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While only 9% of the American population identifies as either strictly or mostly vegetarian or vegan, plant-based diets have become increasingly popular in recent years.
Vegan and vegetarian diets are more popular among younger US adults. 12% of Americans between 18 and 49 eat at least a mostly vegan or vegetarian diet.
Some of these people are eating vegan diets for ethical or environmental reasons. For them, it’s important to understand that you should be carefully scrutinizing the labels of your wellness and beauty products.
Understanding what products are vegan can be complicated. That’s why we put together this ultimate vegan guide to wellness and beauty products. Knowing how to read the labels can help you make conscious purchasing decisions.
What Is Veganism?
You likely heard of veganism, as it has become increasingly popular over the last several years.
In 1944, a small group of vegetarians coined the term “vegan” when breaking away from the Leicester Vegetarian Society.
This group of people chose not to use any products of animal origin in addition to abstaining from meat. This means that they did not consume any eggs, dairy, or any products that originated from an animal.
- While many people understand veganism to be a diet, many vegans extend the philosophy of abstaining from animal products beyond just what they eat.
- This means that they will look to exclude animal products from their clothing, beauty products, wellness products, and anything else that they buy.
- People choose to go again for a number of different reasons.
- Firstly, many vegans have chosen this lifestyle because of ethical considerations. They are often opposed to industrial farming practices as well as ending a conscious being’s life for our own purposes.
- Secondly, some vegans are attracted to the potential health benefits of the diet. While some might just diet in order to help them lose weight, others might do so because the diet is linked to lower the risks of a number of serious diseases.
- Another reason that some individuals might choose to follow a vegan diet is due to the environmental impact of animal agriculture.
- Some research has found that more water is needed and more greenhouse gases are emitted from animal agriculture than from plant agriculture. The habitats of wild animal species are also deforested in order to create pasture or cropland.
- It is common for people to choose a vegan diet for one or a combination of these reasons.
What Is Vegan Beauty?
While many people might be aware of the use of animal products in many food products, it is less commonly known that animal products and animal testing are and wellness products.
With the rise in the popularity of veganism, there has been an increase of vegan beauty products on the market. It’s important to understand the difference between a vegan beauty product and one that label as “cruelty-free.”
- A vegan beauty product does not contain any ingredients derived from animals and also has not been tested on animals.
- If a product says that it is “cruelty-free,” then it is simply saying that has not been tested on animals. It could still contain animal ingredients.
- Products that label as “vegan,” “100% vegan,” and “vegan-friendly” are all making the same claim. These terms indicate that the product doesn’t have any animal by-products or animal-derived ingredients.
- However, sometimes this label can be referring to the specific product, or sometimes it can be referring to the brand as a whole.
- Are you looking for vegan multivitamins for women? Check out these vegetarian hair vitamins.
What Ingredients Should You Look For in Vegan Beauty Products?
- Luckily, and lots of friends that do not use animal products will have the Vegan Trademark right on the product label.
- This trademark is a guarantee by The Vegan Society that the product does not contain animal products and complies with the society’s requirements.
- By employing the symbol on their products, brands can make it very easy for consumers to know that their products are vegan.
- However, just because a product not carry this label does not mean that it is not vegan.
- While some animal-derived ingredients are easy to spot, others are not so straightforward.
Some of the most common ingredients to look out for are:
- Lanolin (which comes from the oil glands of sheep)
- Cow’s milk
- Royal jelly
- Carmine (which is a red pigment that make from crushed insects).
Some ingredients list quite ambiguously on beauty product labels. Xanthan gum and glycerin are both products that can come from animal sources or it can come from plant sources. A product that lists guanine is referencing the use of fish scales and their product. Cetyl alcohol, which sounds quite benign, is actually just another term for sperm whale oil.
Other animal ingredients that commonly use in beauty products include:
- Stearic acid
- Snail slime.
Collagen is a product that naturally produce in the bodies of animals and it typically use in makeup and skin care products because it can help to plump and firm the skin temporarily. In order to extract this protein, products such as skin, connective tissues, and bones cook.
If a product lists lactic acid on its label, it important to find out whether or not this was plant-derive or animal-derived. Lactic acid use as a skin brightener and an excellent. If it comes from an animal source, that means it was derived from animal tissue.
If you are looking at the label of your cosmetic products and moisturizers and see that it contains something called squalane or squalene, then the product contains shark liver oil.
Even products such as brushes and makeup tools can contain animal products. Animal fur and hair can use to make these tools.
If you are trying to abide by a vegan lifestyle, you’ll want to look for makeup tools and brushes that make with synthetic materials rather than animal materials.
It’s important to understand that companies might try to disguise their ingredients by using their Latin or scientific name.
There are a number of online databases that can help you to search for the ethical credentials of different brands.
By understanding which brands adhere to the ethical standards that you want to live by, it can help you to shop for beauty and wellness products.
If you interest in products by very small brands, you can also always email them to ask for more information.
Are Vegan Beauty Products Tested on Animals?
Believe it or not, you cannot always safely assume that vegan guide to beauty products have not been tested on animals.
For example, there is a line of L’Oreal shampoo that is “100% vegan.” However, the brand does test their products on animals and it is therefore not considered cruelty-free.
It might come as a surprise to some people that many beauty products test on animals. It’s important to understand that there no safety testing require for beauty products in the United States as the industry not very regulate. This means that any animal testing that do by companies is by their own choice and not required.
While it might seem like a good idea for companies to do everything they can to ensure the safety of their products for human use, there are many criticisms of animal testing for beauty products.
Critics claim that the results of animal studies are not applicable to humans and often unreliable. This means that you studies could be resulting in the suffering and death of animals for no real purpose.
Also, there are a number of alternative testing options that do not involve testing on animals. These methods can often occur for less money and in less time, so they see by some to be superior both economically and ethically.
If a person subscribes to a vegan diet for ethical reasons, then they should be aware of the fact that the wellness and beauty products that use could be tested on animals even if they don’t include animal by-products or animal-derived ingredients.
Use This Vegan Guide to Help You Make Conscious Purchasing Decisions
- This vegan guide can help you to understand which beauty and wellness products fit within your lifestyle choice.
- One of the easiest ways to ensure that you are never using products that contain animal ingredients or utilize animal testing is to shop with brands that are both cruelty-free and vegan.
- You can certainly still buy products by other companies, however, it’s important to do your research so that you are not using products that you find to be unethical.
- Did you find this article on vegan guide to beauty interesting? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our blog for more fascinating and informative content!