Is There A Difference Between Plant-Based and Vegan Skincare?

Cruelty-free products aren’t a fad anymore – they are must-haves, even for non-vegans. We’ve come to realize that there’s no need to test ingredients and products on defenceless creatures. As more skincare companies do away with animal testing, more are also moving away from ingredients derived from animals! 

When it comes to this second point, there are two levels: vegetarian or “plant-based” and vegan. While the terms sound very similar, they mean two different things, both for what you eat and what you use for skincare.


Vegan Vs. Plant-Based: What’s The Difference?

jar of plant-based skincare ingredient - crushed vegan aftercareVegetarianism is the practice of not consuming or using products that required the death of a living creature. Many vegetarians stick to plant-based diets and make some allowances on an individual basis, with some foods like fish or by-products like gelatin and collagen sneaking in. Companies can do this to their “plant-based” skincare products, too!

We’ll use an extreme example as a starting off point to show the difference between “plant-based” and “vegan.” One major cosmetic ingredient derived from the slaughter of animals is squalene. This is an oil that mimics the human body’s natural oils so that the skin absorbs it without leaving a residue. However, the source of much of the squalene used in beauty products might shock you: it comes from shark liver. The demand for shark liver oil makes these important creatures in the ocean food chain the target of illegal hunting, and squalene finds its way into even high-end products. 

plant in white pot - crushed vegan aftercare

A good plant-based product would not use this ingredient or would find a plant-based alternative, and they would be upfront about this on the label. But they can still include other animal products that don’t come from animal slaughter because “plant-based” isn’t a strict definition. The majority of the ingredients can come from plants, but other animal by-products that don’t require the death of living creatures could still get into the formula. 

If a product is vegan, however, it means that nothing on the ingredients list came from animals. Vegans abstain from using any animal products, and a product that uses this label must stick to it. This means no shark squalene or bone-derived collagen, yes, but also no wax from bees, no lanolin from sheep’s wool, no using any common animal additives to beauty products. Instead, a vegan product’s ingredients list must be very strict in what it includes. 


Crushed Aftercare Is Completely Vegan!

palm tree palm oil deforestation - crushed vegan aftercarePlants make most animal-derived products unnecessary, even the ones that can be found in “plant-based” products. These ingredients are beneficial to people with sensitive skin and help relieve allergies that people can develop over time. They also do not clog pores, which is one negative of many animal-based ingredients. Vegan products have no drying agents, fewer synthetic ingredients, and a reduced likelihood of including artificial scents – plants smell good, who knew? Above all else, plant-based ingredients like calendula (you might know it as marigold) can speed up the healing of damaged skin and relieve pain. 

Not all vegan products are the same, though! A good option uses the right plant-based ingredients from ethical sources. Palm oil, for instance, is a “vegan” ingredient, but the demand for it is destroying rainforests around the world. Be wary of any company that says its product is “natural” and “organic” without saying anything about the source of the ingredients themselves. 

Crushed Aftercare made ethical, vegan skincare a priority right from the start. Our balms and salves include only plant-derived ingredients that are known to heal, moisturize, and soothe the skin. If you want to remove animal ingredients and testing completely, vegan skincare is the way to go! Crushed Aftercare can help your business and clients make this change and show everyone how soothing and powerful plants can be.

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