More and more of us are looking towards a plant-based diet. According to The Vegan Society, one in three people in the United Kingdom has reduced or stopped consuming meat.
The plant-based trend is not only limited to food. Many of us are also looking to extend ethical practice into the items that we use. This includes skincare, which traditionally has incorporated animal-based products (fat, being the most common), and/or animal-testing practice.
Whether you are a vegan/vegetarian, or just looking to be more conscious of your habits, vegan acne treatments are a great option to start! Here we explain what exactly are vegan skin products and highlight some of our favourite acne treatment options.
Vegan = non-animal products
Now, this definition seems easy, right? Unfortunately, in the beauty industry, there are many skincare products that are made with animal derivatives.
The 6 common ingredients in skincare that are made of animal derivatives are:
1) Tallow: Beef fat that is used in creams.
2) Gelatin: Animal fat that is used in creams.
3) Squalene: Extracted from shark liver, this popular ingredient is used in moisturisers and facial oils. Luckily for us, there are plants that produce squalene as well.
4) Lanolin: Extracted from sheep/woolly animals, this oil is commonly found in make-up removers. You can opt for micellar water instead.
5) Collagen: A fibrous protein derived from animals including pigs and sheep. Collagen is claimed to help with the plumping of the skin and can be found in many creams and supplements. There are many plant-based collagen options too - just check out our figgy facefruit lemon and avocado supplements!
6) Retinol: The powerhouse ingredient against ageing and acne scars, retinol will be a mainstay ingredient to come. Unfortunately, most formulas derive it from animals.
So which acne products are vegan-friendly?
If you are fretting over vegan-friendly acne treatment solutions, you may be surprised to find that many acne-fighting ingredients are vegan friendly.
Here are three ingredients that do not skimp on their powers!
1) Willow Bark: This is one of our favourite acne-fighting staples. Willow bark extract contains salicin - which is the root of salicylic acid. It is anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, which works well with blackheads and whiteheads and some mild pimples.
2) Glycolic Acid: Derived from sugarcane, this alpha-hydroxy acid can be found in washes, toners and serums. It is a gentle and powerful exfoliator that helps to keep your pores clear and your skin glowy and well-hydrated. It is best used to help clear inflammatory pimples.
Try the REN Daily AHA Tonic
3) Bakuchiol: The vegan-friendly alternative to retinol, Bakuchiol is derived from plants and has been historically used in Chinese medicine. It has effective anti-ageing and anti-pigmentation benefits as retinol but is a lot more gentle on the skin - perfect for the beginner to retinol. It is also pregnancy-friendly, while retinol is not. Look out for concentrations between 0.5-2%, and use lotions/serums for a lighter daytime application, and oilier creams for a nighttime application.
4) Plant-based collagen: Collagen protein is synthesised from an array of amino acids, which does not have to be limited to animal derivatives. Vitamin C makes up the bulk of plant-based collagen mixes, as it is the essential vitamin for synthesising collagen. Plant-based is equally as effective as animal-based collagen.
Interested to try it out for yourself?