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Beauty 101
What Is Vegan Skincare And Is It Better For You?
Dr.Ingky Dermatologist
What Is Vegan Skincare And Is It Better For You?

Do you know what you put on your face this morning? Not the name of the brand or type of skin product, but what really goes on your skin? If you turn your moisturiser over and see lanolin in the small print, which a lot of creams and lotions contain, then it’s a wax-like substance from sheep’s wool that’s been keeping your skin soft. Meanwhile, your favourite red lipstick has likely been made possible by thousands of crushed up cochineal insects.

Over the past few years, people have become more mindful of what they put into and onto their bodies more than ever before. In 2017, vegan cosmetics sales jumped 100 percent in customers between the ages of 16 and 34. Consumers mentioned that they found animal welfare concerning, citing that as their main reason for making the switch. But what is a vegan product? How to tell which if the cosmetics are vegan? Well, here are few points.

What makes a product vegan?

A product that is vegan does not contain any animal ingredients, nor animal-derived ingredients. This includes honey, beeswax, lanolin, collagen, albumen, carmine, cholesterol, gelatine, and many others. To figure out if a product you’re interested in using is vegan, start by scanning the label and packaging. The best way to know a product is vegan is to read the full ingredient list and confirm for yourself. It’s a lot easier to do research at home than trying to understand some of the unregulated terms used in packaging.

 5 Benefits of Using Vegan Skincare Products 

  1. Vegan Skincare is the Best for Your Skin

Did you know your skin absorbs 60% of anything you apply to it? That said, animal-based beauty products often contain synthetic and artificial ingredients. They are also made of things like uric acid extracted from cows and carmine extracted from crushed insects. While there is no denying they are beneficial, they tend to clog pores, which explains why skin breakouts are a common problem.

Vegan skincare products, on the other hand, are purely plant-based. Each ingredient is sourced from plants. So, they are chemical-free and do not contain any artificial additives. This makes them more beneficial for your skin. For instance, natural ingredients found in these products such as chamomile, aloe vera, and tea tree have been tested and tried and have been proven to have purification benefits. Therefore, using them helps remove excess oil and any pore-clogging impurities and as a result, treat and prevent acne. They also give the skin a silky-soft feel.

  1. They are rich in Vitamins

They are also rich in Vitamins such as B, C, and E, which assist in cell regeneration, thus keeping your skin looking young and vibrant. Such ingredients are also rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, they are also great on sensitive skin and help with skin problems such as eczema, allergies, and skin inflammation, among many others.

  1. Good for Sensitive Skin

Usually made from natural or organic ingredients, cruelty-free and vegan skincare products tend to be gentler on the skin. Those with sensitive, easily irritated or allergy-prone skin may find these products especially beneficial as they also tend to contain fewer ingredients that aggravate any skin conditions or cause reactions.

  1. All-Natural, Whole Body Vegan Beauty Products are Good for the Planet

If your goal is to live in an environmentally sustainable manner, then you’ll be glad to know using vegan beauty products is a step in the right direction. They are eco-friendly in all aspects. For instance, green is the color goes the extra mile in ensuring an environmentally friendly production process. Each beauty product is packaged in sustainable and easily recyclable materials, as well. Every bit of the product from its contents to the packaging is eco-friendly. 

  1. They are Good for Your Health

As mentioned earlier, our skin absorbs 60% of what we apply to it. Therefore, every product you use on it is absorbed in your body as well. Fortunately, apart from being eco-friendly, good for your skin and the planet, vegan beauty products are also good for your health. That is mainly because they are chemical-free.

Does a vegan diet improve my skin as well? What happens to your skin when you go vegan?

 Whether a diet can help clear the skin is all down to the type of foods you eat. An unhealthy vegan diet, while better for the animals and the environment, could still be high in inflammatory foods. French fries, for example, are vegan, but they’re also deep-fried and can be high in artificial trans fats, which causes inflammation.

So, note that being vegan alone may not be enough to reduce inflammation and the skin conditions related to it. A healthy vegan diet is filled with plant-based, whole foods, and this is the best to have a brighter and clearer skin.

3 popular skincare ingredients that come from plant-based sources

  1. Bakuchiol

If a retinol has been on your add-to-cart list because of its youth-boosting powers, know this: plant-based bakuchiol has actually been shown to rival retinol's benefits. Bakuchiol is an extract of the Babchi plant long used in Ayurvedic medicine. It is one of the few retinol alternatives for which studies back up the pseudo-retinol effect of anti-aging and skin-brightening.

One study in the British Journal of Dermatology found that bakuchiol could reduce signs of sun damage equally as well as retinol. And another paper in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science reported bakuchiol's role in reducing lines and wrinkles and improving skin elasticity. Bakuchiol seems to be activating the genes that regulate collagen and elastin production, just like what retinol does.

  1. Manuka Honey

Manuka honey is another star plant-based ingredient. Manuka honey has antimicrobial properties and therefore may help kill bacteria that contribute to skin infections and inflammations like acne or seborrhea. Additionally, it has both hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties, and is rich in antioxidants that help fight free radicals from sun, pollution, and stress.

  1. Green Tea Extract

 Studies have shown that topical application of green tea extract can help reduce sun damage, likely because of its high antioxidant count. On top of its protective benefits, green tea's anti-inflammatory properties can help calm skin and ease redness.

In theory, more plant-based ingredients should be better for your skin, and vegan skin care products can offer a range of benefits. Vegan products tout the same general benefits of a vegan diet in terms of reducing environmental damage and promoting kindness towards animals, but they can also be really beneficial for your skin.

Additionally, vegan products are often rich in vitamins filled with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and since they typically contain fewer ingredients, it can be easier to understand exactly what you’re putting on your skin.

But don’t forget that vegan skincare products can still potentially cause irritation. Just because something is vegan doesn’t mean you can’t be allergic to it. Many plant-derived ingredients, or plants themselves, can cause irritation or a contact allergy. Hoping to minimize potential irritation from vegan skin care products? Check the label for the words "preservative-free," since preservatives can often aggravate skin. 

Would you like to know more? We are here to help you! SkynFyx is a platform that provides completely free skincare education. Feel free to contact us if you have any inquiries concerning skincare.

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