Faced every day with more information on the state of the planet, now more than ever we are looking at the way we live, eat and socialise. So we asked,
“Is Your Beauty Regime Harming You and the Planet?”
I didn’t know much about Vegans, let alone Vegan Beauty
We are all trying to be more environmentally conscious. We watch David Attenborough, Al Gore and the scientists in the Media and we are all secretly appalled by the damage we have collectively done to the planet and our unwitting part in it. I say unwittingly for a reason. If, when I swapped my first roll-on deodorant for a can of antiperspirant it had said THIS WILL HARM THE OZONE LAYER then would I have bought it? Probably not, but we didn’t know.
Just like the years I spent secretly rolling my eyes at vegans who came to supper espousing the harm we were all doing eating red meat! Seems I should have listened, but I didn’t know then that my steak and chips contributed to the 574 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emission each year in the US alone and worldwide 18% of human-induced greenhouse gases. I really need to be looking for more natural products.
I wondered then, whether our children would be equally as misinformed and subsequently be equally in the dark about things they took for granted in their lives until it’s too late? After all it’s what you don’t know, you don’t know.
I would not have believed even five years ago that my family and I would be contemplating plant-based diets, going vegan, cutting out red meat or even refusing a single-use plastic carrier bag for my morning croissant, but with information comes action.
However, like you, I’m on a learning curve here and whilst information is seeping through, it’s not exactly mainstream and when it’s tucked away in the sidelines it’s called scaremongering, until enough scientists back up the hype and it becomes real. But read on.
So back to skincare. No sooner had I discovered exfoliating skincare products and bought into the wonderful benefits of scrubbing off all those dull dead skin cells than I was reading about all of the tiny microbeads I was washing down the sink into the sea and poisoning the fish. So that stopped. Now I need to really read the labels.
Image courtesy of Canva
Without being glib, it’s actually quite labour intensive to keep up to date with being environmentally conscious. Animal welfare, reducing carbon emissions, greenhouse gases, harmful ingredients that link to cancer.
I advocate never purchasing cheap makeup and my daughter, who is beginning to experiment, has now stopped coming home with the boxes containing 400 rainbow colours of eyeshadow for 30. Aed that she bought in the depths of Dragon Mart.
Image Courtesy of Canva.
What Are The Laws
Note that up until very recently it has been a legal requirement that ALL beauty products in China be tested on animals, even those imported to China from abroad. Although the law has now changed, the legacy of companies affected, many of which are household names, (like Head & Shoulders and any Procter & Gamble products) are huge. Do we actually know what we’re buying off our supermarket shelves?
We googled products that either allow animal testing or whose ingredients, suppliers etc allow it, and we were amazed at how many names we recognised, and those are the ones that are being transparent.
Did you also know that keratin is an animal product made from ground animal hair, hooves, horns etc!! Not particularly vegan friendly. Who knew? We certainly didn’t. But during our research into vegan cosmetics, it occurred to us that the word vegan is a bit loose in the industry. It should not be tested on animals and made from plants and minerals or safe synthetics. But if it says vegan does it just mean not tested on animals? Or no animal products, and even if it says no unsafe sulphates, would you recognise a safe synthetic from an unsafe one?
What Are The Ingredients
Carcinogens, sulphates and parabens that we use on our skin, in the shower every day, are seeping into our pores with alarming regularity. It would even give passive smoking a run for its money in terms of risk to our health. Did you know that there is little or no government regulation in the cosmetics industry? According to one study, the average woman uses 12 products per day on average on her skin/hair, containing an average of 168 ingredients many of which are, or contain endocrine disruptors which can affect hormone imbalance, fertility and have links to worse.
Check out the ingredients on this very high-end eyeshadow that I have been using on my eyes for years! Even the first ingredient made me shudder and that’s probably the best of the lot!
Talc, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Oryza Sativa Extract / Rice Extract, Silica, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Zinc Stearate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, PTFE, Tin Oxide, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylene/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Sorbic Acid. [+/- (Shades may contain / Couleurs peuvent contenir): Mica, CI 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 / Iron Oxides, CI 77400 / Bronze Powder, CI 75470 / Carmine]. D237632/1. G2014459.
Make Informed Decisions
Since looking into and writing “Is Your Beauty Regime Harming ou & The Planet”, I have committed to being a little less accepting of the mainstream norm from now on. Just because it’s a big brand doesn’t make it good. It makes it a billion-dollar industry and billion-dollar industries don’t have a great track record of looking after the little people. So for my sake and my children, I’m teaching them to be informed. My daughter now looks at the packaging and reads the ingredients. She is 14 years of age, I wish I was that savvy at her age.
Look for vegan, cruelty-free, plant-based products and make the switch now. I won’t lie, it’s not an easy task. Brands will advocate one or the other, not often both!
Some of the brands I love are both small boutique brands and some larger ones. Aveda is a great brand for hair care, as is Pureology, The Ordinary, Paul Mitchell and Redken.
For makeup, Bare Minerals and Body Shop are favourites to trust and www.Lookfantastic.com have great vegan sections on their website. Also, visit http://www.sephora.comfor a great range of lesser-known brands that are up and coming.
So are you sure that your beauty regime isn’t harking you & the planet? Have you already made these changes? Add a comment and let us know, or Check out some of our Vegan recommendations on http://www.thechamomilelounge.com/new/buynow/