The cosmetics industry has been changing rapidly over the last decades. With people around the globe becoming more and more aware of the environmental impacts of the industry, vast majority of the buyers are looking for environmentally friendly skin care and makeup products.
So, anyone who cares about their impact has started reading the labels more carefully, looking for labels like “organic”, “natural”, “cruelty free” or “vegan”. But, when you are reading the labels, you should know that not all organic and natural cosmetics are cruelty free or vegan, and vice versa.
While all of these are better for the planet, many things point to the fact that vegan skin care and beauty products are the way to go. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should label yourself vegan and change your lifestyle, but making the transition, at least partly, will make a huge difference for the environment and for your skin.
The biggest controversy surrounding the cosmetics industry has been animal cruelty. Due to the ethical concerns of animal testing, more and more different non-animal tests are being developed in the world, and thankfully, there is a tendency to regulate the cosmetic industry in many countries, with slowly banning all animal testing in the industry.
Going one step further is the newest trend in the beauty industry – vegan cosmetics. Vegan skin-care products don’t contain any animal by-products, such as honey, beeswax, collagen etc. This is where “cruelty free” and “vegan” cosmetics are different. While all vegan products are both cruelty free and avoid animal derived ingredients, completely, cosmetics labelled cruelty free aren’t necessarily vegan.
Safeguarding Your Skin
Our skin is our largest organ and though one of its many functions is to be a barrier, harmful chemicals can be absorbed through it, which may cause dryness, irritation or other skin issues, but more importantly it can end up in your bloodstream.
Besides through your skin, cosmetic and skin care products ingredients can also end up in our body in other ways. Studies have found heavy metals, like lead in lip products, and significant amount of those will most likely be ingested. Facial products also end up in our mouths, and hair products often run down our faces while taking a shower, ending up ingested as well.
All this goes to show why you should choose the cosmetics you use wisely. When you read the labels of your face, hair and body make up products, all the big unpronounceable words you can see there are chemicals. If you start researching about them, you will find that many of those are harmful for some part of our bodies, and can have bad side effects.
Vegan cosmetics are made from natural ingredients, such as natural oils (argan, coconut, rosehip, jasmine), seeds, plants, vegetable, berries and other fruits extracts, algae etc. Their minimalistic structure makes them less likely to cause skin issues. They are full of vitamins, such as vitamin A, C and E, and the natural ingredients used in the production are great sources of nutrients and antioxidants. These ingredients aren’t harmful to your body.
Furthermore, vegan beauty products provide hydration, which can, in turn, smoothen your skin, reduce skin conditions such as acne and bags under your eyes, and it can even out your complexion. They are good for any skin type, but more importantly, they are perfect for sensitive skin.
If you are someone who loves makeup, then it’s probably a big part of your everyday routine and products stay on your skin for hours on a daily basis. Make sure to choose make up products that contain only ingredients that favour your skin, instead of harming it.
Note: Always read the label, since some vegan products may contain artificial products.
With the increasing awareness of the harmful effects of the parabens, more and more people have been trying to avoid them. With vegan beauty products you can be sure that your makeup or your moisturiser doesn’t contain parabens. Parabens are synthetic preservatives, that can cause allergic reactions. There are many types of parabens, like butylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben. They will give the products a longer life, but they will also be absorbed through your skin. They are believed to be endocrine disruptors, mimicking oestrogen. This is why some find a relationship between parabens and breast cancer or reproductive issues.
However, if you’ve been using products containing paraben, there is no room for panicking, since the percentage is generally small, but it’s definitely better to be on the safe side and if you can’t eliminate them completely, at least minimise the use of paraben-containing products as much as possible.
Safeguarding Mother Earth
It’s next to impossible to live a completely ethical and sustainable life, especially with all the single-use and disposable plastic packaging. The best we can do is try to make ethical decisions when we purchase products with big environmental impact.
With cosmetics, you can choose brands that are environmentally conscious, selling eco-friendly products. You should also look for beauty brands that use ingredients from sustainable sources. Toxins free, 100% natural cosmetics won’t end up in our oceans polluting them and harming the sea life and other eco-systems.
The biggest negative impact of the beauty industry is that it generates a huge amount of plastic waste. So, help Mother Earth by buying products from brands that use minimal packaging, biodegradable wrapping or refillable cosmetics.
Vegan cosmetics producers are generally doing their best at implementing many of these ways to reduce their ecological footprint. This makes them a perfect choice for the environmentally conscious amongst us.