Although veganism has been around for thousands of years, it seems that the movement has risen to popularity within the past few decades. With climate change and environmental concerns growing, it’s no surprise that people all over the world are going vegan.
Veganism is the practice of eliminating animal-derived foods from one’s diet and avoiding any animal products in cosmetics, fashion, and anywhere else. People decide to practice veganism for any number of reasons, including environmental and animal rights concerns.
For any non-vegans out there, food is probably the first consideration that comes to mind. But notably, vegans exclude animal products from every sector of their lives, too. This includes skincare.
With all the complex, technical-sounding ingredients found in so many skincare products, it’s difficult to be certain that a product is 100% vegan. These days, it seems that companies use the vegan label as a marketing tool more than ever before. With so many brands claiming to be 100% vegan, how can you really be sure?
Of course, this is stressful and frustrating for dedicated vegans. No one wants to accidentally purchase a product that contradicts their beliefs. That’s why we’ve put together a short and simple guide to checking vegan products.
Now, let’s get into it.
Vegetarian, Vegan, and Cruelty-Free: What’s the Difference?
As we delve into the foolproof ways to evaluate vegan products, we should make a few distinctions between the most common labels you’ll see on vegan-friendly products. In fact, learning about these labels will make it easier to find the exact type of product you want.
Here are all the terms you need to know:
The labels “vegan-friendly” and “100% vegan” mean the same thing—absolutely no animal-based ingredients.
Though the labels of cruelty-free and vegan often go hand in hand, they don’t always. A skincare product could be labeled as cruelty-free (not tested on animals) while still containing animal products.
On the other hand, plenty of brands uphold both labels. Gleamin is one of those brands: we are both vegan and cruelty-free.
Understanding the difference between these terms is one of the keys to selecting vegan products. In this regard, you should also note the difference between a vegan product and a vegan brand:
Finally, you’ll note we mentioned the word “certified” earlier. But how do you check if a product is certified?
Right now, there are four outlets that certify cosmetics and skincare as vegan—Vegan Action, Vegan Society, PETA, and The Vegetarian Society. If you see the logo of one of these organizations, you can be certain that a product really is vegan.
Getting to Know Your Ingredients
OK, so now you’re all set on terminology. If you’re just starting out in the vegan world, it can be a lot to remember, but you’ve got this.
You’re probably wondering about alternative ways to check vegan products. Maybe you don’t trust labels, or maybe you just want to be absolutely certain that your skincare items are animal-product-free.
If this is the case, what can you do besides look for a label? Well, another foolproof method for checking if a product is vegan is to simply read the ingredients for yourself.
Brands usually provide a complete list of their products’ ingredients, either on the packaging or online. These lists should be easy to access. Then, all you need to do is read through the recipe and keep an eye out for any red flags.
This method is slightly more time-consuming, but it will leave you with complete peace of mind. But, in order to effectively evaluate a list of ingredients, you have to get familiar with the most common vegan and non-vegan products used in cosmetics and skincare.
Without further ado, let’s explore some of these prevalent ingredients, starting with the non-vegan variety:
Veganism isn’t always easy, especially for someone who just decided to go vegan. Don’t worry if you can’t remember every single one of these ingredients—it’s quite a list, after all. When in doubt, Google is your best friend.
Whether you’re new to the world of veganism or you’re a lifelong, dedicated vegan, we hope this list will help you along your journey.
If you’re looking for safe, effective vegan products, consider seeking out these ingredients:
Of course, these are just a few examples of many effective, all-natural ingredients you may find in vegan products. Our Vitamin C Clay Mask uses these ingredients to bring out your natural glow in a way that is totally vegan and cruelty-free.
How to Use Technology to Check Vegan Products
Is veganism easier now than it was a couple of centuries ago?
In some ways, the answer is no. Now, our skincare, hair-care, and makeup products are packed full of complex ingredients that no average consumer encountered before. It often feels impossible to discern the good stuff from the bad stuff.
On the other hand, however, we could argue that veganism is actually much more accessible now than it ever has been. Technological developments in the past half-century—the Internet, in particular—have rendered veganism an achievable lifestyle.
The Internet gives us virtually infinite access to knowledge and resources about every topic, veganism included.
Several animal-rights organizations provide resources to help consumers to search for vegan, vegetarian, and cruelty-free brands. If you’re uncertain about a particular product or brand, try turning to one of these sites.
Likewise, if you are just beginning to dabble in veganism or vegetarianism, these resources are a perfect tool for seeking out your new favorite products.\
Wrapping It Up
If you’ve made it to the end of this article, we presume you are pretty dedicated to the vegan lifestyle. Or, perhaps you are hoping to start making more vegan-friendly choices. Either way, whether it’s for environmental, health, or animal-rights reasons, veganism is a big commitment.
Just remember that going vegan is entirely possible with the proper knowledge and resources. Hopefully, with the help of this article, you feel empowered to follow whatever path you choose.