A proper vegan skincare routine plays a huge role in the condition of your skin – what you do will not only show its effects now, but in the future where you still want to retain healthy, radiant skin. Whilst a solid routine should be fitted into every individual’s day, skincare products are not a ‘one-size fits all’ – there are different products for each skin type but also for different lifestyles as skincare products commonly contain that may not be animal-friendly!
What Makes Some Skincare Products Non-Vegan?
Glycerine is an ingredient often used to moisturise the skin. As labels don’t usually specify whether glycerine is sourced from animal fat or vegetable fat, the safest option is to avoid it altogether if the label does not specify. Collagen is also used as a product in skincare to keep skin plump and youthful however, it is mostly found in hair, nails and bones which unfortunately come from animals. This makes collagen not animal-friendly – some have even said a vegan collagen product is impossible due to how dependant it is on animals as a source. Though Squalene is sometimes seen as the best facial oil; it is an “excellent moisturiser and leaves skin hydrated, plump and soft” however, the downside is that this ingredient comes from shark liver oil and therefore, not vegan friendly. These are just a few ingredients to avoid. For an extensive list of animal-derived ingredients that you should look out for, you can refer to PETA’s list of ingredients!
A SIMPLE VEGAN SKINCARE ROUTINE TO GET YOU STARTED
Vegan Face Wash/Cleansers
Face wash is a simple first step to get you started in your skincare journey. While many may think using water is enough to clean your face, with face wash, the “dirt, oil and urban pollutants that water alone can leave behind” are also removed. Similarly, cleansers are a staple step in skincare routines, especially for makeup-wearers as it is “designed to remove impurities, germs, dirt and makeup that can irritate the skin”.
Dry Skin: Aveda provide a Botanical Kinetics Purifying Crème Cleanser which is a “daily facial cleansing with a rich crème that removes surface dirt and impurities”. As it is extra mild, it is perfect for anyone with dry skin. The packaging is also recyclable and responsible as manufacturing takes place through 100% wind power in their primary facility.
Oily Skin: The Body Shop provides a ‘Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash’ which has a rating of 5 stars amongst 1,503 reviews! This face wash is “infused with Community Trade Tea Tree Oil, cleanses blemished skin. A refreshing lather removes impurities and excess oil, leaving skin feeling purified.” and ready for the next step in your skincare routine.
All Skin: The 100% Pure ‘Coconut Oil Cleansing Milk’ is a “facial cleanser made with skin softening coconut milk, skin moisturizing coconut oil, hydrating coconut water, and intoxicating vanilla bean.” And has almost 5 stars due to its 233 reviews! Coconut oil is a particularly great ingredient to have in your skincare – it is known to keep skin very moisturised, reduce inflammation and can even assist in treating acne.
Toners are a crucial step “before moisturizing and following your facial cleanser”. It is a “quick, absorbing liquid that helps to remove excess dirt, traces of oil and makeup, correct and balance the pH of your skin, and helps control acne.”
Dry Skin/All Skin: Suki offer a Concentrated Strengthening Toner with powerful antioxidants that tone and strengthen the skin to “prevent & reduce premature aging” as well as promoting “long-term radiance & an overall even complexion”. Consumers say this product is “an essential part” of their daily skincare routine and have rated it with 5 stars.
Oily Skin: Though toners typically contain non-vegan ingredients like lactic acid and glycerine, the LUSH ‘Tea Tree Water Toner’ is a great vegan alternative and is currently a 5-star product with 401 reviews! Tea Tree water is a very beneficial ingredient too; it “keeps the scalp and skin clean and spotless thanks to its antimicrobial properties”.
Serum is a key step in any vegan skincare routine, before applying your moisturiser as it “can penetrate deeply into the skin and deliver a very high concentration of active ingredients” as they are not diluted with moisturisers.
Dry Skin/All Skin: The ‘Hyaluronic Acid Serum for Skin’ by Poppy Austin is one of their best-selling products and includes beneficial ingredients like Vitamin C, Green Tea and Jojoba Oil alongside hyaluronic acid making it a “delicate, lightweight and gentle facial serum suitable for all skin types, including acne-prone and sensitive skin”. It claims to “improve elasticity, hydrate, smooth and tone your entire face and neck from within”.
Oily Skin: The Ordinary’s Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% is a serum specifically targeted for oily skin. It is described as “a dream come true for oily skin, this potent serum targets breakouts, minimises pores and decongests confused complexions by regulation sebum production”. Reviews say “honestly this product is a lifesaver” for making oily skin look like it is glowing but not oily!
Applying a moisturiser after your serum is a good way to lock in the ingredients provided by your serum.
Dry Skin/All Skin: The Milk ‘Vegan Milk Moisturiser’ provides a “deep yet lightweight hydration and help your face stay moisturized”. This moisturiser is made of many hydrating ingredients like melon, jojoba and Aloe Vera and “100% of people said skin looks and feels hydrated, nourished, and replenished”
Oily Skin: Body Shop Tea Tree Mattifying Lotion is 100% vegan and is a lightweight moisturiser which includes tea tree oil and hydrates oily skin without leaving a greasy feeling or “clogging the pores”. Rated at 5 stars, with 434 reviews, consumers say this product “makes an instant different to the level of oil produced over the course of a day”
Face masks are a great extra step to pamper the skin as they drive ingredients deeper in the skin and can give results after just one use.
Dry Skin/All Skin: In The Vegan Reviews interview with Vegan Beauty Blogger Rebecca Brown, she recommended the Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask As she likes “to keep things fairly simple”. This mask is rated with 5 stars across 2560 reviews – it is a “luxuriously bouncy, breathable sleeping mask that smoothes and perfects skin, overnight”. With ingredients like hyaluronic acid and watermelon extract, this mask is recommended for all skin types and generally, face masks can be used between 1-2 times a week depending on how sensitive your skin is.
Oily Skin: The Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Mask by the Body Shop is made to “refine and revive your skin” and as well as being 100% vegan, it is free from parabens, paraffins and silicones. As it is a charcoal mask, it “draws out impurities and refines the appearance of pores for healthy-looking skin with a glow that shows” which makes it perfect for those with an oilier skin type.
As lips are exposed to different climates, they are prone to becoming chapped and in order to protect them from this, lip balm is a necessary step in skincare. Lip Balm “works to moisturize dried tissue and protect the area from exposure to wind, cold temperatures and ultraviolet rays, which reduces pain and allows the lip tissue to heal.”
All Skin: Dr Paw Paw provides a best-selling, vegan lip balm packed with pawpaw fruit and Aloe Vera. This lip balm “works to moisturize dried tissue and protect the area from exposure to wind, cold temperatures and ultraviolet rays, which reduces pain and allows the lip tissue to heal”. As well as being a lip balm, this is a multipurpose product and can be used on dry elbows, cuticles and even eyebrows!
It is clear that a vegan skincare routine which avoiding contributing to the harm of animals is simple – there are now plenty of vegan skincare products from many different brands and are rated very highly by consumers. Therefore, we should make conscious effort while choosing our skincare to make cruelty-free choices. As Vegan beauty blogger Rebecca Brown says in her interview with The Vegan Review, “It’s important to buy vegan as we essentially vote with our money. If brands see that consumers care about cruelty-free, vegan products, they’re more likely to make it a priority to eliminate animal testing and using animal products.”