Today I'm gonna talk about animal derived products that are in your lipstick and how you can avoid them (if you are vegan) by looking at the ingredient label.
As you are well-aware, both me and Nakiska love us a good lipstick. Nakiska has a full blogpost on her liquid lipstick obsession. I'm not a vegan but there's one of these 3 ingredients that concern me a little bit and that's carmine. Especially if you're a big fan of red lipstick, this topic will interest you very much.
Carmine is a natural dye made out of crushed cochineal insects (say what?!). It is used in the food and cosmetic industry because of the red color it produces. A long time ago it was used to dye fabrics and since then it has also been used as additives in food for example. The last decade, people are aware of artificial food additives and carmine has been used more than previous years because it is 'natural'. The insects are taken from their plant, immersed in hot water or exposed to steam before they use their scales. These insects use their red color in nature to prevent from being eaten (maybe not a good idea after all?).
Carmine is used for example in some MAC products (not saying you shouldn't buy MAC, it is just to give an example). M.A.C. Red and Ruby Woo 'may' contain Carmine. They state 'may' because it is used in the product or it can contain little traces of it (because of the production process of the lipstick after a production process of a lipstick that contains carmine).
Did you know that you can be allergic to carmine? Other than that it doesn't seem to give other health issues (maybe even less health issues than other synthetic additives). There are some natural options (Tomat-O-Red, beet juice,...) out there but they aren't as stable to heat and light as carmine.
So if you use a red lipstick and want it to be without carmine, check the ingredient list for these synonyms
- Carminic acid
- CI 75740
- Cochineal extract
- Crimson Lake
- Natural red 4
Since nobody likes a lipstick that doesn't have a nice texture and doesn't spread evenly, beeswax is used in a lot of formulations. It is secreted by honeybees (definitely not vegan) and this wax makes sure the lipstick doesn't fall apart by giving the lipstick texture. It also has a lot of good benefits: moisturizing, antibacterial and apparently a lot of vitamin A.
Try candelilla wax as an alternative. You can buy vegan lipsticks with this alternative to beeswax from the website axiology. Go check it out!
Lanolin is produced by the sebaceous glands of sheep (nope, not vegan). It is extracted from the sheep's wool by immersing it in water. It is used in a lot of personal care for its moisturizing properties. Some people are allergic to this, so it can cause irritation. Be aware that it is used a lot in lip balms because of its moisturizing effect. There is some concern that lanolin contains residues of pesticides but it should be purified before any use in cosmetic product.
It can be found on the ingredient label as lanolin or as wool fat/wax.
Looking for an alternative to your favourite lip balm, try cocoa butter.
Hope you found this blog post helpful.
Talk to you soon,