Although Veganuary is drawing to a close, my vegan activism will continue throughout the year and so I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you twenty animal ingredients which may be lurking within your beauty-bag. Although this list is not exhaustive, it will hopefully provide you some insight and help you make better choices when making future purchases. I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments below…
It is always worth understanding that Cruelty Free & Vegan are not the same, however if you would like to question ethics of a brand, you can use my email template.
♡ Casein // Milk Protein
Casein is a protein found predominantly in cows milk and other dairy products. In addition to cosmetics products, casein can also be found in paints and adhesive products: caseinate, sodium caseinate or milk protein.
♡ Carmine // Cochineal
Carmine, also called cochineal, cochineal extract, crimson lake or carmine lake, natural red 4, C.I. 75470, or E120, is a pigment of a bright-red color extracted from finely ground cochineal scale insects.
Collagen is always derived from animals and gives elasticity to the skin. Collagen in extracted from the skin of animals and can be found in many moisturisers and anti-aging products. Collagen is not considered to actually be an effective ingredient because it does not penetrate the skin enough to be effective.
♡ Cera Alba // Beeswax
Beeswax is always animal derived because it comes from bees. Beeswax is used as an emulsifier and helps mix water and oils together and is often found in mascara, eyeliner and lip products. Synthetic beeswax does exist and if used will be clearly stated (synthetic beeswax is not made from natural ingredients).
Similarly to collagen, loss of elastin is one of the causes of skin aging, which is why it is a popular ingredient used with cosmetics. Scientist believe that it is actually ineffective because it does not penetrate the skin enough. Elastin is usually extracted from the aorta or vertebrae of cattle.
Oestrogen is always derived from animals, however it is also a hormone found within the human body. Oestrogen is often found in skincare and perfume and is obtained from the urine of pregnant horses.
Gelatine is always derived from animals and is used in both food and cosmetics. Gelatine is obtained by boiling bones and offal.
Glucosamine is always animal derived and is a popular ingredient used in skincare. Glucosamine is predominately derived from the bone marrow of chickens.
Glycerine can be derived from both animal fats and plant fats and so it is always worth enquiring with a brand if you are unsure. Glycerine is found is many cosmetics products and is also referred to as glycerides, glycreth-26, polyglycerol, glycerol or glycerin.
Guanine is always derived from animal ingredients and is substance which is often used in nail polish, make-up and shampoo. Guanine is also referred to as pearl essence, pearl extract or pearl powder and is made from ground fish scales.
Honey is always derived from animals (bees) and is primarily found in facial masks, skincare and hair care products. Honey is also used as a perfume, to scent cosmetics. Honey can also be referred to as Mel (however this is not something which I have seen before).
♡ Hyalauronic Acid
Hyaluronic Acid is derived from both plants and animals and so it is always worth making an enquiry if you are unsure. Hyaluronic is often used in skincare and advertised as a luxury skincare ingredient however it is obtained from the combs on the head of roosters.
Keratin is always derived from animals and is a substance which is extracted from the nails, feathers, horns, hair and hooves of animals. Keratin is usually found in hair care products, including shampoo, conditioner , hair masks and hair colours/dyes.
Lactose is always animal derived because it is a sugar which is found within animal milk (predominantly) cows milk. Lactose is often found within skincare and eye creams. It is important to remember that lactose and lactic acid are not the same and that both are not derived from animals.
Lanolin is always derived from animals as it is an oil which is extracted from sheep’s wool. Lanolin is commonly used in moisturisers and lip care products because it has moisturising properties. Synthetic lanolin does exist, however it is very rarely used. Lanolin is also a common allergy, along with an allergy to wool.
Lecithin is sometimes, but not always derived from animals and it used in both food and cosmetics. Lecithin can be derived from eggs, or from soy and sunflowers. It is always worth enquiring if you are unsure because lecithin is found in a plethora of cosmetics products.
♡ Oleic Acid // Tallow
Oleic acid is usually derived from animals however it can be plant based. Oleic aside is used in moisturisers, soaps, perm fluid, nail polish and lipstick. Oleic acid is also referred to as oleic stearate, oleic oleate or tallow.
Panthenol is usually derived from animals and is mainly used within skincare and haircare products, however it can also be found in mascara too. The majority of panthenol is derived from meat however, it can be found in some vegetables. it is rarely stated where panthenol is obtained from and to confirm whether or not it is plant based further enquiries will need to be made to the brand…
Shellac is always animal derived and is obtained from the resinous secretions of the lac beetle. Shellac is an an ingredient which is commonly found in nail polish, shampoo, hair spray, mascara, lipstick and get nail polish. DYK around 300,000 insects are killed in order to produce 1kg of shellac and within raw and unfiltered shellac there can be up to 25% of insect debris.
Squalene is primarily derived from shark livers and can be found in lip balm, deodorant, skin care products and moisturisers. Although plant based squalene exists, it is rarely stated where the squalene is obtained from and to confirm whether or not it is plant based further enquiries will need to be made to the brand…
Prior to reading this post, were you familar with the animal ingredients which are commonly used within cosmetics? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments.