Everything You Need To Know About Vegan Skincare

From vegan face masks to cruelty-free conditioners, experts’ breakdown this new realm of skincare.

Even since the novel environment-friendly skincare products have hit the shelves globally, a gamut of research has gone into identifying its benefits. It’s no longer a secret that these products are chemical-free, safe to use, and have no adverse effects on the skin.

We are all aware that plants are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants etc. that play an integral part in rejuvenating and hydrating the skin. The word ‘Vegan’, primarily indicating ‘plant-based’, does just that! If one can clean up their diet by opting for veganism, why not pick a healthy regime for the skin as well?

Dr Simal Soin - Founder Aayna Clinic, Dr Jaishree Sharad - Celebrity Cosmetic Dermatologist and Dr Rinky Kapoor - Cosmetic Dermatologist, tell you everything you'll want to know about vegan and cruelty-free skincare. However, before making a shift towards this skincare regime, one must be clear about the difference between two terms that are often used interchangeably. ‘Vegan’ and ‘cruelty-free’, while may seem to denote the same, do have a slight difference.

Vegan products are those that do not contain any animal products or animal-derived ingredients such as beeswax, fat, bone powder etc. For example, Garnier hair products are vegan since they do not contain animal-derived ingredients; however, they aren’t cruelty-free as they do test on animals as and when required. On the other hand, cruelty-free products are those which have not been tested on animals. For example, Milani Cosmetics contains a cruelty-free lipstick which is not vegan. While this lipstick wasn’t tested on animals, it does contain some animal-derived ingredients such as beeswax, carmine or lanolin. However, do take note that this refers to the testing process and not the ingredients’, suggesting that it is possible for a cruelty-free product to have animal ingredients. However, it is possible for vegan products to be cruelty-free and vice-a-versa. For example, Pacifica Beauty has a cruelty-free and vegan lipstick, suggesting that neither was it tested on animals, nor does it contain animal-derived ingredients.

A bunch of brands have also launched vegan products that promise no use of chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, SLS etc. Ranging from cleansers, toners and serums, to scrubs and even soaps, these products are readily available in the Indian market. The field of Ayurveda has also made use of vegan products for skincare that have proven long-term benefits.

In your vegan skincare products you must look for the following:

  • Ingredients that are Vitamin C rich (oranges, kiwi, red pepper, kale, broccoli). Vitamin C helps in collagen production, reduces inflammation and hyper-pigmentation, and also aids in skin repair.
  • Ingredients that include Vitamin A, E and natural oils such as coconut, tea tree, argan, algae, aloe vera, chamomile and seed extracts. These help in the healing process of skin cells and purify the skin as well. Tea tree oil helps prevent acne too.
  • Ingredients such as green tea and banana help clear the scalp and boost hair growth.

When purchasing vegan products, be mindful to avoid those infused with ingredients such as honey, beeswax, lanolin, collagen, albumen, carmine, cholesterol and gelatine. There is no governing body that gives certification or accreditation to vegan products, thereby making it essential for you to rely on your own judgement. When on the lookout for cruelty free products, there are many regulatory bodies such as Leaping Bunny, PETA and Chose Cruelty Free that provide certifications.

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