Vegan alternatives are soya protein and almond oil.

13. Beeswax: Also labeled as cera alba, this wax is derived from bees. It is commonly used in mascara, lip balms and lotions. Some other bee products that are commonly used in cosmetics are honey, royal jelly and propolis. Check out this article to know why honey is not vegan. Alternatives exists in the form of soya waxes, shea butter and so on.

14. Animal hair: Makeup brushes are often made from real animal hair and the handles are often plastic. Synthetic brushes are just as good to replace animals' hair. Brands like Aveda makes brushes from taklon, and some have a flax-infused, recycled-resin handle.

For a comprehensive list of animal-derived ingredients, and by-products, check out PETA's animal ingredients list.

Check out 7 food additives that are not vegan.

Is vegan makeup better for your skin?

Hyaluronic Acid By The Ordinary at abillion Review of Hyaluronic Acid by paloma from The Ordinary

You are what you eat. The same goes for what you apply to your skin. So, it makes sense to care about the ingredients that go into our favorite beauty products. Vegan and cruelty-free makeup are usually plant-based and are known to be better suited for people with sensitive skin. They also tend to have more minerals, vitamins, and can even be a great source of antioxidants. These products help rejuvenate and hydrate your skin as well. Just look for products that have natural oils, flowers, fruit extracts, berries, and other natural products.

Brands like KVD by Kat Von D, a vegan and animal activist is committed to creating cosmetics that are all-inclusive. Common cosmetic ingredients such as beeswax and carmine (a red dye made from beetles) and opted for kinder alternatives without ever compromising the color. Now beauty junkies and animal lovers can make compassionate choices without sacrificing bold, beautiful pigment and everlasting wear. e.l.f cosmetics is a gamechanger in the make-up industry, all their products are vegan and cruelty-free that's good for all. Here are some other brands that you need to add to your makeup box.

Makeup brush from Coco & Eve Review of a makeup brush by mariatirador from Coco & Eve

So, what do you choose?

Looking for vegan and cruelty-free products is hard, especially since we don't have universal logos to help us make a choice. You can look for logos from Leaping Bunny, PETA, or Choose Cruelty-Free to help make an informed choice. If you do not find these logos, you can research if a product is vegan and cruelty-free or not. You can also check out abillion, where over 3,000 vegan beauty products have already been reviewed! Check out our article for the ultimate guide to cruelty-free shopping.

Certified Logos

Verified curelty-free/vegan logos

Unverified Logos

Unverified vegan logos

Graphic Credits- Ethical Pixies

It's important to purchase vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics that will increase the demand for these kinds of products. Let us know in the comments below what are your favorite vegan beauty brands are that are making a difference!

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@marianavanwyk profile image
marianavanwyk1 YEAR AGO
I used Clinique before but changed to certfied vegan products. EG. Oh so heavenly from Clicks. Essence is also cruelty free. Thanks for the update
@valeveg75 profile image
valeveg751 YEAR AGO