Does Natural Skincare Also Mean Vegan?

By Anett Rannamets. Published: October 2022.
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The use of natural and vegan skincare is constantly increasing. And why should not it be? Our skin absorbs everything we apply to it so we should give it clean care! However natural skin care does not necessarily mean vegan.

So, there are some differences between natural and vegan skincare, which we are about to explain quickly and easily.

What Is Natural Skincare?

Natural skincare includes skin-friendly products that are made mostly from plant-based raw materials. The list of ingredients does not include any synthetic substances. Thus natural skincare may be more acceptable to the skin.

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.

Also, petroleum-based ingredients, silicones, and PEGs (polyethylene glycols) are prohibited. Natural skincare brands do not use substances problematic to the environment and health. That includes mineral oil-based microplastics and some preservatives.

Usually, certified natural skincare does not include vegetable oils modified through chemical reactions. They also permit very few chemically manufactured substances like pigments and preservatives. But additives of animal origin such as beeswax or milk can be included in natural skincare.

However, all these conditions apply to certified natural cosmetics and skincare. And the conditions of these certificates also differ from each other. Plus, there is no law that prohibits a product that contains only a tiny amount of natural ingredients from being called natural.

This means, that a product can be ‘natural’ even if it actually contains only 1% natural ingredients. The word ‘natural’ is often used to mislead the consumer, or in other words, to greenwash.

For example, water is classified as a natural ingredient. So manufacturers often use it to state, for instance, that ‘97% of ingredients are of natural origin’ on products with high water content. Also, it is almost impossible to find a product that is 100% natural.

Vegan VS Natural Skincare

Vegan cosmetics are characterized by the fact that they are purely plant-based and not tested on animals. So, vegan skincare may not be natural. Nor are natural cosmetics necessarily vegan. Natural skincare does not contain chemicals or synthetics that can be found in vegan skincare.

As it might seem a bit unlogical, natural skincare is not always vegan. Although animal by-products such as beeswax or milk are not vegan, they are considered to be natural. So, the natural skincare label can not promise that the composition of the product is vegan. However, this does not mean that natural skincare can not be vegan.

Conscious vegan brands often use natural and organic plant-based ingredients. And although natural cosmetics are not always vegan, you can usually find vegan cosmetics on the natural cosmetics shelf. But this is certainly not a rule.

This is because vegan skincare is based on the principle of sparing animal suffering. Meaning that even though parabens or phthalates are considered harmful, they are vegan by nature. Many chemicals that are banned in natural cosmetics are made in a vegan-friendly way.

In addition, natural skincare does not include synthetically produced active ingredients. However, it is important to know that not all synthetic active ingredients are harmful, on the contrary. Such as retinol or hyaluronic acid, for example. But still, because of the ingredients’ origin, vegan skincare is not always natural.

FAQ About Vegan And Natural Skincare

Is vegan skincare natural?

No, not necessarily. Vegan skincare does not contain any animal-based components. But it may contain synthetics and chemicals that are made in a vegan-friendly way. Such components are usually not allowed in certified natural skincare. So vegan skincare is not always natural but it could be.

Is natural skincare vegan?

No. Natural skincare does not always mean it is vegan. In addition to plant-based raw materials, natural skincare can contain animal products such as milk, eggs, or honey. These substances belong to natural raw materials by definition. However, this does not mean that natural skin care cannot be vegan.

Why many natural skincare brands are not vegan?

Natural skincare brands are not always 100% vegan because the list of natural components may also include animal-based ingredients. Like milk, beeswax, and eggs.

Summary

Although they often overlap, natural skincare does not always mean it is vegan. In addition to plant-based raw materials, natural skincare can contain animal products such as milk, eggs, or honey. These substances belong to natural raw materials by definition.

Therefore, natural cosmetics are not necessarily vegan or vice versa. Vegan skincare does not contain any animal-based components. But it may contain synthetics and chemicals that are made in a vegan-friendly way. So vegan skincare is not always natural either.

Fortunately, most vegan brands are conscious and use a lot of natural ingredients. However, you do not always have to pick natural or organic skincare to do your skin good. Need-based vegan skincare with some synthetic active ingredients is beneficial for the skin too.

In order to find your favorites, familiarize yourself with 100% vegan brands. If you’re switching your skincare routine to vegan or looking for new favorites, check out our recommendations for the best vegan skincare products.

Anett is a passionate journalist, writer, and magazine editor with almost 7 years of experience. Through engaging articles, she brings kinder and more environmentally-friendly choices closer to everybody.