Tag Archives: cruelty-free

Vegan makeup

Many people, when deciding to go vegan, look to avoid as many animal products as they can, to avoid the exploitation of animals for our benefit, and to reduce their impact on the environment.  In addition to food, this includes thinking about clothing and make-up.  We’ve written before about vegan clothing.  Cruelty-free and vegan cosmetics are also readily available if you make the effort to look for them.

Many skin care ingredients are manufactured using animal products. Here are some common ingredients that you want to think more carefully about:

Honey – an antimicrobial agent, often used as an ingredient in moisturizers, hair care and other skin care products.  It’s undoubtedly beneficial for the skin, but it is not vegan.  Honey is created by and for bees. Vegan alternatives include avocado or sweet almond oil.

Milk-derived ingredients – examples include lactoperoxidase, an enzyme found in milk that is commonly used to help restore the skin’s natural flora; lactose, a milk-derived sugar used to condition the skin; and lactic acid, which is commonly used in chemical exfoliants to resurface the skin and balance the complexion.

Egg-white powder – is used to help clean up pores and tone the skin, so it’s a common ingredient in face masks.

Squalene is a lipid that can be derived from plant or animal sources, used to condition the skin.  It’s often sourced from shark liver oil.  Vegan versions can be sourced from olives, wheat and rice.

Guanine is used as a colorant in skin care products. It is often synthesized from fish scales.

Keratin is a protein naturally occurring in the body, that can strengthen your hair and skin.  It is usually sourced from animal hooves and feathers.

Collagen and Elastin are trendy skin care ingredients usually sourced from boiled animal tissue and ligaments. Our bodies make these proteins as we need them, but vitamin C and ginseng applied topically, may support collagen production in the skin.

Carmine is a bright red pigment sourced from chochineal beetles. It is frequently added to makeup and nail products.

Not to be forgotten are your makeup brushes.  The fibers for non-vegan brushes are sourced from squirrels, foxes and badgers.  Cruelty-free brushes are made using synthetic fibers that are just as soft and effective as animal hair.  Traditional makeup sponges can be made from real sea sponges, while vegan versions get the same results.

Fortunately there are many cruelty-free and vegan brands available, some of which have been launched by vegan models and actresses. They can be found online, or at major makeup stores such as Sephora.

A new way to farm without killing animals

Jay Wilde was born into the family farm with an environmentally-minded father who never engaged with business-like intensive farming such as the usage of artificial fertilizers and herbicides.  He inherited a dairy farm in England in 2011, so initially he produced dairy goods, before moving onto organic beef.  But in 2017, he and his wife Katja could no longer bear to send the cows to the slaughterhouse for what must be a terrifying death.  They made headlines by rehoming the cows at an animal sanctuary, and the UK Vegan Society worked with him to switch to alternative farming practices.  

Jay is now working with Refarm’d, an organization that works to give animal farmers a new business model that doesn’t benefit from the exploitation of animals.  They helped him to make a smooth shift into a booming market that is the plant milk industry, enabling him to keep his farm with the remaining 17 retired cows.  Jay and Katja Wilde spent time finessing their business model so that they could ensure producing oat milk was sustainable and profitable, while providing themselves with a cruelty-free source of income. While they had initially started producing organic vegetables, they found that a project producing oat milk was the ideal complement.

Read more