5 Of The Most Surprising Non-Vegan Ingredients Found In Cosmetics

by | July 30, 2018

Why are there non-vegan ingredients found in cosmetics?!

Have you ever picked up cosmetics in the drug store and thought about what actually goes into making them? Sure they might be labeled as cruelty-free, but that doesn’t mean they don’t contain animal products. A quick google search should be able to tell you if your favorite brand is using non-vegan ingredients in their cosmetics. Some of these ingredients may shock you.

1. Castoreum

Usually found in perfumes, and sometimes labeled as just ‘parfum,’ this ingredient is actually a secretion from the anal glands of beavers. Yep, you read that right. Secretions from anal glands. The beavers use this natural secretion to grease their fur and mark their territories. The beavers, unfortunately, can not have these glands removed without being killed to harvest the castoreum.

2. Lanolin

Lanolin comes from sheep’s wool and essentially is like a grease to keep their coats waterproof. It is one of the common non-vegan ingredients found in cosmetics like lip balms, moisturizers, and hair care products. It can also be found in some baby products as it is a source of vitamin D.

non-vegan ingredients found in cosmetics

3. Squalene

There are some vegan sources of squalene, generally from olive oil, rice bran oil or yeast, yet this ingredient can also be derived from shark liver oil. It is unfortunately found in a whole range of skincare products including lipsticks, eyeshadow, and sunscreen among others. If you see this on the ingredients for a product, contact the manufacturer to find out if it is one of the non-vegan ingredients found in cosmetics.

4. Cera Alba

This ingredient is often used under its more recognizable name, beeswax. It is often found in skincare and hair care products. Beeswax is produced by worker bees as a place for them to store their honey, and is an animal by-product so therefore falls under the category of non-vegan ingredients found in cosmetics.

non-vegan ingredients found in cosmetics

5. Shellac

This secretion of the female lac insects is used in many products such as mascara, hairspray, eyeliner pencils and is often found in nail products. It is used to bind together the other ingredients as it helps to stop emulsions from separating into their respective water and oil-soluble parts.

So there you have it. 5 of the most common, and surprising non-vegan ingredients found in cosmetics.

Did you know about these? Are there any other ones that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!

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Alex Jones

Associate Editor, USA | Contactable via [email protected]



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