For many vegans, veganism is not just about avoiding animal-based products in a diet plan, it is a lifestyle choice, which actively promotes the use of non-animal ingredients.
This means ensuring that products, such as cosmetics, are created with the vegan principles in mind.
In response to this growing demand, there are now many skincare companies marketing vegan and cruelty-free products.
And it is becoming easier to identify if something is vegan and cruelty-free, as the packaging is often identified with a ‘V’ sign and a leaping bunny icon.
What is vegan makeup?
Vegan makeup products are those that do not contain any animal-derived ingredients. 
Ingredients that are often derived from animals (or the habitat of animals) include:
- silk powder
- collagen and many more
There are many benefits of vegan beauty, whether you class yourself as a vegan or not.
If you are environmentally conscious and want to do more to help the ecosystem, then a good place to start is to check whether or not the ingredients in your makeup are vegan-friendly.
Vegan makeup and vegan beauty products: cruelty free makeup
To ensure you are using a vegan product, it is vital to check the ingredient list.
Beeswax and honeycomb are often used to make non-vegan mascara. They keep the product smooth and prevent a sticky formula. Collagen can also be used to make the lashes appear thicker.
A vegan mascara, on the other hand, can use substitutes such as vegetable oil or plant-based blends of waxes.
To find a natural mascara, you should check if it is free from synthetic ingredinets.
Some mascaras are also infused with lash strengthening oils.
Carmine is a red pigment which is derived from a beetle. By crushing the beetle, the colour is added to lipsticks, eyeshadows and nail polish. This same pigment is often used in food colouring as well.
By contrast, vegan lipstick and vegan eyeshadow use iron oxides or fruit and vegetable dyes.
For extra moisturization in lipsticks, some vegan options contain shea butter, rosehip oil, jojoba oil and vitamin A and E to help reduce the appearance of fine lines.
Vegan makeup brushes do not use animal hair. They can be made from synthetic fibre instead since natural fibres are derived from living organisms.
Synthethic fibres have known to be more hygienic thanks to its smooth surface, which makes it easier to clean the brush and keep it free from bacteria.
Vegan makeup brushes can give you a smoother finished look because they are designed to allow you to efficiently blend your makeup.
5 of the best vegan skincare routines
Great skincare is important. An effective beauty routine could help soothe spot prone skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and help to keep your skin in overall good condition.
So what are the best ways of going about this, whilst adhering to vegan principles?
As cleansers are designed for daily usage, you should find one that has natural elements and is not too drying. This is because cleansing too frequently could lead to an unhealthy stripping of the skin’s protective barrier.
Lactic acid is a good source of moisturization in any vegan, cruelty free skincare product.
After cleansing any excess dirt and makeup from your face, you might like to exfoliate as they help to remove any dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores.
Using a natural exfoliator, which includes ingredients such as bamboo, salt or bentonite clay, can help to give the appearance of a smoother complexion.
Following exfoliation, the next step is to find a suitable toner. Excess oil can often clog pores which then leads to breakouts and this is where a good toner can help.
Natural ingredients in a toner, such as rose water, can help to balance pH levels, and soothe irritated skin.
For spot-prone skin, witch hazel is a good choice for a toner as it aids in balancing oily skin.
- Apply a serum
After toning the skin, a serum can be applied. Natural elements such as hyaluronic acid and vitamin C can help to plump the skin after it has been exfoliated.
- Face masks
Once or twice a month, you could also treat yourself to a face mask.
Whether it is a clay, sheet or peel off mask, ensure that it is packed with vegan friendly ingredients and is rich in vitamins and minerals.
And if you are environmentally conscious, you might like to check that any sheet masks are also biodegradable.
Our health hub features 7 of the top vegan beauty buys for those who want to incorporate more cruelty free skincare into their lives.
Last updated: 20 November 2020
Expertly reviewed by:
Reviewer: Manisha Taggar
Manisha started her career at a Cosmetics distributor as a Regulatory Technologist followed by a Regulatory Affairs Officer, ensuring the regulatory compliance of cosmetic products from colour cosmetics to skincare. After 3 and half years in this role, Manisha joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019. Manisha specialises in Cosmetic products, both own-label and branded lines, ensuring that these products and all relating marketing material comply to the EU Cosmetics Regulation.