So: I am not vegan. I love cheese too much. And although my meat consumption is low, I’m not even vegetarian. But what I have been increasingly conscious of since starting this blog is pro-actively seeking out vegan and vegetarian beauty products. With veganism continuing to grow its following, it’s no surprise that campaigns like Veganuary have also increased in awareness and popularity. This annual event challenges people to follow a vegan lifestyle for the month of January, and since its inception in 2014 participation has increased exponentially, more than doubling each year. I believe that as a consumer, if you are looking to protect animals through your beauty choices, bee-derived ingredients such as beeswax, propolis and honey – and therefore vegetarian rather than vegan products – provide a great way to support these key pollinating insects. But in the spirit of Veganuary here is a selection of beauty products that offer a fully vegan skincare routine.
Nourish Radiance Purifying Cleanser
First step in this vegan skincare routine is the purifying cleanser from organic, vegan and cruelty-free British brand Nourish. They’ve recently launched a selection of skincare kits offering a range of benefits, from protecting to anti-ageing. This 95% organic cleanser features in the radiance range, promising to brighten dull skin thanks to pumpkin seed oil and tonka bean extract. What I find most attractive with this product is the delicate and soothing rose petal scent. And as with all Nourish products I’ve tried so far, the formula feels gentle on skin yet effectively removing my light makeup, leaving my skin feeling fresh and ready for the next step. The directions of use suggest applying with cotton wool but this seems an unnecessary accessory: massaged into skin and removed with a damp flannel you’ll get just as good a result. 50ml part of a set.
Pestle & Mortar NMF Lactic Acid Toner
I’d never heard of this Irish vegan and cruelty-free skincare brand until I read about it in Caroline Hirons’ Skincare book. Any skincare enthusiast who follows Caroline will be familiar with her love of acids, and Pestle & Mortar offer a couple of exfoliating toners, a glycolic acid and a lactic acid. I opted for the leave-on lactic acid option which claims to hydrate, exfoliate, lighten hyperpigmentation and reduce fine lines. A brighter, smoother and more even skin? Yes please. The soft touch white bottle opens to reveal an unusual pump system to release formula onto a cotton pad. I’m not sure it adds a huge benefit versus a simpler opening, maybe more control on dosing? I apply to clean skin and feel a satisfying gently tingling sensation. Time will tell how effective this toner is at evening out skin but for now the more immediately tangible result is smooth texture. 200ml RRP £28.00
Evolve Bio Retinol + C Booster
I’m no stranger to this brand: since discovering its haircare and bodycare range in Planet Organic Evolve has since then frequently made an appearance within my skincare routine, particularly with their fantastic masks. This certified vegan booster contains some of my current favourite skincare ingredients: brightening vitamin C, irritation-free hyperpigmentation-fighting bio retinol bakuchiol, and nourishing scar-reducing rosehip oil. I add a couple of drops to my moisturiser – yes, another radiance-focused product, because my skin needs all the help it can get to achieve that healthy glow. 15ml RRP £28.00
Caudalie resveratrol-lift firming cashmere cream
A near-constant presence in my skincare routine, French pharmacy brand Caudalie has partnered with Harvard University to develop this anti-ageing formula containing vegan collagen, resveratrol (from the vines, the brand’s signature ingredient) and hyaluronic acid. The 97% natural rich cream perfectly nourishes my dehydrated skin leaving it satisfactorily plumped and smoothed. Looking at the product’s page on the brand’s website, it’s the first time I’ve noticed such detailed information about packaging recycling: Caudalie highlight the jar and box are fully recyclable, with a caveat that the mixed material lid needs to be recycled via the Terracycle scheme by bringing it back in-store. 50ml RRP £42.00
The Body Shop Rose Dewy Glow Face Mist
To complete my skincare routine I always like to finish with a hydrating mist. And for this heavily radiance-themed collection of products what better way to end than with The Body Shop’s aptly named Dewy Glow mist. Suitable for all skin types, the vegan formula contains reflective particles and anti-inflammatory aloe vera to leave skin fresh and hydrated. To me the ultra-pink packaging hints at a young sickly sweet scent, but on spritzing I was pleasantly surprised by the beautiful rose petal scent with a hint of raspberry. Not a sickly sweet note in sight. I’ll be keeping this fine mist on my desk for hydration top ups throughout the day. 60ml RRP £6.00
Cake The Mane Manager
Definitely not part of my skincare routine, but I couldn’t resist completing the vegan beauty line up with this haircare product I’ve recently re-discovered. This cruelty-free and vegan Canadian beauty brand offers incredibly girlie – and in this case super sweetly scented – hair and body care products, and of the three products I’ve tested, this now ranks as my favourite: a 3-in-1 leave-in conditioner that untangles, hydrates and revives hair, it works well on the mid lengths of my colour-treated hair for a smooth finish. 120ml RRP £8.99
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