Vegan Skin Care - Plant Derived Ingredients and Benefits

The Benefits of Vegan Skin Care

Going vegan when it comes to skin care comes with a variety of benefits of which many people aren't initially aware. Some of these benefits include:

Promotes Animal Well-Being

One of the most notable benefits of only using vegan skin care products is that you don't accrue the negative karma associated with animal testing. The skin care product manufacturers that go out of their way to produce cosmetics that don't contain any animal products also usually shy away from using any ingredients that have been tested on animals. While a "vegan" sticker on a bottle of moisturizer, serum, or face wash isn't a guarantee that a product is cruelty-free, your chances of using a product that didn't cause animals to suffer in any way are much higher when you choose vegan skin care options.

Reduces Allergic Reactions

Vegan skin care products can also be the way to go if you suffer from allergies. Some people are allergic to animal-derived compounds that are commonly found in skin care products, and they may not have the same allergic reaction to plant-derived or synthetic ingredients. Also, vegan skin care products usually have fewer ingredientsthan products that contain animal-derived substances, which puts your skin at lesser risk of developing issues like dryness or itchiness.

Protects the Planet

According to PETA, farming animals produces pollutants like carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, which some experts believe may be accelerating the Earth's natural climatic shifts. If you choose to only use vegan skin care products, you can do your part to reduce the levels of these pollutants in the biosphere.


Top Plant-Derived or Synthetic Vegan Ingredients

While some people define vegan ingredients strictly as those that are plant-derived, synthetic ingredients are technically vegan too as long as they aren't derived from animals. In the following list, we'll introduce you to 10 of the best vegan skin care ingredients:

1. Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C)

Many people think that vitamin C is the same thing as ascorbic acid, but this common assumption is dead wrong. Ascorbic acid is a synthetic version of vitamin C, and it doesn't boast all of the benefits of the real thing. However, this inherently unstable vitamin is hard to extract from fruits like oranges and lemons, which has incentivized chemical companies to devise a new way to deliver this potent vitamin in skin care products.

While ascorbic acid is a notorious irritant that causes acne, sodium ascorbyl phosphate doesn't usually have any malign interactions with human skin. This innovative compound is relatively new, and very few studies have been done to learn more about this potent form of vitamin C. However, the studies that have been done have concluded that sodium ascorbyl acetate may be a novel treatment for conditions like acne.

vitamin c serum vegan skin care

When used in topical products, the antioxidants in this form of vitamin C help protect your skin from the attacks of free radicals. These unpaired oxygen atoms ravage through skin tissues in search of available electrons, and antioxidants stop these destructive particles from causing oxidative stress in your skin.

When your skin is protected from oxidative stress, it is much more able to repair itself, and you become less at risk for conditions like dry skin, acne, rosacea, and the effects of aging. Sodium ascorbyl acetate is the best carrier of vitamin C's natural antioxidants to be developed to date, and it is in no way derived from or tested on animals.

2. Aqua

Aqua is the scientific name for water. While water might not immediately strike you as being a vegan ingredient because it is so simple, the fact remains that this common skin care product is not derived from animal sources in any way. Plus, skin care products that count aqua as a major ingredient are more likely to be high-quality since water is one of the best facilitators of transdermal absorption, which is the process by which active ingredients pass through the skin and enter the bloodstream.

Some skin care products are oil-based, and while most oils used in cosmetics are not derived from animals, oil-based products tend to feel heavier on the skin, and they don't serve as effective carriers of active ingredients. While you might want to go for water-based skin care products because they don't harm animals, there are other practical reasons why these products are superior to oil-based options that may contain animal-based ingredients.

3. Carbomer

Carbomers are man-made synthetic ingredients, which means that they don't have any animal components. These ingredients are common in many different skin care products, and they mainly serve to distribute active ingredients throughout water-based cosmetic solutions.

Carbomers are widely considered to be safe, and you can even find these ingredients in some food products. Two of the most authoritative sources on this matter, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) and the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union, have determined that these substances don't pose any threat to human health. Best of all, they don't pose a threat to animal health either.

4. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)

MSM is usually included in cosmetics products due to its purported pain-fighting capabilities, and it is a form of sulfur, which means that it is in no way derived from animal components. According to many skin care experts, this sulfur derivative has potent anti-inflammatory properties, which would explain why people have had success in using this substance to fight pain.

When you reduce inflammation in your skin, you provide your body with what it needs to heal itself while also reducing itchiness, redness, and pain. For instance, conditions like acne, dry skin, and rosacea can all be treated with anti-inflammatory ingredients like MSM.

5. Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide (Botanical Hyaluronic Acid)

Some types of hyaluronic acid are derived from animals, which has given this incredible skin care substance a bad name. However, to avoid the unethical harvesting practices that used to be unavoidable when obtaining this ingredient, scientists have developed a type of hyaluronic acid that is derived from bacteria cultures.

hyaluronic acid serum vegan skin care

This type of hyaluronic acid, which is known as botanical hyaluronic acid, doesn't cause any animals to come to harm, but it still has all of the amazing benefits of animal-based hyaluronic acid. This substance is actually naturally occurring in the human body, and it is vital to your joint and eye socket health. In addition, hyaluronic acid also contributes to your skin's elasticity and general well-being.

6. L-arganine

L-arginine is an amino acid that is also known by the scientific name (2s)-2-Amino-5-guanidinopentanoic acid. You can find L-arginine in a variety of different foods, and it also has potential as an anti-aging substance when it's included in topicals. Best of all, this synthetic ingredient is in no way derived from animal tissue.

When you apply L-arginine to your skin, you'll notice that this ingredient helps your skin heal from injuries like scratches or acne lesions. This remarkable substance also reverses the effects of sun damage, and it protects your skin from pollutants. If you take this vegan substance orally, it provides protection from migraine headaches and high blood pressure.

7. Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil isn't synthetic; on the contrary, it's derived from plants. This means that this oil has nothing to do with animals and is vegan-friendly, but it is known as a highly effective acne treatment.

Structurally, jojoba oil is very similar to sebum, which is a type of oil that is naturally produced by your skin. Unlike sebum, however, jojoba oil doesn't stand any chance of clogging your pores, and it actually dissolves sebum in your pores that might otherwise cause clogging.

8. D-alpha Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E)

While some forms of vitamin E may be derived from animals, d-alpha-tocopherol is a distillation of vegetable oils, which means that it is 100 percent vegan. This compound is superior to other forms of vitamin E in that it only contains the single isomer that has been scientifically identified as "vitamin E" while other products that contain this vitamin are also filled with a bunch of useless filler compounds that don't impart any skin care benefits.

vegan vitamin e

Vitamin E is an antioxidant, and it truly shines in its power to eliminate scars. If you've suffered from acne or you've sustained scars to your face for other reasons, this substance can help return your skin's smooth, uniform appearance. As long as you ensure that you only choose d-alpha-tocopherol when you use vitamin E, you can rest assured that your skin care choices didn't harm any animals.

9. Peptides

There are quite a few different types of peptides that are used in skin care products, and they are all vegan in nature. Dermatologists and other skin care experts have only known about peptides for a few decades, but these ingredients have rapidly risen into immense popularity due to their profound benefits.

The most notable benefit of topical peptides is collagen replenishment. Collagen is the most prevalent protein in the human body, but your collagen levels reduce as you age, and collagen in your body can also be depleted due to a variety of medical conditions. When they are applied topically to your face or other parts of your body, peptides work at the molecular level to return your collagen levels to their optimal concentrations. When you have enough collagen in your skin, your dermal layers youthful and firm, and peptides are some of the most potent ingredients available to you in your quest to look young forever.

A few of the most common types of peptides include:
  • Copper peptide: Copper is naturally found in your body tissues, and copper has anti-aging qualities when it is bonded with peptides.
  • Hexapeptide: This particular peptide has been linked with reducing fine lines on your skin. It is usually listed as acetyl hexapeptide-3 on product labels.
  • Neuropeptide: This peptide is listed as either acetyl hexapeptide-8 or argireline on product labels, and it reduces the appearance of wrinkles by relaxing your facial muscles.
  • Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7: This peptide consists of a 4-chain amino acid and palmitic acid, and it helps with collagen production while reducing skin inflammation.
  • Palmitoyl oligopeptide: In addition to stimulating hyaluronic acid production, palmitoyl oligopeptide also protects your skin from UV damage, which makes it one of the most important peptides for overall skin health.
  • Pentapeptide: Pentapeptide is one of the peptides that is most commonly used in skin care, and it is usually listed as Matrixyl. This simple compound tells your body to continue to produce ample amounts of collagen as it ages.

10. Stearic Acid

Some forms of stearic acid are derived from animal products, but the vast majority of stearic acid on the market today is vegan. This ingredient is an amino acid, and it is derived from various types of fats that naturally contain aminos. Stearic acid is extracted by loading oils that contain this substance into a pressurized container with water. This water is then boiled, and the stearic acid is condensed into a liquid with a series of coils. Among other benefits, this vegan skin care substance is a natural emulsifier, and it also defends the integrity of your skin's moisture barrier.

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