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Is Your Makeup Vegan?

Although many beauty and household product brands claim that their products are ‘cruelty-free’, this does not necessarily mean that they are suitable for vegans. Cruelty-free means that the product has not been tested on animals but unless it states that the product is vegan it could contain animal-derived ingredients.


The use of animal products is unnecessary and plenty of 100% vegan brands as well as organic and zero-waste products. By supporting these brands you are telling companies that continue to use animals products that you do not agree with their practices and they will have to follow suit eventually! You can find your nearest vegan beauty and household products by using our interactive map here.

Below is a list of the most common animal-derived ingredients found in beauty products and household products. This list is not exhaustive and if you ever come across any ingredients that you’re not sure of a quick search will give you the answer.


Beeswax (aka cera alba, cera lava)

Beeswax can be found in lipstick, lip balm, eyeshadow and many other forms of makeup. Beeswax comes from a bee’s hive and is made by worker honeybees from glands under their abdomens or by secreting drops of wax called ‘scales’. Bees consume at least six pounds of honey to create one pound of wax.

Carmine (aka cochineal, cochineal extract, crimson lake, natural red 4, C.I. 75470, E120, carminic acid)

Carmine is very common in makeup with red pigmentation such as lipstick, eyeshadows and blushes. It is extracted from crushed cochineal insects such as beetles.


Cholesterol can be found in anti-aging creams and moisturisers. It is derived from animal fat.


Collagen is commonly found in moisturisers, creams and lipsticks. It is a protein that is naturally produced in the bodies of animals and is collected from dead animals by cooking their bones, connective tissues and skin.

Guanine (aka CI 75170)

Guanine is normally used to give a sparkly effect in eye shadow, blush and nail polish. Guanine is the scales of fish which have been scraped off dead fish and soaked in alcohol.


Keratin can be found in hair products to create a smoothing effect. It is a protein found in the hair, nails and horns of animals.


Lanolin is commonly found in lotions and lip balms due to its moisturising properties. It is derived from the grease in a sheep’s hair, and is a product of the wool industry.


Squalene can be found in creams and some makeup. Squalene comes from the oil in the liver of sharks.

Stearic Acid

Steariic acid is often found in cosmetics, soaps, lubricants, hairspray, conditioners, and deodorant. It can be derived from plants but can also come from animal fat so it is best to check with the brand to find out the origin of the ingredient.

Team Panda

20th August 2018

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