Are you an animal lover? So much that you’re loath to wear fur coats or even leather boots? Would you describe your diet as vegan-leaving out all animal products like eggs, dairy, and cheese? Even if you don’t see yourself this way, cancer fighters and survivors may be interested to know-some manufacturers are making beauty products that leave out all animal ingredients, and potentially dangerous chemicals, in an effort to be labeled “vegan,” and appeal to those who embrace the vegan lifestyle.
According to Susan Carpenter, writing for the “LA Times,” vegan products avoid any animal-related ingredients, including beeswax (found in lip balms and mascaras), milk (found in soaps and bodywashes), collagen (a skin strengthener derived from cows), carmine (a colorant that comes from beetle shells), and animal hairs used in applicator brushes. Instead of synthetic fragrances, vegan products use essential oils. Instead of chemical surfactants for cleansing, they use and coconut oil or herbal extracts. Sea algae and marigold extracts are used for anti-aging. And of course, true vegan manufacturers don’t participate in animal testing.
“There is now a small but growing market for cosmetic products that are not only free of any animal byproducts,” says plastic-surgery blog plasmatic.com, “but are also not tested on animals. These products are the vegan beauty products.” Brands include Ecco Bella, Beauty Without Cruelty, Avalon Natural Products, and Physicians Formula, among others.
The good news for cancer fighters and survivors? These products are less likely to have harsh chemicals that could be irritating to your sensitive skin. However, as always, be sure to read labels, and avoid parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances and dyes.
How can you tell if a product is truly vegan? Check for the vegan logo. Products that carry this logo (pictured at the beginning of this post) guarantee that each product is strictly vegan, and contains no animal ingredients or by-products, uses no animal ingredients or by-products in the manufacturing process, and has not been tested on animals. The logo is administered by the Vegan Awareness Foundation/Vegan Action, an organization dedicated to educating the public about veganism. (The foundation posts a list of companies who have been certified to carry the logo. Lovelula.com also has a convenient list of vegan beauty products certified by the Vegan Society.)
Don’t forget to check out the ingredient list. Some products may not have gone through the necessary requirements to display the vegan logo, but may still be made without animal ingredients. (Some may still use cruelty-free beeswax, for example, but otherwise remain totally vegan.) Once you grow familiar with reputable vegan brands, you’ll be able to make your regular beauty purchases without a lot of extra research.
Don’t worry-if you’re not vegan, you don’t have to swear off that Sunday-morning omelet to enjoy the benefits of vegan beauty products! After trying a couple, you may just want to thank the next vegan you meet.
Have you tried vegan beauty products? What do you think?
Photo courtesy of vegan.org.