Non-Vegan Ingredients In Skincare

If you decided to go vegan, first of all, CONGRATS! You can be so proud of yourself and I am very proud of you too because I know how hard this can be. Being vegan it’s not only about adopting a plant-based diet you also need to be very careful about the clothes you choose to wear, the fabric you go for and the skin care you apply. 

Unfortunately so many ingredients in traditional skincare and big high street brands come from animal sources. The list I will share with you today is not exhaustive. It quotes the main ingredients that should look for and avoid in traditional products but they can be more than that. 

I also prepared for you a little design that lists those main ingredients so you can print it and put it in your wallet. I suggest you carry it with you at all time so when you go for shopping, you can access it easily. This is just a little trick that I share with you to make your transition to a vegan lifestyle easier. 

Read the full article to learn all the details about what ingredients you should avoid and scroll down to the end to find your printable design. 


That ingredient comes from wool and you can find it in many lips product so watch out. 


Shellac is very popular in nail products, especially if you get your nails done in a salon to make the polish last longer than 2 weeks. Unfortunately shellac comes from bugs. 


It comes from animal fat and you will probably see it in many products because it is very commonly used in soaps, hair care, makeup and moisturizers. 

Casein, sodium caseinate, caseinate

All those names refer to the same ingredient made from cow’s milk. You will find it in many conditioners and face treatments, avoid it!


It is simply shark liver oil.  Seriously, who would chase and kill a beautiful shark to produce some skin treatments?!! I still can’t believe it is a thing and that we often use it in anti-ageing creams, lip balms, deodorants and moisturizers. 


You can find this ingredient in sparkly makeup. Did you know it is made from scales of dead fishes? We all want to be pretty and glowy but I don’t believe it should involve death. 

Oleic acid, oleyl stearate, oleyl oleate, tallow

Once again, it is too many names for one ingredient: animal fat. You will find those on nail polish, moisturizers and makeup’s labels.

Stearic Acid

That one is used in deodorants, soaps and hair products. It is pig stomach, gross! We don’t want to use that. 

Animal hair

They are often used to make brushes and are very easy to avoid so just make sure you read the label. 

As promised, here your printable list! 

Non-Vegan Ingredients In Skincare

Click here to download and print

As an alternative, if you do not want to read the labels, I suggest you go for vegan certified products. That label is regulated so you can be sure that your beauty products contain no animal derived ingredients. 

Last thing to bear in mind, vegan does not mean cruelty-free, it is a different certification. Read that blog post to learn the difference. 

There is another distinction to make between animal products and animal byproducts, as explained in that blog post from Public Goods. I was completely unaware such a debate was going on but it is very informative if you want to read further.

For a longer list of non vegan ingredients, I recommend that you visit PETA’s website here

Cover photo by Humphrey Muleba on Unsplash