When we think of being vegan, it's likely the first thing we'll acknowledge is the exciting change to our diets, perhaps we'll also think about adapting our clothing habits to avoid leather and other goods derived from animals or animal by-products. But did you know you can also get vegan skincare?
November is World Vegan Month and also marks the launch of our new Skincare Retreat, focusing on skincare journeys with plenty of pampering.
While we're always all about 100% plant-based food, we'd like to dive into the exciting (and growing) world of vegan skincare.
With words like cruelty-free, natural, and non-toxic taking over our beauty counter, it can be tough to navigate the growing world of vegan skincare. Less than ten years ago, the term vegan was reserved to those following what was perceived as a restrictive, somewhat extreme diet. But now that we’re becoming more conscious about our health and social environment, vegan ethics are finally getting the recognition they deserve, including in our skincare.
From promoting the benefits of plants to reducing one’s harm on life and the planet, vegan values are something Glass House wholeheartedly embodies. Our dining experience is completely plant-based and each spa package is accompanied with consciously selected skincare.
It is easy to assume that our skincare is vegan. After all, isn’t your moisturiser simply a combination of chemical manipulation or water? Well, not quite. In fact, animals are more common than you might think within your skincare. Your soap might contain glycerine (which comes from animal fat), just like your collagen cream might have been sourced from cow’s tendons, skin, and bones.
If you take a closer look at your skincare products, you’ll quickly find traces of animals everywhere, and avoiding them isn’t always easy. Because it isn’t just about animal parts.
Honey or Lanoni – which are animal by-products – can also be found in body butters or lip balms.
When your skincare is labelled vegan, it means that its formulation doesn’t contain any traces of animals or animal by-products.
So what are the most common animal ingredients in your skincare? Well, you might want to look for words like Squalane, Carmine, Honey, Shellac, Collagen, Glycerine, Milk, or Tallow, which all derive from animals.
Additionally, you might want to look out for the term “cruelty-free”, which highlights whether or not your skincare has been tested on animals, including mice, rabbits, and dogs. A skincare can be cruelty-free while still using honey or milk, therefore being non-vegan.
Overall, when your skincare is labelled cruelty-free and vegan, it takes animal welfare to heart without compromising on benefits for your skin.
Vegan skincare doesn’t just have kindness going for them. Along with caring for animals, vegan skincare commonly sources plant-based ingredients to ensure the most nourishing, rejuvenating and gentle experience for your skin.
Trade animal products for plant powered extracts and what do you get? Vegan skincare packed with wholesome ingredients rich in vitamins, natural fatty acids, and antioxidants. It is common to see cacao butter or coconut oil in vegan skincare, which are both anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory ingredients filled with nourishing properties.
Overall, many plants, herbs, flowers, or fruits can be used to enhance your skin’s health. Roses are high in vitamin C and are refreshing, while jojoba comes with vitamin E and B and is ideal for skin repair. No matter what your vegan skincare contains, its formulation is likely to be curated for the best skin results.
So many of us spend an obscene amount of time, and money, finding perfect skincare products that give those desired results. While recommendations from friends and online influencers can really help narrow down skincare brands, when it comes to individual products, sometimes it’s trial and error. One quick way to narrow down skincare products is by switching to a vegan skincare routine.
A plant-rich formulation means that vegan skincare is more gentle on sensitive skin. Harsh chemicals, allergens and animal ingredients found in regular skincare can severely agitate skin conditions like rosacea, eczema, or psoriasis. This is because those conditions are prone to irritation and inflammation, which can flare up when the epidermis absorbs harsh ingredients.
Plant extracts are often soothing and healing, making them a more gentle solution for the skin. So, if your skin is highly sensitive, vegan skincare is a powerful alternative.
Overall, vegan skincare has a deep love for life and nature, so it makes sense that a brand’s value extends to the environment. From ethical production and environmental action to recycled packaging, every step surrounding the life of a skincare product is consciously assessed to ensure a minimal impact on the planet.
When you finish your vegan moisturiser or serum, it is common to be able to reuse, recycle, or mindfully dispose of its container. Not all vegan skincare brands will offer the same level of eco commitment or transparency so a little extra research before purchasing doesn’t go amiss, however most are determined to have a better impact on the skincare industry and planet.
As vegan skincare grows popular, it can be time-consuming to look into every brand out there. With greenwashing and many skincare businesses jumping on the trend using derivative words such as clean, green, or natural, it can leave you wondering if you're choosing the best product for your skin and the environment.
So while you can take the time to assess a skincare’s certification, ingredient list, and overall transparency, one way to avoid greenwashing is to DIY your own vegan skincare. This is a great way to transition between your 'regualr' skincare and vegan skincare, while you trial on-the-shelf vegan skincare products.
With just a few ingredients, you can easily make soaps, scrubs, toothpaste, hair masks, deodorants, and more. All you need to do is pull up online recipes and take a look at your kitchen pantry.
For example, you can make an energising body scrub by mixing 1 tablespoon of coffee, coconut oil, and oatmeal together. You can also make an antioxidant-rich face mask with one banana and a tablespoon of turmeric. Not only is a DIY approach quick to make, but it helps ensure your skincare remains 100% natural and vegan. No need for chemicals, animal testing or extra packaging.
Much like with regular skincare products, with DIY vegan skincare, you always have to be mindful of how your skin feels. If something makes your skin feel irritable, stop using it.
As our largest organ, it’s no wonder we need to ensure we are nourishing and taking care of our skin as a whole, not just our face. Diet, lifestyle and wellbeing can all impact our skin’s health. Notice your skin flare up during a stressful time at work? More pain points after a takeaway or boozy night out? While everyone's skin journey is different, if you take the time to de-stress, detox from alcohol and caffeine and eat clean, your skin will certainly thank you!
Of course, in our everyday lives this is easier said than done. A stay at our vegan wellness retreat gives you the space and time to focus on your holistic wellbeing. De-stress in our mindfulness dome, treat your skin to a luxury treatment and detox with a delicious plant-based diet.
Whatever your skin goals, our therapists and skin specialists can highlight areas of pigmentation, sun damage, wrinkles and other areas that are not apparent to the naked eye. At Glass House, we can then advise you on the best treatments targeted for these specific areas, allowing you to continue your skincare journey at home.