Struggling to find that perfect holiday gift? Vegan beauty products can be your gift-giving savior. From the practical to the luxurious, there’s something for everyone on your list.
Why Vegan Beauty?
Did you know that many leading beauty products and brands use ingredients from animals?
Lanolin is the sheep oil secretions found in wool. It’s commonly used in balms and salves to help moisturize dry skin. Sheep production is one of the most unsustainable practices, however. The ruminant animals are significant contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, livestock, including sheep, produce 7.1 gigatonnes of Co2 per year; 14.5 percent of all emissions.
Wool procurement isn’t exactly a haircut for sheep, either. The shearing process can be painful and cause wounds to the animals. Mulesing, the practice of removing flesh from the hindquarters of the animals to prevent flystrike, is done without anesthetic. It’s such a controversial practice that it’s been banned in New Zealand, one of the top wool-producing countries in the world.
Honey and beeswax come from bees, of course. These are substances they produce out of necessity; beeswax is used in hive production and honey provides nourishment during the cold winter months. Honey production is a bee’s life’s work: it takes the nectar of some two million flowers to make just one pound of honey. If that were done by a single bee, it would take 90,000 miles of flight — that’s three times around the globe!
Taking honey and wax from bees is often done by smoking the insects out of their hives. Some of them die in the process. Bee populations are also struggling in recent years, making their products even more important to their survival.
Another common animal ingredient in beauty products is carmine. This bright red color used in everything from bath bombs to lipstick comes from the crushed shells of the Latin American cochineal beetle. There are many more animal ingredients in beauty care, from egg albumen to horse urine (yes, really).
One of the biggest reasons people choose vegan beauty products is to avoid the animal testing common with many mainstream brands. Animal testing is done to prove safety, typically because of the use of synthetic and harsh ingredients.
Brands that conduct these tests have been targeted by animal rights groups like PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), for decades. Not only does animal testing involve painful experiments, like rubbing chemicals into animals’ eyes, but it requires these animals be kept in cages, inside labs, without anything resembling a normal life.
Fortunately, a growing number of mainstream brands like Dove and Cover Girl, have abandoned animal testing. There are also brands that never tested on animals to begin with — there are hundreds of brands employing all-natural ingredients that are safe and don’t require lab testing at all. Some of them are on this list, but there are many more.
How to tell if a beauty product is vegan
Ever try reading an ingredients label and think it’s written in another language? Well, it kind of is. Most brands use the Latin name for ingredients, especially botanicals. There’s a simple reason for that: there is only one Latin name for a plant, but there can be many common names for these same ingredients.
But it’s not just the Latin that can throw you off — it’s often the slew of chemicals and disguised names for animal ingredients that can make it difficult to tell if a product is vegan or not. There’s a complete list here from PETA that can help you decode your beauty labels.
This list of holiday gift ideas needs no decoding, however. It’s all vegan and all perfect for the beauty lovers on your list.
1. AVegan Beauty Plant Based Restore Night Cream
Rejuvenate your skin while you sleep with this potent anti-aging formula that smooths and firms while you rest. Safe fore sensitive skin and it won’t clog pores. Rich in vitamin E for repairing and healing, soothing aloe and chamomile, and age-defying lycopene and lutein.
2. Kypris 1000 Roses Serum
For the rose lover, this moisturizing beauty oil is rich in sustainably-sourced ingredients. It’s a rose bouquet for the skin that will help to reduce dryness and lock in moisture. This serum oil is rich in bioidentical CoQ10, vitamin C, and yes, those 1,000 Bulgarian roses. Santa can’t do better than this.
3. HanZá 8 Bath Bombs Gift Set
Give the gift of quiet time with a little bit of fizzy perfection. This bath bomb gift set is natural and organic, rich in healing clays and shea butter. Essential oils deliver a fragrant oasis as your giftee will soak away stress.
4. Skinveda Ayurvedic Natural Toner
Bring a spritz of summer glow to winter with this hydrating water-based, alcohol free toner. This sprayable-gel tones and tightens skin, and soothes a dull complexion.
5. Bed of Nails Acupressure Mat
For the hard-to-shop for person on your list, give the gift of acupressure.
This Swedish-designed acupressure mat was inspired by ancient Indian healing traditions. Thousands of non-toxic plastic spikes, harmless to the skin but with many healing benefits, work similar to acupuncture without the need for expensive treatments. The pressure of the rounded nails against the skin may help the body release endorphins, which provides a sense of joy, energy and pain relief, and oxytocin, which makes you calm and relaxed.
6. Rose Quartz Cooling Jade Eye Mask
You’ll get oohs and aahs on Christmas morning when your giftee opens up this sparkly beauty. A cooling jade eye mask made of rose quartz? Yes, please. Choose from pink (rose quartz) or green (jade). The small gems help to reduce puffiness and cool stressed out over-Zoomed eyes. Toss in the refrigerator for an extra cooling effect.
7. 24 Piece Vegan Truffle Collection
Beauty starts from within, right? The answer is definitely yes, especially when chocolate is involved. This silky smooth vegan truffle collection is the perfect gift for the chocolate lover on your list. Chocolate is rich in antioxidants that can help with a glowing complexion. No dairy here to clog pores and cause breakouts.
8. Pacifica Stress Rehab Coconut & Caffeine Facial Mask
Stuff stockings with goodies like this stress-reducing coconut mask and you’ll be everyone’s favorite this year. Pacifica’s Stress Rehab mak helps fight redness and reduce puffiness, which may be extra necessary after a late night of gift-wrapping.
9. Everlong Beauty Tea
Sip your way to beauty with the Everlong Beauty Tea. This mellow brew contains farm-to-cup ingredients including skin rejuvenating and calming goji berry, lemon peel, green tea, hibiscus, rose petal, chamomile, dandelion, and blackberry leaves.
10. OSEA Undaria Algae Oil Organic Seaweed Firming Body Oil
OSEA’s Undaria Algae Oil is a cult classic for a reason. This fragrant, lightweight oil is rich in antioxidants and omega-fatty-acids for the ultimate hydration. Its fragrant scent and skin-smoothing benefits are sure to make this one a hit for everyone on your list.
11. Vegancuts Beauty Box
Give the year-round gift of vegan beauty discovery with the Vegancuts Beauty Box. Your giftee will receive a box filled with the best in vegan beauty every single month. They’ll get to try new products and enjoy favorites, with surprises in every box.