By Grace Cicely @veganbeautygrace
Since switching to eating a vegan-based diet, I have realised that being a vegan is not just about the food I eat; but about living a holistic vegan lifestyle. A key element to veganism is making conscious decisions when purchasing cosmetic and skincare products, being sure they are free from animal-derived ingredients, or by-products.
Long established animal by-products can include popular ingredients such as honey, collagen, cholesterol, gelatin, and squalene. I am sure that the majority of those into skincare have heard of, or come across at least three of those ingredients.
The issue with the labelling of cosmetic and skincare products is that it’s not immediately identifiable as to what ingredients are in the product. However, it’s not actually as difficult to figure it out as we sometimes think. For me, if it’s not clear from the packaging, I often find myself snooping on Google - individual brand websites and dedicated vegan websites such as Ethical Elephant and Cruelty Free Kitty are super useful in this area.
The benefits of vegan beauty are in my view, endless. I’ve found vegan products tend to be kinder and less harsh on your skin. This could be down to the cruelty free aspect, along with the fact many are often organic too, (bonus after bonus.) Another perk of vegan beauty products is that most ingredients are taken from plants, which results in the products being naturally rich in antioxidants.
I have also generally found there to be less ingredients involved in the making of vegan beauty products, which simplifies what we are applying to our skin. Veganism in respect to beauty products also often goes hand in hand with clean and green beauty products, contributing towards reducing environmental damage.
Today, I’m using one of my favourite beauty masks which is the Grace & Stella Dead Sea Mud Mask. The mask is 100% vegan and cruelty free, I promise I’m not just a fan because I see my name in there!) I find that this mask really helps to draw out impurities and remove excess dirt and oil from clogged pores, whilst leaving you with a clearer complexion. The mud mask is packed with nutrients to supply you with plenty of the good stuff. The pure dead sea mud detoxes and purifies, whilst the kaolin helps to cleanse and remove debris. The shea butter reduces inflammation and provides hydration (this is especially important during these winter months.) Plus, the mask smells amazingly fresh, a great shout for only £12.
For me, face masks are about the all-round experience. My all-time favourite kind of self-care sequence is: applying a face mask, hair mask, lighting a candle and finally washing my makeup brushes.
Seemingly unimportant pick me ups have become more important in 2021. We have to do everything we can to lift our mood. I’m not saying that eye patch masks have saved my life or anything, but all the little things count. The Pixi DetoxifEYE masks at £22 a tub have been my hero whilst binging Bridgerton until 3am and early morning Zoom calls. Great tip to remember is to apply these half an hour before you apply your concealer #CreasesBeGone.
The feel-good experience is why I also love Carbon Theory’s Charcoal, Tea Tree Oil and Mineral Mud Mask (what a mouthful) - I’m clearly a massive mud mask fan! I love the black aesthetic but it also leaves my skin feeling flawless. Regular use for only £11, this mask enables the ingredients to protect against environmental pollution, (yay for me - living the London life,) and the tea-tree oil helps to keep any inflammation at bay.
Since I started using solely vegan masks, I’ve noticed that my skin feels more nourished and glowy-ier than ever before. I strongly believe that what we apply on our skin is equally as important as what we consume. At first, the process of moving to a vegan lifestyle may prove difficult, especially getting to terms with the lingo and "what-not." However, in hindsight, it has been the best decision I have made for my body and mental health.