With World Vegan Day coming up on the 1st November 2018, I wanted to take the opportunity to learn more about the benefits of vegan beauty products as this is certainly a hot topic right now within the #beautycommunity. I was lucky enough to speak with the founder Lux Aestiva in Katie Blyth, who is wealth of knowledge in this very subject.
Lux Aestiva creates 100% vegan, natural and highly effective artisan skin and hair care products from original formulations that are bursting with omega fatty acids, anti-oxidants, vitamins, proteins and minerals. Lux Aestiva’s botanical, hand made, small batch products are created using only the finest, ethically sourced raw ingredients which means there will never be any nasties in any Lux Aestiva products.
What does the term vegan beauty actually refer to, is it simply that no animals were harmed in the making of this product? Yes, vegan beauty is definitely about not harming animals, but it’s also about not using any animal derived ingredients. So that’s avoiding animal products all together, including things like honey (which sometimes people forget comes from an animal)! I think today vegan beauty encapsulates a whole lot more than only being about the animals, it’s also about sustainability and being kinder to ourselves and the environment.
Which vegan ingredients are the most effective for skin and haircare? A great one is nature’s own ‘Botox plant’ – the Hibiscus Flower, which combats ageing by limiting the activity of elastase, the enzyme responsible for breaking down the elastin that keeps our skin firm and healthy. It’s also a natural source of alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), which which is effective for it’s ability to not only unclog pores and treat oily skin, but the malic acid and citric acid found in AHAs, gently exfoliate and brighten the skin. Lux Aestiva’s Wild At Heart Scrub contains the Hibiscus Flower, along with a host of other beneficial vegan ingredients. There’s also Prickly Pear Oil, the hero ingredient in our luxe oil of the same name, which comes from the plant of a cactus and is used for its hydrating and anti-ageing products. Then there’s a host of other great oils, such as Grape Seed Oil in our Wildflower Oil, which is packed full of antioxidants and linoleic acid, which helps reduce clogged pores. Or Hazelnut Oil which naturally helps to reduce oil production and strengthens skins elasticity. Or Marigold Flower, known for its antibacterial and immunostimulant properties, which also helps stimulate the production of collagen. The list is seemingly endless and when combined together, some of these ingredients are incredibly powerful!
Which ingredients should we be especially mindful of to avoid when selecting skincare or haircare? Well for starters, always avoid skincare that has been tested on animals (that’s rule number one)! Then look out for ingredients that contain animal derivatives, such as animal fats like Squalene which is derived from shark liver. Or ‘Tallow’ which is an animal fat used to make soaps. Then there’s emu oil, mink oil and musk oil, all animal fats typically used in beauty. Then there’s bee products such as waxes and honey, and hyaluronic acid which can be derived from rooster combs (the red crown that mounts the head of a rooster). However, not all hyaluronic acid is animal-derived and safer versions can be manufactured via biofermentation. Keratin is another ingredient that is often found in a lot of haircare products, and mostly derived from the hooves, quills, and hair of animals (eek). If you’re in doubt, be sure to do your research and google the ingredients!
Can becoming a vegan, or using solely vegan products, positively impact the community and/or the environment? Yes, I believe so. Whilst a vegan lifestyle is certainly not for everyone, it is important to try and do your bit wherever possible. If the idea of going completely vegan is just not possible, try to just cut back when you can. If it’s just choosing some days of the week to go animal product free or making the switch to vegan beauty, you are at least contributing in some way. The cosmetics and skincare industries have a dramatic impact on our environment, particularly affecting the hormone systems of animals who are agitated by personal care products that rinse down our drains and into our natural waterways. Then of course there’s the impact of the cosmetic and beauty industry’s heavy use of plastics in their packaging, which can of course affect our wildlife in numerous ways. So try to choose natural, vegan and sustainable brands whenever you can.
If people are interested in learning more about vegan beauty, where should they begin? Start by familiarizing yourself with the vegan beauty brands that are available and try to make a switch (even if only slowly)! The term ‘vegan’ sometimes gets a bad rap but there are so many incredible vegan brands out there that often have great websites full of information for anyone looking to learn more. Also try to familiarize yourself with the ingredients that are definitely not vegan, and avoid them wherever possible!
Are you a vegan, or is this something you’ve been considering? I’d love to know, so share your thoughts below!