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3min read

Why Is Some Makeup Not Vegan?

by Fabian Jackson

3min read

Been wondering why not all makeup is vegan-friendly? Keep reading to discover why.

Vegan-friendly makeup

There are a few things to consider when we’re talking about vegan-friendly makeup. Firstly, there should be no animal products used in the manufacturing process, either as an ingredient or refining product.


Secondly, it should also have the status of cruelty-free

What makes some makeup not vegan?

Not forgetting that term cruelty-free – meaning the makeup should also not have been tested on animals to have this status, there are a few other things to look out for when picking up a new foundation or lip gloss.

makeup selection

There are quite a few ingredients to look out for when tackling the potential minefield that is the world of vegan cosmetics. Whilst some of them might be a little more easily identifiable, like animal hair, beeswax or collagen, there are many that might fly under the radar.

Common non-vegan ingredients in makeup

  • Keratin – is made from the horns or hair of animals and often used in nail and hair products
  • Lanolin – made from sheep’s wool and used in lip products
  • Glycerine – taken from animal fats and is a common ingredient in soap and moisturising makeups 
  • Casein – a milk-based compound used in face care
  • Olic acid – another animal fats used as a softening agent in makeup 
  • Guanine – made from fish scales in sparkling makeups like bronzer, highlighter, lip glosses or nail polish

makeup brushes

What next?

Hopefully, this has answered your immediate questions, but if you want to know more about some of the best vegan-friendly makeup on the market, check out our comprehensive guide here

Keep your plant-based beauty questions coming via the comments section below.


By Fabian Jackson
Fabian Jackson

Fabian is one of our lovely Content Marketing Assistants who loves writing almost as much as he loves coffee, old episodes of Escape to the Country (no judgement here), and cooking up a storm in his kitchen.

Read more from Fabian

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