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HomeLifestyle7 Things You Absolutely Need to Know About Sustainable and Vegan Skincare

7 Things You Absolutely Need to Know About Sustainable and Vegan Skincare


Sustainable and vegan skincare is on the rise, with more customers holding brands accountable for their practices and ingredient choices. Many businesses also have a personal goal of wanting to offer responsible, natural alternatives.

We take a look at exactly what constitutes sustainable and vegan skincare, things to look out for when choosing products and the benefits to your skin health and our planet below.

1. What exactly is sustainable or vegan skincare?

Just like a vegan diet, vegan skincare is similar. Vegan products do not contain any animal derived ingredients, such as lanolin, glycerine, animal collagen, beeswax or honey and keratin, which are all derived from or made by animals.

Being sustainable encapsulates a few different things, all of which are concerned with minimising a negative impact on our Earth and adopting practices that bring about positive change

2. Vegan and sustainable means less nasties

More consumers are steering away from brands that promise fast results and rely heavily on chemicals to deliver them. These chemicals can make skin more sensitive and generate irritations.

That doesn’t mean we’ve done away with science entirely – in fact, the most effective vegan and sustainable skincare is still carefully researched and backed by scientific tests to make sure your skincare is both natural and highly effective.

This combination of nature and science helps boost the benefits of natural active ingredients and reduces the presence of any unwelcomed effects (such as irritation, excessive dryness and hypersensitivity).

3. No cutting corners – the same (or better) results

The good news is many skin-loving ingredients that aren’t vegan can be easily substituted for an effective, safe and much kinder alternative.

For example, there is a plant-based alternative for animal collagen (such as soya protein or almond oil) and a known elastin alternative is skin-loving hyaluronic acid.

Natural ingredients contain some of the most powerful nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants, including active ingredients which are scientifically proven to target specific skin conditions and deliver both visible improvements and those at a cellular level.

Some of these include plant-derived retinol (Vitamin A) which is a great option for preventing premature aging, Vitamin C – amazing for brightening skin and evening tone, Vitamin E to help calm and repair and antibacterial and oil balancing white willow bark.

Stemlab has consciously crafted a range of skincare solutions that include all of these natural skin superfoods and you can learn more about the Stemlab collections.

4. ‘Vegan’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘sustainable’ skincare

Not testing on animals and using vegan ingredients is definitely a step in the right direction, however there is more involved in being a sustainable skincare brand – including being conscious of the wider impact on our planet.

Some key signs of a sustainable brand may include:

  • Creating skincare in small batches – this not only keeps actives in skincare fresh and effective but also means less wastage from storing items that may not be sold and then must be disposed of and wasted
  • Using recyclable materials in product storage, packaging and shipping
  • Using sustainable ingredients that are grown and harvested with environmental and social impacts in mind (not just economic considerations). For example, reducing soil damage and water waste or producing ingredients for renewable raw materials. It costs more to do this and sometimes takes longer but we think it’s so worth it!

5. Keeping things ethical

Producing items offshore is a popular practice as it is often a way for businesses to cut costs. Unfortunately, there are too many cases where workers are subjected to long hours, harsh conditions and not paid fairly.

A way to ensure you are supporting an ethical and sustainable brand is to purchase products that are not just Australian owned (they might be made overseas or use imported ingredients) but whose products are sustainably sourced and made locally in Australia.

Stemlab products are researched and sustainably and ethically sourced from locally grown and harvested ingredients in Australia to support our community.

6. Giving back plays an important

Many brands focused on sustainability or keeping their products vegan will partner with like-minded reputable registered charities and organisations that are committed to positive change.

Stemlab’s approach is more than skin deep and we are affiliated with 1% for the Planet, a global non-profit organisation dedicated to sustainability and environmentalism

7. Tips and tricks to stay in check

If a brand doesn’t test on animals, that doesn’t necessarily mean the product is vegan (and vice versa) – it may still include animal derivatives or by-products, so if this is important to you, please check the ingredients and look for a not tested on animals disclaimer on the packaging.

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