Beauty explored: Is vegan better?

The vegan beauty products market is expected to boom over the next five years. This is due to an ever-growing demand for natural and pure ingredients, as well as ethical and environmental concerns. But what does it actually mean to choose a vegan beauty alternative, and is it really better?

Identifying a vegan product

A beauty product can be classed as vegan if it contains no animal products or animal-derived ingredients in their creation. And although this may sound pretty self-explanatory, there are many popular ingredients that you wouldn’t necessarily know are animal-derived. A few major players include: collagen, gelatine and retinol.

To help you, the the quickest way to ensure products are vegan is to look for the Vegan Society logo (shown below). However, there is no legal regulation on a product labelled as vegan, so it’s worth checking the brand’s credentials to assess their values. 

It’s also important to note that there is a difference between vegan and vegetarian beauty products. Vegetarian cosmetics do not contain ingredients that were part of an animal but they may contain ingredients that were made by an animal such as honey, beeswax, egg whites , milk substance, etc. Whereas vegan cosmetics do not contain anything and everything that was obtained or produced from living or killed animals.

The benefits of choosing vegan

Generally, vegan products are ‘cleaner’ which means they will be free from sulphates, silicones, phthalates, parabens, pesticides, petroleum derivatives, artificial colouring and synthetic fragrances.

Despite the myths, they aren’t more expensive either! Keep reading to find out my favourite affordable vegan brands.

And finally, vegan products are actually better for your skin, especially if you’re someone with sensitive or condition-prone skin. Animal ingredients can be harsh and clog pores, so vegan products are a soothing alternative.

Things to watch

Not all vegan makeup and skincare products are natural, clean, and exclusively plant-based. In fact, companies sometimes use synthetic chemicals as an affordable alternative.

Products that claim to be ‘vegan’ may not be ‘cruelty-free’ which means the product does not contain animal products or animal-derived ingredients but sadly, the products or its ingredients may have been tested on animals. Make sure you look out for the bunny logos (shown below) to ensure the product is definitely cruelty-free!

Final thoughts

Whilst adopting a vegan lifestyle is down to personal choice, there are some clear benefits when it comes to choosing vegan cosmetics. And whilst I haven’t thrown out everything from my bathroom cabinet quite yet, I’ve definitely become more conscious when choosing a vegan alternative.

So with this in mind, here are a few of my favourite tried-and-tested vegan brands to help you on your way.

e.l.f Cosmetics

100% cruelty-free and vegan, e.l.f is one of my favourites for quality affordable products. I particularly like their hydration range and the Prep & Hydrate Balm has been a firm favourite for years.

Pixi Beauty

Created over 20 years ago by Petra Strand, Pixi has a loyal worldwide following thanks to its pure, skin-loving products. Not all of Pixi’s products are vegan as some of their products contain animal-derived ingredients or by-products. However, Pixi Beauty does offer some great vegan options. My current favourite is Pixi’s vegan friendly FortifEYE eye patches, which contain natural collagen.

Maria Nila

A 100% vegan and cruelty free haircare brand from Sweden. I was introduced to Maria Nila’s premium products last year, and the Sheer Silver Shampoo is my absolute favourite for reducing brassy blonde tones!

Ren Skincare

‘Clean’ is at the heart of what they do, by using only natural, chemical-free ingredients. And whilst not, everything they offer is strictly vegan, they are working hard to expand their vegan range. But don’t worry, you can rest assured that all of their products are cruelty-free.

One of my favourites is the Overnight Glow Dark Spot Sleeping Cream – perfect if you have red, sensitive skin like me!


Elemis has a fantastic offer when it comes to vegan skincare. I’ve been using the SuperFood range daily and I have honestly seen visible results. My skin is calmer, more radiant and healthier than ever – I seriously cannot recommend the SuperFood range enough! If I had to pick my favourite it would be the SuperFood Facial Wash.

Kat Von D

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that my go-to foundation is the Kat Von D Lock-it Foundation. It offers great coverage and isn’t sliding off my face by lunchtime!

And in more good news, Kat reformulated her entire cosmetics collection in 2016 to be entirely vegan.

Please be sure to comment any of your favourite vegan beauty products below. S x


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