The main benefits of vegan skincare are that animals are not harmed and it is better for the environment and planet. Moreover, vegan skincare often uses natural ingredients, and fewer additives and chemicals. Vegan skincare brands have strong ethical values and better transparency. Vegan skincare can be certified. It is also accessibly priced, and trendy.
Vegan skincare is better since it has a positive impact on animals’ lives and the environment. Also, vegan skincare can be better for your skin, because it often uses ingredients that are high in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. There is no research to state that vegan skincare is ineffective compared to regular skincare.
Vegan skincare is skincare that does not use any ingredients derived from animals. Also, vegan skincare should not be tested on animals. Certified vegan skincare companies cannot test on animals to be certified. However, some retailers and non-vegan brands use the vegan term only to refer to ingredients, leaving out animal testing.
Let’s take a closer look at vegan skincare’s pros and cons and its actual benefits on the skin.
These are the main advantages of vegan skincare:
- Animals Are Not Harmed
- Better For The Environment And Planet
- Use Of Natural Ingredients
- Fewer Additives & Chemicals
- Strong Ethical Values
- Use Of Certifications
- More Transparency
- Accessible Pricing
- It Is Trendy
Main Benefits Of Vegan Skincare
Below are listed nine main advantages of vegan skincare.
1. Animals Are Not Harmed
The main benefit of vegan skincare is the lack of harm done to animals. Vegan skincare does not use any ingredients derived from animals. Also, vegan skincare should not be tested on animals either. This means vegan skincare is entirely devoid of animal suffering.
The animal industry is incredibly cruel to animals. It is pure exploitation. It affects millions of farm animals alone. A large number of farm animals never see the light of day and the conditions on farms are often cramped. Regardless of the living conditions, the life of all farm animals ends in the same way.
According to the Humane Society, 500,000 animals are killed by testing cosmetics on animals. Moreover, the animals do not just die, they are often subject to intense suffering during the process.
Many multinational skincare companies carry out testing on animals when required by law. This means that even though some states in the US ban the testing on animals the same company and the same product might be tested on animals elsewhere.
In addition to testing on animals, many skincare ingredients are derived from animals. Cosmetics ingredients from animals include hyaluronic acid, glycerin, collagen, beeswax, gelatin, keratin, lanolin, silk, stearic acid, and cholesterol.
2. Better For The Environment And Planet
The second benefit of vegan skincare is that it is better for the environment and planet. Keeping farm animals has a devastating effect on our planet. It contributes to climate warming, causes pollution, deforestation, and destruction of species. Animal farming produces large amounts of greenhouse gases. It also clears thousands of hectares of rainforest to enable it.
According to a 2022 report from the UN, animal husbandry is the main contributor to climate warming. In addition to a large amount of carbon dioxide, farming releases both methane and nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere.
One of the trending skincare ingredients collagen has been linked to the deforestation of rainforest in the Brazilian Amazon area. Research carried out by The Guardian, Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Center for Climate Crime Analysis (CCCA), ITV, and O Joio e O Trigo found that collagen from cattle raised on farms is linked to the destruction of the forest.
Although collagen can be considered a byproduct of the meat industry, the term is a bit misleading since byproducts can count for up to 20% of the cattle business income.
In addition to the negative effect on animals on the environment, vegan skincare brands tend to be more environmentally conscious in their packaging and materials too. Thus, they use sustainable materials and often try to save on water and electricity. Many vegan skincare brands use eco-friendly packaging where possible. The utility of eco-friendly packaging is the same as packaging made from plastics and other materials that are not so environmentally friendly.
Eco-friendly packaging materials include paper, glass, and cardboard to name a few. These materials can be considered more eco-friendly since they are natural, recyclable, and will have a proper end-of-life. Vegan skincare brand Dermalogica for example uses only paper and cartons that are FSC certified to be sustainable for forests.
3. Use Of Natural Ingredients
The third benefit of vegan skincare is the use of natural ingredients. Your skin can gain from using natural, antioxidant-rich, full in vitamins ingredients. Natural ingredients used in vegan skincare include algae, bakuchiol, vitamin E, vitamin C, jojoba oil, avocado oil, and shea butter to name a few.
Vegan skincare mostly sources its ingredients from plant-based sources. Plant-based ingredients are at least as effective as ingredients sourced from animals.
A 1989 study published in the Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists linked lanolin with acne. Granted, the same study features some natural ingredients that are high in fats and have a large molecule size that can clog pores.
Plant-based ingredients are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants can increase skin health and appearance.
4. Fewer Additives & Chemicals
The fourth benefit of vegan skincare is that it tends to use fewer additives and chemicals. The vegan skincare movement overlaps with the clean skincare movement. For example, the majority of Sephora’s Clean products are also vegan. Clean vegan brands tend to avoid harsh additives, silicones, and fragrances in their products. That way, clean vegan skincare can be safer and less irritative for your skin.
A 2021 study published in the journal Contact Dermatitis by Van Amerongen et al. found that exposure to fragrances can lead to allergic reactions and irritation.
Certified natural skincare must contain at least 50% plant-based ingredients. In addition, at least 5% of the total ingredients must come from organically certified cultivation. Moreover, many organic vegan skincare brands use certified ingredients to meet these standards.
5. Strong Ethical Values
The fifth benefit is the strong ethical and moral values of vegan skincare companies. Many companies were founded with the ethos of not doing any harm to the planet, people, or animals. Skincare companies are vegan because they morally oppose animal exploitation. Brands contribute to animal welfare by avoiding non-vegan skincare ingredients and testing on animals.
Or with an ethos to inspire women entrepreneurs. For example, the vegan skincare brand Youth To The People stated that their founder was passionate about helping other women succeed in the beauty industry.
Another popular vegan brand Dermalogica states they have been using clean ingredients since 1986. And many others have mission statements that they are committed to sustainable practices.
Also, there are many B corp certified vegan skincare brands. One example is Aesop. Choosing companies that have strong ethical values is a benefit to society, the planet, animals, and people.
6. Use Of Certifications
The definition of vegan skincare is more complicated than it should be. Different stakeholders define it differently.
Vegans, brands, and certifications define vegan skincare as skincare that does not contain any animal-derived ingredients and that has not been tested on animals. Retailers and large multinational companies only define vegan as using vegan ingredients, leaving out animal testing.
This is why many vegan skincare brands are eager to get certified by official organizations such as PETA, Vegan Action, and The Vegan Society.
These certified brands want to communicate to the user that they are fully vegan and are committed to not using animal-based ingredients and not testing on animals.
So the sixth benefit is that vegan skincare brands get certified by independent organizations so that consumers can be sure what they are purchasing does not contribute to animal exploitation.
7. More Transparency
The seventh benefit is that vegan skincare brands offer more transparency. This point kind of wraps up many of the earlier points under the same umbrella. You are more likely to know about the ingredients, certifications, ownership, manufacturing processes, values, and treatment of animals when you choose vegan skincare.
8. Accessible Pricing
The eighth benefit is that vegan skincare is not more expensive than non-vegan skincare.
Vegan Avenue carried out research published in 2022 that found that vegan skincare is not more expensive. Four different skincare products were compared from six different brands were compared, and the pricing was in the same range.
Both the most expensive and the most affordable brands that were compared were vegan. This means you can find very affordable vegan skincare. The pricing is accessible to even small budgets.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are also luxurious vegan skincare brands.
9. It Is Trendy
Last but not least, one of the benefits of vegan skincare is that it is very trendy. Many influencers and celebrities have jumped to the vegan skincare bandwagon. Also, almost all of the skincare trends are veganized. You can find vegan Korean skincare routine, vegan collagen, vegan retinol, and whatever is the trend currently, from the hippest brands available.
Why Choose Vegan Skincare?
Reasons to choose vegan skincare include its beneficial impact on the well-being of animals and the environment. Other reasons include its use of natural ingredients and the fact it uses fewer additives and chemicals.
Vegan skincare does not use any animal derived-ingredients. Many non-vegan ingredients such as collagen and glycerin are made from dead animal tissue. The livestock industry is very cruel to the animals. In addition to the eventual slaughter, they live their lives in less-than-optimal conditions. If you choose vegan skincare, you won’t contribute to this exploitation. Moreover, certified vegan brands do not test on animals, which also contributes to animal suffering.
Vegan skincare is more likely to use natural and plant-based ingredients, which are rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. This can be beneficial to your skin.
Moreover, vegan is less likely to use additives and chemicals. They are more likely to choose natural alternatives.
Is Vegan Skincare Better?
Vegan skincare can be considered better, due to its positive impact on the well-being of animals, the environment, consumers, and society.
Is Vegan Skincare Better For Your Skin?
There is no research to claim vegan skincare is better (or worse) for your skin than non-vegan skincare. Some non-vegan ingredients are associated with acne, such as lanolin. However, some vegan ingredients are also shown to be comedogenic.
Is Vegan Skincare Better For The Environment?
Yes, vegan skincare is better for the environment. Farm animals are one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gases. Vegan skincare ingredients are not animal-based, which contributes to less demand for farm animals. Also, many vegan skincare brands use recyclable packaging throughout their production. Moreover, many brands have a mission statement to minimize their negative impact on the environment.
Is Vegan Skincare Effective
Yes, vegan skincare is effective. Vegan skincare uses a lot of plant-based natural ingredients that are high in vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. Moreover, vegan skincare ingredients can be synthetic, and their effectiveness is known.
Skincare ingredients that are shown to be effective are either vegan to begin with or have vegan alternatives. These active ingredients include retinol, vitamins A to E, ceramides, and peptides.
Disadvantages Of Vegan Skincare
Some of the disadvantages of vegan skincare can include cheap synthetic ingredients, green-washing, and price.
Many cheap toxic substances are vegan since they are made in a lab. However, they can be irritating and not good for your skin. For instance, parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) are all vegan, but these chemicals are also claimed to be some of the most toxic skincare ingredients.
Other toxic components are PEGs aka polyethylene glycols. These are petroleum-derived ingredients used commonly in skincare as solvents and thickeners.
The vegan label on the packaging is often used as a green-washing tool. There are many unofficial vegan labels since there is no government body to regulate them. Basically, any brand can design its own label and use it on its packaging. This can be to signal greenness and virtue, but in reality, they might be synthetic materials, and carry out a negative environmental impact regardless.
Vegan skincare has a positive connotation in consumers’ minds. It is associated with cleanness, natural ingredients, and vitamins. Some skincare brands advertise that they are vegan in the hopes of selling their products with a higher markup since they can charge more with the positive connotation it carries.
Are There Any Side Effects
There is no research to state there would be any side effects to vegan skincare compared to non-vegan skincare.
Myths About Vegan Skincare
Some of the most common myths about vegan skincare are that it is always natural, it’s expensive, ineffective, just a fad that will pass, and it’s always cruelty-free.
Vegan skincare is not always natural or plant-based. Since many skincare ingredients are synthetic, they are vegan by definition. Thus many vegan skincare products use synthetic ingredients, instead of natural plant-based ingredients.
Vegan skincare is not always more expensive compared to non-vegan skincare. Actually, they are often roughly the same price. You can find vegan skincare on both ends of the market: very affordable, or very luxurious.
Some people think that vegan skincare is ineffective because it does not use tried-and-tested animal-based ingredients such as collage. However, this is not true. Vegan variants of the same ingredients are just as effective.
Veganism is more than a trend. It is not a fad that will pass. Veganism is here to stay.
Lastly, there is a persistent myth that cruelty-free skincare is actually cruelty-free. This myth has reasoning to it since it is in the name after all! Cruelty-free only refers to animal testing. Cruelty-free products are not tested on animals. However, cruelty-free ingredients use non-vegan ingredients, such as collagen, for which the animal had to die to procure it. This is of course extremely cruel. So cruelty-free can in fact be very cruel.
We hope these 9 amazing benefits give everybody a reason to switch to vegan skincare.
Vegan skincare does not contribute to animal suffering, it often uses natural ingredients and avoids chemicals and additives. Also, it is better for the environment.
There are many benefits to vegan skincare. In this article, we have listed 9 great benefits of vegan skincare which include a positive impact on animals, the environment, people, skin, and consumers.
See also: Top 11 Vegan Skincare Brands
Update on August 01 (2023): Reorganized the benefits into a list, added more references and data
Update on May 05 (2023): Fact checked and medically reviewed by MD Shimona Garg
Update on February 19 (2023): Added more references