Here at Soapbox we have a few vegetarians and vegans on the team. We wanted to do a little bit of research into vegan and cruelty free cosmetics and share our findings with you.
Below is a list of common ingredients that can be in your cosmetics. If you look on cosmetic labels you will be able to see if these are in your lipstick or mascara etc. If you are unsure on any ingredients that aren’t listed here, a simple google search should re-assure you.
BEESWAX (AKA CERA ALBA, CERA LAVA)
– This is the wax from a bee’s hive. Bees must consume six or more pounds of honey in order to create one pound of wax. It is created by either being secreted by worker honeybees from four pairs of glands on the underside of their abdomens, or by secreting droplets of wax called "scales." It can be found in many forms of makeup, from eye shadow to foundation to lipstick.
CARMINE (AKA COCHINEAL, COCHINEAL EXTRACT, CRIMSON LAKE, NATURAL RED 4, C.I. 75470, E120, CARMINIC ACID)
– This deep red color is taken from crushed cochineal insects. The color is extracted from the insect’s body and eggs. It is a very common colorant in lipsticks and blushes.
– This is a protein that is naturally produced in the bodies of animals. In order to extract the protein, collagen is taken from dead animals by cooking cartilaginous animal materials, such as bones, connective tissues and skin. Collagen is typically used because of its temporary plumping or firming effect and can be found in lotions, creams or lip sticks.
GUANINE (AKA CI 75170)
– Guanine is fish scales that have been scraped off dead fish. It is then soaked in alcohol to create a pearly essence that is added to products. In mainstream cosmetics you can find it in the sparkles of your products such as blush, eye shadow and nail polish.
– This is another protein found in mammals. It comes from hair, nails and horns of animals. It is often found in hair products.
LANOLIN – This fat is derived from the grease in a sheep’s hair. It is most often found in lotions and lip balms.
– This ingredient can be made from squeezing oil from the liver of a shark. You can find it in all sorts of moisturisers and cosmetics.
If you have ever thought about making the transition to vegan-friendly brands but don’t want to break the bank. Here is a list of amazing drug store brands that provide some vegan and cruelty free options.
e.l.f – All of their the makeup is vegan, but some of their makeup brushes are not.
CIRCA – Eva Mendes’ makeup line will be available at Walgreens.
Flower Beauty – The company is 100% cruelty-free—not entirely vegan.
Hard Candy – This brand is sold exclusively at Walmart.
NYX Cosmetics – Most items are vegan. Here’s their official statement: "Most of our products are but a few do have animal derived ingredients and/or could contain gluten. It is best for the customer to view the labels of each product in-person and determine if there is any ingredient that could be derived from animals and/or contains gluten."
Pacifica – Available at Target. This company is completely vegan and cruelty-free.
Physicians Formula – Also 100% cruelty-free and mostly vegan but look at the individual labels.
Pix – This line is cruelty-free with lots vegan options – just be sure to read ingredient labels.
Sonia Kashuk – This line is cruelty-free with vegan options. Available at Target.
Wet ’n’ Wild – This line is cruelty-free with mostly vegan options, but some products contain carmine.
Milani – This bunny friendly beauty line has heaps of vegan options.
Our favourites here have to be e.l.f, NYX Cosmetics and Sonia Kashuk. They are really great quality and if you read the labels you can make sure your whole makeup bag is cruelty free and vegan friendly.
A lot of products simply have a sign on the packaging so you don’t have to read through a ton of weird and confusing product names.
Peta have an amazing in-depth list of not only cosmetics companies, but hair, nail and other personal care products. On this list are all the companies that have signed their agreement and given a statement that they do not test or harm animals. There are also a wide range of similar symbols depending where in the world you are!
After researching into the vegan cosmetics industry – we have come to the conclusion that if you can, you SHOULD be buying cruelty free and vegan cosmetics. There are so many options out there. Do you really want to be brushing your face with the hair of a goat? Technology is changing, for example Tweezerman have just released a line of complete vegan and synthetic makeup brushes.
Keep your options open, read labels and do your research!
The Soapbox Beauty Team x