When it comes to vegan skincare, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the ethical choice. Choosing vegan and cruelty-free skincare means making a choice not to support animal testing or the use of animal-derived ingredients in beauty products. While all of that is certainly true, opting for vegan skincare means a lot more than that, particularly when it comes to your health.
Your skin absorbs 60 percent of what you put on it, and what can penetrate ends up going directly into your bloodstream. Consider the delicate eye area, where we tend to slather on moisturizers to prevent fine lines and wrinkles. The skin around our eyes is some if the thinnest skin on your body, so you can imagine how quickly the products you put there could be getting absorbed. Why not choose products that nourish not only your skin, but your overall health as well?
Vegan beauty products are becoming more and more popular, in part due to the fact that their synthetic counterparts are beginning to get a bad rap. These days, you can find high-quality vegan eye creams, moisturizers, face washes, shampoos, conditioners, hair sprays, and just about every form of makeup that performs just as well – or better – than their non-vegan competitors. Let’s focus on eye creams and explore the advantages of choosing vegan.
Why Use Eye Cream at All?
Because the area around your eyes is generally thinner, more delicate skin than the rest of your face, it’s often the first place you begin to see signs of aging. The undereye area can show some sagging, dark circles, and laugh lines. We’re calling them laugh lines instead of crow’s feet because there’s nothing wrong with living a life full of laughter! But some choose to conceal just how long they’ve been laughing, and eye cream helps.
Eye creams are generally thicker, more aggressively hydrating moisturizers or eye gels that penetrate the first few layers of skin.
Eye cream can:
- Plump up sagging or dry skin
- Improve eye contour
- Wake up tired eyes with ingredients like coffee bean and green tea
- Prevent further free radical damage by depositing antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and hyaluronic acid into skin (and therefore, the bloodstream)
- Offer an anti-inflammatory remedy to sensitive eyes with ingredients like aloe vera and chamomile
That’s a lot of power in from a tiny bottle from the beauty counter!
But high-quality natural eye creams do live up to the hype. No product will truly arrest the aging process, but choosing an eye cream that nourishes the eye area and offers antioxidant support can help slow it down, and even reverse it to a degree.
Why Opt for Clean, Vegan Ingredients?
Since your skin absorbs 60 percent of what you put on it, choose natural ingredients like essential oils, coconut oil, and shea butter to guarantee that synthetic ingredients aren’t making their way into your bloodstream.
Your body has to process and filter out synthetic ingredients and toxins, which can lead to oxidative stress – one of the many causes of aging. So in a way, choosing an eye cream with toxic ingredients ends up doing the opposite of what you want. Not great!
Choosing vegan means that every ingredient comes from plants or inorganic sources (like salts, clays, or minerals), and going cruelty-free (usually automatic with vegan products, but not always) means that none of those ingredients were tested on animals.
Plant ingredients like gogi berries, aloe vera, argan oil, cucumber, lime extract, ivy extract, and many seed oils are all packed with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory nutrition that goes directly into your skin. Processing these ingredients doesn’t add the type of stress to your system that synthetic products do.
Animal Products to Look Out For
The most common animal products you’ll find in non-vegan eye creams, eye treatments, and eye masks are:
- Lanolin (derived from the oil in sheep’s wool)
- Glycerin (usually made from animal fats, but vegetable-based ones are available)
These products are used as moisturizers and to help the product glide easily on your skin.
Side Effects of Lanolin
The problem with these products, beyond the potential harm or killing animals to get to them, is that some can be irritating to sensitive or acne-prone skin types. WebMD reports that lanolin may cause “burning, stinging, redness, or irritation” to some users.
Side Effects of Beeswax
Beeswax is an animal ingredient that doesn’t have a lot of adverse effects. Used in a plethora of pure and natural skincare products, it’s usually included as a skin protector in lip balms and hand salves. It sits atop the skin without being totally absorbed, but, contrary to its petroleum-based alternatives, it allows the skin to breathe and generally won’t clog pores.
While strict vegans will not allow for beeswax in their skincare products, some will. Ideally, bees aren’t harmed in the collection of the wax, but there’s not always a guarantee of that.
Your Vegan Skincare Regimen
If you’re endeavoring to switch your cosmetics to vegan formulas, don’t stop with eye cream.
Try Feel’s Balanced Moisture Balancing Cream for a nourishing vegan moisturizer. It features anti-inflammatory ingredients sure to balance your complexion without harsh chemicals or animal-derived ingredients.
Renewed Pumpkin Walnut Facial Cleanser offers a gentle exfoliation to slough off dry, dead skin with walnut powder in addition to a killer lineup of antioxidants: alpha hydroxy acids, zinc, and vitamins A and C have the anti-wrinkle effects you’re looking for.
The Restored mask naturally warms on your skin to open your pores and kick out impurities with white charcoal powder. Nigiri sea salt also offers detoxifying and exfoliating properties that clean without drying out your skin. Vitamin E and hyaluronic acid tone and soften, penetrating deep for anti-aging magic.
The Harmony mask features every part of the rose: the petals, the flower extract, and the essential oil to hydrate, brighten, and tighten your complexion. Be sure to apply this formula around your eyes when you use it, to firm up the skin and reduce any redness in the eye area.
Check out Feel’s complete selection of vegan products to get started in the switch from conventional to vegan skincare.