Even since I was a little girl I have been a lover and defender of animals and their rights. Now that I’m older I still consider myself an animal activist and I don’t think there is anything worse than animal testing. I make it a point to use only cruelty free beauty products and never support any company who tests their products on my furry friends.
Although I’m not a Vegan, I do make a conscious effort to use Vegan beauty products, with the exception of beeswax, but many animal by-products are disguised with scientific terms. Reading ingredient lists can be a bit tricky, especially if you aren’t used to it, so I decided to continue with my Beauty Dictionary series. This edition is all about animal by-products that you should avoid if you don’t want to slather your body with animal fat or urine.
Imidazolidinyl Urea – a commonly used preservative in cosmetics and other beauty products and is excreted from animal urine. It releases formaldehyde in products and is believed to cause a lot of damage to the liver and gastrointestinal system. It can also be called Uric Acid. It can be found in shampoo, deodorant, mouthwashes, hair dye, hand creams and lotions, moisturizer, and makeup.
Carmine – also known as Carminic Acid is a colored pigment made out of a crushed cochineal (which is a bug). It has been said that 70,000 beetles have to be crushed to make a single pound of red dye. It is used in cosmetics, shampoo, and food. Plant alternatives: Beet juice
Collagen – widely used in anti-aging products like serums and creams. It is a fibrous protein found in animal tissue. Plant alternatives: Soy protien and almond oil
Gelatin – commonly used in cosmetics, facial masks, and shampoos as well as candy and other food. It acts as a thickner and is a protein that comes from boiling skin, bones, tendons and ligaments in water. Plant alternatives: carrageen, seaweed, fruit pectin, dextrins, locust bean gum, cotton gum, and silica gel.
Keratin – this ingredient is very popular in hair products and treatments and is protein from ground up horns, hooves, feathers and animal hair. Plant alternatives: almond oil, soy protein, and amla oil.
Stearic Acid – used in many cosmetics, soaps, creams and lotions, deodorants, shampoos, shaving creams, hairspray, lubricants, and many other personal care and home products. Stearic acid is fat from domestic and farm animals (including cats, dogs, cows, sheep, and pigs). It most commonly comes from pigs but can also come from animals who have been euthanized in animal shelters. Keep an eye out for any ingredient that starts with “stear”. Plant alternatives: vegetable and fruit fats
Squalene – this is oil from shark livers and it can be found in many different cosmetics, moisturizers, and hair products. Plant alternatives: olive oil
If you’re using natural products chances are if one of these ingredients is listed then it’s probably a plant alternative, but I know not all of you are green so just keep an eye out. It’s really important to know what you’re putting onto your skin and into your blood stream.