I don’t know about you but when I saw Tony and Moly’s ad on Snail Skin Anti wrinkle and whitening, I was flabbergasted! It might be a small, seemingly non-existent being but snail on your face?!! How cruel is that?!! Snails are the least animals being experimented on. Animals such as bunnies, hamsters and sometimes dogs are being tortured with chemicals. Skin care and beauty products are rubbed onto their shaved skin and they’re given pain control. Sometimes their bones are broken so they could smell the fumes. Imagine those poor little thing??! Here are just a few famous example:
Beeswax and honey (bee barf) Lanolin (wool grease) Squalene (shark liver oil) Carmine (crushed beetles) Tallow (animal fat) Collagen (placenta-derived) Allantoin (cow pee) Elastin (from animal connective tissue) – See more at: http://www.veganbeautyreview.com/2013/09/ultimate-vegan-makeup-guide.html#sthash.IRVz3MHq.dpuf
So if you’re like me and couldn’t tolerate such inhumane treatment of animals, and are searching for purely plant-based aka “VEGAN/VEGETARIAN” skincare and cosmetics, and if you are concerned about you and your loved one’s health, this library is for you. Please remember — not all companies having animal ingredients in their products do test on animals. Non vegan products can still be cruelty free.
3 things to remember when shopping for a product, it contains either or combination of these things: 1)Synthetic ingredients 2)Animal By Products 3) Plant-derived ingredients.
- Synthetic ingredients– stay away!! (see ingredient list to avoid)
- Animal Byproducts ingredients– stay away as much as possible too!
- Vegetarian or plant-based ingredients- are the most ideal. Most of these are cruelty-free too! You may read my ultimate guide to CHEATSHEET for green products!
I personally “try” my best to use vegan products (not just cruelty ones) with the exception of honey (and beewax). Despite the fact that I gave up on meat and dairy, I am still having trouble parting ways with honey.
Why avoid animal byproducts?
Aside from the torture they do to animals, these animal byproducts are nasty and poses a lot to of negative effects to our health, even if skincare means not digesting anything remember our skin absorbs 70% of what we apply in it! These animal by products are cheaper than vegetable-derived ingredients. Slaughterhouses found an easy and profitable solution to disposing these byproductsby selling them to food and cosmetic manufacturers.
You may check out PETA and Herrbhedgerow for the complete list, I’m just here to share the most common ones.
• Adrenaline- Hormone from adrenal glands of hogs, cattle, and sheep.
• Animal Hair- Used for false eyelashes & cosmetic brushes. Often made from mink, fox, sable, horse, goat and even squirrel.
• Ascorbyl palmitate – This may be animal derived or plant derived
• Albumen- From eggs that causes allergic reaction.
• Allantoin – This may be animal derived or plant derived
• Aligator Skin- comes from leather
• Ambergris- a.k.a. whale vomit. This grey floating faecal-smelling lump is a sperm whale bile duct secretion. It’s still used by some perfume manufacturers to ‘fix’ the smell of a perfume. It’s still used by Dior and Kenneth Cole.
• AlphaHydroxy Acis- Usually seen in exfoliant and anti-wrinkle
• Arachidonic acid
• Beeswax- Can be found in many cosmetics including eyeshadows, lipstick, balms and mascara. They said bees are often killed during the collection process.Perosnally, I think Bee Byproducts are natre’s gift. Vegan alternatives: Vegetable waxes such as carnauba wax, candelilla wax.
• Carmine- is a red dye that is often used in lipsticks, rouge, eye shadow and other cosmetics. It is also used a lot in food and drinks, particularly items that are bright red (think of ruby-red juice and supermarket curries!). It is made of red pigment from the crushed female cochineal insect. Other Known Names: crimson lake, cochineal, natural red 4, C.I. 75470, or E120. Vegan alternatives: beet juice & alkanet root.
• Carotene- pigment from animal skin used as coloring in cosmetics
• Caprylyl Glycol – This may be animal derived or plant derived
• Casein- a milk protein found in beauty masks
• Cetyl Alcohol- This is a very common ingredient found in cosmetics. Mostly in shampoos, skin creams, lotions and foundation due to its emollient effect. It is a wax that was originally found in spermaceti from sperm whales or dolphins but now most often derived from petroleum.
Vegan alternatives: Jojoba Oil, vegetable cetyl alcohol (usually listed as Cetyl Alcohol also). Unfortunately the vegetable alternative is often sourced from Palm Oil.
• C.I. 75470
• Colors and Dyes- Pigmen derived from animal sources. Commonly seen in toothpaste and dyes.
• Collagen – Collagen in skincare creams for plumping effect. It comes from chicken feet and ground-up animal horns. Collagen is used for anti aging, but actually don’t do that much.
• Cystine – This may be animal derived or synthetic
• Crystalline guanine – That pearly iridescent effect in your shampoo, eye shadow and nail polish is caused by crystalline guanine, extracted from fish scales.
• Estrogen- Female hormones from pregnant mare’s urine – found in creams, perfumes, and lotions (Also found in birth control pills)
• Elastin- much like collagen, the loss of elastin is one of the main reasons for facial ageing. According to PETA, this protein is extracted from the neck ligaments and aortas of cows.
• Fragrance – Usually comes from cow’s dung
• Gelatin/Gelatine – Commonly found in hair products, face masks and nail polish removers. It is a protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons and ligaments from horses, cows and pigs.
• Glycerine – Can be derived from animal fat and found in toothpastes, mouthwash, make up, and soaps. Vegan alternatives: vegetable glycerin, a by product of vegetable oil soap. Again may be sourced from palm oil. Derivatives of seaweed.
• Guanine- Found to create sparkles in eyeshadow, nail polish and blush its made up from scraping the scales off of dead fish.
• Hyaluronic acid- is used in anti-ageing skincare products as it is an antioxidant, a humectant (drawing moisture up in the skin) and it boosts collagen synthesis. Hyaluronic acid is found in human umbilical cords and rooster combs.
• Hydrolyzed glycosaminoglycans
• Isopropyl myristate- This may be animal derived or plant derived
• Keratin – Famous to strenthen hair. This may be animal derived, plant derived or synthetic. What they don’t tell you is that it’s extracted from the ground-up horns, hooves, feathers, quills, and hair of various animals.
• Lactic acid – This may be animal derived or plant derived
• Lanolin – Often found in lotions and lip balms, it is fat derived from the grease in sheep hair. Can be obtained from both living and slaughtered sheep and is a product of the horrific wool industry. Other derivatives: Aliphatic Alcohols, Cholesterin, Isopropyl Lanolate, Laneth, Lanogene, Lanolin Alcohols, Lanosterols, Sterols, Triterpene Alcohols
• Lecithin – This may be animal derived or plant derived. Can be obtained from eggs, blood, nerve tissue and milk and found in soaps, shampoos, and make up.
• Myristic acid- This may be animal derived or plant derived
• Natural Red 4
• Octyldodecyl stearoyl stearate – This may be animal derived or plant derived
• Oleic acid – This may be animal derived or plant derived
• Placental protein – this one says it all really, doesn’t it? Animal placenta is extracted from the uterus of animals in abattoirs and seems to be used quite widely in skincare product
• Palmitic acid – This may be animal derived or plant derived
• Panthenol- Given the price of honey and the worldwide decline in numbers of bees, I’m guessing meat might be a more common source of panthenol nowadays.
• Pearl essence
• Propylparaben – This may be animal derived or plant derived
• Red 4
• Retinyl palmitate – This may be animal derived or plant derived
• Royal Jelly
• Shellac – is a resin secreted by the female lac bug which is then scraped off trees. This ingredient is used to create a shiny lacquer in products such as hairsprays, shampoos, mascara and lipstick. Its has been estimated that anywhere between 50,000-300,000 lac bugs are required to make just 1kg of shellac.
• Silk derivatives
• Silk powder
• Sodium hyaluronate
• Stearic acid – A very common ingredient found in cosmetics, soaps, hair products, deodorants and creams. It most often refers to fats taken from the stomach of pigs. Can also be obtained from cows and sheep.
Other derivatives: Stearamide, Stearamine, Stearates, Stearic Hydrazide, Stearone, Stearoxytrimethylsilane, Stearoyl Lactylic Acid, Stearyl Betaine, Stearyl Imidazoline.
Vegan alternatives: Derived from vegetable fats, unfortunately this is another one that can be derived from Palm or Coconut Oil.
• Stearyl alcohol – This may be animal derived or synthetic
• Squalane – Found in many cosmetics including deodorants, lip balm, lipstick, moisturisers and sun tan lotions. Often used for its anti-oxidant rich emollient properties. It is obtained by squeezing the oil from the liver of a shark and often via the cruel practice of “livering”. This is a process fishermen use to expedite collection by removing the liver and throwing the injured shark back to the waters still alive and suffering. Some sharks that produce squalene are at risk of extinction in only a few years time due to the high consumer demand for this product.
Vegan Alternatives: Vegetable derived sources such as olive oil, palm oil, rice bran and wheat germ.
• Tallow- Can be found in soaps, shaving creams and cosmetics. Sourced from animal fat from around the kidneys of slaughtered cows or the fat from slaughtered sheep. While rarely would you see tallow listed as an ingredient anymore, oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, palmitoleic acid, linoleic acid and myristic acid are the main components of rendered animal fat and may be sourced from animal tallow.
Derivatives: Sodium Tallowate, Tallow Acid, Tallow Amide, Tallow Amine, Talloweth-6, Tallow Glycerides, Tallow Imidazoline, Oleyl Oleate, Oleyl Stearate, Palmitate, Palmitamine, Palmitamide, Isopropyl Myristate, Myristal Ether Sulfate, Myristyls, Oleyl Myristate.
Vegan alternatives: vegetable fats & fatty acids often sourced from palm or coconut oil.
• Urea/carbamide- A common ingredient found in hand creams, deodorants, lotions, hair colour and shampoos as a preservative. Sourced from animal waste (urine) and other bodily fluids of farmed animals.
Derivatives: Imidazolidinyl Urea, Uric Acid.
Vegan alternatives: Synthetic Imidazolidinyl Urea is most often used nowadays, however as it derived from Formaldehyde (a product often used to preserve corpses) it is considered toxic & a known allergen.
If any of your products contain the above (except honey in my opinion)– throw away! Products that have these synthetic chemicals, throw away too! Don’t be hard on yourself though. Decide on choices that you are comfortable with and resonates to your values. No one can be 100% vegan all the time. But it’s important to buy cruelty free cosmetics to save an animal, to save your skin and…. your conscience too!! Just do the right thing!
REMEMBER: A lot of companies claim themselves to be “ALL NATURAL”, or “ORGANIC”, but most of them still use synthetic ingredients to mask odor, chemicals and additives for a longer shelf life. When it comes to skin care and cosmetics, always check the labels!
Still feeling unsure about your products? Please do check the following awesome resource sites:
Please help share and spread the word!