It’s no secret that veganism has boomed over the past decade and its growth shows no sign of relenting. In fact, this month it’s thought that around 4% of UK adults will take part in Veganuary, the annual event that challenges people to go vegan for the month of January. 

Whilst the word vegan may typically evoke mental images of oat milk and falafels, the lifestyle isn’t limited to what goes on your plate because it also includes what goes in your wardrobe and – our favourite part – what goes on your skin. 

This explains why you’ll often see beauty brands claiming to be vegan. But what exactly does this mean? Faced with several vegan products in cosmetic stores, you may have found yourself wondering if vegan skincare is better for your skin, if it’s the same as cruelty-free skincare, and if you should be using it even if you’re not following a plant-based diet. 

As you know, we’re big on all things skincare and on all things plant-based, so we thought we’d give you a little more information about vegan skincare and why it’s so important…

What does the vegan label mean?

Vegans abstain from all ingredients of animal origin so when a cosmetic product is labelled as vegan, it doesn’t contain any animal-derived ingredients (think honey, milk or beeswax). For example, a vegan couldn’t use a bar of honey-infused soap or a lip balm that contains beeswax.

What does the cruelty-free label mean?

When a brand calls themselves cruelty-free, this means their products and the ingredients they use to make them haven’t been tested on animals. In mainland China, cosmetics must legally be tested on animals so if a brand sells their products there, they unfortunately can’t be considered cruelty-free.

Are all vegan products cruelty free?

It’s easy to assume that vegan products are naturally cruelty-free, but unfortunately this isn’t the case because even if a product doesn’t contain any animal ingredients, it may still have been tested on animals. For example, a company could claim that products are “100% vegan” because of its ingredients, even though they still test on animals.

Similarly, being cruelty-free doesn’t necessarily make a brand vegan-friendly because they may still use animal derivatives. For instance, many cosmetics products found on the high street are cruelty-free but aren’t technically vegan because they contain honey.

If you want to make sure your bathroom cabinet is completely free of harm, we recommend only buying products that are labelled as both cruelty-free and vegan. Even if this information isn’t clearly presented on the packaging, it’s usually easy to find in the FAQ section of a company’s website.

Is vegan skincare better for skin?

There’s currently no evidence to suggest that vegan skincare is more effective or better for our complexions than non-vegan skincare. However, plant-derived ingredients are often also less likely to clog pores and more likely to be gentle on the skin, making vegan skincare a good choice for acne-prone or sensitive skin. Vegan ingredients are also usually packed with more vitamins and minerals than their non-vegan counterparts, which is good news for plant-based skincare fans. 

Should we all be using vegan skincare?

Even if the benefits of vegan skincare haven’t been proven, one thing is certain – it’s better for the planet and better for your conscience. As a company, we’re dedicated to ensuring our products cause no harm to animals or the environment, which is why all Base Plus moisturisers and serums are 100% vegan and cruelty-free.

After all, you can’t beat the glow that kindness gives you…