What is Vegan Skincare?


5 Things You Should Know About Vegan Skincare 

Moving to a plant-based lifestyle? Want to ditch using animal by-products on your skin? Then Five Dot Botanics and our fully vegan-certified skincare is for you.

Vegan Skincare Brighten Up Mist

Vegan Skincare still is a new and growing area in skincare. Unlike food, vegan skincare isn’t always easy to understand. Here is our helpful guide to vegan skincare and what it means to embrace animal-free beauty.

For a long time, people did not think about whether their personal cosmetics were vegan. However,  consumers are becoming more aware that animal ingredients feature in their beauty products. As vegan lifestyles become more popular, more and more people are asking themselves, what is actually in my skincare and is it vegan?

Understanding skincare ingredients lists can be pretty confusing. The INCI list (the name for the ingredients label on your skincare) is often a mixture of Latin and chemical naming conventions for ingredients. 

Whether you’re already a vegan, an animal lover or are simply curious about vegan skincare and vegan beauty, this is a guide to help you understand what vegan products can do for your skin and the world around you.

  • 1. What is Vegan Skincare?

  • Vegan skincare means that the product has no animal-derived products in the formulation. Vegan lifestyles are becoming more popular and more people are giving up meat for a plant-based diet. Adopting a vegan lifestyle may begin with food, however, it extends beyond what you eat. Choosing clothing, household products, cosmetics and skincare products, free from any animal-derived ingredients are also choices that consumers make as part of being a vegan.

  • 2. What defines Vegan Skincare?

  • Vegan skincare products do not contain any animal by-products or ingredients. Animal by-products such as lanolin, collagen, carmine, cholesterol, gelatin, squale, honey, beeswax,  and stearic acid can be found in many skincare products and cosmetics. Moisturisers, soaps and cleansers frequently include animal-derived ingredients in their formulations. 

    Vegan skincare should also mean without animal testing but this isn’t always the case in skincare products labelled as vegan (see below for more on this). 

    Sometimes skincare products might be labelled as vegetarian friendly, which can lead you to believe that it doesn’t contain animal products. A vegetarian beauty or vegetarian skincare product does not contain parts of an animal e.g fat or gelatin from an animal. However, a vegetarian beauty product may still contain animal by-products that are not parts of the animal's body like lanolin or honey. 

    Five Dot Botanics vegan skincare is consciously made without any animal-derived ingredients. 

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  • 3. What are animal ingredients in skincare?

  • If you are thinking about vegan beauty you may have started to look at the ingredients of the specific skincare product you’re interested in. Five Dot Botanics products only use 5 ingredients in any product so it is really transparent and easy for you to always know what you are putting on your skin.  

    Whilst there are a whole range of animal ingredients that are used in personal cosmetics here are some you might want to look out for or become familiar with if you are wondering what animal ingredients are used in beauty products:

    • Tallow (Alt: Rendered Animal Fat) is animal fat that comes from boiling an animal's carcass. It can be found as a base for many cosmetics.
    • Gelatin (Alt: Gelatine) A gelling or thickening agent derived from boiled skin, tendons, ligaments and bones of animals and used in creamy products.
    • Collagen A protein from animal tissue. Is often used in skincare for its supposed plumping effect.
    • Retinol (Alt: Vitamin A) Retinol does not always have to be from an animal-derived source but often is. There are vegan retinol options.
    • Guanine (Alt: G, Gua) is a crystalline material found in crushed fish scales. It's often used in mascara, nail varnish and lipstick.
    • Carmine (Alt: Cochineal Dye, Cochineal Extract) is a red pigment collected from crushed insects. Found in blushers, lipsticks and cosmetics. 
    • Lanolin (Alt: Wool Wax or Wool Grease) is an animal wax ('fat') produced by woolly animals like sheep. 
    • Beeswax (Alt: Cera Alba or E901) a wax secreted by bees and often used in waxy products like lipsticks but can also be found in foundations.
    • Ambergris (Alt: Ambergrease or Grey Amber) Produced in the digestive system of sperm whales, it's commonly used in perfume.

  • 4. How can I tell if my skincare product is Vegan?

  • To be sure that your skincare product is vegan look for brands and products that have vegan certification. All products in the Five Dot Botanic range are certified by The Vegan Society and our products feature a logo by The Vegan Society on our packaging to indicate that they don’t contain any animal ingredients. 

    Vegan Society Certification

    The Vegan Society accredited symbol means that the vegan status of our Five Dot Botanics products have been reviewed by an external party and our ingredients and production process have been scrutinised to ensure that they meet vegan standards.

    Familiarising yourself with animal-derived ingredients and checking product ingredients lists is another way to find vegan-friendly products. 

  • 5. What is the difference between Vegan & Cruelty-Free products?

  • Just because a skincare product is vegan does not necessarily mean it has not been tested on animals. However, all Five Dot Botanics products are cruelty-free and vegan. 

    However, not all cruelty-free skincare products are vegan. A product that is cruelty-free has not been tested on animals and does not contain ingredients tested on animals by another party. 

    The term ‘cruelty-free’ only refers to animal testing, it does not take into account any ingredients that are derived from animals. So, for example, a product might be cruelty-free but contain carmine, a red pigment from crushed insects.

    Cruelty-free beauty products - have not been tested on animals, do not contain ingredients tested on animals but they may contain animal-derived ingredients.

    Vegan beauty products - have not been tested on animals, do not contain ingredients tested on animals, do not contain ingredients derived from animals.

    We hope you love our range of plant-based vegan skincare products.


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    January 08, 2021 — Five Dot