Ethical Beauty: My Vegan & Cruelty-Free Favourites

Ethical Beauty: My Vegan & Cruelty-Free Favourites

It’s been a hot minute since I chatted about ethical beauty. But it’s honestly one of my favourite topics and one I am learning about CONSTANTLY. I’ve mentioned before how tricky I’ve found ‘greening’ my beauty faves but I’ll say it again, shall I?! 

It’s difficult to green my beauty faves. 

Why, you ask? Hmmm mostly because I’ve had acne (Dermatologist diagnosed) since my late twenties which GOT WORSE during pregnancy before promptly clearing up. 

This, plus my beauty knowledge (I worked in retail for years, including in premium beauty) means I’ve become pretty clued up (read: addicted) to products. Travelling for such a long time quelled that, for sure but I have to tell you my truth: 

I don’t do DIY beauty. 

And, to be totally honest, I don’t have an all-natural beauty regime either. And my reliance on certain products means I’m not sans plastique either, (yes, I have tried all the essential oils thank-you).

So, as is my way, instead of beating myself up about it and feeling ashamed of my less than eco ways I’ve decided to share what I do, and how I compensate by balancing the rest my skincare.

These are the ethical beauty brands I love to use. (None are affiliate links, some are gifted, I use them all!)

** A word on what constitutes cruelty-free. Animal testing has been banned in the EU since 2013, meaning that any product bought here in the UK is, technically, cruelty-free. HOWEVER. Brands who sell/manufacture their products in China are NEVER cruelty-free as China requires animal-testing by law. It’s also worth noting that animal-testing is not illegal in the US and Australia either so please check products made there. **

Zero waste, ethical and vegan beauty brands-1

MYROO

I was kindly gifted some beautiful Myroo products a few months ago and I’ve been HOOKED on them ever since. 

The products

I LOVE oils, and use them with abandon (yep, acne sufferers don’t always have oily skin!) so I’ve been using the Skinboost facial serum , which is incredible. It smells amazing and I like to layer it under the Novage overnight moisturiser (below).

I also cleanse with the Gentle Cleansing oil using a bog-standard flannel soaked in hot water, (although it comes with a jazzy muslin cloth, which is soft on one side, exfoliating on t’other). I do NOT double cleanse by the way; which is a big no-no in skincare circles, but hey ho. I don’t. 

They also sent me their Superfood balm, which I haven’t yet because I’m finishing another balm (the Pure Potions one below!) but it smells DELICIOUS. 

Why I like them

The brand is ‘small’ and founders Rachel and Phil run it while looking after their little ones, and it grew from a need to find products that worked for the family’s sensitive skin. I LOVE the fact Rachel taught herself to make products at her kitchen table and that she’s retained the brand ethos as it’s grown.

How they tick my ethical boxes

All the products are cruelty-free, GMO and palm oil free, and TOTALLY free from known allergens (aka nuts etc) and you can make all of the products fragrance-free if you want. 

They are UK based and everything is made in Yorkshire.

Listen to founder Rachel Dunseath chat to Amy on her podcast Work Like a Mother.

LIME CRIME

This one snuck in after I read about them in Marie Claire. Branded, “Vegan & cruelty-free makeup for unicorns.”, Lime Crime are a US brand doing things a little differently.

They ship to the UK but I’m hoping to peruse their products when I next make it to London as they have a. spot in Selfridges. Top of my list is a delicious looking matte-red liquid lipstick.

WEST BARN CO

The products

OBVIOUSLY, I use Soap Brows. Which is THE S@*T. Soap brows looks like solid soap in a tin, and you spritz a spoolie with some water, or the coconut mist (the latter is delicious-smelling) and set your brows as per usual. 

Like ALL good makeup techniques (baking, contouring…….), the idea came from Drag Queens who discovered that using soap to set their brows was a brilliant plan.

Why I like them

Mother and daughter team Donna and Kim founded the company, testing products in their kitchen and using their formidable skills (Donna an eco warrior, Kim a make-up artist/nurse.) to create beautiful products with a low-impact on the planet.

How they tick my ethical boxes

My products arrived in totally recyclable and. biodegradable packaging and, like Myroo, they are cruelty-free and UK based. 

Also, Donna and Kim are just really nice people. And it’s nice to be nice, you know?

PURE POTIONS

The products

I use their scalp oil, which sorta makes you smell like a delicious roast dinner as it has rosemary in it. I actually use it on the ends of my hair as well, typically a few times a month and ALWAYS the night before I wash it (which happens monthly at the moment).

We also use the lavender nappy balm and I’ve found their Skin Salvation ointment a life-saver in winter. I use it on my hands, cuticles, ends of my hair, brows, and on my nose after colds. 

Why I like them

If you aren’t sensing a theme here, you should. OBVS it’s cruelty-free and made here in the UK. And the company began when founder Natalie Balmond needed to create products for her eczema prone daughter.

How they tick my ethical boxes

See above! 

ORIFLAME

The products

I was gifted a whole heap of Oriflame products fairly recently and I have to admit I was sceptical. The Swedish company uses plant-based ingredients (100% of their extracts are plant-based….whatever that means) and there’s a baffling array of brands underneath the Oriflame umbrella to choose from.

It reminds me of a Swedish Avon, so I wasn’t bowled over at first sight by the look of it all. It came packaged in plastic and isn’t the most beautiful to look at; the NoVage range, in particular, looks a little old-fashioned . 

BUT then I tried a few products. The NoVage Intense overnight mask is now one of my most favourite moisturisers ever. I basically use it as a night cream and it is incredible…..I’m not a beauty writer so I can’t properly describe the wonder of this stuff; just trust me that it will make your skin plump and delicious. 

Why I like them

I’ll be honest here and say I would buy the NovAge mask again but I wouldn’t delve into any of the other products. The Oriflame brand I’m keen to explore is EcoBeauty; which is certified Fairtrade and all came packaged in glass bottles with paper boxes. 

How they tick my ethical boxes

Oriflame products are all vegan, made with plant-based ingredients and they have a strong focus on giving back, with countless environmental initiatives abroad as well as within their company. While I found their products to be annoyingly over-packaged with a reliance on plastic I have included them in this list because they’re an example of a Global company striving to do better, putting their money where their mouth is:

“We stopped more than 96% of our manufacturing waste from going to landfills.” 

THE ORDINARY

Okay, The Ordinary is problematic. Shall we talk about that for a second? The founder (and owner of Deciem) Brandon Truaxe is nuts. Also Esteé Lauder own 28% of Deciem and…..well, those guys are NOT ethical in any way, shape or form. 

So I’m gonna struggle to share how they tick my ethical boxes because, even though they’re cruelty-free, and I’m able to either reuse or recycle the packaging the truth is that I like them because the products work and are great value.

The products

That bit over, let me tell you about the products I love: 

I use Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% which has a serum-like texture daily, normally first thing before I slather my Myroo oil on top.  I don’t know what it does, but my skin has never looked better. 

I also J’ADORE my big vat of Glycolic Acid which I use after cleansing at night. It’s a 7% strength so occasionally it stings. When that happens I spritz some of my West Barn Co spritz or slap some cruelty-free water on my face 😉 

LUSH

I hasten to add Lush to the mix as I don’t use any of their skincare at all because of their love for cocoa and shea butters (which makes my skin breakout!) 

However they are a GREAT company and I couldn’t leave them out. It’s one of the only places where you can get a naked (aka no packaging) cleanser, serum and you are incentivised to bring back your old face masks (5 pots = one free face mask).

The products

I’ve used and loved Fresh Farmacy cleanser before, and would recommend it, especially for travel.

And I’m hopelessly devoted to the Soak and Float shampoo bar. YES, I know …SLS. But it’s the only thing that stops the hard water from attacking my scalp, so I love it.  

Why I like them

Let me count the ways! Lush not only adhere to the policies they preach but they fight for them. Of course they are 100% cruelty-free (although not all of their products are vegan) and all of their products are upcycled as opposed to being dumped on landfill.

They also take an active stance on paying taxes in every country they operate in, and refuse to use loopholes. This shouldn’t be revolutionary but…as a self-employed person, I’ve used loopholes, so I love how Lush shout about the fact they won’t.

In general though, I just love how transparent they are. They fight the good fight, and I love that about them 🙂 

How they tick my ethical boxes

See above!

Who did I miss off the list?

L x

Pin it for later: 

My ethical beauty faves: from Myroo to The Ordinary. Read more about ethically conscious living over at my blog lucylucraft.com

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