The growing world of cruelty free and vegan skincare can be a daunting place if you are just dipping your toe into this new realm. Many brands boast of their sustainable products and shine a grand spotlight onto their animal free treatments. However, these labels do not always ensure that a product is both vegan and cruelty free. This article will explore a variety of both vegan and cruelty free brands, helping you to navigate this growing and bustling market.
A personal opinion on vegan skincare, by Melody Day
What is your favourite vegan skincare brand?
As someone who is trying to reduce their animal consumption both in food and in other aspects, vegan skincare has opened up many doors to help me become more sustainable and cruelty free. One particular vegan skincare brand that I enjoy is iS Clinical, a brand focused on using botanical ingredients to create high-quality skincare products.
Their range is categorised into four sections; ‘Cleanse’, ‘Treat’, ‘Hydrate’ and ‘Protect’, offering a collection of cleansers, moisturisers, toners and SPF treatments to offer full protection and more youthful looking skin. The price range for these products is fairly reasonable with the ‘Cleansing Complex’ cleansing gel retailing at £36.00, as of 2021.
Cruelty Free and Vegan Beauty Brands to Support
Despite both cruelty free and vegan beauty brands becoming more popular and indeed, battling their way through an already saturated market, it can be difficult to sought through the best brands. In the UK, many high-street skincare brands are hopping onto the vegan and cruelty free trend, making many products more accessible. For example, Advanced Nutrition Programme offers a wide range of vegan supplements to support the advanced growth of hair, skin and nails, leaving you with a more youthful appearance and increased immune support.
Osmosis Skincare is another brand that highlights the benefits of both vegan and cruelty free skincare. The brand is considered both vegan and cruelty-free and each of their products contain descriptions to prove that they are against such products. In addition, Osmosis Skincare are heavily focused on the power of scientific research, seen by the work of their founder, Dr Ben Johnson.
What is your vegan skincare routine?
As I mentioned previously, I have become an avid fan of iS Clinical, who offer a four-step programme to achieve more desirable skin. Firstly, I complete the ‘Cleanse’ stage using the ‘Cream Cleanser’, which helps to eliminate dry skin, helping to create a soft and smooth texture. Next, I proceed to the ‘Treat’ stage where I use the ‘C Eye Serum Advance’ to help brighten my skin and reduce the appearance of under-eye circles.
The third step is ‘Hydrate’, where I use the ‘Hydra Cool Serum’, which helps to reduce minor blemishes and provide antioxidant protection. Finally, I complete my routine with the ‘Protect’ stage, using ‘Eclipse SPF 50+’, helping to protect my skin from dangerous sun damage.
What do you think about Veganism?
As with many developing trends and social movements my views on veganism are transforming as I become more educated on the matter. When I was a teenager, the rise of the vegan YouTuber emerged and quickly dominated the internet.
Unfortunately, these particular vegans were often very radical with their approach and were determined to influence anyone who crossed their path, something that is not appropriate for a young teenager delving into the internet. It was only in the last few years that I began to see veganism as a viable and consistent lifestyle. With the looming climate crisis being displayed upon every newspaper, I learned that veganism is an effective way to deal with climate change and is actually a very accessible diet, particularly with mainstream supermarkets lining their shelves with affordable vegan alternatives.
Soon after, I came across vegan skincare products popping up across the market, helping many vegans to have sustainability within all areas of their lifestyle. Overall, I believe that veganism is like many ideologies in the sense that it is ultimately a choice of whether you will follow it. I am unable to comment on whether veganism is a suitable choice for everybody, but I do believe that it is a very interesting concept to learn more about.
How to tell if a product is cruelty-free?
Many brands overstate their cruelty-free stance, but unless it has been certified by a trusted body, it would be best to avoid their products. The key feature of cruelty-free products is the ‘Leaping Bunny’ logo approved by Cruelty-Free International. This institution helps to challenge leading brands to validate their testing programmes and ensure that animals were not affected. The ‘Leaping Bunny’ logo is not limited to skincare products, in fact, this logo is often seen on makeup, household cleaners and personal care items.
Cruelty Free International’s website also includes a list of brands which have been awarded the ‘Leaping Bunny’ logo to help consumers to make the best decisions.
What does it mean if a product is vegan?
The key aspect of vegan products is that they do not contact any animal products. This means that the production of a particular product does not contain any elements of an animal within it. For example, it is common for some manufactures to use fish scales in certain mascaras to help it attract light and create shine. Thus, it is important to look at the products ingredients and check for the Vegan Society logo.
It must be said that even though a product is vegan, that does not necessarily mean that the product is considered to be cruelty-free, so it is important to also look for the ‘Leaping Bunny’ logo on certain vegan products.
How do cruelty-free companies test their products?
Cruelty-free testing simply refers to a testing method that does not kill or harm animals in any way. So, in order to stick firmly to their cruelty-free promise, certain brands use human volunteers to test their products, to ensure that an animal does not take their place.
More humane forms of testing are vitro methods, a form of testing which uses a small culture of human cells and tissues to see how the product would affect the body on a larger scale. Another form of cruelty-free testing is silico models, which involves advanced computer models mimicking the behaviours of human cells.
As this article has shown, the world of cruelty-free and vegan skincare is not as daunting as one may first perceive. Although there are many regulations, symbols and key words to look out for, there is no doubt that there is an abundance of brands working tirelessly to make a difference to the environment and to the lives of innocent animals.
Like all skincare products, vegan and cruelty-free product are no different in the sense that they must be researched before trying them on yourself. So, take a leap and try a vegan skincare product and help save the planet one product at a time.
As with many developing trends and social movements my views on veganism are transforming as I become more educated on the matter.