With the increase of request of organic cosmetics, made with natural raw materials from organic farming, vegan cosmetics are becoming more widespread, and this means that more cosmetics everyday are free of ingredients of animal origin.

By now, organic, eco, natural, vegan and cruelty free cosmetics are part of our daily life and, whether we buy a cosmetic or a personal hygiene or home care product, these labels or their symbols are often either imprinted on the packaging or printed on the product itself.

Although they are widely used, however, there is often confusion between the various definitions and one might be led to think that a natural product must necessarily be biological, vegan or cruelty free, or that a vegan product is always also cruelty free.

Vegan cosmetics are made with completely plant-based natural elements, so they do not contain any animal-derived ingredients, such as milk and honey.

In Europe, as in the rest of the world, it is still very difficult to understand if the marketed products are actually not of animal origin, given that each country has its own regulation on the matter and that the bodies that deal with issuing and certifying vegan labels base their evaluations on different criteria.

Cruelty-free cosmetics, which are those not tested on animals before they are put on the market, are not necessarily vegan: in fact the ingredients of a certain cosmetic product may not be tested on animals, but may be of animal origin, just as, vice versa, they may not be of animal origin but have been tested on animals.

It is therefore recommended that you be careful, always choosing cosmetics from companies that do not test on animals, but also paying attention to the list of ingredients of a product, to ensure that they are vegan, in the absence of adequate certification.

100% Vegan

The brands listed here are 100% vegan, which means:

  • that each of the products they sell, without exception, in addition to being prepared exclusively with plant products (without ingredients, substances or by-products derived from animals) must bear the words “not tested on animals” on the label, i.e. it must be a cruelty free cosmetic: literally produced without the use of cruelty.
  • that they do not sell their products on mainland China – because China law requires imported cosmetics to be tested on animals

However, it now seems that even China is willing to abandon any harmful practice on animals and to accept more cutting-edge and even more environmentally friendly tests as a guarantee of the safety of the cosmetics sold.

The declaration came directly from the National Institute for the control of food and drugs: “research, development and standardization of alternatives to animal testing are today one of our priorities”.

While it is still required for cosmetic products to be tested on animals in China, nine alternatives to animal testing have recently been approved. This definitely represents a step in the right direction.

The news will make animal lovers feel very much relieved, as we can see China’s government efforts to save our four-legged friends from unnecessary suffering rewarded.

The position taken by NIFDC (National Institutes for Food and Drug Control) shows that the work of animal welfare organizations and Chinese shareholders to replace animal testing with more advanced and non-harmful technologies was effective. There are many alternatives available; for example, tests that use artificial human tissues or test tubes that allow us to distinguish toxic and non-toxic ingredients.

Why it is important to switch to vegan products

Being vegan is a choice that affects many aspects of a person’s life and that rarely regards nutrition only.

A vegan person lives like everyone, eats and dresses like everyone, but with simple everyday choices they do their best to avoid indirectly causing animals suffering.

We all make many small choices every day.

We rely on various parameters: for example, what do we want right now, a fruit salad or a sandwich? Better to buy a sports jacket for everyday use or a more elegant one? How much are we willing to spend on a given purchase? And so on.

Being vegan simply means introducing an extra parameter into our choices: the fact that animals are killed or not to produce a certain thing.

It will therefore sufficient to exclude from our purchases all those products derived from the animals.

It is not about renouncing something: it is just a matter of changing habits.

And what is a change of habits compared to the enormous suffering of animals?

Vegan Makeup Brands

How can we really tell when a make-up brand sells truly vegan make-up?

Vegan cosmetics (or those that claim to be such) are invading the cosmetics market. But what are they exactly? And how can we recognize them? Finally: if you are not vegan, are they the right choice for you?

As we mentioned, in order to be considered vegan, a product should not contain ingredients that are in any way derived from animals, including, among the most common, milk and honey.

So, for example, if while reading the INCI (International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient) of a cosmetic you’ll find written the initials HON, it means that the product contains some bee-produced substance, and is therefore not vegan.

Furthermore, when the product contains Sodium Tallowate, it means that inside the product there is soap derived from animal fat, which once again mean that it is not vegan.

In lipsticks, for example, there is often a fat that comes from whales. Some dyes, like red pigments, are often obtained using powders made from ladybirds.

Lanolin, a very common emollient in cosmetics, and mother-of-pearl, frequently used in make-up products such as powders and eye shadows, are also not vegan.

Vegan Nail Polish Brands

Produced with a totally vegetable formulation and not tested on animals, these products are ideal for having always trendy nails whilst keeping an eye on the environment.

Many women, besides complying with the summer trends of 2019, have chosen to use healthy products that safeguard the environment and do not exploit animals for testing.

Vegan nail polishes, in fact, are 100% cruelty-free, which, as we said, means that they are products which have not been tested on our furry little friends, and are composed of 100% vegetal ingredients.

This last feature, among other things, protects consumers from risks linked to the toxicity of certain substances such as formaldehyde, DBP (dibutyl phthalate – a plasticizer that makes nail polish flexible) and toluene. On the market they can be found quite easily: the important thing is to make sure they are in possession of the two characteristics we mentioned above.

To recognize vegan nail-polishes from non-vegan ones, it is in fact necessary to go and check the ingredients written on the back of the enamel bottle, making sure that there is the absence of these and other harmful substances to be considered real vegan products.

Vegan Brush & Other Beauty Tool Brands

Those who are trying to get closer to a way of conceiving cosmetics according to an ethical and environmentally friendly perspective that protects our planet will start by replacing their cosmetic products with organic products, and will then move on to replacing beauty accessories with cruelty free products, such as vegan make-up brushes.

Choosing vegan make-up brushes means abandoning brushes made with animal bristles, typically derived from marten, horse, sable, squirrel or goat hair, and switching to brushes made with bristles made of synthetic materials such as Nylon, taklon or plant fibers.

Although animal bristle brushes currently do wonders with any type of makeup product and technique in the beauty market, especially powders, they have led to the creation of synthetic vegan makeup brushes that have little to envy to those that are not cruelty free. In the selection of synthetic materials with which to make vegan makeup brushes, the recyclability of synthetic bristles is also strongly considered.

As you can imagine there are both cheap vegan brushes and professional ones, for every type of need concerning make-up.

Vegan Skincare Brands

Composed of products with certified biological components, vegan products are designed for those who want to take care of their skin – but also of their hair – in a natural way.

These are dermo-compatible ecological cosmetics which can also be considered in perfect harmony with the vegan preference, supported today by many of us. In fact, as previously mentioned, being a vegan is not a lifestyle choice that only involves aspects related to nutrition.

It also involves aspects related to clothing and body care.

To recognize a vegan cosmetic product, on the other hand, one must know how to read the INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients), which is the list of ingredients found on the label, plus other symbols and abbreviations that certify that it is a vegan product, which can be different depending on the Country of origin of the product.

You can also find the Cruelty Free International’s Leaping Bunny, with the image of the jumping bunny, or The Vegan Society symbol on the packaging of some products: these will ensure the cruelty free or vegan properties of the products.

In most vegan cosmetics on the market, there are mainly vegetable oils such as argan oil, macadamia oil, sweet almond oil, coconut or sesame oil, but also aloe vera, widespread in face and body products, and shea butter for body and hair beauty products.

Names and abbreviations often unknown can hide substances that – in the long run – could be harmful to us and the environment, such as pesticides, carcinogens, toxins and aggressive chemical parts.

Vegan Hair Care Brands

Pamper your hair every time you wash or care for it thanks to professional vegan and cruelty-free products (not tested on animals).

Choose specific product lines (shampoo, conditioner, mask) for every need: volume, softness, color, anti-yellow, hydration, anti-hair loss and many other benefits for your hair.

Even the styling products can be based on vegan ingredients, free of sulphates and parabens: so delicate that they can also be used as a dye in pregnancy.

The best vegan hair products do not contain sulfates and parabens but only natural ingredients, they are based on 100% vegan ingredients, they are all cruelty-free, and they are certified by relevant organizations like PETA, Vegan Society and Leaping Bunny.

These products report on the label the absence of potentially harmful and / or polluting ingredients. You’ll need to take some time at the beginning to sort every ingredient out, but once you’ll have identified the brands that are right for you, you’ll be set for a long time!

Vegan Fragrance Brands

Many fragrances on the market use glandular secretions of animals or its synthetic derivatives. Most of the ingredients currently used in perfumes tend to be synthetic and are characterized by a fragrance that evokes animal ones.

The most commonly used animal substances are:

  • Gray Amber – produced by the digestive system of the sperm whale, which is used to make the fragrance last longer.
  • Castoreum – obtained from the trituration of the beaver perianal glands, is also used as a food additive for its taste apparently evocative of vanilla and raspberry. In Europe, however, its use is granted only for cosmetics and cigarettes production.
  • Civet – which is obtained from the genital glands of the African civet, raised in cages precisely for this purpose. It has a strong musk smell that becomes pleasant when diluted and combined with floral fragrances.
  • Musk – not the plant variant, but the one deriving from the glands of the musk deer, an endangered species whose hunt is now banned. Today, out of necessity, synthetic extracts are used.

Vegan Beauty Subscription Boxes

Subscription beauty boxes, an international phenomenon that is taking off all over the world, allow more and more beauty addicts to learn about new brands and products.

Beauty boxes are boxes full of mini sized and promotional products of all kinds, which usually arrive after having signed a specific subscription with the companies that create and send them.

These subscriptions work on a monthly or yearly basis and the monthly cost for beauty boxes is generally around $15/month but they can definitely be lower or higher.

There are beauty boxes with all types of beauty products, especially in those markets – the USA above all – where the service has now definitely taken hold: so we’ll find, for example, vegan mystery boxes, or boxes with special and themed clothing and beauty products.


Veganism is a practice and a lifestyle that invests every field, including that of beauty, and is in constant growth after 74 years.

The market for vegan products is booming, in line with growing consumer concerns about the ethical and environmental impact of animal-related products and the desire to buy products that comply with people’s problems.

Veganism, in short, is growing rapidly around the world and it has more than doubled in the last five years, with an increase of 175% from July 2013 to June 2018.

There certainly is a growing awareness on the part of the public of the products they consume, starting from food to beauty products. Consumers want to align all aspects of their lifestyle.

The development of new ethical cosmetic products is on the rise and their consumption is a growing trend in the beauty industry. Vegan and animal-friendly credentials are important ethical considerations that will help the new brands to create a loyal following while help established ones win new users.

An upward trend also certified by the Vegan Society confirmed that veganism is no longer just a niche choice and that the number of vegans has grown from 150,000 in 2006 to over 540,000 today, pushing beauty brands to react by reformulating their products and striving increasingly in this direction.

In fact, animal testing has been banned in the EU for almost 15 years and from March 2013 it is also forbidden to sell animal-tested cosmetics in the EU which contain ingredients that have been tested.

A further step forward is the request by the European Union, that by 2023 this ban, currently in force in Europe, should be extended to the whole world.

Even Pinterest has recently reported that research for “vegan beauty” has increased by 281 percent since 2017, with more and more people interested in green beauty.

In England alone, over 6 percent of products launched in 2017 have been certified as vegans, a figure that should double in the next five years.

Vegan is a new trend, but we are sure it will remain so in the long run.

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