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Aren’t All Cosmetics Vegan?!

By August 13, 2019 August 20th, 2019 Beauty, Health
Vegan cosmetics in bag

 

While shopping around for makeup, you may have recently noticed that many companies are starting to label their products as “Vegan”. This may prompt you to ask yourself- isn’t all makeup considered vegan? The answer, sadly, is NO! Granted, while your beauty products aren’t necessarily full of raw meat or milk, there are still many animal-derived ingredients to keep an eye out for. Here is a list of the top contenders and how to avoid them.

 

The Ingredient: Guanine

Shimmery cosmetics, such as nail polish or lip products may contain guanine, or “pearl essence”. This can be derived from fish scales. Gross, right?!

 

How to Avoid it:
Opt for shimmery products that use ingredients such as mica or faux pearl instead (from ground shells). Aluminum and bronze particles are also popular substitutes in vegan cosmetics.

 

Vegan Cosmetics don't have fish scales

 

 

The Ingredient: Carmine

Carmine, often referred to cochineal extract or natural Red No. 4., is a bright red pigment that can be found in lip products, nail polish and blush. This pigment is produced by drying, crushing and boiling female cochineal insects.

 

How to Avoid it:
Keep an eye out for products that are Vegan. Red No. 2 and Red No. 40 are animal-free alternatives.

Vegan Cosmetics don't use Carmine Red Coloring

 

The Ingredient: Shellac

Some nail and hair products may use shellac. Shellac is a resin that is secreted from the lac bug that creates a shiny, hard surface. This ingredient is obtained by scraping the bark from the trees where lac bugs reside, often killing many and destroying their eggs in the process.

 

How to Avoid it:
Scan through the ingredient list on your products. Shellac may also be listed as “lac resin”.

 

Vegan Cosmetics Shellac Lac Bug

 

 

The Ingredient: Animal Hair

Animal hair is commonly found in makeup brushes, many of which claim to be “cruelty-free”. This hair is often times sourced from goat, sable, mink and squirrel.

 

How to Avoid it:
Opt for brushes made from man-made, synthetic fibers. Synthetic brushes are typically created using materials such as Taklon, nylon or polyester fibers.

 

Animal Hair

 

The Ingredient: Beeswax

Beeswax, or cera alba, is commonly found in lip products or mascara. This wax keeps emulsions from separating and can provide hydration, making it popular on ingredient lists. While beeswax boasts many health benefits, questions are often raised as to whether the harvesting process is in fact “cruelty-free”.

 

How to Avoid it:
Candelilla wax or sustainably-harvested carnauba wax are animal-free, savvy options with similar benefits.

 

Beeswax

 

What are some of your top Vegan cosmetics? What brands are you loving right now? Make sure to share your faves with us!
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