N0 Comments When I first went vegan in the mid-90s, I took a raw food class in San Diego. Normally these courses are all about food, but this time something caught my eye: the instructor’s absolutely stunning, glowing skin. I was fascinated and decided to find out her secret.
After class, I went up to her and asked what kind of makeup she uses. She said that every morning she moisturizes her face and body with jojoba oil. I immediately went to the store and bought a bottle of golden oil, which I have been using for ten years.
This experience opened my eyes to using the simplest and purest skin care products I can find. After all, as much as 60 percent of skin care products enter the bloodstream, and many of the ingredients approved by the Food and Drug Administration cause cancer and skin disease—the reason why they are banned in many countries around the world. Think about how quickly the lotion, cream or oil disappears from the skin. I realized that there is no difference between what I put in my mouth and what I put on my skin – I want to use natural products and natural cosmetics.
I have tried many vegan cosmetics over the years. We’re constantly sampling at the VegNews office to share with readers, and I always enjoy spending time in the beauty aisle of natural food stores. But over and over again, I choose brands with the shortest list of ingredients, and the same goes for food.
Some of them are more expensive than regular pharmacy cosmetics, but they are very concentrated (a small amount lasts a long time), they are produced by companies that I want to support, and I see them as an investment in my health.
After a lot of experimentation, here is my list of the top 10 vegan beauty brands.
One of the intern editors told me about this delicious-smelling, chemical-free, highly concentrated line a few years ago, and I’ve been a fan ever since.
The Blood Orange, Meyer Lemon, and Cocoa Kona Coffee scents (all made from fruity pigments and pure essential oils) are things I never get enough of: body butter, lather (great for shaving) and face serum ( Super Fruits Concentrated Serum is simply excellent!). I liked the brand so much that we gave all VegNews employees a basket of 100% Pure products for the holidays. She is so good!
I first discovered this brand at Natural Products Expo West and fell in love with these super clean products, earthy flavors and organic ingredients. Unlike big supermarket brands, companies like Antho don’t use chemicals, preservatives, fillers or parabens – and they’re wonderful. My favorite products? Organic lavender-citrus body butter, raspberry-mint body butter, and orange-vanilla body scrub.
A company with the description “vegan spa and pharmacy” attracted me right away from their opening at the end of 2013. After trying their products, I got hooked. All of their aromatherapy scrubs, balms, oils and fragrances are handcrafted, and their Vegan Spa Kit will transport you to your favorite getaway. And their Bergamot Lime Oil (smells like lime pie) and
The Bliss Mist aromatherapy spray is amazing, plus 10% of the company’s profits, which are owned by vegans, go to animal shelters.
Another intern told me about this pharmacy in Northern California where everything is handmade in small batches using the finest herbal ingredients.
Based on organic coconut oil (great moisturizer), organic chamomile (fights free radicals), organic evening primrose oil (a natural pore-tightening agent), and organic comfrey root (promotes new cell growth), the company makes only six products, but they are all wonderful. and have a great formula. “C” Perfect Skin is a rich anti-aging serum that I use daily, and I always have a jar of ylang ylang scented balm in the office to hydrate throughout the day.
I admire this Oakland, California based company because its vegan founders created the product of my dreams. Made with just six ingredients (Hawaiian coconut, sunflower oil, hemp seeds, Australian walnut, African marula, and shea nuts), the body butter is super thick, concentrated, and packaged in a luxurious black and pink glass jar.
Since it is very economical, I use it every day instead of lotion. Be sure to purchase a lip oil made from the same six edible herbal ingredients.
Okay, here’s a little luxury for you, but I promise: Eminence is worth every penny spent. This Hungarian company revolutionized botanical cosmetics (Eminence was founded in 1958) and continues to produce high quality organic and chemical-free products.
Since all products are very thick (no fillers or water are used), your purchase will last a long time. The Persimmon and Cantaloupe Day Cream protects my skin, the Coconut Moisturizer renews my face overnight, and the Pear and Poppy Seed Microdermal Exfoliator exfoliates the traces of the big city. I will only note that Eminence was an integral part of my Christmas gifts last year.
With a philosophy of “beauty by rebels for rebels”, Canadian company Stark Skincare is rebelling against the unrealistic promises of the traditional beauty industry with its magnificent line of handcrafted and organic fair trade products.
My absolute favorite is the grapefruit cleansing and moisturizing balm, one swipe on the neck and hands leaves a feeling of freshness (and a wonderful smell) for the whole day. You know what else? It smells like a real grapefruit, and because it has no water in it, it’s super concentrated. After a long day at the office, I refresh my face with white willow bark tonic before heading out to dinner or yoga.
The Orange Owl
What happens when you combine a chic product line, divine fragrances, a passionate owner and affordable prices? It turns out Orange Owl, located in Vermont, which I never get enough of.
Let’s start with the Lemon twist body butter – it’s the most luxurious tube of (vegan) butter you’ve ever seen, and the scent of lemon, lime, and grapefruit smells sweet all day. Mocha Buzz Body Scrub (a blend of deep roasted coffee, fair trade cocoa and a touch of vanilla) leaves my skin smooth and soft. And one swipe of cinnamon spice lip balm keeps lips hydrated for hours. Stock up for yourself or send the basket to friends.
I’m impressed with what this company has done to advance vegan cosmetics as I see it everywhere. The company’s philosophy sounds like “slow beauty”, where we return to simple well-being (what you need!).
The company is best known for nail polishes (a product that almost always contains harmful chemicals and animal dyes), Hunk of Burning Love is my favorite red pedicure polish. However, the line also includes lotions, body oils, serums, oils, scrubs and tonics.
When founder Suki Kramer started her business in 2002, she sent samples to us at VegNews for review – and I really liked them. I wrote about the new line in the next issue and have been loyal to the company ever since. As someone who has battled allergies and chronic eczema, Kramer set out to make products that are pure, natural, and clinically proven to work. My choice? Moisturizing body oil (with apricot kernel oil and comfrey) and nourishing facial oil (with carrot and evening primrose oil).