Common Non-Vegan Beauty Ingredients

As you probably know, many of the cosmetics products sold to us contain animal ingredients in them, which therefore makes them non-vegan and often non-vegetarian. In this post I will explain the most common ingredients that like to make appearances in your makeup.

  • Animal Hair – This is often used in brushes, and is pretty self-explanatory.
  • Beeswax – Beeswax is produced by honeybees. It is often used in mascaras and lipsticks but is used a lot in the cosmetics industry.
  • Carmine – Carmine is made from crushed cochineal insect to create a red pigment. It is used for its colour most often in lipsticks and eyeshadows.
  • Collagen – This is a protein that gives skin elasticity. It can be used in lotions mostly. However, some collagen is vegan, so that’s when you’d email the company to check.
  • Glycerin – Glycerin is another ingredient that can be plant-based or from an animal. It often comes from tallow, which is also in the list.
  • Guanine – This is from the scales of the fish, and usually found in nail polish.
  • Lanolin – Lanolin is the grease from a sheep’s woollen coat. It is collected and often used in moisturisers or lip balms.
  • Retinol – Retinol is vitamin A but it can be animal derived. I don’t think this is too common but I found it in a lip balm recently.
  • Squalene – This is derived from the livers of sharks, and is used often, but not in any specific area of cosmetics I could find.
  • Tallow – This is animal fat, as you might know as it was used originally in the new five pound notes. I haven’t personally seen it as a cosmetics ingredient, but it can be used.


  1. […] Cosmetics are only vegan when they contain no animal ingredients. By the words animal ingredients I mean either parts of a dead animal eg. carmine, or products from the animal while it was alive eg. beeswax. There are many different names for animal ingredients in the beauty industry. These names I am going to make a post about, said post I will link here when I have written it. EDIT: here it is! Common Non-Vegan Beauty Ingredients […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s