You might be vegan – but is your makeup?

Veganism is big business in the UK, with an an estimated 350% increase in the number of people leading a vegan lifestyle. Many brands such as The Body shop, Bare Minerals, MUA and many others developing product ranges suitable for vegans. But is vegan makeup any good? Does it have the longevity of normal makeup? The answer is a resounding yes!

Check out Vegan Cysters Top 10 Vegan Beauty Products 2018 post.

Why does my makeup need to be vegan?

Real vegans not only avoid meat products, but also go vegan even on things such as clothes and makeup. This means a vegan would never wear anything that is made from any part of the animal  such as leather.

Vegan beauty products do not contain any animal derived ingredients and are not tested on animals. They are made from natural ingredients, they are friendly to the environment and are better for your skin, hair and nails. However, natural cosmetics are not always necessarily vegan since they do use ingredients like lanolin, elastin and wax which are animal derived ingredients. So don’t assume that just because a beauty product states that it uses natural ingredients that it is automatically vegan – always read the labels.

So my cruelty free makeup is vegan – right?

Sorry – no. There is a difference between vegan products and cruelty free products. Cruelty free products are products that  are not tested on animals, but they may still contain animal ingredients. Vegan beauty products are contain no animal derived ingredients and are not tested on animals.

Ingredients not suitable for vegans:

Beeswax—also labelled as cera alba or cera flava.

Carmine—also labelled as carminic acid, cochineal, cochineal extract, crimson lake, natural red 4 or CI 75470.

Lanolin—also labelled as aliphatic alcohols, cholesterin, isopropyl lanolate, laneth, lanogene, lanolin alcohols, lanosterols, sterols, or triterpene alcohols.

Glycerin—also labelled as glycerides, glyceryls, glycreth-26, or polyglycerol.

Shark liver oil—also labelled as squalane or squalene.

Honey—also labelled as Apis mellifera.

Fish scales—also labelled as guanine, CI 75170, C.I. natural white 1, dew pearl, guanine enol, mearlmaid or natural pearl essence.

Marine oil—also labelled as piscum lecur (fish liver oil), gadi lecur (cod liver oil), salmon (salmon egg extract or salmon oil).

Retinol—unless labelled as carotene, aka vitamin A derived from plants.

Elastin—when derived from plants elastin is fine, but avoid hydrolyzed animal elastin.

Keratin—when derived from plants keratin is safe, but avoid animal hydrolyzed keratin.

Animal hairs and fur—look for brushes with synthetic bristles.

Animal-derived collagen—also known as hydrolyzed collagen or hydrolyzed animal protein.

Ingredient List Courtesy of

Vegan beauty (most of the time) contain all natural ingredients

Most vegan cosmetics contain natural ingredients that are suitable for all skin types. Some vegan cosmetics do still contain additives and pigments that may cause a reaction in some people. Whenever in doubt check the label or contact the company for more information.

They are affordable

Back in the day, when veganism really was an alien concept to most brands, there was very little choice regarding beauty products and the products that were available you would have had to sell your home, grandma and dog to buy.

I am glad to say that we have moved on an many vegan cosmetic brands produce luxury vegan makeup at the same price as regular makeup.

They are cruelty-free

Not all cruelty free products are vegan, but all vegan products are cruelty free. The products never get tested on animals and you can therefore take pride in knowing that no animal was harmed in the process of verifying how effective they are.

To be vegan is a choice and with so many products available, you can be vegan in every area of your life including beauty. There is a wide range of vegan products available in the market; you only need to select a brand you can trust for quality to enjoy great results.

Look for products that show their leaping bunny label or the cruelty free label in the UK. The Leaping Bunny website also has a handy brand check tool so you can be sure that the brand you are using doesn’t test on animals.


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