The Shocking Truth — How Many of Us Actually Know What’s In Our Makeup?

by | January 20, 2020

Whether your daily routine involves a serious beauty regime or a simple shampoo and towel dry, it is important to understand what is in the products you use and where these ingredients come from.

Flawless Lashes by Loreta recently conducted a survey to see how many animal-loving Brits were aware of the use of animal products in cosmetics.

A staggering 36 percent of vegetarians admitted they were completely ignorant to the use of animal products in their makeup. Conscious shoppers will already be aware of The Vegan Society logo displayed on their favorite products to make informed choices easier, but there is no legal requirement to label cosmetics as not suitable for vegans.

Flawless Lashes by Loreta strive to be clear on all products, including its award-winning lashes.

When shopping for food, it’s much easier to identify ingredients in products. This is largely because transparent labelling is now mandatory. However, the cosmetic industry can avoid this by using the scientific names for animal products — and many of these products do not state where the ingredients are derived from.

non-vegan makeup image

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Conscious Makeup Shopping

If you want to live a lifestyle free from animal products, then it is important to not just be conscious of what you are eating, but also fashion, cosmetics, homeware and cleaning products.

Another revelation of the study is that 34 percent of vegetarians are still willingly using cosmetics with animal products in them.

Flawless Lashes by Loreta decided to delve deeper to find out why over a third of these respondents are sacrificing ethics for the sake of beauty.

After comparing high street prices for some of the most popular cosmetic brands, it was revealed the British public are having to fork out 23 percent more for vegan products.

The worst product for this price increase was concealer. To purchase a vegan concealer you will be paying, on average, 64 percent more than its animal-based alternative. Considering plant-based ingredients are more commonly cheaper than animal products, how are cosmetic companies able to justify the price tag?

lipstick containing carmine image

Veganism On The Rise

Veganism is on the rise and is the latest ‘it’ thing. While we may roll our eyes at other trends, veganism is not only an amazing step for animal welfare but also for our planet.

Recent studies reveal that to make just one pound of beef, an incredible amount of water is required — 2,400 gallons to be exact. Rearing livestock is a massive contributor to carbon emissions, and with every small change in consumers spending habits, these emissions can be reduced.

Unfortunately, with every trend, even a positively good one, celebrities and manufacturers will jump on the bandwagon to produce overpriced products.

Nowadays, you cannot turn around without another celebrity releasing their endorsed makeup range. But, on the bright side, many of these are vegan and cruelty-free. But with this celebrity endorsement, a higher cost is always on the cards, despite many of these items actually being cheaper to manufacture.

There needs to be more pressure on the cosmetic industry to fully disclose the origin of their ingredients, so nobody is accidentally abandoning their ethics.

As for the extortionate price tags, this is most likely the reason so many animal-lovers are still willingly using these products. While we all wish we could place a vegan lifestyle above beauty, some products such as soap and shampoo are essential. This means those on lower incomes are being priced out of vegan alternatives due to money-hungry manufacturers.

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Animal Products In Common Cosmetics

Below is a list of commonly used animal products within cosmetics:

  • Carmine – Also listed as natural red 4, E120 and C.I 75470, this is used for creating the vibrant red in many beauty products, such as lipsticks, lip balms, blushes and nail polish.This is made by crushing thousands of tiny insects called cochineals.
  • Shellac – if you have ever had your nails done, you will be aware of shellac and the hard and shiny properties it possesses. But did you know it is made from the shell of the lac bug?
  • Lanolin – used in lip balms, lipsticks and glosses. This is derived from both the wool and fat of sheep.
  • Guanine – we all love shimmery eyeshadows and highlighter. This shimmer is achieved by scraping fish scales.
  • Tallow – also listed as oleic acid, oleyl sterate, and oleyl oleate. Made from animal fat and found in numerous cosmetics, including soap, foundation, eye makeup and nail polish.
  • Cera Alba – you probably know this as its common name, beeswax. Cera alba prevents oils and other liquids from separating and helps the skin absorb moisture. You will find this in many lip balms, soaps and moisturisers.
  • Keratin – this is now a main selling point for many hair care products, and manufacturers are displaying this ingredient with pride. But this is made from skin, ligaments, hooves and the hair of farmyard animals.
  • Carbamide – you will most likely understand what this is when given its common name, urea. This is animal urine and is used within facial cleansers, lotions and deodorant.
  • Collagen – our inevitable ageing process makes this ingredient very popular and is something many consumers actively seek when buying anti-ageing products. This is made from animal bones, tendons, ligaments and skin.
  • Estrogen – this is frequently seen in perfumes and is extracted from the urine of pregnant horses. It is also listed as estradiol.

So the next time you find yourself in the beauty aisle, take the time to really scrutinise the ingredients of your favourite products to evaluate if they truly are vegan.

When in doubt, look for The Vegan Society logo. Even though products that are vegan may not carry this logo, it is good practice to buy products that are certified as vegan.

Categories: All Things Vegan


One Response to “The Shocking Truth — How Many of Us Actually Know What’s In Our Makeup?”

  1. Lucky Ibeakanma
    January 27th, 2020 @ 11:00 am

    Wow. This is so beautiful. My wife has a makeup and I’ve always wanted to know the ingredients so I can actually ascertain the health implications.
    Thanks for sharing this.

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