The vegan movement is gaining a steady following across the globe – and while we’ve been hearing a lot about vegan food in recent years, the vegan skincare movement is fast becoming just as popular. If you’re interested in exploring a vegan skincare routine, The Perfume Shop stocks many animal-friendly products to choose from – and there are plenty of reasons why you should. Read on to discover what makes vegan skincare so special and why adopting a minimalist skincare routine can help you achieve that gorgeous glow without the guilt.
WHAT IS VEGAN SKINCARE?
So what makes a skincare product vegan? Like vegan food, vegan skincare contains zero animal-derived ingredients or by-products. Non-vegan ingredients can include beeswax, honey and silk protein. Lesser-known ingredients that are non-vegan include biotin, cetyl alcohol, keratin, and gelatine, all of which are frequently used in skincare (organisations like PETA have a full list of such ingredients on their website for you to check if you are unsure which ingredients to avoid)
Other non-vegan ingredients can include bee venom, which is sometimes used in products to numb the muscles in the face for a ‘topical Botox’ plumping effect. Lanolin is another non-vegan ingredient. It’s a type of wax secreted by sheep through their wool and is often a key ingredient in lip balm and moisturiser.
Certain fragrances in skincare can also be non-vegan. For example, ambergris is a highly prized perfume ingredient that adds a rich scent and is basically – wait for it – whale faeces! If you don’t like the sound of all that, then a vegan skincare regime might be the answer, (and you can read everything you need to know about vegan fragrances here too).
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF VEGAN SKINCARE?
Not only can vegan skincare be more eco-friendly – and not to mention better for our animal friends – but vegan ingredients tend to be gentler on the skin, making them less likely to cause redness and irritation. Moreover, vegan formulas are actually good at calming sensitive skin as the formulas tend to be more alkaline, helping to relieve conditions like stress rashes and acne.
HOW TO SPOT A VEGAN SKINCARE PRODUCT
If you’re on the lookout for vegan skincare, it’s usually very easy to spot. That’s because vegan packaging tends to have a ‘V’ logo on the front or back. However, if the packaging simply says, ‘cruelty-free’, the product may not be vegan, and you’ll need to do a little more digging. While a product may not have been tested on animals (thereby making it cruelty-free), it still might contain animal-derived ingredients, so they are not one and the same thing.
To make life easier for you (you’re welcome!), The Perfume Shop has a vegan skincare section containing products packed with plant-based and sustainable ingredients.
Still tempted by vegan skincare? Then add these simple steps to your daily routine…
The first step in any effective vegan skincare routine is to – you guessed it – cleanse! Whether you prefer micellar water, foam cleansers or cleansing balms, vegan cleansers clear and comfort skin by removing makeup and the daily build-up of dirt and grime.
Even better, double cleansing achieves a deeper clean while promoting a smooth, glowing and even skin tone. Start by sweeping either micellar water or an oil-based cleanser over your face before following up with a nourishing vegan facial wash. You can thank us for that tip later…
When searching for a vegan cleanser, keep an eye out for skin-loving ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid for extra hydration and seaweed extract to assist with cell turnover.
Facial toner is one of life’s unsung skincare heroes. Vegan toners work alongside facial cleansers to remove the final traces of dirt, grime and impurities. They also prep the skin for serums and moisturisers while cleaning and closing pores. Simply pour a generous amount of toner onto a reusable cotton pad and wipe over your face and neck in gentle upward movements.
Top tip: look for a vegan toner that’s alcohol-free – or as close to it as possible. Alcohol dries out the skin and leaves it feeling tight and uncomfortable. Instead, natural ingredients like witch hazel, chamomile, allantoin and pro-vitamin B5 are ones to look out for.
Treat your complexion to a glow-giving facial serum if it looks a little tired and lacklustre. One of the most important steps in any vegan skincare routine, serums contain high levels of active ingredients – like hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, niacinamide and zinc – that can help hydrate, smooth and minimise the appearance of ageing.
Of course, all vegan serums are different, and you’ll need to find one specifically targeted to your skin’s needs. But applying serum twice daily – once in the morning and once in the evening – can help improve the skin’s texture and appearance over time. And who wouldn’t want that?!
The final step in your vegan-friendly minimalist routine is to moisturise. This step is super important, as moisturising stops skin from drying out, produces a firmer appearance and keeps pollutants out of your pores.
Not only are vegan moisturisers kinder for animals, but they’re gentler on the skin and less likely to cause irritation and redness. Many non-vegan moisturisers contain beeswax, lanolin and glycerin, which are all animal-derived ingredients. Be careful to avoid them and instead look for plant-based versions packed with antioxidants, minerals and natural oils.
Interested in vegan hair and body care, too? Here’s the lowdown…
Packed with nourishing ingredients, a plant-based moisturiser will leave skin feeling nourished and silky-smooth. You’ll also benefit from the antioxidants, minerals and natural oils found in plants. Because vegan moisturisers contain fewer ingredients, they’re less likely to irritate skin.
Moisturise damp skin soon after you get out of the shower. Hot water can be dehydrating, and moisturising damp skin helps seal in hydration.
Leave hair feeling soft, shiny and beautifully cleansed with vegan shampoo. Powered by plant-based proteins and other natural ingredients, vegan hair products clean and nourish hair without causing any damage. Many non-vegan shampoos contain harsh chemicals and fragrances that irritate the scalp and dry hair follicles.
Try only to wash your hair every 2-3 days using room-temperature water. Overwashing strips the scalp and hair of its natural oils and disrupts the skin barrier, making it look and feel lack-lustre.
Vegan conditioners do an excellent job of nourishing hair follicles without causing too much build-up. That’s because they contain more natural oils and plant extracts than conditioners loaded with synthetic ingredients. Whatever your hair type – whether it’s frizzy, dry or damaged – it’s important to find a conditioner that works with your hair, not against it. You can usually find this information on the bottle.
Vegan shampoos and conditioners work together to keep hair healthy. After cleansing hair with shampoo, rinse your conditioner with cold water to close the hair cuticles and prevent the loss of natural oils. Doing so will leave hair shiny, strong and revitalised. Win-win!
If you have long or thick hair, you’re probably used to the annoying knots that come with it. To detangle hair without causing damage:
1. Brush hair before washing
2. After towel-drying, loosen the tough strands with a lightweight hair oil or leave-in conditioner.
3. Use your fingers to pull large knots apart gently. Fingers are less likely to cause damage than brushes and combs.
4. Grab a large wide-tooth comb and tease out any remaining smaller knots. Start from the tips and work your way up to the roots to prevent breakage.
If your hair feels thirsty, over-processed or needs quenching, a vegan hair mask can help restore and rejuvenate dry and damaged strands. Many non-vegan hair products contain harsh, moisture-stripping ingredients that do more harm than good. Masks containing natural ingredients, like coconut, bananas, almond and olive oil, are a kinder, gentler alternative, giving hair the hydration it needs.
Vegan hair masks work best when applied to damp, freshly-washed hair. Once you’ve removed excess moisture with a towel, gently comb a generous scroop through your hair, starting at the roots and working towards the tips. Let it do its magic for 3-5 minutes before rinsing thoroughly. For a more intense treatment, leave the mask on for 20 minutes.
FEEL GOOD WHEN YOU SMELL GOOD: PLANET
At The Perfume Shop, we are as passionate about minimising our impact on the planet as we are about perfume. And as you can imagine, that’s quite a lot! So over the last few years, we’ve been working hard to make changes that matter, from consciously reducing our carbon footprint to launching 100% recyclable, vegan and cruelty-free Own Brand collections as part of our Feel Good When You Smell Good social purpose efforts.
Find out more about the goals we’ve committed to, what we’ve achieved so far, and how you can help us make a difference on our dedicated Our Planet page.
Lorna is a Freelance Copywriter with a passion for fragrance, beauty and skincare, sustainability and outdoor adventure sports. She famously quit her office job to spend more time with her cat and counts her favourite perfumes as Mugler Alien and Ralph by Ralph Lauren.