While few and far between, there are companies that manufacture personal care products which claim responsible sourcing and insist animals are not harmed in the process. On the rare occasion, this may be true, but that doesn’t make it less unpleasant.
Don’t be fooled by key words like “natural” or “organic”. These words make no claim to be cruelty free. Animals are natural. One popular natural company even goes so far as to put a no animal testing statement right on their labels, yet they use crushed cochineal bugs as an ingredient. Yes, bugs! When the female cochineal beetle is crushed, she produces a red colored dye. So they don’t test on animals but they use dead ones as an ingredient. Hmmm…
Here are some ingredients you might like to avoid:
Beeswax – Wax obtained from honeycomb. Used as a thickener. Common in cosmetics and skin care. Try soy wax, candelilla wax or carnauba wax instead.
Carmine – Crushed cochineal beetles. Used as a colorant. Unnecessary, however lycopene (a red pigment found in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables) is a popular alternative.
Guanine – Crushed fish scales. Used to give products a “shimmering” effect. Common in nail polish, mascara and lipstick. Mica is a common alternative
Lard – Animal fat usually from the stomach of pigs. Commonly used in soap making. Try vegetable fats or oils instead.
Lanolin – Secretions from the sebaceous glands of sheep. Used as an emollient. Common in lotion, lip balm and shaving cream. There are so many plant-based oils that can be substituted with superior results. Try coconut oil, sweet almond oil or grapeseed oil.
Royal Jelly – Secretions from the throat glands of worker bees. Used as a moisturizer.
Tallow or Sodium tallowate – Rendered animal fat. Used as a thickener in creams and lotions. If you don’t know what rendered means, consider yourself fortunate.
This list is by no means comprehensive. Several ingredients such as stearic acid can be animal or vegetable derived and manufactures are not required to disclose the source, although vegan companies will certainly brag about their plant-based origins.
Think of this list as a starting point
Avoiding these ingredients doesn’t mean you have to go without. Vegan alternatives have gained in popularity and are easily attainable in a broad price range. Sure there are expensive vegan products but there expensive non-vegan products too. Thanks to the internet, you can get everything from vegan deodorant to toothpaste at reasonable prices and without the icky animal parts. Lip gloss