The surge in the vegan diet over recent years has been huge, with many people swapping out their morning scrambled eggs for a creamy chia seed pudding to set the tone for the day. And as more and more research reveals the impact of veganism; from our health, to the impact on animals, and even the effect on our environment – it’s no surprise that the number of vegans in the UK has risen by over 60% in the last year alone! So, as huge supermarket chains find themselves selling twice the amount of vegan alternative food options now than they were a year ago, and delivery companies reporting more vegan takeaways are being ordered than ever before – it’s clear to see as a nation we are becoming more and more aware of what we put in our bodies and the impact of doing so.
Veganism is For Life Not Just For January
Having said that, what can all too often be overlooked when we embark on this conscious lifestyle change is – well, failing to recognise the fact that it is just that; a lifestyle change. So, just as we reap the benefits (both ethically and health wise) of changing what we put IN our body, we too reap the benefits of changing what we put ON our body. The vegan skincare world, despite also experiencing surges in growth and popularity over recent years, can often be the last area of life people address when making the transition to veganism, or opting for a more conscious lifestyle. Take for instance, the global campaign of Veganuary – which encourages people to give up meat and dairy for a month and only opt for vegan friendly meals for the whole of January (although many continue on the lifestyle even beyond the campaign). The emphasis remains heavily on our diet, which is great as it means we are saving the lives of animals, helping reduce our carbon footprint and making health-conscious dietary decisions to improve our overall wellbeing. But there’s no reason we shouldn’t extend that goodness to our skincare cupboard too. Especially as there’s so much to gain in doing so!
The Gentler Option (but still with all the vigor)
As well as vegan and cruelty free skincare being kinder to animals and to our earth, it can also be kinder to our skin. Particularly for those of us with sensitive, allergy prone or easily aggravated skin, the fewer ingredients and less stripping/harsh chemicals can be a soothing and healing relief. It can be a much-needed step back in particular from the ingredients we have for so long lathered on our bodies, month after month to no avail. Instead, the inclusion of natural fatty oils and calming butters can work wonders to heal our skin barrier, thus improving the overall health of our skin. Of course, although vegan products might be kinder to the skin – it’s important to be aware that having a vegan certified label on a product does not guarantee the company is ethically committed to the treatment of animals too – and making that distinction when investing your money is super important.
Cruelty free vs Vegan
It’s easy to misunderstand the two terms as we glance over the products in our basket without truly recognising what each phrase is really telling us. Quite simply – a cruelty free product does not mean it is vegan, it means it has not been tested on animals but there is still a possibility that it contains animal derived ingredients. Vegan products on the other hand, do not contain any animal products or by-products – but it’s important to note a vegan symbol alone does not mean the product hasn’t been tested on animals. So, the ultimate win is finding a product that is both vegan and cruelty free to allow your mind and conscience to rest easy.
Whilst we might be addressing our diets head on and questioning where we land on our moral and ethical compass, it’s important we extend this to all areas of our life, from clothes, to skincare and even our household products – because when we put our money into a company that commits itself to providing high quality and ethically sound products, we speak volumes to an entire industry as to what our priorities and standards are.