Yes, it’s Veganuary! I’ve been a vegan for around 5 years now (I have a terrible memory which I’m sure non-vegans would attest to my diet but really it’s a desire to never live in the past), and whilst veganism is very much focused on diet… it’s also not!
Veganism isn’t just not eating animals, it’s living in a way that does as little harm as possible which encompasses diet AND lifestyle! I love that Veganuary is getting bigger and bigger each year but I didn’t want to add to the already-covered FOOD elements of eating a vegan diet. In my opinion it’s the easiest part! FOOD IS GOOD. You can get it everywhere, it’s always in your face and in the year of our lord Keanu Reeves, 2020 has already started with a bunch of big companies launching new vegan ranges. It’s great! No more side salad’s and fries no matter where you go to eat!
So, instead of adding to the noise of food (which is very difficult for me. I’m an eater), I wanted to talk about skincare.
(Some of these links are affiliate links which just means, if you happen to click and purchase, I get a tiiiinny kickback from it 😉 )
If you want to adopt a vegan lifestyle this month or, hey, maybe go vegan full time or at least veganise your life in a REALLY easy way, you can start with your skin care products. Quick caveat: I’m not going to be talking about plastic reduction today but that’s something I can hit up on another day.
Did you know that SO many big brand skin care ranges out there STILL test on animals? Either directly or indirectly, it’s still going on and a great way to implement veganism into your life is by going CRUELTY FREE*.
Want to know a list of some well known brands who still test?
Aussie Hair care, Avon, Benefit, Biore, Bobbi Brown, Chanel, Clairol, Clarins, Clearasil, Clinque, Estee Lauder, Garnier, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oreal, Lancome, Mac, Maybelline, Neutrogena, Origins, YSL. See full list here.
It’s shocking, isn’t it? And these are the people who openly test on animals**.
If you’ve read this far – thank you! I promise, it will be worth it, because I’m going to tell you about a few of my favourite skincare items (cleansers, toners, masks, moisturisers) so you can take a look and maybe even make a switch!
When it comes to cleansers I’m a bit of a newbie. I used to always use face washes growing up but when I went vegan I just starting using (avocado) oil to take my makeup off because it’s obviously not tested on animals, it’s organic and comes in a glass bottle so no worry about plastic. I generally don’t have an issue with my skin but I do get blackheads on my chin -always have- and it wasn’t really until I was bought a soapy cleanser as a gift that I realised how lazy and silly I was being! These are the cleansers I use at the moment and what I think of them (please note; this post isn’t in any way affiliated – these are my honest opinions!!).
You might have noticed I said that Clarins wasn’t cruelty free and so I’ll quickly let you know that the my CLARINS range is their first CF range. The rest of their products aren’t suitable for vegans. I was bought this as a gift but I am the type of vegan who supports vegan ranges from non-vegan companies because I believe that buying them will let the company know that there is a market!
Now for the actual info; this cleaner is a gel formula which I’m not particularly fond of in general but I do feel like it does a good job! Clarins is a brand that likes to add overpowering scents to their products, this is no different. The smell is very perfume-y and reminds me of Clearasil. I wouldn’t say it was good for overly sensitive skin but if you like to feel really clean, this will do the job!
I love e.l.f products so if I wanted to cut this blog post short I’d say just buy their entire range because they do great makeup too but I want to give you options! I was bought this as a gift for Christmas so I’ve not been using it for a long time but I have used it every single night since I got it because I love it so much! There’s a sort of pearlescent look to it, for some reason, which I think is unnecessary and it’s also a gel formula like the Clarins cleanser but this one gets a good foam going with only a little bit of product. It smells a little bit floral but like essential oils instead of chemicals. After using it your skin feels really refreshed. Totally recommend it!
I have always used witch hazel as a toner, which I recommend because it smells lovely and doesn’t strip moisture from your skin, but I also go a new toner for Christmas and, again, I’ve been using it every night and loving it.
There’s a bit of a misconception that toner ‘resets’ your skin, but that’s a myth. Toner shouldn’t remove makeup, your cleansing should do this, but it should remove dead skin cells and help your pores and, thus, the overall tone of your skin – go figure!
This e.l.f toner is citrus-scented and you can feel it has an acidic reaction with your skin, so instead of just removing dead skin cells I feel like you can really feel it going a bit deeper and helping clear out deeper set dirt in the pores. I swear since I started using this my skin feels more even and my blackheads feel like they’re clearing up.
I’m a big fan of moisturiser! I feel like more people need to get into them so I really hope this post sways you if you don’t use them already. I’m not even just talking about reducing wrinkles or looking younger because I couldn’t care less about that, I just think they make you feel better by either helping with dryness (which can make you feel horrible) or helping you look more awake or else just making you feel a little bit decadent because you’ve smooshed your face a little bit. Facial massage is just the best and this really encourages it!
I’m going to run through my moisturisers in order of when I use them in the day so…
I use this as my first step moisturiser every single morning, before I put makeup on etc. It’s very light like a serum and smells so good with it’s orange/grapefruit-y scent. It adds a little bit of luminescence to your skin and adds an instant boost of moisture to your skin, making it look super smooth and even.
I always do a double moisturise in the morning because I’m fancy like that! Once my vitamin C soaks in I pop a dollop of vitamin E on top. This formula is thick and delicious. It’s scent is a little bit like Nivea – I don’t know what it is but it’s so good and just reminds me of being a kid and smothering myself in Nivea all day every day but sadly they aren’t CF so this is the closest I can get to that wonderfulness! Standing on it’s own legs, though, this is a fabulous moisturiser which makes your skin feel like its best self and you don’t need a lot of it to get results.
After I’ve cleansed and toned my face I’ve started using this moisturiser and rolling it in with my rose quartz face roller – are you noticing how much I love massaging my face yet? Again, I got this for Christmas in an e.l.f set and it’s really a lovely product. It’s the strangest moisturiser I’ve ever used because it’s like jelly – totally wibbly-wobbly and when you scoop a little bit out the next time you look at the pot its just back to it’s jelly-like self. Hard to explain but I like it! Once on your skin it melts in easily. You can use your hands to rub this in but I really like the way it rolls on so I do that every night! Afterwards your skin feels bouncy and a little bit sticky for a few minutes but I really think I look, dare I say, like a kid just out of the bath afterwards. You know, that totally clean totally refreshed look? Adore!
I like to support small and local businesses and was so excited to stumble upon LJ Natural. If you’re local to me in Wilmslow, Cheshire you can nip in to grab home-made, organic and natural skin care products but you can also shop via the website no matter where you are! I use this moisturiser if I’ve had the heating on a lot during the day which really saps the moisture out of my whole body, let alone my skin. Adding a little bit of this before beds resets all of that and I love the texture of it; a little bit gritty, if that’s a good way to put it. The grains dissolve as you rub it in and you’re left with a covering of oil but in a good way – it slowly sinks in overnight and helps to overcome dryness. The product is for dry, mature or sensitive skin which I don’t really have but over the winter months it’s been a lifesaver!
Feeling Fancy moisturiser:
Unlike the way I don’t really like the strong scent of the Clarins cleanser, I can honestly say the moisturiser is totally different! If I have a bath I use this afterwards to add to that feeling of ahhhh. The formula is light but incredibly powerful. It sinks in immediately leaving your skin really soft and smelling a bit fruity which lulls me right to sleep!
I love a face mask and will do one every few weeks. I wish I could do them every week but I forget. That being said I do like to save them for when I’m going to have a really long shower or hot bath which I only do every few weeks! (Relax, I do wash! I just usually have short showers!)
Made like a moisturiser this mask is a bit confusing and you have to really remember you put it on! It’s very light and doesn’t sit on top of your skin, like every other mask I’ve used, but sinks in immediately so the only way to remember to rinse your face is to set a reminder! Well, I suppose that’s not the only way, but it is for me! I got this one recently and have only used it once but it was a nice experience and my skin felt refreshed and unprovoked. You know what I mean? It washed off easily might be the best way to put it!
One of my fave masks every this green concoction is light and smells like matcha so you feel like you’re doing something really good for your skin! I really love the glass jars that Body Shop use for their masks and it kind of adds to the experience of doing something a bit decadent but also something good. It really leaves you feeling clean and calm.
Another beautiful glass pot with another beautiful mask inside. I LOVE rose scented stuff; give me all the rose flavours. I could wear this whilst eating Turkish Delight and be in heaven. Oh that gave me an idea for tonight… anywho, the formula is like jelly and it’s flecked with rose and aloe vera (hence the consistency) and it’s so cool on your skin you feel instantly relieved. Once washed off – which can take a few attempts – your skin is glossy and smells so good you want to do it again. The pot does say to use daily or a few times a week but you don’t get that much in the pot. I like to treat myself but I also like to save money so…
I really hope you liked this, it’s a bit of a different post from me but I’m trying to lean towards easy ways to add veganism into your life – in my opinion, after food, skin care is the next easy way because all you have to do is Google cruelty free brands and away you go! Enjoy and maybe the next time you go to buy something for your skin you think about making a cruelty free choice!
*I could rant a little about CF here… maybe I will.
Ok, so if you see a product that says VEGAN on it, it might not actually be vegan. A lot of companies are using the term as a sneaky sales pitch but what they mean is that the product in question is made from plants with no animal derivatives. In order for a product to be vegan it needs to be labelled cruelty free. This means that it’s not made of animals and it also hasn’t been tested on them either! Cruelty free is what a product is, vegan is what we are – I hope that makes sense!
** There’s a grey area out there as well, though. Some companies will state they don’t test on animals but if they sell their products in China the company isn’t technically vegan. China test all incoming products on animals so whilst the parent brand might not do the testing, by selling in China they sign a contract to say they’re happy for it to be done! There’s an ongoing argument regarding whether or not vegan’s can still use the items that are sold in the UK, knowing that the parent brand tests elsewhere, as well as an argument regarding whether or not vegans should buy from companies that sell both cruelty free AND non-cruelty free products but honestly, the choice is yours. There’s no such thing as a perfect vegan, all we can do is our best!