Not all natural beauty products are vegan, contrary to common perception. The absence of synthetic substances does not preclude the use of animal-derived compounds, which are deemed “natural.” Here are some substances typically found in cosmetics and facial creams that are actually sourced from animal sources and are therefore incompatible with veganism. Read on for the list!
Due to its anti-aging effects, squalene is frequently utilized in skincare products, however it is typically extracted from the livers of sharks. The name derives from the Squalidae family of sharks, where the chemical was identified and isolated for the first time. It is currently widely utilized in lip balms, tanning oils, creams, and moisturizers. Some manufacturers do use squalane (with an a, not an e), which is derived from plant-based components such as olives and wheat germ.
Lanolin is derived from sheep’s wool and functions as an emollient in cosmetics, meaning it softens and calms the skin. Most frequently, lanolin is found in lip balms and glosses, hair treatments such as conditioners, face and body creams or moisturizers. There are some alternatives to lanolin that are made from plant fats, such as olive oil, coconut oil, or shea butter. Brands will state if their products are derived from plant fats.
Collagen is highly valued for its anti-aging characteristics, thus it is widely utilized in beauty products that attempt to improve the flexibility of the skin or reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The fibrous protein is derived from animal tissues and bones, in addition to animal skins, ligaments, and tendons. The majority of collagen utilized in the industry is derived from either cattle or fish.
4. Animal Hair
In addition to goods made from animal hair, hair itself is frequently employed. Boar bristles can be used to create shaving brushes, whereas sable, fox, squirrel, goat, and mink fur can be used to create fibers for makeup brushes.
Typically, fibers from the tails of Siberian or Chinese types of mink are utilized to create eyelash extensions. Mink eyelashes are exceptionally silky and appear natural, but they are not ideal for vegans. They are costly and must be curled.
Whether they are referred to as “fake mink” or “silk lashes,” synthetic lashes are produced from Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT). The only difference between brands is their shape and finish, which may vary.
Beeswax is derived from melted and purified honeybee honeycomb. Because it is affordable, it is widely utilized throughout the cosmetics business, in everything from lipsticks and lip balms to creams and eyeshadows. As a substitute, a number of plant-based waxes are available, including soy, sunflower, carnauba, coconut, and candelilla. In addition to royal jelly and propolis, the beauty business also uses other bee-derived products, such as royal jelly and propolis.
Keratin is one of the most common ingredients found in shampoo, conditioner, mask, and other hair-specific preparations. It is present in the manes, feathers, and horns of various animals. Amla oil and soy protein are two vegetable alternatives that can be used to substitute this nutrient without diminishing its health advantages.
7. White Moss
White moss has been the standard ingredient in perfumes since antiquity. Unfortunately, this aroma is not derived from a plant-based component, but rather from the genitalia of animals like the beaver, octopus, and musk deer. Every day, animals are confined in cages and subjected to pain in order to obtain this smell. The alternative is the use of plant-based extracts.
This may be the most revolting animal element used in cosmetics: ambergris. Remember all those initiatives to save the whales? Because so many whales were being killed for ambergris, they were required.
This is a waste product obtained from the sperm whale’s digestive system, where it is passed as feces or vomit, but more frequently than not it is removed directly from the intestines of whales that have been slain.
In spite of the fact that it is forbidden to trade in several nations, it is utilized as a fixative in a number of perfumes.
9. Guanine (fish scales)
Have shimmering eye shadow, lipstick, or polish? It may be due to cosmetics containing animal components. Guanine is a pearlescent compound discovered in fish scales. Additionally, it is utilized in skin-lightening lotions.
Some could argue that this is preferable to plastic particles or even mica, which is frequently extracted by toddlers. Possibly accurate, given that scales are frequently a byproduct of fishing. However, vegetarians should avoid guanine.
10. Snail Slime
These creatures’ secretions contain glycolic acid, also known as alpha hydroxy acid, and elastin, a protein that causes tissue to recover to its former shape after being stretched. These two compounds are like miraculous elements for those who wish to reverse the effects of aging on wrinkles. It’s no wonder snail slime is a popular ingredient in facial creams nowadays.
This substance is often used in nail polish and is derived from the lac beetle’s female secretion. While it is possible to discover her secretions naturally on bark and scrape them off, large corporations do not have the time to do so. Therefore, boil the beetles alive, which will provide them with the necessary shellac. Nasty! Be mindful that shellac is also present on ‘waxed’ apples and in certain candies.
Casein is a protein that is present in cow’s milk. Male calves are killed by the dairy industry because they cannot give milk. They even execute their lactating mothers when they are no longer profitable for the producers. Casein is a component in hair conditioners and face treatments.
Lactose is a type of sugar that is present in animal milk. It is present in eye creams and other skin care products. Notably, lactic acid is almost always vegan because it is generated from bacteria that were previously cultivated in milk, but sugar is typically utilized today.
14. Oleic acid
This chemical is commonly derived from animal fats (though it can also be derived from plants) and is widely used in creams, soft and hard soaps, perm fluid, creams, nail polish, lipstick, and several other skincare products. The derivatives of oleic acid are also known as oleyl stearate, oleyl oleate, and tallow.
A few parting thoughts
Compare the ingredient lists of the cosmetic products you plan to use the next time you’re getting ready for a night out on the town. It might be rather shocking to see how many animal byproducts are stuffed into cosmetics and given deceptive labels for marketing purposes.