With a quarter of millennials identifying as either vegan or vegetarian, it’s no surprise that the beauty industry is having to change direction and ditch animal testing and animal ingredients. Switching to vegan beauty products is easier than ever with so many options available, but it can still feel overwhelming at first when terms like ‘vegan’ and ‘cruelty-free’ don’t mean the same thing. Fortunately, a little research before diving in can go a long way, plus many vegan products tend to be more natural, have less single-use packaging, and are produced by more ethical companies.
Do a little bit of research
Trying to decipher beauty product labels can be difficult, especially when it’s not something you’ve ever considered before. Confusingly, ‘vegan’ and ‘cruelty-free’ mean different things when it comes to beauty products, the former referring to ingredients and the latter referring to animal testing. This means products can claim to be vegan but still test on animals, so look for both. Joining online groups with other vegans where you can ask questions specifically about what you’re trying to swap will help since seasoned vegans are usually more than willing to share their favorite beauty product finds with others. Doing your research online before heading to the shops also takes a lot of stress out of switching your products as you’ll know what you’re looking for.
Leaping Bunny has a nice platform for searching and finding cruelty-free brands, where you can filter by product categories. (Also available as an app)
Make the switch one or two products at a time
There’s no need to immediately throw out your current products, so instead commit to replacing them with vegan alternatives once you’ve finished them. This helps to space out purchases which can make it easier on your finances and feels less overwhelming too. Look at the products you purchase most often. Many people dye their hair every 6-8 weeks, so this can be a good place to start. A lot of vegan hair dyes have natural ingredients, making them better for your hair as well as animals—without compromising on results. Less obvious products to consider switching include sunscreen, dental products, deodorants, and perfumes, all of which commonly contain animal ingredients or are tested on animals.
Find vegan, cruelty-free brands you like
Finding vegan and cruelty-free brands that make products that suit you is easier than ever as companies have had to meet the demand to stay relevant. The easiest way to do this is to find companies that are 100% cruelty-free and state on their labels which products are vegan. Many brands make cruelty-free products but their whole range isn’t vegan as research and developments are still needed in the world of beauty, such as for certain pigments in makeup. Urban Decay, Illamasqua, and Fenty Beauty are good examples of this, so just check the labels before purchasing. Kat Von D Beauty is 100% cruelty-free and vegan, making it another good place to start.
Switching your beauty products to vegan ones should be seen as a journey and not something that can be done overnight. Finish using what you’ve got and find vegan and cruelty-free alternatives that you’re going to replace them with in advance to make the process easier.