Know the difference between vegan and clean skincare

Always go for products that cater to your skin’s needs. Picture: Supplied.

Always go for products that cater to your skin’s needs. Picture: Supplied.

Published Nov 15, 2023


Veganism and eating clean have been some of the biggest trends in the food industry. In the past few years, many people started eating clean and some have transitioned into vegans.

But the trend didn’t end with the food industry, it has expanded to the beauty world with many beauty brand owners becoming more cautious about the products they put out.

While many consumers have started using eco-friendly products, most don’t know the difference between vegan and clean skincare.

Nicole Sherwin, the founder of Eco Diva Natural Superfood Skincare, says vegan skincare is about the absence of animal-derived ingredients or by-products.

“This means that vegan skincare products do not contain components like beeswax, lanolin or collagen, commonly found in traditional skincare formulations.

“For ethical reasons, vegan skincare avoids cruelty to animals and appeals to those who prefer a plant-based, eco-friendly approach,” says Sherwin.

Clean skincare, on the other hand, places its focus on safety and transparency.

“A clean skincare product is formulated to minimise exposure to potentially harmful or questionable ingredients. This category emphasises on excluding ingredients such as parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, and more.

“Clean skincare strives to offer products that are gentle on the skin and free from toxins, catering to individuals who are conscious of their health and the environment.”

How to differentiate between the two?

It’s simple, read the packaging. Most people tend not to read the ingredients in the product they are buying, which can be dangerous, especially if you are allergic to certain ingredients.

If a product has only plant-based ingredients, that would make it vegan.

Also note that some vegan skincare products are also clean, as they avoid animal-derived components and toxic substances.

Which one to choose?

The first thing to consider would be your skin type, skincare goals and specifications. For those who prioritise animal welfare, vegan skincare would be the first option, while clean skincare appeals to those seeking a gentler and potentially safer approach to their skincare routines.

“The distinction between vegan and clean skincare lies in their respective priorities. While vegan skincare focuses on the exclusion of animal-derived ingredients, clean skincare emphasises the removal of harmful chemicals.

“Your choice should align with your values and skin needs. Both categories offer the advantage of promoting ethical and transparent beauty, ensuring a positive impact on your skin and the planet,” says Sherwin.

“Make an informed choice about your skincare routine and embrace the philosophy that best resonates with your values.

“Whether you opt for vegan, clean or a combination of both, remember that a well-informed choice is the key to glowing, healthy skin.“

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