Why You Should Probably Clean Out Your Makeup Collection

vegan make up

No, this is not another thinkpiece about how you should check your makeup to make sure it has not expired.

Though, while you reach for your makeup to check whether it has expired, it might be worth also checking the ingredients in your lipstick. And foundation. And everything else.

You may find that there are more animal products in them than you think. Or worse: they were tested on animals before finding their home in your cosmetics bag.


The Laws On Animal Testing

There are still inconsistencies globally around animal testing for cosmetics. While both the United Kingdom and wider Europe in recent years have condemned cosmetic testing on animals, there are still other countries that are yet to act on it. The United States still permit animal testing, and while there are no institutions in Australia that test cosmetics on animals, it is still legal.

‘The Leaping Bunny Logo’ has been used internationally by cosmetic companies to signify that their products have not been tested on animals. While this might seem helpful for consumers looking to minimise their environmental impact, Italian brand KIKO COSMETICS has previously criticised The Leaping Bunny Logo. They state that ‘Cruelty Free – Leaping Bunny’ lacks stringent investigative practices to ensure that brands who use the logo have completely eliminated animal testing from their practices.

One fail-safe way to ensure that your cosmetics are animal-friendly is to look at the FAQ section of your favourite brand’s website. While it is common for makeup companies to spruik their animal-friendly practices, you should still read carefully. Some cosmetics brands may still use animal by-products in their makeup, like Australian company Nude By Nature. If they do not mention the subject at all, it may be well to steer clear of that particular company’s products.

Animal Products In Cosmetics

On that note, here are some of the ingredients you may have to look out for if you are examining your own makeup collection:

  • Cochineal dye, or crushed beetles – usually found in red lipsticks and blush
  • Guanine, or crushed fish scales – an ingredient in mascaras, nail polishes and lipstick
  • Tallow, or animal fat – commonly used in foundations, eye makeup and lipstick
  • Sqaulene, or shark liver – found in eye makeup and lipsticks
  • Ambergris, or whale stomach lining – used mostly in perfumes
  • Estrogen, from the urine of pregnant horses – an ingredient in perfumes, creams and lotions

However, this is not a comprehensive list. If you are interested in seeing just what is in your current makeup collection, you can find a list of common animal by-products that are used in cosmetics through PETA’s website.

An easier way forward from here would be to purchase from vegan companies that make and sell ethically-conscious cosmetics, such as VOBEAUTY, Balade en Provence, and The Natural Beauty Box.

Where To Next?

What will you be doing with your cosmetics collection? Did some of the animal by-products in modern makeup surprise you? Let us know in the comments below!

Author Bio – Aisling Philippa

Aisling is a freelance writer for hire at Imagine Copy based in Melbourne, Australia. While she’s not studying her Double Masters of International Relations at Monash University, Aisling enjoys daydreaming about her next witty 140 character retort.

Aisling Philippa

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