When it comes to makeup, the options are virtually endless. You can walk into almost any store and find countless eyeshadow colors, hundreds of lipstick shades, and foundations in a variety of skin tones. Experimenting with colors is a lot of fun, but have you thought about the choices that really matter?

How are the ingredients sourced and how are the products manufactured? There isn’t a lot of regulation in the cosmetic industry, and there aren’t many laws about animal testing either… especially in the US. It’s up to you to do your own research to find brands with values similar to your own.

Some brands make the conscious choice to be vegan and cruelty-free, but what does that mean and how do you find them? Here’s what you need to know about vegan makeup and why it’s better for you, the planet, and animals across the globe.

What is vegan makeup?

The vegan lifestyle is on the rise, from the foods people eat to fashion and more. As a result, more and more people are also looking for vegan skincare and makeup. Why all the hype? What does it all mean?

Well, vegan makeup is made without animal products and animal by-products. That means it contains no lanolin, beeswax, honey, or animal-sourced collagen or elastin. Ingredients like these are replaced with compounds that come from plants or minerals.

That being said, vegan doesn’t always mean organic or even natural. Always read the ingredients label carefully to see if there are any ingredients you want to avoid. The fine print will often provide more information than the product’s front label or the brand’s marketing materials.

What about cruelty-free?

If you’re interested in vegan makeup, then there’s a good chance you’re expecting it to be cruelty-free as well. That’s not always the case. While vegan means that no animal materials were used in the product, cruelty-free means that no animals were used or harmed during manufacturing and product testing.

For example, your favorite honey shampoo and conditioner might not technically be vegan, but it is still cruelty-free as long as it’s not tested on animals. To verify that a product is cruelty-free, look for a cruelty-free certification on the product label.

Why is vegan makeup better?

Even if you don’t follow a strict vegan lifestyle, there are lots of reasons to consider making the switch to vegan makeup. Here’s what you need to know.

Vegan makeup is often of higher quality than conventional makeup.

There’s a common misconception that vegan makeup is lower quality than conventional makeup, but that’s simply not the case. In fact, vegan makeup is often of better quality due to the higher standards for manufacturing and ingredients vegan brands require.

From vegan foundation cream to concealer and mascara, vegan brands go out of their way to source higher-quality ingredients for their products. Because of this, their products are often full of beneficial antioxidants, emollients, and other ingredients that actually improve skin health.

Vegan makeup is safer for sensitive skin.

Vegan makeup is made with fewer chemicals and fewer ingredients overall than non-vegan makeup. If your skin is sensitive, additional chemicals and ingredients increase the risk of something irritating your skin, leading to a breakout or irritation.

Vegan brands also go out of their way to eliminate ingredients that are harmful and irritating to the skin, like parabens, mineral oil, talc, sulfates, fragrance, gluten, and phthalates.

Vegan makeup is better for your skin.

Since vegan makeup often contains more plant and mineral compounds, it often contains more nutrients that benefit the skin. Ingredients like essential oils, chamomile, and aloe vera can do wonders for the skin by providing hydration, reducing inflammation, combating acne, and more.

Vegan makeup is better for the planet.

Many of the benefits of vegan and cruelty-free makeup for animals are obvious, but did you know that making the switch is also better for the environment overall? Since vegan makeup is made from natural ingredients, there’s less pollution leaked into the environment during the production process.

Cruelty-free, vegan makeup also produces less waste than conventional makeup since it’s not tested on animals. Animal testing requires a massive input of resources, as well as chemicals and laboratory space. It also contributes to pollution and other issues for public health. 

How to Find Vegan Makeup

So, now that you’ve decided to make the switch to vegan makeup, what should you be on the lookout for? 

The first thing you need to know is that words like “all-natural,” “organic,” and “herbal” aren’t bound by any legal definition or regulation. Brands can use these terms in any way they choose. 

In fact, the only ingredients that require approval by the FDA are color additives. While some regulations do apply to cosmetics, much of the responsibility falls on the brand and consumers to ensure that their choices meet certain standards. 

Start by looking for vegan and cruelty-free certifications on the label. Then read the ingredients list carefully to see what’s really in the product.

As you can see, there are lots of reasons to make the switch to vegan makeup for your cosmetic bag. It’s a win-win for you, the planet, and animals everywhere!