Within hours of making the move to plant-based living, you’ll quickly find that avoiding animal products is much trickier than choosing nut roast over turkey at Christmas.
Animal-derived ingredients are hidden in everything from wine and chocolate to lip balm and cleanser. A little light reading begs the question; even if you’re a carnivore, do you really want to be smearing animal collagen, albumen, carmine, cholesterol and gelatin on your face?
In the last 10 years there’s been a 350% increase in online searches for the term “vegan”. Sales of ethical beauty and skincare are booming, but if you’re determined to fill your beauty arsenal with vegan products, you’ll still need to do your homework – the criteria is strict.
A vegan product does not contain any animal ingredients or animal-derived ingredients. This includes honey, beeswax and lanolin, to name but a few.
Here are nine tried and tested brands you can trust to supply you with 100% vegan goodies:
Widely hailed as one of the best results-driven brands on the market, Dermalogica’s new Body Collection is vegan, cruelty-free, paraben and gluten free.
Influenced by centuries of traditional bathing rituals, each product serves as an opportunity to restore balance and calm to your routine, while cleansing, replenishing and invigorating the skin with every use.
The Body Wash is made with aromatic oils of French rosemary and Chinese eucalyptus alongside fresh tea tree and lemon oils – trust us, it’ll turn your shower into a spa.
Try: Dermalogica Skin Conditioning Body Wash, €32.50
An innovative Irish skincare brand developed by Tipperary aesthetician Geraldine Jones, Skin Formulas’ high performance active formulations respect the skin and deliver fast effective results. The range features a fix for every skin challenge, from sun damage and acne to ageing and rosacea.
Try: Skin Formulas Oil & Milk Cleanser, €30
With roots in traditional Irish herbal science, Codex Beauty is another excellent choice; the brand just announced that its BIA Beauty collection has received two new product certifications from the Vegan Society and Leaping Bunny. Both certifications are awarded to companies whose products adhere to strict and provable animal cruelty-free parameters. Impressive.
Try: BIA Exfoliating Wash, €50 from McCauley Chemists and Cara Pharmacy.
The latest limited edition from budget brand Catrice, Pure Simplicity is not only vegan, but also free of additives and sustainably sold in paper and bamboo packaging.
The range includes face, lip and nail products which are free of PEGs (petroleum-based compounds widely used in cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers) and non-silicone lipsticks.
Try: Catrice Pure Simplicity Nail Colour in Moody Plum, €3.95 in pharmacies and Penney’s.
Not every product sold in Lush is vegan (around 20% of their offering includes ingredients like milk, honey, lanolin and eggs) but their vegan make-up selection is top notch. The lipsticks are particularly good – packed with organic jojoba, broccoli seed oils and orange peel wax.
Even the sparkly lippies are made with plastic-free glitter.
Try: Lush Kwinella Lipstick Refill, €12, Lush, Oliver Plunkett Street
Launched in 2014, Note’s pigmented, botanical-infused formulas include no animal derived raw ingredients in any product. The Luminous Moisturising Foundation is one of the best we’ve tried in this price range – it’s packed with sweet almond oil and macadamia oil, which contains essential acids, and the SPF 15 coverage is excellent, without being cakey.
Try: Luminous Moisturising Foundation, €9.95 from pharmacies
The first self-tanning brand created in Ireland, He-shi’s got a groaning cabinet of awards. Not only do the products smell great (no burnt biscuit fragrance as your tan develops) they also contain no animal products or animal bypoducts whatsoever.
Try: He-shi Express Liquid Tan, €26.25 from pharmacies.
Real Techniques professional quality makeup brushes, sponges, applicators, and accessories are both stylish and functional. Trust us, the foundation blenders are as good as the trendy brands, plus they won’t break the bank, which means you can replace your most used bits on the reg.
Try: Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, €7.99
The world’s first whitening toothpaste using enzymes, this daily use vegan toothpaste is highly effective, promising pearly whites with zero damage in the process.
But how does it work? The dynamic enzyme converts the sugars in your mouth into natural hydrogen peroxide, helping to remove stains while also protecting your mouth from bacteria that use sugar. Pacific sea salt works as a natural polisher to clean your teeth while the optical brighteners leave a sparkling hue, creating an instantaneous whiter and brighter look. We love the Californian Mint flavour too.
Try: The ‘4-in-1’ Enzyme Whitening Toothpaste, €8.99 from pharmacies.