One of the things that many people struggle with when going vegan is the transfer onto cruelty free cosmetics and toiletries. In the latest issue of Vegan Life magazine Sunny Subramanian from Vegan Beauty Review helped to demystify the changeover with an article on natural, vegan beauty. One of the pitfalls that a lot of people have is the difference between cruelty free and vegan. Many products now are cruelty free which means they’re not tested on animals but this doesn’t guarantee that they are free from animal ingredients such as Lanolin (from wool), Carmine (crushed beetles) or Collagen (from animal placenta). As vegans we are looking for products which fit both the cruelty free and vegan criteria and in the list of vegan beauty brands provided in the article I came across one that stood out above all of the others.
Arbonne are not only a vegan and cruelty free company. They are also gluten free and free from other nasties such as parabens, formaldehyde, petrolatum, synthetic dyes and artificial colours and flavourings. This makes them perfect for anyone with allergies or even those of us who are just trying to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
I was recently given the opportunity to try some of their products. I highlighted that some of the most difficult things to find as a vegan were hair products for coloured hair and good lip balms and met with one of Arbonne’s consultants, Jo for a chat about their products and what they have to offer. I came home with a thick catalogue of beautiful products, a lip salve and some shampoo and conditioner for coloured hair.
This lip moisturiser no longer seems to be on their website but is similar to the Liquid Sunshine Lip Balm that is now available. Most well-known lip balms you can buy in the UK are packed full of beeswax and lanolin so I’m always ready to give a new vegan product a go. Many coeliacs are also worried about gluten in their lip products as even the slightest bit of ingested gluten can cause severe problems. This balm therefore covers all bases! It is uncoloured and has a very mild and natural fragrance as would be expected with its natural ingredients. It goes on very smoothly and leaves your lips feeling very soft and also quite tingly! There is a glossy aspect to the balm too so it leaves a nice shine whilst also protecting from the sun.
The haircare range I tried is called Pure Vibrance and has been developed for use on coloured hair. In the range is a shampoo, conditioner, hair masque, texturizing mousse, serum and a hair spray. I use semi-permanent hair dye so it generally washes out quite quickly. I noticed when lathering this into my hair that not much dye seemed to be coming out which was an excellent sign. There is a citrusy type fragrance in the shampoo and conditioner which leaves your hair smelling fresh and clean. I was impressed with the quality of these products and my colour didn’t seem to wash out any sooner than it usually would with other non-vegan coloured hair shampoos.
All in all the brand covers a lot of bases with cosmetics, skin care and even nutritional products available. It is on the more luxury end of cosmetics with a large bottle of shampoo setting you back around £26 but the products are so good they’re worth it! There is also a sense of safety when using these cosmetics as you know they are fully vegan, environmentally friendly and gluten free.
To find out more about the differences between vegan and cruelty free cosmetics and how to refresh your vegan make up look for Spring grab a copy issue 4 of Vegan Life magazine!