Veganism is about being compassionate, it is about taking the right choices for yourself and your environment. It is standing against cruelty and exploitation of the voiceless.
Veganism is most of all, to take better decisions every day and it starts with small things, like the choice of your cosmetics.
I want to be honest. I have been struggling a while with taking this simplest of steps and throwing out all non-vegan beauty products. I was convinced that I would not find anything equally good in quality. I was afraid of spending more, which let´s be realistic, is a big issue for any student (as I was back then). After making the connection and going on a plant-based diet, I started to turn my life around, step by step. I began to care about where my money goes and where it comes from, too. Choosing organic vegan products, matters to me a lot. In order to be able to afford that, I am happy to cut back on other things. Like spending on clothing and partying. It took me a while to get there and if you are still struggling to take the step, here are 5 reasons why to use vegan cosmetics.
First things first, let’s clear up what “cruelty-free,” “vegan,” and “natural” actually mean when it comes to beauty products, because the terms aren’t interchangeable.
5 Reasons Why You Should Use Vegan Cosmetics
1. EVOID ANIMAL INGREDIENTS Many cosmetics contain animal products, whereas vegan make up and other cosmetics do not contain any such ingredients. Animal products can include dead insect extracts, beeswax and uric acid of cows and horses, to name a few. Those ingredients are simply unnecessary and can easily be replaced with better, plant-based options. Animal ingredients are often a more cost effective ingredients, but seldom higher in quality or longevity.
2. FIGHT ANIMAL TESTING Vegan products are never tested on animals and therefore 100% cruelty-free. By choosing vegan products, you make a statement against animal exploitation. Animals don´t need to endure horrible procedures in labs (e.g., being locked up, poisoned, blinded, and even killed) for the sake of our vanity. There a plenty of great vegan options.
How are vegan products being tested? On human volunteers. Ingredient testing happens on a microbiological level, while finished products are tested on human volunteers. And all of this complies with safety regulations.
3. NO CHEMICALS Many chemical ingredients are nothing more than fillers. That is why lots of non-vegan products are so cheap. Products laden with chemicals can also directly harm the environment, which can indirectly harm the people and animals living in it. Some chemicals even harm you directly. Examples are synthetic fragrance, parabens, petroleum, synthetic colorants. My rule: If I cant pronounce it, I don't use it.
4. HEALTHIER & YOUNGER SKIN Treating your skin well is as crucial as eating well. When you use fewer fake ingredients on your skin, your body becomes more naturally balanced, which means you won’t age as quickly and glow naturally.
5. THE PACKAGING MATTERS Vegan brands are often using sustainable, recycled packaging, which is much more eco-friendly than regular packaging.
How did everything change for me?
I found the perfect partner. Without looking for it, a cruelty-free brand fell into my hands. Well, to be honest, one day in the office, my former colleague Susanne kind of threw a bottle at my startled face with the words: “Jen, you are going to love this!” That was during the cold months in March, about year ago. My skin suffered from the dry heat in the office and the freezing temperatures in Berlin at the end of the winter. When I saw that I had caught a pink bottle of what I identified as some sort of hydration spray from a brand called i+m, I was happy to give it a try and safe my skin from further damage.
Now that you’re interested in natural beauty brands, i+m is a good place to start.
My cruelty-free weapon against dry skin: i+m
After testing the facial cleanser spray that Susi so kindly introduced to me, I was surprised how my problematic skin had changed from dry and irritated to nourished and gloomy within weeks. I was a lazy bum when it came to skin care, I admit. So this was an eye opening experience. And all this without animal ingredients, animal testing, 100% organic and fair? Damnit, I only wished I had known this brand much earlier!
If this could be achieved with a cleanser only, what would happen if I used the whole range of products, including cleansing milk and moisturising creams? i+m got my back and send me the whole range of products for skin that needs serious hydration. Over a couple of weeks I could literally watch my skin improving with every day! My skin showed less signs of red spots or pimples, even before and during a girls specials days of the month – which is when I used to have bad breakouts. The products also smell extremely nice, without that artificial feeling.
Natural raw ingredients are the most effective
i+m only uses cold-pressed organic oils and doesn’t chemically neutralise their scent or colour and avoids artificial preservatives. Cold pressing is the only way to fully preserve the plants’ valuable active ingredients. Their recipes have been completely vegan for a number of years now. Company founder Inge Stamm has always believed in the power of plants: “Over the years, I’ve observed how purely natural active ingredient combinations are tolerated best by customers and are the most effective.” It goes without saying that none of their products contain synthetic, mineral oil-based or animal-based ingredients – and the result is high-quality, authentic natural products that are compatible with different skin types and which meet your individual skincare needs.
Remember: Try it out and see what works best for you. After all, you’re the expert on your own body.
If you´d like to learn more about i+m, check out their website.
There are many more Cruelty-Free Companies
These are a few companies on the cruelty-free list:
The Body Shop
Urban Decay (recently bought out by L`Orèal, which makes money with animal testing :/ )
Pin Up Girl
and luckily many more!
These companies may only have certain products in their line that meet the criteria vegan, even if they label themselves as such and dont test on animals. For people who are 100% vegan, ingredients such as, beeswax and honey are not an option. Be sure to read ingredient labels before purchasing to make sure a it meets your standards.
I always recommend to search for vegan and cruelty-free brands on peta.org!
Did you find this article helpful? Then leave me a comment below! I would be happy to hear your opinion! Thanks for reading this until the end!
Best, Jen May
featured image by Victor Larracuente / Unsplash