The Vegan Society runs Veganuary - a January initiative to try living a vegan lifestyle for a month - and this year a record high of 400,000 people took part. Most of us than ever before are turning Vegan.
People have many different reasons for going vegan - for some it’s a health choice, for others it’s about the ethics of meat and dairy production and some people just fancy a new challenge.
It’s not just food that is Vegan - there are more vegan skin care choices than ever before. Plant-based skincare products offer natural goodness and ethical skincare choices. In fact, a lot of non-vegans are also choosing vegan skin care. How could vegan products help your dry skin condition? Let’s take a closer look.
What is a vegan?
The Vegan Society define veganism as:
“a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”
People embrace vegan living in different ways but the thing they have in common is following a plant-based diet avoiding all animal foods such as meat (including fish, shellfish and insects), dairy, eggs and honey - as well as products like leather and any tested on animals. So as well as vegan food choices, there are also vegan products like skincare products - which often favour natural plant-based ingredients.
Why are so many people going vegan?
There are lots of reasons for people choosing a vegan lifestyle. This can include:
Taking a stand against animal cruelty - while there are lots of ways to do this, one way some people choose is to avoid any products that exploit animals or use animal products
Health reasons - some people choose to go vegan because it is a positive change to their lifestyle. Although you can have a healthy and unhealthy vegan diet, it does encourage you to eat more vegetables and has some links to health
Environmental concerns - some people choose to go vegan due to concerns about the way animals are reared and the effects this is having on the environment
Sustainability - a lot of vegans believe that a plant-based diet is more sustainable for the whole population.
What is vegan skincare?
Vegan skincare is made using ingredients that aren’t tested on animals or use any animal products in them. This can include gelatin, dairy and even fish oils. Vegan skin care is very much not just for vegans! It can be a great choice for natural skin care ingredients.
Are vegan skincare products as effective?
Absolutely! Vegan skin care products are formulated using natural vegan ingredients to treat your skin concerns. Some of the most potent ingredients we have in skin care are totally natural and vegan - like aloe vera.
What skin ingredients should you avoid if you are vegan?
This is by no means an exhaustive list but some of the common skincare ingredients that vegans should avoid include:
Beeswax and honey- this might be surprising as they are often seen as by-products rather than directly related to animals. But by taking away beeswax and honey from the hive, this can affect the bees’ health. There are also lots of concerns about the bees welfare in honey production.
Lanolin - this is often added to skincare products - it is the oily substance in sheep’s wool. It is a natural source of Vitamin D3 but isn’t vegan.
Lactic acid - this is often found in skincare - it is alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). However it is often derived from milk or animal tissue. There are some vegan forms of lactic acid, which come from sugar beet.
Retinol- this is a form of Vitamin A that is derived from animals and so isn’t suitable for those following a vegan diet. There are other forms of Vitamin A that are vegan.
Keratin - this is is a lot of shampoos and hair products. It is often derived from horse hooves, quills and other animal products. There are vegan alternatives such as almond oil.
Musk - this oil is derived from a cruel process involving keeping wild cats in cages to gather the secretion.
How can I make sure my skincare products are cruelty free?
You can check the label of products to see if they carry the Cruelty free logo or fighting animal testing. Some products are also certified by the Vegan Society.
What should I include in my vegan skincare routine?
The rise in popularity of veganism is great news for vegan skincare options. As more people choose to follow a vegan lifestyle, there are more skin care products specially formulated for this lifestyle choice.
What should a vegan skincare routine look like?
It’s always best, whatever your skin concerns, to follow a complete skin care routine that includes:
Double cleanse - that’s cleansing twice in the morning and evening. The first cleanse is a pre-cleanse - to get rid of surface dirt and makeup. The second cleanse is a deeper cleanse, specifically for your skin concerns.
Tone- sometimes this is a combined step with a cleanser
Moisturise- using a skincare product for your unique skin type - if that is dry or oily or combination
Mask/ exfoliate - twice a week - this is key for helping your skin to regenerate and to get rid of dead cells. A mask is also a great way to get concentrated treatment for specific skin issues.
Boost - boosters and serums are a great choice to add periodically to address skin concerns, to add moisture or replenish the skin barrier.
What are the best natural skin care tips for dry skin?
When it comes to treating dry skin, following a vegan lifestyle, it’s important to understand what you need your skin care routine to address.
What is dry skin?
Dry skin is where your skin is lacking oil. This affects the lipid barrier. Your skin is protected by a barrier that sits on top of your skin - made of skin cells held together by lipids, from sebum created by the sebaceous glands. When your skin doesn’t produce enough oil or those lipids are stripped away by harsh cleansers this causes damage to the lipid barrier. This allows nasties, such as pollutants and irritants to get into the skin and also allows water to leave the deeper layers of the skin.
How to treat dry skin
The solution for dry skin is to work to repair the skin barrier by building back oil into the skin. Using oil based skincare is a great way to start this.
Use an oil based cleanser, which will effectively cleanse your skin but without stripping the skin of goodness. You can also use an face oil or serum to help to repair the skin barrier. When it comes to dry skin concerns, there are loads of great natural ingredients that are vegan friendly.
A 3 Step Routine For Dry Skin - Using Vegan Friendly Products
Step 1: Cleanse
Evolve Organic Beauty is an amazing skincare range, developed by Laura Rudoe, based on her experiences as a child of her grandmother’s totally natural skincare. The brilliant thing about Evolve Organic Beauty is that it is 100% transparent. Every ingredient is listed on the label so you can clearly see what is inside. The products are also supplied in recyclable packages with clear expiration dates, because they are natural.
For dry skin, try cleansing with Evolve Gentle Cleansing Melt which is a luxurious cleansing balm that turns to a cleansing milk when you add water. It has:
Almond Oil - which is a natural source of Vitamin A but also vegan
Baobab Oil - which is packed full of antioxidants and also nine essential fatty acids - which help to both cleanse and also repair the skin’s lipid barrier
Sunflower seed oil - helps to cleanse whilst maintaining the skin’s moisture balance
Raw Cacao - a natural organic ingredient that is an antioxidant, which helps to protect and repair the skin - especially from sun damage. This plant-based ingredient is also packed full of Vitamin C, magnesium and Omega 6, which all help with cell renewal and regeneration
Almond Oil - we’ve already talked about some of the benefits of almond oil. It is also great in a mask as it is easily absorbed into the skin and doesn’t leave a residue or feel like it’s oily on top of the skin
Coconut Shell Powder - this is a great vegan friendly exfoliant that gently works to get rid of dead skin cells to leave your skin feeling smooth, soft and brighter.
Step 3: Moisturise
A final great skincare range for vegans is Ark Skincare - which is made from botanicals.
Depending on your age and skin concerns, Ark Skincare has a moisturiser for your dry skin. You can choose the right moisturiser for your skin and age here.