What does vegan makeup mean

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Vegan cosmetics: feel good without animals having to suffer!

Vegan doesn't just mean being careful about your diet. As vegans, we want to live our attitude in principle, be it in living, clothing and body care.

Why do we want to report on the benefits of vegan cosmetics today? Actually logical, one would think. After all, being vegan is not just about diet. But then we were recently confronted by a friend who is not vegan with the confusing question about vegan cosmetics and vegan fashion: “Why vegan? I don't want to eat a sweater or make-up either? "

First we swallowed. Because it is actually a matter of course for us vegans and ultimately consistent: As vegans, we not only avoid all foods of animal origin. We also reject the use of animals and animal products altogether. For us, this means that we also ensure that clothing and other goods are free from animal products and, of course, are manufactured without animal testing. This is probably what sets us apart from the non-vegans the most.

Aphids on the lips?

The vast majority of the population rejects animal testing for the production of cosmetics. Vegan cosmetics are defined by the ingredients. And many are not even aware of what cosmetics - and this now includes shower gels, hairsprays, body lotions or toothpaste - contain.

Animal ingredients can be found in many products without being recognizable as such at first glance. These include feathers in hair care, collagen from animal tissue in anti-aging creams or sebum from cattle in soaps or even ground aphids as a coloring agent for lipsticks.

These are typical ingredients of the cosmetics industry, which the layman cannot recognize at first or second glance. Would the declarations on the packaging of the cosmetics industry include specific ingredients such as B. advertise ground hooves or the aforementioned aphids, who would then enjoy painting their lips red in the morning?

Many terms for the same thing?

Which brings us to the core problem of vegan cosmetics. How do you even know that you are dealing with vegan cosmetics? Because on closer research we noticed that many terms are often interchangeable here. Or what is the exact difference between vegan cosmetics, vegan natural cosmetics or even certified natural cosmetics, and what is it all about?

Therefore, we would like to explain the terms a little so that the next time you can find your way around the cosmetics jungle more easily and consciously reach for vegan cosmetics.

Natural cosmetics are not just vegan cosmetics

Natural cosmetics are characterized by ingredients based on plants or minerals. No synthetic ingredients such as parabens, silicones or paraffins are used in certified natural cosmetics. In contrast to natural cosmetics, these synthetic substances are used in conventional cosmetics to make hair and skin silky and shiny, to preserve the product or to combine the emulsifier, fat and water phase. For us vegans, something completely different is much more important in this context: natural cosmetics can contain ingredients produced by animals, such as B. beeswax, but also milk or eggs.

Even certified natural cosmetics are not just vegan cosmetics

Certification also only helps us to a limited extent: The terms natural cosmetics, organic or natural are not protected by law. Therefore, some labeling seals are used, which can then turn natural cosmetics into certified natural cosmetics. Sounds good - but it's not always vegan either.

One of the best-known seals is that of the BDIH, the “BDIH Standard” for controlled natural cosmetics. The symbol indicates that animal testing is not carried out or commissioned during the manufacture, development or testing of the cosmetic products. However, substances that are "produced" by animals, such as honey, are permitted. For us vegans this means: animal substances are not excluded. This is because use from invertebrates is permitted, but from vertebrates it is prohibited.

And there is something else that has not really been thought through by the legislator: Animal testing with cosmetic products is prohibited by law. However, animal experiments with individual ingredients by the respective suppliers are not affected and therefore cannot be ruled out. Then the cat bites its famous tail. After all, how do you know whether the manufacturer of a cosmetic product has resorted to substitutes that contradict the principles of natural cosmetics?

Not all organic cosmetics are the same as vegan cosmetics

Other seals that guarantee genuine certified natural cosmetics are z. B. NaTrue, Eccocert and Demeter. In the case of NaTrue-certified products, a distinction is made between the three categories of natural cosmetics, natural cosmetics with organic content and organic cosmetics. Which level characterizes the respective product is sometimes indicated on the product, but can otherwise be found on the Internet. The NaTrue seal is therefore awarded to products with different organic proportions.

Cosmetic products marked as such do not contain any ingredients derived from or derived from animals. But the same applies here: Since the term “vegan” is not protected or is not clearly defined by law, it cannot be guaranteed that vegan organic cosmetics are produced without any animal testing.

Are at least vegan cosmetics vegan?

Not every product that is vegan does not contain animal substances. A look at the ingredients used does not always lead to more clarity, as the manufacturers like to deliberately disguise the animal origin of individual ingredients with their own terminology:

Cera flava is the excretion of honey bees (wax), which is used to produce the honeycomb. Keratin is a horn made from ground hooves or feathers. For carmine, the red dye obtained from female scale insects, there are z. B. 10 different terms, e.g. T. from cryptic letters and numbers. Lanolin, for example, is a secretion obtained from the sebum glands of sheep, which is obtained by washing sheep's wool.

Quality seals only help as a rough guide

Seals of quality that can help in the search for actually vegan products in the cosmetics market are such as B. the vegan flower (sunflower in a circle). This seal is awarded by the Vegan Society England to products that are free from animal ingredients and for which no animal testing may be carried out or commissioned. This also applies to the suppliers of the raw materials. Unfortunately, there is also a limitation here. Because the seal does not prevent products from being exported to China, where tests on animals are a prerequisite for sale on the Chinese market. With the purchase of such products, we then indirectly support animal experiments because these companies work with China. But they are actually vegan anyway.

Another seal is the leaping bunny, which is subject to the requirements of the Human Cosmetic Standard, which was developed by an international association of animal welfare organizations. Only those products may bear this seal that are produced by companies that no longer carry out or commission animal experiments after a specified deadline. Cooperation with such companies is also prohibited. Raw materials tested after this date are not allowed. In addition, no components from killed or tortured animals may be used.

If you want to be absolutely sure that you are buying vegan cosmetics that are not related to any animal testing, you will find z. For example, on the homepage of the PETA organization, there is a list of cosmetics manufacturers who do not carry out animal tests and who also guarantee that their suppliers do not do this either.

Furthermore, there is a large selection of products listed at PETA that are produced without animal ingredients, i.e. are vegan. PETAUSA uses the “Cruelty-Free” seal, a bunny with pink ears, which may be given the addition “vegan”.


If we summarize what has been said, we come to the following conclusion: seals of approval can offer a rough orientation in the jungle of cosmetics. However, they do not cover all the desired criteria. Since there is no uniform legal basis for the definition of organic or natural cosmetics or vegan, this is often exploited by the producers in the market to position or declare a product as organic or green cosmetics, even though it is actually either based on the ingredients or is not at all in terms of production.

Our conclusion: Natural cosmetics are not automatically vegan and vegan cosmetics are not always made without animal testing. As a consumer, I have to keep myself informed, use the seal of approval as an aid, or For example, consult the lists published by PETA or, if in doubt, contact the manufacturer.

But is it worth the effort? We definitely think so. Because the advantages of vegan cosmetics are obvious. And not just from the point of view of animal welfare.

What are the advantages of vegan cosmetics?

  • Vegan cosmetics use natural ingredients from nature and avoid the use of synthetic ingredients or chemicals that can irritate the skin or even cause disease.
  • Vegan cosmetics are sustainable because the raw materials used are renewable and, above all, biodegradable. They can also be easily absorbed by the skin.
  • The manufacturers of vegan cosmetics are convinced that 100% herbal active ingredient combinations are the purest, most effective and skin-friendly.
  • Vegan cosmetics are therefore recommended for all people with sensitive skin.

Do it yourself

If you want to be 100% sure that only ethically and physically acceptable ingredients are actually contained in the cosmetic products and also want to save money, it is best to make your own creams and peelings. Have you maybe even done it before? Then come with your tips. We look forward to your recipes.

In veggies we trust!

Photo: iStock.com/elfgradost, iStock.com/everydayplus

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