What Is Vegan Makeup and Is It Important to Choose the Vegan Option Every Time?
You don't eat your makeup, so why does it matter whether it is vegan or not?
We all know that veganism is a growing trend that offers an animal-lovin' alternative to the mainstream meat and three vege style of eating. But besides the direct benefit of saving the lives of land and marine animals, you may not know some of the indirect benefits that result from eating smashed avo on the regular.
By reducing demand for the mass production of meat products in an industry that is notorious for animal cruelty, it lowers the risk of antimicrobial resistance in humans due to the excessive administration of antibiotics to livestock. This diet will also reduce the approximate 17% of carbon dioxide emissions that agricultural food production contributes to global emissions.
With all of these positive outcomes that result from choosing the vegan option on the menu, does that mean that we should also be choosing vegan makeup?
What 'Vegan' Means When it Comes to Makeup
Makeup is vegan when it does not contain any animal ingredients, such as animal skin or bones, or animal-derivatives such as lanolin, gelatin, collagen or beeswax.
For example, it is common for makeup brushes to be made from badger hair. PETA Asia released the horrifying details of its investigation into the manufacturing of makeup brushes from badger hair. These poor animals are being illegally hunted using snares and then are confined on farms for breeding before being violently killed for their hair.
We could never imagine putting animals through so much cruelty just so that we can apply our eyeshadow in the morning, so our makeup brushes are made from certified responsibly sourced bamboo handles and synthetic bristles.
Unfortunately, the cosmetics industry is filled with products that contain animal-derived ingredients with no way of us knowing what processes are used to source these ingredients and whether the animals are being treated humanely or inhumanely.
For example, beeswax is the main ingredient in a lot of lip balms and is sourced from, you guessed it, bees! Unfortunately, these bees can have their wings cut off, are harmed when handled incorrectly and are often killed when they are introduced to new colonies for further production.
The sad thing is - it doesn't have to bee this way. There are a whole range of plant-based substitutes for beeswax that can offer you an uncompromising vegan alternative, like soy wax or candelilla wax.
So if vegan makeup is the better choice for saving animals, is it the better choice for our health?
So maybe you have decided that it is best to choose the vegan option for your next makeup purchase, great! Vegan makeup products use plant-based ingredients that can have high levels of Vitamins A, C and E and natural oils in them to benefit your skin.
However, you should be aware that makeup that is vegan isn't automatically the most natural, toxic free choice.
In order to assist you in making an informed decision, here are three terms that are often misconceived when it comes to choosing sustainable, eco-friendly makeup:
Vegan. There are no animal or animal-derived ingredients in the makeup product. Although this does not necessarily mean that the makeup product is cruelty free, as these products can be considered vegan even though they undergo animal testing.
Cruelty Free. Animal testing is not conducted in order to check the safety of the makeup product. This does not automatically make the product vegan, as it still may contain animal or animal-derived ingredients, but it does so in a way that doesn't treat the animals cruelly.
Don't worry - products that are cruelty free still go through rigorous testing to ensure the product meets the safety standards and is safe for human use... it is just tested on us rather than our little furry friends!
Organic. The term organic means the same thing for cotton as it does for the ingredients in your makeup products; the production of the crop does not involve any chemical fertilisers, pesticides or insecticides. Further, the crop is not genetically modified in any way. To find out more about the human and environmental implications of organic crops, check this out.
Non-toxic. Makeup that is vegan friendly is typically plant-based, meaning that these products are usually natural and non-toxic, and are therefore a better option for sensitive skin. However, vegan makeup can still be toxic if it contains ingredients like parabens, formaldehyde or talc.
To find out the 11 most common toxic ingredients used in makeup that are harming you and our precious wildlife, feel free to download our FREE eBook here.