5 Easy Ways To Switch To A Vegan Skincare Routine
by Mihaela Donska
You’ve tried meatless Monday, switched to oat milk in your latte, and maybe even gave Veganuary a go. But how about your beauty routine? Could vegan skincare be your next ethical switch?
Skincare should ‘care’ not only for your skin, but for other living beings too. I've collated everything you need to know about vegan and cruelty-free skincare, ready to walk you through five steps to transition seamlessly to a kinder routine.
Ready to switch up your skincare?
What is vegan skincare?
Once a fringe movement, vegan diets are becoming a central part of lifestyles around the world. And no wonder, since researchers at the University of Oxford say that cutting down on meat and dairy products is the ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your environmental impact.
But it doesn’t stop with food. Veganism can be applied to cleaning products, makeup, haircare and, of course, skincare too.
Vegan skincare refers to products that are created without using any animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products. You may be thinking ‘what on earth is in my skincare that comes from an animal?’, but you’d be surprised!
A few ingredients you should look out for are:
o Lanolin (from sheep’s wool)
o Guanine (from fish scales)
o Glycerin (from animal fats)
o Gelatin (from animal bones)
Luckily, with innovative formulas, plant-derived ingredients, and a clean production process, there’s no need to involve animals at any stage.
Is vegan skincare cruelty-free, and vice versa?
These two terms are often used interchangeably, but there’s a subtle and significant difference. Vegan products do not include any ingredients derived from animals, and cruelty-free products are not tested on animals (in any country they’re sold in).
A product can be created without being tested on animals, making it cruelty-free, but still include animal-derived ingredients, making it not vegan. And whilst vegan products are usually also cruelty-free, it is possible they’ve been tested on animals.
So why does cruelty-free even matter? Why do you need to look out for vegan AND cruelty-free products?
Research has found that 88% of the 50 largest cosmetic companies in the world fund animal testing. This statistic is made even scarier when you discover that an estimated 100,000 -200,000 animals suffer and die for cosmetics every year. To be certain no animals are harmed in your skincare, it’s important to consider both terms.
Is vegan skincare better for your skin?
On a bit of a lighter note, skincare isn’t just saving animals, but your skin too. Favouring ingredients derived from nature, means less harsh chemicals are slathered onto your skin. This reduces the chance of suffering from irritation, dryness, or sensitivity. Nature knows best, after all!
5 ways to switch to a cruelty-free and vegan skincare routine
Now we’ve discussed why you should opt for a cruelty-free and vegan skincare routine, it’s time to get into all-important how...
- Read-up on ingredients
Have you ever looked at your skincare label and been faced with a list that seems to require a PhD to understand? Wouldn’t it be much more pleasant if you saw much-loved botanicals and words you recognise instead?
Look for plant-derived ingredients that have skin-saving properties, such as cold-pressed oils and plant stem cells. Keep your eyes peeled for animal-derived ingredients like the ones I’ve listed above, and if you’re suspicious of any unfamiliar terms, search them to find out exactly what they mean.
- Learn the logos
Skimming the ingredients should give you an idea of what the product is made from, but to be 100% sure it’s cruelty-free and vegan, look out for certifications. Two that are internationally trusted and recognised are the Vegan Society and the Cruelty-Free International Leaping Bunny Programme.
- Finish what you already own
It might be tempting to chuck out all your old products when you decide to make the switch, but remember waste isn’t ethical either. There’s no point throwing away products you’re not finished with, even if they aren’t vegan or cruelty-free.
Instead, use your new knowledge of ingredients and logos to search through your current skincare kit and start thinking about what you’re going to avoid when it’s time to replace something. Gradually, without wasting anything, you can build a new routine.
- Invest in transparent brands
Once you’re clued up on how to find the best ethical skincare, and you know which products to start replacing, it’s time for the best bit – shopping!
Where you put your money matters, so make sure to invest in brands that are transparent about their policies. More than just labelling products as cruelty-free and vegan, look for a clear outline of how they’re holding themselves accountable to meet these standards.
- Keep asking questions
No question is a silly question! If a brand is passionate about their products, they’ll be happy to answer any concerns you have. If there’s an ingredient you’re unsure of or a policy that doesn’t quite make sense, strike up a conversation and see if they can put your concerns to rest.
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