When it comes to vegan beauty, there’s a lot to dissect. Why might someone make the switch to a vegan routine? What’s the difference between vegan and cruelty-free? What are the benefits to being vegan? Well, you came to the right place. We’re here to teach you everything you need to know about vegan beauty and the best brands to shop if you’re looking to try it out.
When a brand makes cruelty-free claims, that means it is promising not to test on animals. Whereas for a brand to be considered vegan, all of the ingredients must not be animal-tested nor animal-derived. According to cosmetic chemist Ginger King, if a brand or product contains ingredients such as milk, beeswax, or honey, it’s not vegan. “The final formulation of the product cannot contain any ingredient that comes from an animal,” she adds. For example, take lanolin, an ingredient found in many lip treatments and balms; lanolin is a byproduct of sheep’s wool, so any products that contain it fails the vegan test.
Why are so many people switching to vegan beauty products? Connecticut-based board-certified dermatologist Mona Gohara says that a growing number of people are more conscious of how their products are being developed and with what ingredients. “With ingredients being in such a spotlight on the packaging, consumers are noticing more and more that their routine is made of — literally,” she says.
It’s also becoming easier for the consumer to find vegan beauty products. “Thanks to biotechnology and genetic engineering, ingredients like collagen and squalane can be made from other sources while being functionally equivalent to their animal-based counterparts,” says cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson, who agrees with Gohara regarding why people are making the switch. “More and more consumers are looking for vegan beauty products because they care for the welfare of animals and prefer that manufacturers find other sources,” he adds.
We get that the vegan life isn’t for everyone and can be tricky to switch to, but it turns out so many of our favorite brands have been vegan all along, perhaps without you even realizing (hello E.L.F. Cosmetics and Summer Fridays), and there are so many more up-and-coming vegan beauty brands to choose from. Below, check out 13 of our favorite beauty brands that are committed to being vegan — and may just make you committed, too.
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