Vegan Bath, Body, and Hair Products
Yup, almost everyone knows what it’s like to waltz past a Lush store and involuntarily inhale the bathtime aroma, then cough and splutter as rose petals fill your lungs and the world turns citrusy for a second. Lush made a commitment many years ago to avoid products tested on animals and they’ve done a lot (in the UK at least) to promote awareness of the cruelty that goes into manufacturing many seemingly benign items such as shampoo and mascara. Unfortunately, the EU REACH programme looks set to barrel onwards and Lush, as well as other cruelty-free companies, may find it increasingly difficult to find suppliers of ingredients not tested on animals as the law forces such testing. For now, many of Lush’s products are vegan, with the exception of some containing honey or dairy (mmmm cheese shampoo).
The Lush website also gets a big thumbs-up from me as it lets you look at vegan products only – with these vegan massage bars looking delicious enough to eat… They also have a vegan conditioner called Veganese which I used in the UK when I first turned vegan. It smells pretty nice but I found it to be really expensive as I had to use a lot to untangle the mane I had back then, there are other conditioners that are more effective but it helped raise my awareness that even my choice of conditioner was affected by my veganism, so for that alone Lush has a fan in me.
Add to this, the fact that twelve out of fourteen of Lush’s body lotions are vegan, 26/30 of their soaps are vegan, and both their styling gels are vegan and that they are represented in many a town and city across North America and the UK and they’re a great option for many busy vegans, new vegans, and accidental vegans!
Faith In Nature
When I lived in Manchester, England, the Faith In Nature factory was just up the road so not only could I buy these great cruelty-free, vegan bath and body products cheaply and easily, they were locally-sourced in a sense! They do refills and have bulk-buy options to minimise their environmental impact. Their products are totally vegetarian, across the range of bath and body, feminine care, household cleaning, and everything else, and almost all vegan aside from propolis in a couple of hair-care products. Faith In Nature’s stuff is good too! I love their shampoo and conditioners (the rosemary oil conditioner is so lovely), and their vegan household cleaning products worked really well and all for a good price. The company uses the BUAV Leaping Bunny logo and all the products are registered with the Vegan Society so anyone in the UK looking for vegan shampoo, shower gels, soaps, or even window cleaner should track down Faith In Nature. Read more about their ethics, shop online, or find a store near you!
More Vegan-Friendly Toiletry OptionsOther vegan suppliers of toiletries include Green People, Weleda, Organic, and Herbfarmacy, amongst others, although the credentials of each company vary on different issues. Some of the Weleda products contain milk for example, others contain propolis, and the marketing used by these companies can leave a little to be desired… personally, the use of the term ‘phyto science’ angers me somewhat (perhaps unreasonably so!)
Green People and HerbFarmacy – Vegan-Friendly
Green People have an easy option for vegans, letting us click here to just see their vegan range! That’s what I call easy vegan shopping. Green People also have scent-free shampoos and moisturisers for those desirous of such things. They are a UK company though, but do have a presence in Norway, Denmark, Ireland, and Spain, but not North America alas.
Herbfarmacy are a UK company too, with the ingredients of many products actually grown in the makers’ fields! This smaller vegan toiletry manufacturer is Soil Association accredited (that means they use organically grown ingredients) and are expanding their range quite rapidly, although I doubt they’ll branch out to Canada any time soon, unfortunately.
Weleda – A Vegan Dilemma
Weleda produce more high-end toiletries than many other companies and so are somewhat out of my price range! You can order online but be sure to check their ingredients first as many of their products contain beeswax, propolis, or other nonvegan toiletry ingredients. Despite this company’s image as being purer than pure many of their products also contain things like linalool which, whilst technically vegan, is not regarded too highly by many natural health enthusiasts. Other things to watch out for include fragrance (parfum) as this could mean an animal-sourced fragrance, clearly making the product unsuitable for vegans. Some of the products specify that the fragrance is from essential oils, some don’t, and the inclusion of glyceryl stearate, which could be an animal or a vegetable/seed source is also unaccompanied by details. Your best option, as with many purchases, is to ask about the vegan credentials of the Weleda products before buying.
Honesty Cosmetics – Transparently Vegan!
Honesty Cosmetics is a great resource for UK vegans and vegetarians looking for bath and body products that fit their ethics. Only stocking vegan items, Honesty Cosmetics have their own toiletries available as well as a range from other companies with fixed cut-off dates for animal testing. Their website’s far from fancy but their prices and service are great! Shame they don’t ship to Canada… bah. Their own range of vegan toiletries includes a Lemon Vanilla Shampoo so every shower feels like cake-time, as well as things like Nettle and Lavender Shampoo for a shiny head of sweet-smelling hair. Mmm.
Original Source – Vegan or Not?
Although I’m not sure I’d want to have shower gel with cactus extract or chili pepper, the company that makes these ‘innovative’ items under the name of Original Source is vegan. I used the peppermint shower gel for a while in the UK and it sure as hell wakes you up in the morning, it feels like your face is a whole new kind of alive. I loved it but I realised that there were a few chemicals in there I’d rather not have, and that the company was bought out by a non-vegan company so I switched to Faith In Nature. Although the packaging prominently displays the Vegan Society label and a ’100% natural’ claim some of the products contain parfum and parabens and the company that owns Original Source is not cruelty-free as they manufacture many products which rely on animal-testing.
Lulu and Boo – Organic, Vegan, and Fab!
Aside from having a fantastic name, Lulu and Boo are totally vegetarian, most of their range is vegan, they’re largely organic, and the bodycare and skincare company has a policy of keeping nasty chemicals out of their toiletries. The company, which, again, is based in the UK, was not established when I lived there and so I’ve no firsthand experience with them. I’ve heard good things though, particularly from those with sensitive skin and conditions such as eczema who need to diligently avoid parabens, phthalates, parfum, urea, and similar chemicals in their vegan moisturisers, cleansers, and shampoos. They also have beautiful packaging. Which is nice. One thing to note is that some of their cleansers, toners, etc., contain propolis or beeswax and so aren’t vegan; happily, these aren’t erroneously labelled vegan as happens with many other companies doing a bit of vegan-washing.
A whole host of other vegan toiletry manufacturers are working hard to give us lovely ways to smell good, look good, and feel good, with a plethora of vegan body lotions that sound good enough to eat. Some vegan bath and body product suppliers in Canada include Deep Steep, Desert Essence, Ethically Engineered, Green Beaver, Herban Cowboy, Lafe’s, and Val’s amongst others. With so many vegan beauty products and vegan toiletries to choose from, the ability to order online at Karmavore, Vegan Essentials, and a host of products available in your local health store, there’s no excuse for limiting your vegan choices just to your diet. Befriend a beagle, rescue a rabbit, mind a mouse, and use cruelty-free beauty products for all-round vegan goodness.