In the past year, Google searches for vegan skincare have nearly doubled. Choosing skincare that aligns to their lifestyle choices makes sense for the 6% of the US population that identify themselves as vegan. A bit harder to explain is the growing appeal of vegan skincare among devoted meat and cheese lovers. The answer lies in the benefits of vegan skincare.
What is Vegan Skincare?
Vegan skincare contains zero animal sourced products. This includes any animal byproducts, like:
- Royal Jelly
- Silk Peptides
- Snail Filtrate
Regardless of dietary preferences, you can still reap the skin benefits. Vegan ingredients produce fewer skin irritation and sensitivities, most likely due to fewer contaminants. Along with better skin, vegan ingredients tend to be less costly and whiling reducing environmental impact.
Is it 100% Natural?
Absolutely, not. Although plant-based ingredients are plentiful, vegan skincare may include synthetics or chemically identical ingredients. Much maligned, synthetics are typically lab-grown in sterile environments, further reducing the risk of contamination and improving sustainability – greener and cleaner. Bio-chemical sourced ingredients like retinol, lactic acid, or hyaluronic acid are superior to animal-sourced versions.
Unromantic but factual, our entire universe, us included, is made of chemicals. The same is true of natural ingredients.
The mass appeal of "all natural" ingredients is understandable. Although misguided, it does attempt to simplify an incredibly complicated topic. In many cases, natural ingredients are not any better for your skin, your health, nor the environment. As is too often the case, the truth requires a deeper understanding of every single ingredient and it's impact - skin, health and the environment.
Clean skincare embraces both natural and synthetic ingredients that are proven non-toxic, avoiding ingredients highly suspected to be harmful, like Parabens, Sulfates, and others. This requires the examination and assessment of all ingredients for safety, efficacy, sustainability, and environmental effect. Although more complicated, the concept is based in science and evidentiary data for each ingredient, rather than fear.
Same as Cruelty-Free?
Unfortunately, not always. Cruelty-free skincare never performs animal testing. Vegan skincare may or may not be cruelty-free. The world’s largest skincare market, China requires animal testing for all imported beauty goods – skincare, sunscreen, deodorant, and hair color. As a consumer with purchasing power to eradicate useless animal testing, look for the cruelty-free distinction on beauty products.
Why No Certification Logos?
Countless organizations will certify both vegan and cruelty-free distinction of any product, represented by the corresponding logo, like:
The seals makes shopping a bit easier for consumers, but are cost-prohibitive for small businesses. With initial certification, recurring membership, and annual audit/inspection costs approaching $20K, many skincare companies have chosen not to pursue certification, but may still be 100% vegan or cruelty-free. While not pursuing certification at the present, about-face essentials is committed to Clean, Vegan and Cruelty-Free skincare.