Beauty and Veganism:Do you know how to identify vegan cosmetics?

A Beleza e o Veganismo: Sabe como identificar cosméticos vegan?

Veganism is on the rise and is here to stay. According to Google Trends the term vegan has been increasingly researched, and Portugal is not far behind in the trend. Thus, it will not be surprising for vegans and non-vegans, theboom this sector in the Beauty industry!


What are Vegan Cosmetics??

It's nothing new, but it's worth remembering:

Vegan cosmetics are beauty products that are made without any animal-based ingredients.

It is different from other concepts such as natural cosmetics,cruelty-free or sustainable. It is possible for a cosmetic to fit into one of these categories, without fitting into the others.

It is important to note that animal testing for cosmetic products and their ingredients has been banned in the EU since 2009, and a ban on the sale within the EU of cosmetic products and ingredients tested on animals was fully implemented in March 2013. This means that all cosmetics sold in Europe are cruelty-free, but that does not mean, of course, that they are vegan.


How are Vegan cosmetics identified?

The main way to confirm that a beauty product is vegan is to check many other things: through the ingredient list. In the European Union, it is mandatory that all cosmetic products have the complete list of ingredients on their labels, written in the same language (INCI: International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient), and respecting the order of highest concentration to lowest concentration.

However, there are some ingredients that, despite having the same INCI nomenclature, may have different origins. In such cases, it is important to check whether the product has any external certification or to verify directly with the product manufacturer the origin of the ingredient in question.


What are the most common ingredients in cosmetic products, which may or may not be vegan?(1)

These ingredients may or may not be vegan. It depends on your origin.

glycerin (glycerin) , usually made with animal fat, but there is vegetable glycerin.Occupation: acts as a humectant, which is a substance that allows the skin to retain moisture.

Hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate) , when derived from animals, a protein found in the umbilical cords and in the fluids around the joints, but there are sources of synthetic hyaluronic acid of plant origin.Occupation: excellent for reducing dryness and wrinkles.

Lactic acid (lactic acid) , typically derived from plants such as beets. When derived from animals, found in blood and muscle tissue.Occupation: used to remove dead skin cells, lighten dark spots, and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Cetyl alcohol (cetyl alcohol) , is a wax originally found in sperm from whales or dolphins but now more often derived from petroleum. However, there are already more sustainable sources of vegetable cetyl alcohol, such as those made from coconut.Occupation: is added to lotions and creams to help stabilize and bind their ingredients together to prevent them from separating in oil or liquid.

Lecithin (lecithin) , a waxy substance in the nervous tissue of all living organisms, but it can also be produced from soybeans.Occupation: works as an emollient (a kind of skin softener), water-retaining agent (to increase hydration), and emulsifier (to help water and oil not separate).

Squalene (squalene) , an oil normally derived from the liver of sharks, but can be completely vegetable, produced from olive oil, rice bran oil, and amaranth oil.Occupation: acts as a barrier, maintaining hydration and moisture at the cellular level.

Vitamin A or Retinol (various nomenclatures) , Can come from fish liver oil, egg yolk, butter, lemongrass, wheat germ oil, carotene in carrots, and synthetics.Occupation: fights fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes and hyperpigmentation.

Urea , Typically synthetic. When extracted from animals, it is excreted from urine and other body fluids.Occupation: it is a humectant, which means that it is able to absorb moisture from the environment and attract it to the skin. In addition, urea is also an emollient that softens the skin.

You can check the cosmetics ingredient list with online tools likeVegan Ingredient Checker. If any appear as "dubious" you will have to confirm whether the product is certified or confirm with the producer whether or not the ingredient has vegan origin.


What are the most common ingredients in cosmetic products that are certainly not vegan??

There are several ingredients that derive from animal products. In these cases its origin is even animal. But there are other ingredients that can be good alternatives and with which you can achieve similar results for your skin.

Honey , Pollen and Beeswax, from the work of bees.Alternatives: paraffin, vegetable oils and fats, ceresin, carnauba wax, candelilla wax, vegetable amino acids and pollen collected from plants.

Milk or Lactose , taken from animals that are nursing their young.Alternatives: plant milk sugars.

carmine (or cochineal, cochineal extract, natural red 4, crimson lake, CI 75470 & E 120), Red pigment of the crushed female cochineal insect.Alternatives: beetroot juice, alkanet root.

Lanolin , a product of sheep's oil glands, extracted from their wool.Alternatives: vegetable and plant oils.

keratin , Protein from the horns, hooves, feathers, feathers, feathers and hair of various animals.Alternatives: almond oil, soy protein, amla oil

squalane , Derived from shark liver oil.Alternatives: vegetable oils.

collagen , Fibrous protein in vertebrates. Usually derived from animal tissue.Alternatives: soy protein, almond oil, amla oil, etc.


What are the most relevant Vegan Cosmetics certifications?

A safer way to ensure that you are actually buying a vegan cosmetic is to pay attention to certifications, logos and seals from recognized organizations that indicate whether a brand or beauty product is vegan. However, please note that since the certification process is time consuming, very expensive and done on a voluntary basis, not all vegan brands and products are certified.

We leave here some examples of entities that make these certifications and their respective symbols, but there are many more!


Start the year with a vegan challenge!

During the Veganuary 2022 , which takes place in January 2022, we will dedicate ourselves to sharing content about vegan beauty, face care and makeup products. Follow us on our social media and accept our challenge to introduce more vegan cosmetics into your beauty and self-care rituals!

Instagram | Facebook | Subscribe to Newsletter | Read page Veganuary 2022


(1) PETA, Animal-Derived Ingredients List,


More Posts