What is Vegan Skincare? The Top 5 Benefits of using Vegan Skincare 

If you're looking to shop vegan skincare, you'll be pleased to know that it's easier than ever. With more and more vegan-friendly brands, vegan skincare in Australia is becoming mainstream as people become aware of the many benefits of vegan products. However, just because you choose to use vegan skincare products, it doesn’t mean you have to label yourself vegan or change your whole lifestyle. Perhaps you’re only interested in dipping your toe in for a small sample.

Fortunately, vegan skincare products in the Melbourne vegan market can be used by anyone, regardless of their diet or lifestyle choices. When you run out of a product, simply look for an alternative that is vegan-friendly or vegan. 

What is Vegan Skincare?

Veganism is a lifestyle that’s all about staying away from using any animal products or animal byproducts. This includes food, clothing, cosmetics, and other products that may be derived from animals. The vegan skincare movement has gained popularity recently as people have become more aware of their choices impact on the environment and animals. While vegan skincare products are not always made from natural ingredients, they are free from animal-derived materials, making them appealing to many people around the world. This means that they have not been tested on animals and do not contain any animal byproducts.

Vegan skincare products are often just as effective as their non-vegan counterparts and can be found at various price points. Whether looking for a new makeup routine or switching to cruelty-free products, vegan skincare is a great option to experiment with, even if you aren’t ready to overhaul your entire lifestyle.

Many people go vegan because they want to reduce animal suffering. Unfortunately, many people are unaware that the beauty industry is one of the biggest contributors to animal cruelty. For example, rabbits have chemicals dropped in their eyes, guinea pigs are force-fed toxic substances, and mice have been injected with deadly diseases to test substances and products. Fortunately, there is a growing movement of cruelty-free beauty brands that refuse to test on animals. By choosing cruelty-free products, we can help to end this cycle of suffering and save the lives of countless animals.

Common Non-Vegan Ingredients

Many people choose to live a vegan lifestyle, avoiding all animal-derived products. However, this can be difficult when you’re ready to start shopping for beauty products, as many common ingredients are sourced from animals. For instance, collagen is a protein that is found in the connective tissue of mammals. It is commonly used in facial creams and serums, as it can help reduce wrinkles by plumping up the skin.

Gelatin is another protein derived from animal collagen, and it is often used in cosmetics as a thickening agent. Bees secrete beeswax to build their honeycombs, and it is commonly used in lip balms and salves because of its hydrating properties.

Lanolin is obtained from sheep’s wool and is often used as a base for creams and lotions. Carmine is a pigment derived from crushed cochineal insects and is commonly used in blushes, lipsticks, and other makeup products. Cholesterol is found in the fatty tissues of animals, and it is sometimes used as an emollient in moisturisers. Silk powder is made from ground-up silk cocoons and is often used as a gentle exfoliating agent.

Animal-derived glycerin is another common ingredient that is found in beauty products. It is usually sourced from pork or beef fat and acts as a humectant, meaning that it maintains skin hydration by drawing moisture from the air. While these ingredients are common in beauty products, many vegan alternatives can be used.

Vegan Alternatives

Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance found within the human body. This substance is responsible for giving skin its plump, hydrated appearance. Unfortunately, hyaluronic acid levels decline with age, leading to drier skin

That said, the many topical products containing this ingredient can help to replenish lost moisture and keep skin looking young and healthy. When applied to the skin, hyaluronic acid has a unique ability to attract and retain water. This makes it a great choice for those who want plumper, more hydrated complexion. Best of all, this ingredient is suitable for all skin types, even those with sensitive skin.

If you’re looking for the best vegan skincare in Australia, one ingredient that is both effective and non-comedogenic—squalane—may be worth considering. Originally extracted from the livers of sharks, this oil helps trap hydration in the skin, preventing dryness and flakiness. Although shark-derived squalane is still available, many manufacturers now source it from plant-based sources like sugarcane, olive, rice bran, and amaranth oils. This change has made squalane more affordable and accessible while maintaining its hydrating properties. When used regularly, squalane can help improve your skin's texture and appearance. So, check your products carefully to see where they originate. If you can choose cruelty-free products at an affordable price and still enjoy excellent skincare results, why wouldn’t you?

Lactic acid is often used in skincare products for its exfoliating and hydrating properties. Unlike other AHAs, lactic acid is produced naturally in the body, so it is generally considered gentle and non-irritating. Lactic acid can be produced through the fermentation of milk or meat, but it can also be generated from plant-based sources such as beets, corn, and cane sugar. When used in skincare products, lactic acid helps to slough away dead skin cells and improve hydration levels by increasing the skin's ability to hold onto water.

Additionally, lactic acid also has antibacterial properties, which makes it an ideal ingredient for acne-prone skin. When selecting a skincare product containing lactic acid, look for one suitable for your skin type and sensitivity level for best results.

Benefit #1: Avoid Toxins 

The beauty industry is notorious for using harmful ingredients and toxins in its products. These ingredients have been linked to health problems, including cancer and reproductive damage. Unfortunately, many companies are stuck in the past, still believing these ingredients are the only way to create effective products. As a result, many people are exposed to potentially dangerous chemicals daily. 

According to a study from the National Institute of Environmental Sciences, endocrine disruptors are substances that can interfere with the endocrine system, causing adverse effects in animals. Although there is limited scientific information on potential health problems in humans, people are typically exposed to multiple endocrine disruptors simultaneously, which may increase the risk of health problems. These health problems include cancer, fertility, birth defects, and developmental disorders. Some endocrine disruptors are found in everyday products, such as plastics, cosmetics, and pesticides. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the potential risks of exposure to endocrine disruptors and take steps to minimise exposure.

The Melbourne vegan market offers a safe and healthy alternative to these harmful materials, and ours include vegan products. These products are made without animal products or byproducts and are also free of harmful toxins and chemicals. Vegan beauty products are often just as effective as their non-vegan counterparts, so give them a try.

Benefit #2: Better Skin

Harsh chemicals in non-vegan products, such as synthetic fragrances, parabens, petroleum, and synthetic colourants, cause minor and major skin irritations. These chemicals are often used as fillers, adding them with no substance or purpose, irritating your skin.

The endless products on the market promising to banish blemishes often contain harsh chemicals that can do more harm than good. These ingredients can cause redness, irritation, and even breakouts for people with sensitive skin. Switching to vegan skincare products is a great way to avoid these potential problems. Vegan skincare products are made with natural ingredients that are gentle on the skin and free of common irritants like sulphates and synthetic fragrances. As a result, a vegan moisturiser and cleanser can be a great way to help clear up your skin without causing additional irritation.

Benefit #3: Budget-friendly Options

You can find many different vegan skincare products that are budget-friendly in the Melbourne vegan market. You can save more money if you get the skincare help you need without damaging, maintaining, or repairing skin because of the adverse effects of non-vegan products. In short, it’s much better to invest in quality products that fix problem areas right away rather than products that can cause health problems over time, even if it seems like they may be a good solution upfront.

Benefit #4: Avoid Animal Byproducts

Unfortunately, many traditional beauty products contain animal byproducts. For example, did you know that collagen, a common ingredient in skincare products, is actually derived from the connective tissue of animals? Similarly, keratin, another popular ingredient, is derived from the horns and hooves of animals.

Then there’s lanolin, which is derived from sheep’s wool. Even if you’re not a vegan, using products containing these ingredients can be a barrier for your skin. These animal-derived ingredients are often difficult for your skin to absorb, leading to clogged pores and breakouts. If you want to avoid these problematic ingredients, look for skincare products like a vegan moisturiser made with plant-based ingredients.

Benefit #5: Be Kinder to the Planet

Veganism is not only about choosing cruelty-free products but also selecting items that are good for you and the planet. When you choose to buy vegan skincare in Australia, you can trust that you're getting products made with high-quality ingredients that will maintain your skin without irritating it. In addition, vegan skincare companies often use sustainable practices to reduce their environmental impact. What’s not to love?

Many standard cosmetics are made with various synthetic chemicals, many of which are derived from fossil fuels. These chemicals can damage the environment when used and released into the air or water during manufacturing. On the other hand, vegan cosmetics are typically made with natural ingredients that are less harmful to the environment. In addition, vegan cosmetics often use fewer synthetic chemicals than standard cosmetics, reducing their environmental impact. 

Vegan cosmetics typically don’t promote deforestation. Most conventional cosmetics are animal-derived ingredients, such as beeswax and lanolin. These ingredients often come from countries where forests are cleared to make way for livestock grazing. By choosing vegan cosmetics in the Melbourne vegan market, you can help to protect forest ecosystems. 

FDA Prohibited Ingredients for Cosmetics

Here are some of the ingredients in these products prohibited or regulated by the FDA:

Vinyl chloride is a dangerous chemical linked to cancer and other health problems.

For this reason, its use is prohibited in many consumer products. However, vinyl chloride is still used in some industrial applications. When inhaled, vinyl chloride can damage the liver, kidneys, and nervous system. It has also been linked to liver, brain, and lung cancer. 

Bithionol is a pesticide that was commonly used in the past to control a variety of plant diseases. However, it is now banned in different countries due to its potential to cause photo contact sensitisation, a condition where the skin becomes sensitive to light. Although bithionol is no longer used in agriculture, it can still be found in some cosmetics and personal care products. Bithionol can cause a rash, redness, and itching when exposed to sunlight. Sometimes, it may also lead to blistering and permanent skin discolouration.

Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) propellants are used in various aerosol products, from hairspray to air fresheners. However, due to their harmful effect on the ozone layer, the use of CFCs is now prohibited in many countries. In addition to causing damage to the ozone layer, CFCs are also greenhouse gases, which means that they contribute to climate change. The production and use of CFCs are also linked to several health problems, including cancer and respiratory diseases. 

Chloroform is a chemical used in many industries, including cosmetics. Unfortunately, it is also a known carcinogen, which can cause animal cancer. For this reason, chloroform in cosmetics is prohibited in different countries. There is an exception for residual amounts from its use as a processing solvent during manufacture or as a byproduct from the synthesis of an ingredient. However, even these small amounts of chloroform may harm human health.

According to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), it is unlawful to sell or distribute a cosmetic that is harmful to consumers when they use it according to the labelled directions. This means that even if a cosmetic does not contain an ingredient specifically prohibited or restricted by regulation, it can still be illegal to market if it is harmful to users.

To determine whether a cosmetic is safe for consumers, the FDA evaluates several factors, including the product's ingredients, how it is used, and whether there are any warnings on the label. If the FDA finds a cosmetic unsafe, it can take enforcement action to remove the product from store shelves and prevent further distribution. However, because the process of evaluating cosmetics safety can be complex, companies are often able to market products without first subjecting them to FDA scrutiny. As a result, consumers need to be aware of the potential risks associated with using cosmetics and only purchasing products from reputable brands.

Melbourne is well-known for its vibrant vegan scene, and the Melbourne vegan market is a great place to find the best vegan skincare in Australia. Hemp Skin Co is a Melbourne-based company that specialises in vegan skincare products. Our products are made with natural ingredients and free from harsh chemicals and artificial fragrances, so if you’re interested in Hemp Skin Co's vegan moisturiser, facial cleanser, and clay masks that are completely vegan, we recommend you give us a try!

October 11, 2022 — Kristin DiGioia