Although there are no legal definitions or standards for calling a product "vegan," there are some generally accepted standards. Dermatologist Gary Goldfaden, MD, defines vegan cosmetics as "products that are free of any animal by-products or derivatives." But this begs the question -- what's the difference between vegan and non-vegan products? You don't exactly think of your lipstick containing flank steak and bacon. According to Paulina Nelega, registered clinical herbalist for Hair Essentials, there are indeed some less-than-pleasant animal-derived products in non-vegan cosmetics, including collagen, emu oil, fish scales, gelatin, shark cartilage, ambergris (which is essentially whale upchuck) and many more. Yikes.
Vegan cosmetics brands also tend to be cruelty-free, which means, "there has been absolutely no form of animal testing at any point throughout the creation of the product, including the ingredients," according to Dr. Goldfaden. But not all brands abide by this definition. If animal testing is a deal-breaker for you, always do your research into the brand.
Vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics can also be a great option for anyone worried about chemicals -- as long as you look carefully at the ingredients. "Often the consumer who would be interested in purchasing cruelty-free or vegan products is also the same consumer who would be interested in purchasing 'natural' products," explains Jen Matthews, Editor-in-Chief of My Beauty Bunny. Though it's not always the case that vegan products are 100 percent natural and organic, many brands put a great amount of energy into making sure their products are not only teacup pig-friendly, but also chemical-free for your skin. Just make sure to inspect the label if you're looking to go totally au naturel.
We raked through more vegan beauty products than we knew existed, in search of cosmetics that are long-lasting, provide a range of vibrant hues, and feel just as light, smooth, and creamy as their non-vegan counterparts. We picked our 11 favorites, many of which are organic, and all of which are so high quality, you'd never guess they were made without standard cosmetic ingredients.
Click ahead to see these sensational products from some of the coolest vegan beauty brands out there -- your face (and karma) will thank you.
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