How to recognize vegan cosmetics?

How to recognize vegan cosmetics

Many cosmetic products include ingredients of animal origin in their preparation. Vegan cosmetics avoid this, in turn betting on totally natural and ecological formulas.

Many vegetarians are not aware that their toothpaste may contain ingredients from animal bones, that they use bovine fat lipstick, or that their cream may have been tested on animals causing suffering.

How to recognize vegan cosmetics

Some shampoos and soaps, for example, are tested on the eyes of rabbits to see if they are irritating, and to measure the effectiveness of some sunscreens, animals are subjected to high radiation with and without protection.

Knowing these facts, becoming aware of them and trying to avoid them is what has led to the appearance of the so-called vegan cosmetics, an option for those who believe that products obtained through animal suffering should not be used or for those who have chosen veganism as a style of life. This philosophy is based on respect for animals, which it does not consider at the service of humans.

His followers choose, like strict vegetarians, for a diet without meat, fish, eggs, milk or honey. But they also use skinless clothing and footwear and look for products that do not contain ingredients of animal origin for their daily hygiene. It is practiced out of moral conviction and is in line with the origin of the word “cosmetic”, from the Greek kosmein, which means order and harmony.


Both natural and vegan cosmetics turn to nature to obtain their ingredients, but vegan cosmetics go a step further and avoid using natural ingredients of animal origin. These include, for example, those from bees, lactic serums or lanolin; also, the famous carmine, since this pigment comes from the cooking of an insect, the cochineal.

On the other hand, the absence of these ingredients is not enough for cosmetics to be considered vegan. Like the natural one, you should avoid preservatives, dyes or synthetic excipients that can damage the skin or the environment, since this would be another way of attacking nature and animals.

In the Spanish market for natural cosmetics there are many products that meet these requirements. However, the absence of an official guarantee sometimes makes it difficult to locate them. In Great Britain there is one: the “Vegan” label, from The Vegan Society. In the absence of this seal in our country, these guidelines can help identify which products are vegan:

  • It is convenient to start with certified natural cosmetic products, with seals such as Ecocert or the BDIH, which guarantee the absence of dangerous synthetic substances and the non-experimentation on animals.
  • The next step would be to read the INCI ingredient list and discard those that contain animal products, including lanolin from sheep, whey, and milk protein; apiproducts such as wax, honey, propolis or royal jelly; colorants such as cochineal carmine (E-120); silk (serica); lactates (E325, E326, E327); caviar; snail slime, or snake venom.
  • The lecithin (E322) should check it soy or sesame seeds, as is common in cosmetics remove it from the egg.

Many natural cosmetic laboratories have vegan products in their catalogs and some already indicate this on the label. On some websites – especially those in the United Kingdom, where veganism has been common for a longer time, but also in many other countries – brands publish lists of their vegan products.

From a dermatological point of view, vegan cosmetics do not have added advantages to those of natural cosmetics. However, it allows vegan people to take care of their skin, face and body without giving up its principles.


There is a study from the Berlin University Hospital that supports that a vegetarian diet keeps the skin younger and more luminous. The causes can be of various kinds.

  • More antioxidants. One possible explanation is the higher number of antioxidants and vitamins consumed by those who choose a vegetarian diet. less toxic. In addition, vegetarians avoid many of the toxins that are accumulated in animal fats, which poison and age the skin.
  • However, it should be remembered that, if you give up milk and eggs in addition to meat and fish, you must take a vitamin B12 supplement to avoid anemia, as well as enough protein to ensure collagen synthesis.


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