Have you ever picked up a bottle of shower gel and seen that little squiggly sunflower symbol on the bottle? It’s often small but the meaning behind it is huge. It’s a doodle that holds power, a doodle that means you’re helping to save the planet one step at a time. It’s the power of vegan.
What is vegan skincare?
You might be thinking that all skincare is vegan. After all, what animal products do you need in your daily scrub? However, you might be surprised at just how common animal products are. From shampoos to toothpaste, creams to clays. It’s not always easy avoiding such items – especially if you’re not aware of it. Vegan skincare means that products are created without using any ingredient derived from animals, including animal by-products. This is different from cruelty-free, as a product can be created without being tested on animals, but still contain ingredients like milk or honey.
Why vegan skincare is better
Here at UpCircle, we’re convinced that vegan skincare isn’t just better for animals, it’s better for you too. Vegan skincare provides you with a whole array of hidden benefits to leave you feeling fresh as a daisy.
1. Good news for animals
It almost goes without saying that vegan skincare products are better for animals. Although vegan products are unlikely to have been tested on animals, make sure you opt for products which are both vegan and cruelty free. This way you can be sure that no animals were involved in the creation or testing. Plus, you get to enjoy a clear conscience when using your favourite skincare products, knowing that you are contributing towards a safer world for animals.
2. Kinder to your skin
Vegan products aren’t just kinder to animals, they’re often kinder to hair and skin as well. It’s a little-known fact that much of what we put on the skin is absorbed into the body. If the idea of rubbing uric acid (from cows) into your pores doesn’t make you shudder (or should we say udder) then know that the alternatives are far softer and especially great for sensitive skin. Vegan skincare products generally contain less ingredients which are likely to irritate or aggravate any skin conditions.
3. Rich in vitamins and antioxidants
Another benefit of vegan skincare formulas is that the ingredients taken from plants often bring more vitamin goodness along for the ride. Not only this but bundles of antioxidants, minerals and natural oils help in repairing and maintaining soft skin. This will keep your skin looking and feeling fresh for longer.
4. Don’t harm the environment
It’s a well known saying, but sometimes nature really does know best. Since it takes such good care of us it’s only fair that we give back too. The best vegan products are also 100% natural and organic. This means that they don’t harm the environment after use, breaking back down into non-harmful components and being reused by their surroundings.
Speaking of things that are reused, reclaimed ingredients are a great way of putting a cherry on top of the cake of consideration. Products such as our coffee scrubs, moisturizers and cleansers, act to prevent ingredients from ending up in landfills, not only leaving you with a deep glow but the knowledge of a world left in a slightly better place.
Vegan skincare ingredients – what should I avoid?
Most ingredients in skincare can come from either plant or animal sources. However, since animal sources often require less processing, chances are they’ll be the ones used, unless stated otherwise. A few of the most common ones to watch out for are Biotin, Cetyl Alcohol, Keratin, and Gelatin. The latter is synonymous with animal bones and is used in most gel-based products. But there are many alternative sources now available, including seaweed (agar) and Irish moss amongst others.
Other non-vegan skincare ingredients to look out for are Lanolin (from sheep’s wool), Shellac (from lac bugs), Guanine (fish scales), Glycerin (from animal fats) and Beeswax.
As mentioned earlier, many products are technically vegan but aren’t cruelty-free. That is, they’ve been tested on animals. This is why the ‘100% vegan’ labels on packaging can sometimes be misleading. To have the ultimate peace of mind, look for products that display certification from cruelty-free organizations. This means they’ve been looked at with a fine tooth comb and have been deemed squeaky clean – just like you’ll be.
The future looks bright
Had you whispered the word vegan ten years ago the chances are you'd have been met with a whole spectrum of confused and disparaging reactions. Luckily the advantages of veganism are becoming more and more apparent each day. With people becoming increasingly socially aware and health conscious, the sun is only just rising on a natural, cruelty-free world. Flower power indeed.
At UpCircle, we are passionate about spreading the word about the benefits of vegan skincare. From creating our own organic, natural skincare range, to providing expert vegan know-how, we've got all bases covered. Check out our skincare today, or learn more about the world of vegan over on our blog.