Going vegan is more than just a dietary decision; it’s a lifestyle. When you decide to embrace veganism, you commit yourself to a cruelty-free existence that minimizes harm to animals, yourself and the planet as well. Green beauty products are on the rise, so you have plenty of choices when it comes to choosing the right products for your hair and skincare routine. In 2020, the vegan beauty industry was worth $15.1 billion and anticipated to surpass $21.4 billion by 2027. Why are so many people going crazy about all-natural products? The answers vary, but most people are becoming more conscious of the impact fast consumerism has on their well-being and the planet.
Why Vegan Beauty Products Are Better
The after-effects of mass manufacturing lead to fast, disposable consumption. People rapidly use products that are quickly and cheaply made, which results in tons of waste being thrown into landfills each year. Rapid production also leads to air pollution, unethical work conditions, deforestation, habitat destruction and much more. Vegan products from ethical companies are grounded in not only organic ingredients but responsible manufacturing processes. They consider the entire life-cycle of their products, not just their bottom line. From the moment it’s packaged to the way it’s disposed, vegan companies want their consumers to have more than just a positive experience. They want to help them live more consciously and contribute to a cleaner world.
Tips for Vegan Hair Products
All-natural shampoos and conditioners do not contain parabens, sulfates and other chemicals that are harmful to your hair and the environment. Parabens are preservatives that prevent mold growth and other bacteria from forming while a product is stored on a shelf; these additives not only affect your hair but have been found in animals as well. Plastics discarded into our oceans are digested by animals, and the shampoos and conditioners that get rinsed into sewer systems eventually make their way into waterways and contaminate the aquatic environment. Sulfates are salts created to produce a lathering effect in soaps, shampoos, facial cleansers and other beauty products. You will generally find them listed as sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate on packaging.
While a lathering effect can be satisfying, it doesn’t contribute to greater hygiene. Sulfates are made for show and nothing more. While they are safe to use, they can cause irritation in some people. They can also strip away too many natural oils in the scalp, which results in dryness, itching and flakiness. The moisture removed from the hair can result in lackluster locks that are dull, brittle and prone to breaking or splitting. Look for a sulfate free shampoo to increase your hair’s natural health. This can be a great step toward recovering hair that’s been damaged by too many chemicals or excessive dyeing. You will notice that it feels different to use, most noticeably due to the lack of a foamy lather, but that does not mean it isn’t effective.
Conditioning can leave your hair softer and give it a lustrous shine, but it’s important not to overdo it. As a moisturizer, conditioners are meant to smooth hair and produce a more manageable, sleeker texture. However, you should look for natural products that enhance and heal your hair. A huge list of hard to pronounce chemicals means a bottle is packed full of synthetic ingredients, which generally don’t do much to help your scalp or hair. It’s good to condition after every shampoo unless you’re using a two-in-one product. This can decrease static electricity, help rehabilitate heat damaged hair and even offer UV protection.
The goal for vegan skincare is to eliminate as many unnecessary products and chemicals as possible. This can be a challenge if you’ve been relying on mainstream brands for years, but don’t worry. Once you simplify your skincare routine, you’ll not only save money but find that your skin looks and feels great. You’ll often find a wide range of products ranging from cleansers to serums in the store, but you only need one to four products for clean, healthy skin. A good facial cleanser and sunscreen are the most important. The former removes bacteria and dirt without removing natural oils and moisture. The latter helps prevent sun damage, wrinkles and premature aging from UV exposure.
The real secret to good skin lies in a healthy lifestyle. Eating right, exercising and avoiding alcohol and smoking can all support natural skin repair and restoration. You should keep the standard guidelines in place when choosing products: Natural ingredients, clean manufacturing and no animal testing. Look for ones designed for your skin type. If you struggle with acne, products that contain witch hazel or rose water could be most effective. Someone who has an oily texture would do better with a drying agent such as tea tree and jojoba oil.