Why choosing vegan skincare and cosmetics benefits your skin - and the planet. Words by Lisa Oxenham.
The world of vegan beauty is booming as more of us are choosing to buy animal-free products that are more aligned with our ethical values. As we become ever more aware that our actions have an effect on the planet, the knowledge that we have control over our carbon footprint fosters the desire to consume consciously. Vegan skincare such as Facetheory (which is totally cruelty and animal by-product free), appeals because it doesn't source any ingredients or any extracts from animals or their by-products such as honey, beeswax, and lanolin. It isn't only about avoiding products, but also about what - and how - we consume. For example, cutting meat and dairy from your diet reduces your carbon footprint by up to 70 per cent, and choosing skincare free of animal ingredients will up that number further. In case you are considering it, here are some of the key benefits of opting for vegan beauty:
Making the world a safer place for animals. Vegan means containing no animal products and typically that they’re also cruelty-free, meaning no animals were harmed or tested in creating the product or it’s ingredients. (Although it is possible for a vegan item to have been tested on an animal, they are more likely from an ethical perspective to make an effort not to). Vegan beauty companies also consider the impact product packaging has on animal welfare and the environment those animals live in.
You’ll benefit from plant extracts. Animals are exposed to pesticides from farming which can be found in skincare containing animal extracts or by-products such as beeswax, milk, egg whites, honey, lanolin. Animal ingredients can clog pores, whereas plant-derived ingredients in vegan formulas contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to repair and hydrate the skin.
You are being sustainable. Land is cleared to create more room for farmed animals and the crops that feed the animals so veganism also works to reduce the impact of pollution - and it is estimated that around half of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are caused by livestock and the by-products of the livestock industry. Since vegan companies want to preserve the environment, they look to contain sustainable ingredients and endeavour to use recycled plastics and environmentally-friendly packaging, which also saves the lives of all of the animals that live there.