Beginners' Guide to Cruelty-Free and Vegan Skin Care

Vegan and cruelty-free skin care are quickly gaining mainstream popularity alongside an increase in more conscious consumers who are interested in helping the environment and lessening the impact their skin care has on animals. Most mainstream makeup and skin care products use ingredients derived from animals and test different aspects of these ingredients, as well as the final products, on animals. But vegan and cruelty-free products use plant-based products to help your skin without hurting animals in the process.

What Is Vegan Skin Care?

Vegan skin care uses products that don't have any ingredients that come from animals or animal by-products. Most traditional skin care products use ingredients like beeswax, honey, lanolin, collagen, and keratin, which are all derived from animals in some way. Vegan skin care is a great option for those who reject the idea of using animals as commodities. The usual animal-derived products are instead replaced with ingredients such as aloe vera, jojoba oil, argan oil, coconut oil, or other plant-based products. However, not all vegan products will use plant-based ingredients, and some will choose lab-made alternatives, which means that they may not always be healthier for your skin. This is why you should always read the ingredient list of any vegan skin care product before you buy it to make sure that the ingredients are right for your skin.

What Does "Cruelty-Free" Mean?

Cruelty-free cosmetic products are not the same as vegan ones; "cruelty-free" specifically means that the product or its ingredients were not tested on animals. Each year, millions of animals are harmed in the process of creating skin care and makeup products, so cruelty-free products aim to break free from the need to test on animals. If a product is given this label, that doesn't mean the ingredients are all specifically vegan ingredients. The item may still contain animal byproducts, but nothing in it was tested on animals.