Sunday, June 12, 2011

5 Most Common Non-Vegan Cosmetic Ingredients

(Photo: blathlean)
It might be easy to identify animal ingredients in food, but sometimes it can be challenging to know which cosmetic ingredients are vegan.  Unless a product is certified vegan, it's best to read labels carefully if you're looking to avoid animal ingredients.  Read on for the most common animal ingredients found in both natural and conventional cosmetics.

  1. Beeswax (cera alba) - This is one of the most commonly used animal ingredients in natural cosmetic lines.  It is frequently found in creamy products, such as lip balms, lip glosses and cream concealers.  Strict vegans usually avoid all products from bees, though there is some controversy on the subject.  Beeswax is made by melting honeycombs in boiling water before straining and cooling.  Common alternatives include carnauba wax and candelilla wax.
  2. Carmine - A red coloring found in many blushes, lip products, and eyeshadows.  It is common in many natural products.  It is made from the crushed female cochineal insect and it takes tens of thousands to make one pound of pigment.  Vegan products may use beet root or alkanet root instead.
  3. Honey - Although honey is most popular for its use as a food, it can also be found in many cosmetics and beauty products, often as a coloring and emollient.  Soaps, facial creams, and other items may contain honey.  See "beeswax" above regarding vegan avoidance of bee products.  Vegans often substitute agave nectar for honey in recipes, but vegetable colors and oils are used as a substitute in cosmetics.
  4. Urea - An ingredient common in many deodorants, hair color, lotions, and other products.  It is created from bodily fluids and can be easily swapped with a synthetic alternative.
  5. Lanolin - A waxy substance created from the oil glands of sheep (extracted from their wool).  It can be found in many cosmetics, skin care products, and medicines.  Plant and vegetable oils are equally effecective emollients used in its place.
Please note that there is some controversy among vegetarians regarding certain items.  For example, a makeup brush may be described as "cruelty-free" but may still use animal hair.  Some companies also claim that their honey is sustainably harvested.  Certain products may not put the word "vegan" on the package but will state "no animal ingedients."  Strict vegans may want to consult PETA for more information and a complete animal ingredient list.

Did you enjoy this post? If so, why not sign up for our email list and get posts by email? Or if that's not your style, stay in the loop with an occasional newsletter instead.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Affiliate/Compensation Disclosure

This blog accepts forms of advertising, sponsorship, or other forms of compensation.

The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content.

The owner(s) of this blog may be compensated or given a product free to provide an opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation or free products for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers' own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.

Amazon Associate Disclosure:
Kaylin's Kit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to,, or

For questions about this blog, please click here to contact me.