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Vegan Guide To Cosmetics

Did you know that your everyday makeup may contain ingredients that are not only derived from animals, but downright foul. Rather than give an exhaustive list of specific products you should buy, here’s a great list of things to look out for. Most cosmetic companies are happy to provide information about whether their products contain any of these, so don’t be afraid to call/email them!

Allantoin comes from uric acid of an animal. In simpler terms, animal pee – usually cows in mass production. It’s often found in toothpaste and other oral hygiene products, shampoo, lipstick, and skin care products. Allantoin can also come under the label of alcloxa or aldioxa. It should be noted that allantoin can be derived from plants (such as comfrey) or be created synthetically. It’s often best to ask the company directly, and only use the product if you are 100% sure the allantoin is not animal derived.

Carmine is crushed bugs used to create colors (Usually red coloring). These go under so many names, and often get changed once they get found out. It’s various names can be cochineal extract, crimson lake, natural red 4, C.I. 75470, E120. Carmine is usually in products that have extreme red coloring, things like lipstick/balm.

Often known as “wool wax” or “wool grease”. It’s a waxy substance made by wool bearing animals, usually sheep in commercial production. Lanolin is often used in facial cosmetics and lip products. It’s usually found in lip balm products.

Elastin is derived from animal connective tissue. In production, it’s usually taken from cows. Elastin is usually found in mascara, but can sometimes be found in skin care products. That is because elastin is what keeps human skin firm and bouncy, however it has been shown that applying elastin from cows onto human skin has little to no effect.

Collagen is derived from animal tissue. It’s usually found in anti-aging cream, or other “look more youthful now!” products. It’s usually a buzzword product that is clearly labeled, so it’s easy to avoid.

The use of beeswax in cosmetics, and in particular skin care products has steadily increased over time. Wax can usually be found in lip products (Lip stick, balm etc), hand creams and moisturizers, eye shadow and liner and blush. Increasingly, beeswax has been used in hair wax or pomades aswell.

Remember that if you are ever in doubt, just email the cosmetics company of give them a call. Many are more than happy to provide a list of ingredients for any of their products.

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One Comment

  1. Rachel says:

    Handy! Good to know all the extra names carmine goes by. Thanks for writing this up.

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