What ingredients must vegan cosmetics not contain?

What ingredients must vegan cosmetics not contain?

It takes approx. 3 minutes to read this article

Vegan cosmetics are not a complete novelty on the market, but they are gaining popularity every year. Consumers are more concerned not only about the environment and their own health, but also about the welfare of animals. 

That’s why more companies are enriching their offerings with vegan products that do not contain zoonotic ingredients. And which ones exactly? You can read about it in our article!

Vegan cosmetics: what you won’t find in them?

In vegan cosmetics you will certainly not find carmine or cochineal, which give products a pleasant reddish tint. They are quite often used in cosmetics, including decorative ones. In addition, in the perfume, textile, food and even medical industries. They are extracted from female cochineal insects, which contain a lot of this dye.

The other ingredient that vegan products do not contain is beeswax, which has softening, nourishing and protective properties. Instead of it, vegans can use products based on vegetable oils, such as coconut, castor, almond, burdock or olive oils.

What else should vegan cosmetics not contain?

The list of ingredients that should not be in the composition of vegan products certainly includes:

  • lanolin made from animal wax, which is a product of the sebaceous glands, of some animals (such as llamas and sheep). It nourishes and protects the skin, and also has skin care properties. Thanks to this wax, sheep’s wool is so thick, retains heat and stays dry for a long time;
  • animal collagen – is a protein and cosmetic ingredient that provides tissues with restoration and youthfulness. It is extracted from the skins of fish and shellfish. However, vegan cosmetics may contain a plant-based analog of collagen;
  • keratin, which helps smooth hair and make it shiny, was traditionally extracted from the hooves, horns, claws and feathers of various animals. Nowadays, vegan keratin substitutes synthesized from the amino acids of soybeans, wheat and other crops are being used successfully. Interestingly, it is believed that plant-based keratin molecules, due to their relatively small size, penetrate the hair structure better and work even more efficiently. Alternatives to keratin can also include oils and nettle extract;
  • chitosan is a chitin derivative from marine animal shells and insect wings. It has a rejuvenating, firming and healing effect, and is used in cosmetology and medicine;
  • Squalane (squalene), or shark liver extract. Fortunately, there are now synthetic analogs of squalane of plant origin.

The list closes with glycerin, which is one of the three most popular ingredients in cosmetic products. Normally it is obtained by processing animal fat, but in vegan products vegetable glycerin is used. It has the same effect as the zoonotic one – it deeply moisturizes hair and skin, and, more importantly, allows it to retain moisture for longer.

In addition, there should be no silk, honey, elastin, casein, milk and dairy products in vegan products.

Cosmetics for vegans and cruelty-free

Vegan cosmetics are sometimes confused with cruelty-free cosmetics, that is, products whose ingredients and formulas are not tested on animals. However, this is not true. Vegan cosmetics are not necessarily cruelty-free, and vice versa. Therefore, when shopping, always be vigilant and carefully read the information on the label.

main photo: unsplash.com/Harper Sunday

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