Whether you’re looking to help save the planet or our furry friends who share it with us, purchasing high-quality makeup and beauty products that compliment a vegan lifestyle is now de rigueur.
And while plant-based skincare and makeup have been around for years, it’s only been in the last five years that we’ve seen a boom in cruelty-free beauty and skincare around the world thanks to the internet and key influential figures continuing to spread the word.
“I feel like a lid of industry processes has been opened, leaving consumers wanting change, says UK based Clean Beauty Consultant, Saoirse Thomson. “We also can’t ignore the rise of veganism either, which is being led by these values,” She adds.
Being natural is not enough; it seems. Plant-based and cruelty-free formulators must also know their stuff and not be afraid to be put to the test. “Using Apps like ‘ThinkDirty’ are a great way to break down ingredients and find out ratings of products and their potential toxicity,” explains Thomson.
Vegan beauty is highly popular among celebrities, including Bella Hadid, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, and several Victoria Secret models who often share their favorite items on their social media pages with the world. Kylie Jenner has even launched a vegan skincare line. “People care about animals, and I believe that more and more people see how animals are treated in the meat industry and it makes you want to change where you can,” says Co-Founder and CEO of vegan and cruelty-free brand NCLA, Elin Dannerstedt.
Mad Hippie – Another popular cruelty free brand recently launched in the Middle East was built on the notion that natural skincare can be every bit as effective as traditional. “Parabens, synthetic fragrance, dyes, petrochemicals, PEGs, SLS and other nasty additives aren’t necessities,” says Zaid Shakman Director of Mad Hippie, UAE. “In fact, they have no place in the products we, and those we love, put on our bodies. That’s why we put so much into each product we make,” he concludes.
It’s also important to note that ‘vegan’ is not necessarily synonymous with ‘cruelty-free.’ A brand can use vegan ingredients but still, test their products on animals during production which is why it’s best to double-check on sites like ‘ThinkDirty’, ‘Leaping Bunny’ and ‘Cruelty-Free Kitty’ to be sure.
Here are ten of the world’s best vegan and cruelty-free products that will keep your shopping cart more ethical.
1) Tropic Cleansers
This 100% vegan and cruelty free skincare brand has won over beauty industry with a plethora of fans and awards. Freshly made by beauty chefs in their UK based Tropic kitchen, this skincare range is 100% naturally derived and packed full of tropical ingredients. With honest labelling and in-house production, the range has attracted rave reviews from happy customers including some claiming that the skincare products can quickly rid even cold sores and clear up eczema. The Smoothing Cleanser Complexion Purifier which comes with a bamboo face cloth, leaves a wonderful protective film on the skin and smells so good you can eat it. The award-winning cleanser doesn’t strip the skin and even removes eye makeup. This cleanser is life changing!
2) Skin Republic Masks
Another multiple award-winning skincare range, Skin Republic combines the latest technology in skin care with nature’s restorative properties. Scientifically formulated and dermatologist tested, the range of products features concentrated nutrient-rich ingredients that nourish, rejuvenate and hydrate, all while helping you to maintain glowing skin. Founded on the belief that everyone has the right to beautiful looking skin, the products are developed in South Korea and truly leave your skin looking like you just had a one-hour facial. The products are 100% cruelty-free.
3) Rahua Hair Care
Based on an Amazonian super oil, Rahua (ra-wa) – offers a hair care line that boasts revitalizing effects including dry, damaged strands springing back to life with renewed, bouncy elasticity. Highly sought after by celebrities, the product line was developed by Fabian Lliguin, a renowned hairstylist and colorist in New York City who visiting the Amazon rainforest as an environmentalist discovered he was surrounded by women with fantastically long, lustrous hair that cascaded past their waists. The secret apparently was rahua oil, the key ingredient in this entire line. The range is 100% vegan and cruelty free.
4) Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum
This cruelty-free brand has a huge celeb following which is no surprise as it features products like its Vitamin C serum which is an antioxidant powerhouse that is perfect for sun lovers. The award-winning Vitamin C serum features a harmonious blend of ingredients including vitamin E, fervlic acid, and konjac root that work wonders on improving the overall appearance of the skin. One of the most vital components in any effective skincare regimen, vitamin C can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles & discoloration which is probably why it’s a hit among the Victoria Secret models.
5) Routine Natural Deodorants
Made at the base of the Canadian Rock mountains, this cream deodorant line offers sensitive formulas and ingredients like coca and eucalyptus. Created by sisters Neige and Pippa, there are 11 amazing scents and 5 different formulas including vegan, sensitive (baking soda free) and activated charcoal to choose from. Their newest product ‘Superstar’ contains pre-biotics to double up on combating the pit stink and balance your skins pH levels. Some users claim to see a reduction in armpit hair growth as well as a reduction in lumps they had from using chemical deodorants. There are a couple of the flavors that contain beeswax – however the company makes sure that they donate part of their profits back to the bees and make sure it’s all ethically extracted beeswax. Each jar lasts up to 4-6 months – This is a must-have!
6) Body Boom Shimmer Gold Coffee Scrub
This illuminating body scrub is created from high-quality robusta coffee, argan oil, Himalayan salt, and chocolate, among many other natural ingredients. Apart from ridding your skin of dead skin cells and making it perfectly smooth, this vegan 100% cruelty free scrub also leaves your skin soft and supple and improves circulation all while enhancing your tan and giving you a subtle glow. It also visibly reduces cellulite and stretch marks after 4 weeks of regular use. Yes please!
7) NCLA Lip Balms and Nail Lacquers
Founded by two LA-based sisters who believe in the power of makeup, these 100% vegan and cruelty-free products boast a 7-free non-toxic formula range of nail lacquers and vibrant creamy lipsticks infused with Vitamin E and castor oil. There are also some fantastic 100% natural lip treatments and balms and mani kits for you jet setters out there. Featuring award-winning colors and intoxicating scents, NCLA already has a long list of dedicated celebrities who use them including Madonna, Cardi B, Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Elsa Hosk and Paris Hilton.
8) Rose Diamond Products by the Organic Pharmacy
Known for its luxury, potent and free from toxins skincare products, The Organic Pharmacy’s revolutionary anti-aging Rose Diamond spa treatments do everything a skincare range should. Key ingredients include diamond powder to boost skin circulation, radiance and exfoliate the skin – and rose extract to purify, calm skin, and encourage collagen production. Their Rose Diamond Eye Cream is designed to hydrate, brighten, lift and fill the skin around the eye area in one luxurious sweep. It also instantly minimizing the appearance of lines, wrinkles, bags, dark circles, and puffiness around the eye area.
9) Sukin Face Scrub and Masks
Utilizing an abundance of beautiful botanicals and essential oils to restore the natural vitality and radiance of your skin, Sukin products are Australian made with ingredients that are naturally derived, cruelty-free and vegan. Featuring formulations that are 100% Carbon Neutral, biodegradable and grey water safe, their Oil Balancing Pore Refining Facial Scrub removes dead skin cells and keeps the pores clear of impurities. A base of jojoba beads and bamboo charcoal work to exfoliate the skin, while the rooibos tea, willow herb and coconut oil purify and balance the complexion. This definitely gets your glow on!
10) Charlotte Tilbury Makeup
With more than two decades of experience as a makeup artist, Charlotte Tilbury knows what works and what doesn’t when it comes to makeup. A go-to for beauty editors, thanks to its award-winning formulas, Tilbury’s makeup, and skincare range has something for everyone, and while the brand is not entirely cruelty-free and 100% vegan it does feature a vegan range which is definitely worth a try. Some of their vegan best sellers include the Magic foundation, Full Fat lashes, Mini Miracle Eye Wand, Take it all Off and the Goddess Skin Clay Mask.
The first Australian English speaking News Anchor in the Middle East. She is also the Author of Faces of the Middle East and Founder of US-based 501c3 charity – The House of Rest which helps to ease the suffering of victims of war. For more from our Contributing Editor, you can follow her on Instagram, here.