When I was younger, I never really got that much into wearing makeup, but in my late teens I started to get more curious. I knew I didn’t want to wear makeup that was tested on animals or had any animal derived ingredients in the products. I started researching and there was a lot that I didn’t know and was very surprised to learn.
There are a lot of companies that test on animals, basically any big name brands you can think of.
I also realized there are quite a few questionable ingredients going into makeup that many people aren’t aware of.
Below is a list of alphabetical ingredients that may be found in your makeup and skin products at home.
Acetate: Can be derived from fish liver oils or eggs. Also plant-derived.
Carmine, Cochineal: Crushed female cochineal beetle resulting in red dye. Found in almost every (depending on the brand!) lipstick, blush and red eye shadow.
Carotene, Beta Carotene: Potentially made from animal tissue. (Also found in carrots.) Best to research company if you’re not sure.
Cetyl Alcohol, Cetyl Palmitate: Wax from spermaceti found in the head cavity of sperm whales and dolphins.
Hyaluronic Acid: Animal protein taken from joint fluid or umbilical cords.
Lanolin: Substance secreted out of glands by wool-bearing animals. Also called wool wax or wool grease.
Oleyl Alcohol: Another name for fish oil.
*Polymethyl Methacrylate: Often used as a replacement for glass in certain products.
Retinol, Retinyl Palmitate: Vitamin E derived by animals.
Stearic Acid, Stearates: Fat from animals. Can be plant-derived as well.
Squalene: Oil from shark liver.
Tallow, Sodium Tallowate: Beef fat.
There are many other ingredients that aren’t vegan-friendly but these seem to be the most common and weird ingredients found in makeup and skin products.
A lot of the above ingredients have many alternatives and some companies have adapted to the more cruelty-free substitutes. But there are still a lot of companies who use the animal derived version of these ingredients.
Carmine is definitely one of the biggest one that I find in a lot of mainstream products, and in food products that have red dye. Which I am a bit surprised about; you would think if people knew they were rubbing crushed up insects on their face, they’d think twice before happily powdering some on.
*This is the only ingredient not animal-derived, I added it because it’s a very odd ingredient to find in makeup, and it seems unusually popular.