We all want to take the very best care we can of our skin, but at what cost? If you are ethically minded, you may wonder exactly what goes into making everything in your makeup bag. Let's face it; those labels aren't all that easy to understand. All those long, complicated names on the bottle mean nothing to the average Joe.
We’ve come along way since cosmetics were regularly tested on animals. But that doesn’t mean all skin care products are kind to nature. Lots of products still contain animal ingredients. Now, is this really necessary in this day and age? With all of the technology and raw ingredients that we have on hand in 2016 you'd think that using animal ingredients wouldn’t still happen. But sadly, it does. The good news is though that all skin products are not equal. There are plenty of companies like Tropic Skincare, who don’t use animal products and are certified totally vegan. Sometimes, companies with such a strong environmental ethos will charge a premium for their products. But again, not all are the same. You shouldn't have to pay extra to help be at one with nature! So, what is in your makeup bag that comes from animals?
Lanolin Lanolin comes from the wool of sheep. It is used in a lot of products from lip balm to moisturisers to help provide moisture. In the natural world, it is commonly referred to as wool wax or grease. It is an oil that is produced by the sebaceous glands of a sheep. Lanolin is considered vegetarian; it is not suitable for Vegans. The animals don’t experience any pain or discomfort when being shorn, but it is regarded to be a by-product of the meat industry.
Beeswax Beeswax is also commonly found in a lot of different beauty products. Now, the use of beeswax is a controversial one when it comes to vegetarian or vegan products. The Vegan Society say that veganism is not just a way of eating but a lifestyle choice, that avoids the exploitation of or cruelty to animals. The processes that are involved removing the wax and honey from a beehive may not cause any harm to the fuzzy flying creatures. But it is regarded as exploitation. After all, a bee hive needs over 200lbs of honey just to survive each year. If humans take some of that away, it could be seen as exploitative.
Ambergris Ambergris is a secretion from the intestines of sperm whales. It’s smelly, waxy and stupidly expensive.It’s pretty rare these days and is used far less frequently than in times of old. Fresh ambergris smells like salty manure, for want of a better description. But as it matures, the notes change, and it becomes sweeter and almost earthy. It was used for years as a “fixer” to stabilise the smell of perfumes and to make them last longer when worn. These days, a chemical called ambroxan usually does the job, but ambergris is still prized in many countries.