Vegan | Plant-Based | Cruelty-Free Hair & Skin Care Products

Google Beauty Trends reports that Vegan Skin Care is an important trend to watch with searches for Vegan Skin Care growing over 83% each year. What does it mean for a skin care product to be vegan? In this post we explore the term vegan, vegetarian and cruelty-free for hair and skin care products.


Vegan, also known as plant-based,products contain no ingredient from any animal or processed with animal products. This includes honey, beeswax and white sugar produced through animal bone char. Many ingredients from animal flesh are contained in products labeled as vegan because of lack of education.


Vegetarian products may include milk, whey, casein, eggs, honey, beeswax, secretions from the civet cat, lanolin from sheep wool and musk oil from musk deer. Many animal by-product ingredients from the slaughter of animals are contained in products labeled as vegetarian because of lack of education.


Animal-based products are from animals that are killed in order to use the ingredient or used as a by-product. These include tallow (oil from the fat of the cow and pig), emu oil, gelatin, stearic acid (animal derived) and fish scales. Many cosmetics contain animal products especially pig oil and it is not disclosed on the ingredient list. Other ingredients are colorants in make-up from crushed female beetles, gelatin from cow’s skin, tendons, ligaments and bones, keratin and collagen from animals’ horns, hooves, feathers and hair and animal derived hyaluronic acid from the rooster’s comb.


A product may be made of only vegan/plant-based ingredients, however it may still test on animals. Many cosmetics are still tested on animals and these tests can be very painful, cause suffering and even death. Rabbits, mice, rats, and guinea pigs are often used to test cosmetics on to see if they have an allergic reaction. After the external testing, the animal is killed and dissected to examine the effects to their internal organs. A product that is labeled cruelty-free means that no animals were harmed or killed in the making of the product including testing. Animal-testing is out-dated and there is much better technology available that causes no harm to animals.

Vegan Cosmetics also known as Plant-Based Cosmetics

Consumers should know what is in their cosmetics. Many cosmetics contain pig oil, cow skin, hoofs, etc. For a list of common animal-based products read this post. The consumer should know if an ingredient is made from the by product of the slaughter of an animal and if that product contains ingredients from an animal. The cosmetic industry is starting to take note of this and many brands are including a vegan label on their product. However, there is still no regulations or requirements regarding the labeling animal-based ingredients or animal testing in cosmetics. We encourage everyone to know what is in their skin, hair care, and makeup products. If it is not directly labeled as vegan or the ingredient list is not on the product, look up the company online and contact them directly if you cannot find out or are unsure.

What are your thoughts? Is it important to you for cosmetic products to be labeled vegan, vegetarian or animal-based? Do you make natural hair and skin care products? If so, are these products vegan and cruelty-free? We’d love to hear from you in our comments.

At Joan Morais Cosmetics School we are committed in only using vegan/plant-based ingredients that are cruelty-free. All of our formulations are vegan/plant-based and cruelty-free.  


List of companies that DO test on animals. 

List of companies that DO NOT test on animals.

Read about ways you can make a difference as a consumer.

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