Vegan Beauty Edit: Learn more about the best plant-based and cruelty-free beauty products online.

Vegan beauty is the fastest growing skincare sector, with Pinterest recently reporting that online searches for ‘vegan beauty’ are up 281 per cent since 2017. Instagram is currently awash with vegan and cruelty-free beauty influencers, such as Laura Young, who are vocal about the ethical cosmetics brands they support. Want to get in on the act?

Are you going vegan for 2021? You’ll have filled your fridge with plant-based titbits; now it’s time to opt for a more natural, organic and vegan bath time regime. It’s not just your diet that makes you vegan, it’s a lifestyle choice. Shopping online for vegan bubble bath is harder than it sounds, so we’ve done some hunting for you.

But what does a ‘vegan-friendly bath range' mean? It can be confusing trying to decipher which cosmetics and bath oils are actually vegan and cruelty-free. ‘There is no law that controls the use of ‘vegan’, ‘clean’ or ‘organic’ in beauty product [descriptions],’ says Sue Y Nabi, founder of vegan beauty brand Orveda. It’s known as ‘greenwashing,’ when brands use seductive terminology to sway customers.

Put in simple terms, vegan skincare should be made from natural sources, such as plant or fruit extracts and should be totally free from animal ingredients. This means, no beeswax, honey, lanolin or gelatin. Vegan cosmetics should not be tested on, nor have a negative impact on animals. Very few beauty brands can promise that their entire ranges are truly vegan and instead – to play it safe – highlight certain products where they can verify the traceability of each ingredient to ensure it is totally free from animal ingredients and has not been tested on animals.

With that uppermost in our minds, we’ve rounded up six beauty sites that sell vegan bath products which are kind to you, and the animal kingdom.

MyClarins




Although not all Clarins products are vegan, the Parisian skincare brand launched a vegan-friendly and eco-conscious sub-brand called MyClarins in 2019. This range, which includes exfoliators, body creams and face masks, is solely created with plant-based formulas and fruit extracts and is being targeted at the millennial market. The MyClarins collection does not contain raw ingredients of animal origins so it passes the vegan test with flying colours. Instead of superficial nasties, the MyClarins bottles are filled with goodies like hydrating organic coconut water, detoxifying mooring extract, radiance-building acerola seed extract and soothing shea butter. As it stands today, the rest of the Clarins products can not be defined as vegan-friendly because some countries, to whom they sell, still require animal testing. However, the vegan cruelty-free MyClarins range, which has the ‘Goodness In, Nasties Out’ mantra, will never be sold in China or any other countries that insist upon animal testing. Fancy a glowing body, and a glowing conscience? Tick.

Neal’s Yard Remedies




For as long as we can remember, the iconic blue bottles from Neal’s Yard Remedies have been filled with nature-led organic lotions and potions that calm and soothe our battered bodies. While all the Neal’s Yard Remedies products are vegetarian, cruelty-free and Leaping Bunny approved, many – but not all – of the Neal’s Yard products are suitable for vegans. On the site, there is a vegan health and beauty page listing vegan-friendly individual products such as the popular Aromatic Foaming Bath, the English Lavender Bath and Shower gel and the Rose and Geranium Shower Gel. We think of Neal’s Yard as a model example of a reputable ethical company; it uses recyclable packaging, sourced from the UK wherever possible, and only uses sustainably sourced, organic honey, beeswax and propolis.

NEOM Organics




If you’ve given up cheese and are keen to commit to a plant-based lifestyle, you could do worse than stocking up your bathroom with beauty products by NEOM Organics, famed for its earthy approach to wellness. Veganism is more than what you eat; it’s how you live. NEOM Organics does not test any products on animals and has chosen to exclude its bath and body products from being sold in China as their regulations require animal testing. When the NEOM Organics team asked their customers how they were living a more natural lifestyle, an ‘overwhelming amount’ said they were vegan. The top four NEOM vegan-friendly products include their powerfully zesty Grapefruit, Lemon and Rosemary Natural Wellbeing Fragrance, which is 100% natural and bottles up the purest possible essential oils and no synthetics. Beauty editors rate the following vegan NEOM treats for your bathroom: the Real Luxury Bath and Shower Drops (made up of 24 superstar essential oils including lavender, jasmine and Brazilian rosewood); the Perfect Night’s Sleep Skin Treatment Candle made up of cocoa butter, almond oil and soybean oil; and the Perfect Night’s Sleep Pillow Mist (which contains gently distilled essential oils like woody patchouli, warm chamomile and lavender).

The Body Shop




Google searches for ‘vegan beauty’ in the UK have doubled every year since 2012, according to The Body Shop. While many of the high street beauty brands shy away from labelling their bottles as vegan – the licensing is strict and the regulations stringent – The Body Shop is famously cruelty-free and proudly declares that around half of its products are 100 per cent vegan. The Body Shop has always been committed to saving our planet, our animals and making the world a better place. It has gathered over 8 million signatures in its campaign to end animal testing in cosmetics, which it and took to the United Nations HQ in New York. The website clearly lists the vegan plant-based skincare, bodycare, haircare and makeup which are formulated entirely without animal-derived products. Vegan bestsellers include the Tea Tree Squeaky-Clean Scrub and the Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter.

AromaWorks




Mother Nature has been busy. In this day and age thanks to (supersonic) scientific and clinical research, there is no need to compromise quality for ethics when you opt for vegan bath products. As seen in Vogue and Grazia, the award-winning 100 per cent natural lifestyle brand AromaWorks uses only the purest of essential oils in its bath oils, moisturisers and face masks. The company has spent years creating 25 products which improve the signs of ageing and tackle very real skin ailments such as eczema, psoriasis and rosacea. AromaWorks is totally committed to using cruelty-free, vegan-friendly and all-natural ingredients. The popular bath and body oils are favoured by high-end spas, such as Chewton Glen and are stocked in Holland & Barrett and Fenwick too. All of its natural beauty products are fully paragon-free, sulphate-free, petrochemical-free, mineral oil-free, nut-free, gluten-free, animal-cruelty free, vegan-friendly and are safe to use during pregnancy. Ta-dah! Time to soak up all the vegan bubble bath that Mother Nature has to offer.

Balmonds




Gone are the days when vegan skincare meant weird hippy lotions. As consumers grow more conscious of what they put in their bath or on their skin, so do the beauty companies. Natalie Balmond started her own skincare line after hunting for an effective non-steroidal moisturiser for her daughter’s painful skin. She ended up making one herself, which snowballed into setting up the (now) award-winning skincare company, Balmonds. Where there is a choice, the skincare firm uses plant-based alternatives and avoids the common synthetic ingredients that can cause skin flare-ups and rashes. Except for the local beeswax in its ointments, all the oils and creams are free from animal-based ingredients and do not use any ingredients tested on animals. This means that they don’t use any ingredients made from cow’s milk or from egg protein and nor do they add fragrances processed from living creatures. The Balmonds site clearly lists which of its beauty products are both natural and suitable for vegans, and the ingredients in each bottle. The totally natural bath and body oil, with hemp, olive and chamomile, smells pretty good and gets our vegan vote.

By Annabel Jack
January 2021

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Annabel Jack

Contributing Editor

Annabel is a regular contributor to The GWG, with a taste for finest in food, fashion and interiors.

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