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Top Things to Consider When Going Vegan with Your Hair and Skin Care Products

by Valeria Cole |

One of the foundational aspects of our brand is  toxin-free, sustainably harvested, cruelty-free products, and the best way to get it all is choosing vegan for your hair and skin care products.

woman moisturizing face with white skin creamIt may come as a surprise, but your skin absorbs as much as 60 percent of the materials you put on it, which means that the chemicals and toxins in non-vegan products can be absorbed directly into your system and may cause irreversible damage. The products you use on your hair have less of an all-body effect, but everyone wants shiny, healthy hair and vegan shampoo and vegan hair treatments are far more effective at achieving these results than non-vegan hair care.

Benefits of Vegan Hair and Skin Care Products

Vegan products are made with ingredients that are packed with nourishing vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Many vegan hair and skincare products use natural, plant based ingredients that have been used to treat and nourish hair and skin for centuries. With their rich moisture and vitamin content, vegan products can be much more effective at anti-aging than those products with chemicals.

Plant-based products are much easier for your skin to absorb, and they let your skin breathe while assimilating more naturally with your hair and skin. Natural products can also even skin tone and complexion, while nourishing and hydrating.

Vegan products are made sustainable, benefiting the environment as well as your hair or skin. Choosing recyclable or biodegradable packaging will make a huge difference as well. This is a big deal since animal farming and the processes involved with the industry are the most significant causes of climate change, according to a 2010 report. By their very nature, animal byproducts are never used in vegan products, which are never tested on animals either, so they are cruelty-free.

woman holding leaf with water bubbles in the amazon

When you switch to vegan personal care products, you also don’t have to bother reading the labels anymore! Vegan shampoo and skincare products can have fewer ingredients than non-vegan cosmetics, can be all-natural so you don’t need to spend time scouring the labels to make sure they’re okay to use. Non-vegan products can irritate sensitive skin in particular, since there are usually more ingredients and chemicals that inflame the skin. With fewer ingredients - water and plant-based materials - vegan skincare products are gentler and more compatible with sensitive skin. No more worrying about allergens, and enjoy peace-of-mind that what you’re putting on your body is good for you from the outside, in.

Moisturization is a central focus with personal care, and vegan products offer greater hydration potential than non-vegan cosmetics. In fact, vegan shampoos, conditioners, hair treatments and skincare products contain higher quantities of water and their plant-derived ingredients are also emollients, resulting in hydrated, healthy and glowing skin. The extra moisture helps reduce or eliminate oiliness as well!

What to Watch Out For When Going Vegan with Your Cosmetics

woman touching her dark long hair looking inquisitively at cameraSwitching to all-vegan hair and skin care takes a bit of work, since most mainstream cosmetics use animal byproducts such as gelatin, keratin, shellac and lanolin. They also commonly contain ingredients that aren’t obviously animal-based, since in some cases it is not required that they explicitly say where the ingredient came from. Not only do you want to avoid animal byproducts for the cruelty-free angle, but animal-based skincare products can actually do long-term damage to your skin.

Mainstream cosmetics also often hide chemical ingredients under the guise of “fragrance”, since they can get away with this tactic under the laws that ‘protect’ their proprietary recipes.

When going vegan with your cosmetics, it’s important to follow these steps:

  1. Learn about why it’s important and beneficial to switch to vegan hair and skincare products.
  2. Decide what to do with your current, non-vegan products (toss, donate, or wait until you’ve used them up and replace with vegan products).
  3. Check the labels as you buy your new vegan products. Google any scientific or confusing ingredient names that you don’t recognize to verify whether they are vegan or not.

10 Non-Vegan Ingredients to Look Out For & Avoid

We recently published a big list of ingredients to avoid for a clean beauty routine, and it applies to vegan beauty as well. But in particular, there are 10 key non-vegan ingredients that you should you should make sure you understand the source to ensure it is plant based and not derived from animals:

  • Lanolin is a common ingredient in skincare products. Not only is it an animal byproduct, it can clog your pores and cause irritation and acne. It can even be damaging to your skin in more serious ways. A good replacement: Cupuaçu Butter 2x+ more moisturizing than both Lanolin or Shea Butter, one of the reasons we love this Amazon superfruit.
  • Cetyl Alcohol is the name used for an ingredient used in many skincare products for the face, and it’s actually sperm whale oil - cosmetics companies obviously don’t want to put that on their labels! But it can be plant based, you just have to make sure if it is on the list that you are buying it from a company that is committed to being Vegan so you know it is plant and not animal derived.
  • Beeswax is often used in lip balms and lotions, and it’s a natural ingredient that you should avoid for vegan skincare since it’s produced by bees. We like to stick to Brazilian born Carnaúba Wax, Mango and other plant based wax alternatives.
  • Casein is derived from cow or sheep’s milk, and is commonly used for hair conditioning products.
  • Glycerine is a common ingredient in hair products, makeup, soaps and moisturizers, and it can be sourced from from animal fats, so again make sure you are buying from Vegan focused beauty brands that make sure their source is plant based.  
  • Shellac comes from beetles, and harvesting this ingredient not only impacts the insects themselves but the trees where they reside.
  • Squalene is shark liver oil and used for moisturizers and lip balm, while vegan squalene comes from olives and wheat germ, so you may need to dig deeper to figure out whether or not the product is using the plant-based version. We use Brazil Nut, a great plant based alternative for Squalene.
  • Gelatin is also non-vegan, since it comes from animal collagen, which should also be avoided if you see it on an ingredient label.
  • Stearic Acidcan be vegan, but it’s also derived from the stomachs of livestock such as cows, sheep and pigs and is used in common cosmetics, so do your research. Again knowing the source is key.
  • Carmine is a red colorant that is also known as cochineal and natural red 4, and comes from the cochineal insect, which is crushed to extract the color for use in lipsticks, nail polish and blush.

teadora shampoo and conditioner with holiday accessories

This holiday season, give the gift of vegan skin and hair care… Start from the top with our Miracle Shampoo & Conditioner, which you can get with a 1 oz. sample of our powerful Multi-Tasking Oil for just $35 (limited time!). The Clean Beauty Routine Discovery Set has everything needed to kick start a vegan skincare routine for the new year, and it’s more than 36% off for the holiday season!

Happy Holidays from Teadora! Love yourself, find your joy, share your passion.

Cheers, Val

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