The beauty landscape today is a minefield. Whether it’s battling the landscape of beauty that uses animal-derived products or understanding brands that test on our furry friends. Many see vegan beauty claimed by beauty brands in black and white, but wait! There’s more to it. While they may not explicitly use animal products as such, it’s important to know ingredients that are used as by-products. With a little help from us, you can identify exactly is, and isn’t vegan-friendly by products that claim to be ‘vegan beauty’.
LOOK OUT FOR THESE 5 INGREDIENTS THAT SHOULD NOT BE A PART OF YOUR VEGAN BEAUTY PICKS!
Baby Shark do-do-do-do-do-do! Yes – if you didn’t guess it already, Squalene is a by-product that comes from sharks. It is extracted from shark liver oil, that is most commonly used in lip balms and moisturizer. Due to its anti-aging properties, the need for Squalene has led to harvesting multiple shark farms and a decline in the ecosystem.
However, vegan squalene also exists – made from wheat germ and olives. Check your labels, people!
Next on our list of disturbing non vegan beauty ingredients is Carmine, or also known as cochineal, natural red 4, E120, and C.I. 75470. Carmine is known for its signature red shade that is used in everything – from nail polish to lipsticks and everything in between. But did you know, the colour is in fact acquired from insects? Yep, you read that right. Cochineals, or bugs are crushed in order to acquire the colour and are then used in your beauty products. The sacrifice is immense with over tens of thousands of bugs being crushed to make a few grams of dye.
This by-product, created painstakingly by bees for building honeycombs may be cruelty-free by not killing the creatures, but that does not make it vegan. The use of beeswax as an ingredient in your beauty product is a clear indicator that it is in fact, not vegan.
This ingredient is made from the secretion of skins glands from wool-producing animals, especially sheep. Lanolin is acquired by washing out shorn or slaughtered sheep for its emollient and moisturizing properties in lipsticks, lip balms and many hair products.
A vegan alternative is plant-based oils and butters from shea and coconuts.
Something fishy in your ‘vegan beauty’ product? Probably the guanine in it! Giving the sparkly look in your nail polishes, bronzers, highlighters and eyeshadows, guanine is produced by scraping off the scales of dead fish. Glittery ain’t good now, is it?
Remember that there is a major difference between cruelty-free beauty and vegan beauty. Makeup brands that offer both are a 100% clean. Read and understand more here.