Written by Juliana Teo
When people hear the term ‘vegan’, it’s almost always associated with diet choices. Well, veganism often begins with avoiding animal-based food. Ultimately, however, the goal should be to opt for plant-based sources for literally everything you use, including cosmetics.
Even if you’re not necessarily vegan, this doesn’t mean vegan and cruelty-free products aren’t for you. In fact, there are so many great reasons to make this big switch, with benefits to yourself and for the environment.
There’s no shortage of horror stories in the news about well-known beauty companies that still do testing on animals. So, if you can opt for products produced by companies like https://ethique.com.au that spare animals from experiments and harmful chemical processes, then why not make that better choice?
Discussed below are the benefits of using vegan and cruelty-free beauty products, so you’ll be encouraged to pick them up from the shelves next time you go beauty shopping.
1. They Have Fewer Synthetic Chemicals
One of the common misconceptions about vegan and cruelty-free products is that they may not last so long, quality-wise, as they contain no chemicals to help preserve their shelf life. This may not necessarily be true. Vegan and cruelty-free products may still have synthetic chemicals, but they’re certainly fewer than most standard beauty products.
This fact should be convincing enough, especially if you also want to use fewer chemicals in your daily routine. What you put on your skin does get into your body, and, in the long run, those chemicals may lead to dire side effects. Henceforth, the less chemicals you slather on, the better.
Using products that contain fewer chemicals also has positive effects for the environment. This means less toxic waste will make it to water sources, landfills, soil, and the air. Likewise, it may also mean that less fossil fuel was used to produce the chemicals incorporated into the beauty products.
2. They’re Animal-Friendly
If you’re an animal-lover, then this second advantage should be more than enough to make you passionate about using cruelty-free products. Just imagine your sweet, little hamster being placed in a laboratory, waiting for their next turn to be submitted to harsh testing and experiments. Why support this kind of practice in the name of beauty, when there are products that are just as good as standard brands, but don’t hurt animals in the process?
Animals subjected to experiments for cosmetics don’t just die, but they’re subjected to intense pain in the process. For example, reports state that chemicals can be dripped on the eyes of animals or rubbed on shaved skin. As a result, the animals may have to go through agonizing pain, blindness, and organ damage before they eventually die.
3. They’re Rich In Antioxidants, Vitamins, And Nutrients
Because vegan beauty products are plant-based, this means they also have higher quantities of antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients than animal-based beauty products have. With that, it’s safe to say that plant-based beauty products may have a higher ability to strengthen and restore the body’s cells by fighting free radicals that are damaging the body.
Antioxidants bring forth so many benefits, like the following:
- They may decrease the signs of aging, which is often the main reason why women, in particular, use certain beauty products.
- They may contain good fatty acids that can reduce the likelihood of acne occurring.
- They can promote a more youthful skin through increasing skin elasticity, fighting skin dryness, smoothing scars, and combatting excessive oiliness.
4. They’re Good For The Planet
Did you know that human beings’ dependence on and use of chemical and synthetic beauty products is another phenomenon that’s contributing to global warming? The general rule to remember is this: using products that are good for animals means they’re also good for the environment.
Vegan makeup and skincare products are free from any of the nasty byproducts from animals. These include:
- Uric acid, sourced from beeswax, cows, and dead insect extracts
- Butylated hydroxytoluene, which causes eye and skin irritation
- Formaldehyde, a dangerous chemical linked to immune deficiencies and asthma.
When you opt for vegan products, it means you’re avoiding all of the pesticides being used on animals during farming. The chemicals in your beauty products will only be limited to those that are safe, well-studied, and identified as necessary for preservation.
5. They Don’t Have Questionable Ingredients
Sure, you know that eggs come from chicken and cheese come from milk. But, scientists have come up with so many questionable ingredients, often identified as undesirable, for beauty products.
If you’re one of those who still patronize animal-derived and chemical-based products, read the labels and ingredients more thoroughly this time. You may just come across a few of these common animal-based ingredients found in beauty products:
- Cochineal dye – Also known as carmine, this is a dye that comes from crushed cochineal beetles. This is common in blush and lipsticks, helping them give off that red color.
- Tallow – This comes from animal fat. The process of obtaining this, however, is harsh. After the animal is slaughtered, the carcasses of the animals are boiled until they produce a fatty substance. When you apply foundation that contains tallow, you’re basically slathering animal fat on your face.
- Guanine – It comes from crushed fish scales. This is usually used for nail polishes and eye shadows as it’s responsible for that shimmering color.
- Lanolin – It’s an extraction from wool-bearing mammals. This is common in makeup removers and lipsticks.
- Gelatin – This is also known for its other names, like gel, halal gelatin, or hide glue. It comes from the boiled skin, ligaments, and tendons of animals. This is used to produce cream-based cosmetics.
These are but a few of animal-based ingredients found in cosmetic products, but the gist is that many of those ingredients can be sourced from urine and manure of animals, for example. If you won’t eat them, then why would you use them? They may only come in small quantities in beauty products, but they can still get absorbed by your skin.
6. They’re Healthier For The Body
When you use vegan and cruelty-free skincare products, you’re actually doing your body a huge favor. They’re healthier because the body is most acquainted with processing natural products. The human body is used to digesting plants easier than animal-derived ingredients. With that, it also follows that it can process and absorb natural ingredients through the skin in a more effortless fashion.
With that, you can rely on vegan and cruelty-free beauty products to be as healthy for the skin as they are effective. Whatever effect you wish to achieve on your skin by using beauty products, the skin and brain can absorb them better when it’s natural ingredients that are bringing in those signals.
Imagine putting on your skin chemicals derived from dead animals. It’s not just gross to think about, but also highly dangerous to your health.
7. They’re More Practical And Less Wasteful
This section may raise some eyebrows, as some vegan and cruelty-free beauty products may be priced more expensively than the standard ones. In some ways, this can be true. And, the reason is that there are only a few companies that mass produce such types of cosmetic products. But, you’re guaranteed that each item is well thought out and the process doesn’t involve inflicting harm towards animals. Also, their packaging are also usually sustainable and are being sustainably produced, causing little to zero negative impact to the environment.
However, if you put the price tags aside, using vegan and cruelty-free skincare products may actually wind up to be the more practical and less wasteful options. This is because you’re less likely to throw them away because of unpleasant smell, skin irritation, or any other negative effect on your skin.
Despite having tested the products first on animals, many standard beauty products can still be harmful to the skin simply because of all the chemicals they contain. So, the more sensitive your skin is, the higher the chances that those skin irritations will ensue.
Moreover, it’s often not recommended to donate used beauty and skincare products, except to funeral parlors, due to hygiene reasons. When a consumer is unhappy with a synthetic and chemical-based product they’ve bought, it’s often the case that they’ll usually simply throw that away. If you think about the number of people who do that, multiplied by the quantity of products they throw away, that’s a lot of waste. This is wasteful both to your budget and even to the resources of the company that made those products. Instead of being emptied, the plastic packaging is now sent to landfills, adding up to the never-ending waste problem.
8. They Send Out A Positive Message To The Community Around You
You don’t have to be a superhero to change the world. If you want to make a positive impact on this planet while you’re living, you can easily do so through your daily habits, more particularly purchasing habits.
When you support vegan and cruelty-free beauty products, you’re essentially sending out the positive message that you don’t condone animal cruelty, but, instead, support the use of natural and plant-based ingredients. If, for instance, you have quite a large following on your social media account, this can create a domino effect. Those who look up to you may now consider following suit, so they can join in this lifestyle movement as well.
Who knows? You can be that catalyst for change that’d urge companies that still test on animals to take a more sustainable and animal-friendly route. The ultimate goal, after all, of this revolution is to make cruelty-free and vegan products more mainstream and, eventually, become the norm.
9. They Lower The Demand For Products That Test On Animals
The more individuals who choose to buy products that don’t test on animals, the lower the demand will be for beauty companies that do so. While there’s still a long way to go in terms of fully abolishing this kind of practice, at least it may help enlighten companies to stop the outdated practice of testing on animals.
The goal isn’t to close down those companies altogether. After all, there are big names in the beauty and skincare industry who also have a long-standing history of quality products. Rather, it’s about informing those brands to avoid testing on animals. When they do, you may just start purchasing from them again.
A lower demand for their products is already a big-enough factor for those companies to go the more sustainable and animal-friendly route. After all, this means lower profits. When this happens, that may just be a turning point that’d encourage such companies to change their ways.
10. Their Packaging Is Also Usually Sustainable And Environment-Friendly
To complete the whole circle of benefits that vegan and cruelty-free products have, you’ll be glad to know that most, if not all, brands that produce such items also finish off strong by using packaging that’s sustainable. Now, you don’t have to feel so guilty about all those single-use plastic packaging that you throw to the bins after the product runs out.
If plastics are used for vegan products, they’re made from recycled products. Otherwise, the most common packaging type being used are those that are biodegradable.
With so many animal-derived products on store shelves everywhere you look, switching to vegan and cruelty-free beauty products may not be the easiest thing to do. In fact, it can be a bit overwhelming at first, especially with how those natural products are still the minority in the beauty industry.
Nevertheless, now that you’re aware of all the benefits such products can do for you and the environment, making this choice shouldn’t be as difficult anymore. Take time to choose the brand you can trust so you’ll be 100% certain of its quality. Who knows? As you use them and get convinced about their effectiveness, you may just become a staunch advocate for vegan and cruelty-free beauty products advocates. In turn, your own friends and family members may consider treading the path you’re on!
About the Author
Juliana Teo is a professional makeup artist who specializes in using vegan and cruelty-free products. She’s been in the profession for over a decade now, but it’s only in the last five years that she’s made the switch. After seeing the positive effects the change brought on her, she also now advocates for vegan and cruelty-free products. When she’s not working with her clients, she enjoys time at home with her family, where they also live a vegan and plant-based lifestyle.