You may be surprised to find out that most of your cosmetics and body care products contain animal ingredients such as tissue and fat. Cosmetic companies use animal ingredients because they’re cheap, not because they’re better than plant-based or synthetic ingredients. Slaughterhouses kill billions of animals every year, easily selling the “byproducts” to cosmetics manufacturers. There are thousands of technical and patented names for ingredient variations, making it very difficult for us to know what is in a product. Another reason to make your own skin, body and hair care products or support small businesses who do! Many ingredients known by one name can be of animal, vegetable or synthetic origin. An easy way to guarantee the product does not contain any animal byproducts is by supporting Vegan companies. You can find the list with Vegan companies at Beauty Without Cruelty Part 1.
Below are some of the most used animal byproducts in the cosmetic industry from Choose Cruelty Free.
Red pigment from the crushed female cochineal insect. Reportedly 70,000 beetles must be killed to produce one pound of this red dye. Used in cosmetics, shampoos and many foods (including food coloring). May cause allergic reaction. Alternatives: beet juice, alkanet root
Unctuous secretion painfully scraped from a gland very near the genital organs of civet cats. Used as a fixative in perfumes. Alternatives: labdanum oil and other plants with a musky scent
Used in shimmery makeups, mascara and nail polish. Alternatives: mica, rayon, synthetic pearl
Protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones with water. From horses, cows and pigs. Used in shampoos, face masks, and other cosmetics. Used as a thickener for fruit gelatins and puddings. In candies, marshmallows, cakes, ice cream, yogurts. On photographic film and in vitamins as a coating and as capsules. Alternatives: carrageen, seaweeds, pectin from fruits, dextrins, locust bean gum, cotton gum, silica gel. Vegetarian capsules are now available from several companies.
Protein from the ground-up horns, hooves, feathers, quills, and hair of various animals. In hair rinses, shampoos, permanent wave solutions. Alternatives: almond oil, soy protein, amla oil, rosemary and nettle give body and strand strength to hair.
Lanolin Acids. Wool Fat. Wool Wax. A product of the oil glands of sheep, extracted from their wool. Used as an emollient in many skin care products and cosmetics and in medicines. Derivatives: Aliphatic Alcohols, Cholesterin, Isopropyl Lanolate, Laneth, Lanogene, Lanolin Alcohols, Lanosterols, Sterols, Triterpene Alcohols. Alternatives: plant and vegetable oils
Dried secretion painfully obtained from musk deer, beaver, muskrat, civet cat, and otter genitals. Wild cats are kept captive in cages in horrible conditions and are whipped around the genitals to produce the scent; beavers are trapped; deer are shot. In perfumes and in food flavorings. Alternatives: labdanum oil and other plants with a musky scent
Obtained from the liver oil of sharks and from whale ambergris. Used as a lubricant and anti-corrosive agent. In cosmetics. Alternatives: plant oils, synthetics
From shark livers. In cosmetics, moisturizers, lip balm, sunscreen and hair dyes. Alternatives: vegetable emollients such as olive oil, wheat germ oil, rice bran oil
*Squalane oil not Squalene oil is derived from plants, usually olive oil.
Most often refers to a fatty substance taken from the stomachs of pigs. Can be harsh, irritating. Used in cosmetics, soaps, lubricants, candles, hairspray, conditioners, deodorants, creams, chewing gum, food flavoring. Derivatives: Stearamide, Stearamine, Stearates, Stearic Hydrazide, Stearone, Stearoxytrimethylsilane, Stearoyl Lactylic Acid, Stearyl Betaine, Stearyl Imidazoline. Alternatives: Stearic acid can be found in many vegetable fats like coconut.
Is a common ingredient in many products, including most soaps, eye makeup, lipsticks, makeup bases and foundations, shampoos, shaving soaps, moisturizers and skin care products. Tallow is made by rendering animal fat, which means boiling the carcasses to create fatty byproducts. The dead animals used to make tallow come from many different sources, including labs, slaughterhouses, zoos, shelters, and roadkill.
Read Beauty Without Cruelty Part 1 HERE
Read Beauty Without Cruelty Part 2 HERE