Is Your Vegan Skincare Planet Friendly?
Guest Blog by Victoria @ Happy Carrot Skincare
When we first go vegan it seems like a lot of effort to check every food label and make those changes towards a vegan lifestyle. Then once we’ve got food and drink covered, it’s natural to start thinking about our skincare and make-up too.
We look for a Vegan label, the easiest way of knowing if it really is vegan and want some assurance that it’s cruelty free too. Is that really enough though? Depending on your reasons for
going vegan in the first place, maybe not.
In my case, I was vegetarian for the animals and then finally went vegan when I couldn’t ignore the environmental impact I was still making with my diet and lifestyle choices. So when I set up my own skincare range after struggling with hormonal acne, I knew it had to be respectful for the environment too.
As we know, there is a whole load of greenwashing and now veganwashing out there, and large companies are happy to shout out how they look out for the environment, along with their sometimes doubtful claims of vegan and cruelty free status.
So, how can we make our own assessment of what’s planet friendly or not? Here is not an
exhaustive list, and it might be a little biased towards my own choices coming from the research I’ve read but, it can serve you as a starting point to consider if your skincare choices are really planet-friendly or not.
You don’t need me to tell you that the vegan, plant-based option is best for the environment!
Always check that it really is vegan though. The best way to check for a accredited vegan logo such as Vegan Founded, and turn on the vegan filter too when you’re browsing for vegan products on the internet.
You can also check the Vegan Founded directory which we are listed on!
Here’s a tricky one!
Palm oil is vegan... or is it?
I’ll leave you to make your own decisions on that one but if you’re trying to avoid it watch out for ingredients that contain palm as it comes in many names and is a common component in many emulsifiers.
The other option is to check for the RSPO logo (responsibly sourced palm oil) for a lesser environmental impact.
When we shop local we can support small businesses and the local economy, fantastic! But where do the ingredients come from? Many gorgeous oils and ingredients come from tropical climes, most plant-butters are grown along the equator and there’s just no getting round that.
There are however a plethora (love that word!) of truly amazing plant oils that we can source from right here in Europe, and some even in the UK! So look for more local ingredients as well as local businesses.
For those of you who know me, I’m sure you were expecting this to come up! My absolute favourite way of looking after the planet is to make the most of upcycled ingredients in our range of skincare. These are unwanted products from the food and drink industry that would be thrown to landfill otherwise.
Much of this food waste can be converted into the best quality skincare ingredients, thereby saving your skin and the planet too! There are so many options to choose from, tomato is my favourite but there’s strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, poppy, watermelon, papaya and many more! If you’d like to know more about upcycled ingredients, read more here!
Unfortunately, it’s very easy to waste good skincare and make-up. If you’re like me and you use make-up once every 3 months, then the next time you go to use it you have to throw it out! Always follow the open cap symbol and chuck it away once it’s expired – if the symbol says 6M then it’s good for 6 months after you’ve opened it. Don’t risk damaging your eyes for example with an out of date mascara! So how to prevent this waste? Well, obviously we should only buy what we need. Then think about how you can maximise its use to cover different purposes, saving you money, hassle and product waste.
Surprised I’ve left this until the end of the list?
I know many brands just focus on the packaging and yes, it’s really important but I hope I’ve highlighted that it’s just one of many elements. The obvious choice is to avoid single use plastic and many small indie skincare brands use glass only packaging. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of glass as it’s heavy, so the fuel needed to transport it across the world actually makes it comparable with single use plastic in its eco-footprint.
Aluminium is another choice, but the mining process is damaging and then we’re left with cardboard packaging which isn’t always safe for our products or we end up wasting a lot. My choice is recycled plastic made in France which reduces landfill and encourages the recycling industry to do just that – actually recycle what we dispose of. It’s not a perfect choice, but small businesses have limited options unfortunately when it comes to packaging.
It’s not just the type of material that’s important either. As I mentioned, the type of packaging can lead to us wasting our products. Take lip balm tubes for example, ever tried to get the last bit out that’s stuck in the bottom of the tube only to then have to throw out the mushy bit because it’s impossible to use? Consider the right packaging for the product and how you can waste less of your lovely skincare products.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this blog and you’d like to find out more about our range of skincare
superheroes, find us at www.happycarrotskincare.com
Our simple yet effective formulas are designed for combination and even troubled skin. They’re also chock full of upcycled ingredients from here in Europe, palm oil free, minimally packaged in recycled plastic or glass, most labels are compostable. We’re proud to be registered by The Vegan Society, we’re Leaping Bunny Approved and of course we’re Vegan Founded!