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6 Things You Need to Know About Vegan Skincare

Nearly 70% of North American consumers claim they're more likely to use vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics whenever available.

If that applies to you, you should also understand vegan skincare.

"Vegan" might seem like a straightforward designation. But there are plenty of things about vegan skincare that most consumers don't understand.

So don't rely on product labels to tell everything you need to know. Instead, keep reading to read about six things you need to know about vegan beauty.

1. Veganism: A Brief Overview

Veganism defines consumerist practices that do not involve animal exploitation. Though it often refers to food items, any product can be veganized — including skincare.

2. Vegan vs. Plant-Based vs. Cruelty-Free

"Vegan" and "plant-based" are not interchangeable terms. All vegan items are plant-based since animal-based items necessitate animal harm. But not all plant-based items are vegan.

Plant-based items can still undergo manufacturing practices that mandate animal exploitation. For example, cane sugar is made from the crop sugarcane, making it a plant-based food.

But many manufacturing practices process sugar through bone char, a plant-based item. Therefore, it is not vegan, even if the item itself is plant-based.

As with the term "plant-based," the designation "cruelty-free" is not interchangeable with the category "vegan." All vegan items are cruelty-free since being cruelty-free requires the exclusion of a specific type of animal exploitation.

But products can be both animal-based and cruelty-free. As long as it doesn't require animal testing after development, it's considered cruelty-free.

To reiterate, these are not homonymous terms. Cruelty-free skincare and plant-based skincare aren't automatically vegan. But vegan goods are both cruelty-free and plant-based by definition.

3. Benefits of Vegan Beauty

Sustainable-forward marketing can provide peace of mind. But understanding the concrete benefits of vegan cosmetics can help cement your commitment to them.


Regardless of one's dietary habits or lifestyle, vegan skincare is accessible to anyone. Of course, people might have specific plant allergies, just as they might with animal-based items. But whether you're gifting someone quality skincare or treating yourself, vegan skincare can be used by anyone.


Acres of land must be zoned to accommodate animal and crop growth. This comes at the expense of the surrounding ecosystem because of:


Of course, if you're concerned about animal welfare, then a vegan lifestyle is for you. But whether you're willing to take an all-encompassing plunge or not, starting with vegan skincare is a great way to reduce your contribution to animal exploitation.

Lesser Irritation (Generally)

Vegan products aren't inherently less irritating. But most vegan products, including ours, are formulated minimally and without astringent drying agents. This means fewer synthetics, parabens, and otherwise artificial ingredients that can harm your skin.

4. Certification

Plenty of products claim to be vegan. But it's important to note that the term "vegan" isn't regulated. That means even non-vegan brands and products can label themselves as "vegan" without legal consequence.

But we're not here to fearmonger. If you want to be surer that your products are vegan, see if they've got a certification logo.

These certifications come from third-party organizations. Many consumers find third-party confirmation more reliable since they're an unbiased party. Brands must objectively meet their strict standards before being certified.

At Hebe Botanica, we're certified by the Vegan Society, a charity and educational organization geared towards vegan education. We're also Leaping Bunny approved, proving our products are cruelty-free. Both demonstrate our dedication to the transparency of our sustainability practices.

Not all vegan products are certified. But for consumers, it's best to seek out those that are. Doing so can offer consumers a better guarantee that their skincare routine is actually vegan. 

5. Plant-Based Ingredient Alternatives

Once again, not all plant-based ingredients are vegan. But there's no way a product can be vegan if it contains animal products.

Many traditional skincare ingredients are animal-based. However, many effective plant-based alternatives are now used in place of these ingredients.

Squalene: Shark liver is a common source of squalene. Its prominence as a component in skincare products is mainly because it is one of many natural lipids present in the human body. Squalane derived from plants or synthetic materials gives the same advantages and is more used because of its long shelf life.

Gelatin: Gelatin, derived from animal collagen, is well-liked for its stabilizing abilities and jiggly texture. Agar and carrageenan are typical vegan replacements.

Lactic acid: This ingredient is an exfoliator and antimicrobial, increasing skin moisture. Traditionally, it's produced by fermenting milk or meat. But it can be made by fermenting carbohydrates like sucrose or glucose found in beets, corn, and cane sugar.

Lanolin: Lanolin, a waxy, emollient material derived from sheep's wool, is often used in cosmetics formulas. Shea butter, rice bran oil, mineral oil, and many other products are vegan substitutes.

Hyaluronic acid: Hyaluronic acid is one of the most well-liked hydrating and all-around advantageous substances. Although it occurs naturally in the human body, it can also be obtained for skin care from the eyeballs of horses and cows, and the joints of roosters. But it can also be sourced from starchy root vegetables and laboratory-made microbial fermentation.

Carmine: Crushed beetles are used to create this crimson pigment. It is often utilized in liquid food coloring and other products that are colored red (like lipstick). This item is often replaced by beet powder, beet extracts, hibiscus extracts, mica powders, and many other vegan options.

6. Basic Vegan Skincare Routine

At this point, you know a lot more about vegan skincare. But how can you make the best use of it for your skin's benefit?


Cleansers remove grime from your skin, such as makeup, excess oil, dead skin cells, pollutants, and more. Doing so can stave off bacterial infections and unclog pores. Without them, your skin could experience more acne and a duller complexion.

Every time you're starting your skincare routine, use a facial cleanser. When you're showering, use a body cleanser. 


Moisturizers strengthen your skin barrier and sustain/improve its capacity to retain water. By doing so, your skin avoids irritation, which can be both painful and acne-inducing. Retaining water also helps maintain the plumpness and brightness of your skin, helping you sustain a youthful complexion.

Not all facial and body oils are moisturizers. Some oils are best used with lotions since they won't provide adequate hydration. But, some products, such as our body oil, can substitute lotions without sacrificing results.

Finish off your shower and skincare routine with oil. Whether you use it instead of or over lotion, you'll be left with soft and supple skin.


SPF must be applied on any day you're experiencing sun exposure. This is true even if you're indoors since non-tinted windows only block out UVB rays and not UVA rays.

Otherwise, these rays can damage your skin, causing sunburn and general irritation. They can even cause skin cancer. Even mild symptoms can cause cosmetic damage, resulting in elastic skin and a duller complexion.

While it seems like a hassle, SPF application is critical. People should apply it again throughout the day since SPF filters wear off over time.


There are plenty of serums, toners, and essences people might recommend. But they all have different ingredients and different functions. Nonetheless, you should incorporate some kind of exfoliating product into your routine.

Even your cleanser and lotion might be formulated with exfoliating ingredients. However, for most people, having a separate gentler alternative is good to swap the exfoliating product with, especially when their skin is irritated.

Exfoliants remove dead skin cells from the outer layer of the skin. These dead skin cells can otherwise result in dry and dull skin, so removing them would result in brighter and better-hydrated skin.

With your facial skincare routine, opting for chemical exfoliants is best. Despite their name, they're gentler than physical exfoliants, which can be too rough on the skin. If you overdo it on the exfoliation front, you could leave your skin rough and raw, which would be counterproductive to your skin goals.

But for your body, both chemical and physical exfoliants work great. Something like our clarifying body scrub also contains safflower seed oil and shea butter, ensuring that it moisturizes and protects your skin while exfoliating it.

Know the Essentials of Vegan Skincare

Sustainability is a rising concern for both brands and consumers, and for good reason. So return to this guide if you ever need a thorough refresher on vegan skincare!

Hebe Botanica is vegan, eco-friendly, and cruelty-free. If you love quality, sustainable skincare, then check out our products! We've got body oils, scrubs, and other accessories for gorgeous, glowing skin.


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