Cosmetic Animal Ingredients 101: Could You Have Animal Urine On Your Face?

If you are vegan, you are most likely very aware of the repulsive animal ingredients that are commonly used in cosmetics. However, if you are not aware of these- you’re in for an unpleasant read that will make your stomach queasy. I’d recommend making yourself a cup of peppermint tea to soothe your tummy and get cosy, as we explore the disgusting ingredients that are derived from our planet’s animals, that humans simply shouldn’t have the right to take and use.

For the official Flawless and Pawless list of just 100% Vegan Cruelty-Free Brands alone, click here. Please note that the majority of cruelty-free brands do offer a variety of vegan products within their range- lists of vegan products by non-vegan cruelty-free brands is soon to follow.

Allantoin: 

  • DERIVED FROM: The urine of mammals, especially cows.
  • USED IN: Creams, lotions and the treatment of various skin lesions e.g. ulcers and wounds.
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Comfrey.

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids:

  • DERIVED FROM: Animal tissue
  • USED IN: Exfoliants and anti-wrinkle creams
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Glycolic/citric/salicylic acid

Ambergis:

  • DERIVED FROM: Whale intestines
  • USED IN: Perfumes as a fixative
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Vegetable fixatives

Arachidonic Acid:

  • DERIVED FROM: The organs and glands of animals
  • USED IN: Treatments for rashes and eczema
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Natural skin soothers like Aloe Vera

Benzoic Acid:

  • DERIVED FROM: Any vertebrate
  • USED IN: All types of cosmetics, as a preservative
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Cranberries

Caprylic Acid:

  • DERIVED FROM: Cow’s milk
  • USED IN: Perfume and soap
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Coconut Oil

Carmine/Cochineal:

  • DERIVED FROM: Crushed female cochineal insects that produce red pigment. Over 70,000 killed to produce one pound of pigment.
  • USED IN: Lipsticks, cosmetics
  • COMMON ALLERGEN
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Beetroot Juice, Alkanet Root

Carotene/Beta Carotene/Provitamin A:

  • DERIVED FROM: Animal tissue
  • USED IN: All types of cosmetics, as a pigment
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Found in all plants

Casein/Caseinate:

  • DERIVED FROM: Milk protein
  • USED IN: Face and Hair Masks
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Plant-Based Milks

Chitosan:

  • DERIVED FROM: Shells of crustaceans (e.g. crabs, lobsters, shrimp)
  • USED IN: Deodorants
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Raspberries

Cholesterol:

  • DERIVED FROM: Animal tissue, blood and egg yolks
  • USED IN: All types of cosmetics
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Sterols from plants

Civet:

  • DERIVED FROM: The painful scraping of a near-genital gland on Civet cats
  • USED IN: Perfumes, for a ‘musky’ scent
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Labdanum Oil

Collagen/Elastin:

  • DERIVED FROM: Animal tissue
  • USED IN: Skincare Products, Creams, Lotions, Face Masks, Hair Masks, Hair Products
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Almond Oil, Soy Protein

Fatty Acids (Caprylic, Lauric, Myristic, Oleic, Palmitic, Stearic):

  • DERIVED FROM: Animal Fat
  • USED IN: All types of cosmetics
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Soy Lecithin, Sunflower Oil

Gelatin:

  • DERIVED FROM: Boiled remains of slaughterhouse animals (e.g. bones, ears, bone marrow, tongues etc)
  • USED IN: Body lotions, creams, shampoo, sun cream, hairspray
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Carrageen/Seaweed

Guanine:

  • DERIVED FROM: Fish Scales
  • USED IN: Makeup, Nail Polish and Skincare, to provide shimmer
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Synthetic Pearl

Horse Oil:

  • DERIVED FROM: Horse Fat
  • USED IN: Chinese, Korean and Japanese skincare
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Plant Oils

Hyaluronic Acid:

  • DERIVED FROM: The umbilical cords and joint fluids of animals
  • USED IN: Skincare, haircare, cosmetic surgery
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Plant Oils

Hydrolyzed Animal Protein:

  • DERIVED FROM: Animal Tissue
  • USED IN: Hair treatments and skin treatments
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Soy Protein

Keratin:

  • DERIVED FROM: The ground hooves, horns, bones, feathers and body parts of animals
  • USED IN: Hair treatments, skin treatments and nail treatments
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Rosemary and Nettle

Lanolin:

  • DERIVED FROM: The secretions from the glands of sheep
  • USED IN: All types of cosmetics
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Plant Oils

Lecithin:

  • DERIVED FROM: Blood, milk and tissue of animals
  • USED IN: Makeup, skincare and lubricants
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Soybean Lecithin

Marine Oil:

  • DERIVED FROM: Fish and crustaceans
  • USED IN: Soap and lubricants
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Vegetable Oils

Mink Oil:

  • DERIVED FROM: Tortured mink that live their lives in filthy, cramped cages
  • USED IN: Makeup and skincare as an emollient
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Plant Oils/Avocado, Almond and Jojoba Oil

Monoglycerides/Glycerides:

  • DERIVED FROM: Animal fat
  • USED IN: All types of cosmetics
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Vegetable Glycerides

Musk Oil:

  • DERIVED FROM: The painful scraping of glands near the genital regions of musk deer, Civet cats, beavers, otters and muskrats. These animals live their lives in cramped, dirty cages, and are beaten and whipped around the genital region to produce the ‘musky’ scent.
  • USED IN: Perfumes, colognes, body sprays
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Labadanum Oil

Oleic Acid:

  • DERIVED FROM: Animal fat
  • USED IN: All types of soaps and cosmetics
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Coconut Oil

Oleyl Alcohol:

  • DERIVED FROM: Fish oils
  • USED IN: Shampoo and conditioner
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Synthetic alternatives

Placenta:

  • DERIVED FROM: Uterus of slaughterhouse animals
  • USED IN: Hair products, creams, face masks and hair masks
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Kelp

Pristane/Squalene:

  • DERIVED FROM: Oil produced by the liver of sharks
  • USED IN: Lubricants
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Plant Oils

Progesterone: 

  • DERIVED FROM: Hormones of animals
  • USED IN: Anti-wrinkle creams
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Synthetic alternatives

Propolis:

  • DERIVED FROM: Tree sap gathered by bees to seal the construction of beehives
  • USED IN: Toothpaste, deodorant, lip balm, shampoo, conditioner
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Natural tree sap

Royal Jelly:

  • DERIVED FROM: A secretion produced by the throat glands of honeybees that is then fed to colonised larvae
  • USED IN: Skincare, shower gel, body lotions, bubble bath
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Aloe Vera

Shellac:

  • DERIVED FROM: The excretion of lac insects
  • USED IN: Nail lacquer, ‘shellac’/gel polish
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Plant Wax

Silk/Silkworm Cocoons:

  • DERIVED FROM: Silkworms that are boiled alive
  • USED IN: Soap and face powders, silkworm cocoons are sold as an exfoliating item
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Nylon for silk, Konjac sponge for silkworm cocoons

Urea:

  • DERIVED FROM: Urine of animals
  • USED IN: Mouthwash, deodorant, hair dye, skincare
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Synthetic alternatives

Wax:

  • DERIVED FROM: Wax produced by animals e.g. beeswax
  • USED IN: Lipstick, lip balm, cosmetics, skincare, haircare
  • VEGAN ALTERNATIVE: Vegetable wax

 

 

 

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Flawless and Pawless is Ireland's cruelty-free cosmetic blog created by 23 year-old cosmetic expert, Ailsha Davey. With eight years working in the beauty industry in Dublin as a professional make-up artist and cosmetic expert, Ailsha discovered some of the horrors of cosmetic animal testing- and the lack of knowledge within the Irish market about it. Flawless and Pawless has been set up to spread awareness across Ireland of cosmetic animal testing, as well as to provide suggestions for cruelty-free alternatives to the Irish market's favourite cosmetic products.

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