So, you’re trying to transition to vegan beauty products. Or maybe you’re already there and just want more information. Either way, we’re here to help with the most common animal-products you’ll find in brow fillers.
While some ingredients are obvious, many are hard to spot, have multiple names, or have the same name whether derived from plants or animals. Let’s clear all that up so you can easily pick products that align with your ethos.
THREE TYPICAL BROW PRODUCT INGREDIENT LISTS
Bolded below are the most common animal-derived ingredients to look out for in your natural or conventional brow products. Find out more on each ingredient below:
Also known as + derivatives: Acetylated Lanolin Oil or wax, Isopropyl Lanolate, Aliphatic Alcohols, Cholesterin, Lanolin Alcohols, Lanosterols, Sterols, Triterpene Alcohols.
What it is & Where it comes from: Lanolin is a waxy substance that is secreted by the glands of sheep. Extracted from the sheep’s wool, lanolin is mostly a by-product of the meat industry. Either the sheep are bred for their wool supply and slaughtered for meat later, or they’re slaughtered and then the wool (lanolin) is harvested.
Its Purpose: Used as a moisturizer and softener for hair, skin, and nails. It also serves as an emulsifier, helping ingredients blend smoothly together.
Our Skin Conditioners:
- Vitamin E: an effective skin moisturizer and potent anti-oxidant.
- Shea Butter: Nourishes the skin with vitamins A, E, and F.
- Olea Europaea (Olive Oil): Conditions the skin, rich source of antioxidants.
- Isoamyl Laurate: a conditioner, naturally obtained from the esterification of lauric acid (from vegetable oils) and isoamyl alcohol (from fermentation).
- Oryza Sativa Cera (Rice Bran) Wax: a natural wax obtained from rice bran. Functions as a skin-softening agent.
Our emulsifier: Cetearyl Olivate - an emulsifier derived from olive oil. It also prevents the pomade from slipping.
Also known as + derivatives: Ethylhexylglycerin, Glycerides, Glyceryls, Glycreth-26, Polyglycerol, Trihydroxystearin, Triethylhexanoin
What it is & Where it comes from: One of the most commonly used ingredients in personal care products, glycerin is derived from animal fats. Plant-derived versions may also be labeled as simply ‘Glycerin’ so your best bet is to contact the company or look for a certified vegan label.
Its Purpose: Glycerin is used as a skin smoother and softener in both cosmetics and skincare.
What we use: See our skin conditioners above!
Also known as: Carminic Acid, Cochineal, Crimson Lake, CI 75470, E120.
What it is & Where it comes from: Carmine is a vibrant red pigment obtained from crushing up female cochineal insects (beetles).
Its Purpose: It’s used to add bright red coloring to makeup products. Look out for this in auburn or warm-toned brow products.
What we use: CI 77499, CI 77492, CI 77491, CI 77891. All of our color pigments are derived from natural ores and minerals.
Also known as + derivatives: squalane or shark liver oil.
Where it comes from: Most often derived from shark liver, squalene can also be found in plant sources. Be sure to ask if you’re not sure of the origin.
Its Purpose: Used as a moisturizing agent, squalene is found in brow products, eye makeup, hair products, and many other cosmetic and skincare products.
The shark problem: The unregulated slaughter of sharks is a major problem, and not just ethically. Sharks take decades to mature and don’t reproduce often. They are in danger of becoming extinct, and without its top predator, our oceans (and all of us) will suffer devastating consequences.
What we use: Vitamin E, Shea Butter, Olive Oil, Isoamyl laurate, Rice Bran Wax.
5. PEGS (animal-derived)
Also known as + derivates: PEG-28 Glyceryl Tallowate, PEG-8 Hydrogenated Fish Glycerides, PEG-5 through -70 Hydrogenated Lanolin, PEG-13 Hydrogenated Tallow Amide, PEG-5 to -20 Lanolate, PEG-5 through -100 Lanolin, PEG-75 Lanolin Oil and Wax, PEG-2 Milk Solids, PEG-6, -8, -20 Sorbitan Beeswax, PEG-40, -75, or -80 Sorbitan Lanolate, PEG-3, -10, or -15 Tallow Aminopropylamine, PEG-15 Tallow Polyamine, PEG-20 Tallowate
Where it comes from: Certain PEGS contain animal-derived ingredients ranging from tallow, fish fat, lanolin, milk ingredients, and beeswax.
Their Purpose: they’re used as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers. When animal-derived, there are chemically modified forms of that substance.
Toxicity: This group of ingredients is among the most potentially hazardous ingredients in cosmetics. They are synthetically produced using Ethylene Oxide, which is a known carcinogen. They also have a high potential of being contaminated with 1,4, Dioxane, another documented carcinogen. Read our blog for the other top toxins to avoid in your brow products.
What We Use Instead for Softening: Rhus Verniciflua Peel Cera - a sap obtained from the Verniciflua Rhus tree, used to give a soft consistency.
What We Use Instead as a Solvent: Isoamyl Cocoate - naturally obtained from esterification of lauric acid (from vegetable oils) and isoamyl alcohol (from fermentation).
6. STEARIC ACID
Also known as + derivatives: Isostearyl Neopentanoate, Stearamide, Stearamine, Stearates, Stearic Hydrazide, Stearone, Stearoxytrimethylsilane, Stearoyl Lactylic Acid, Stearyl Betaine, Stearyl Imidazoline, Trihydroxystearin
Where it comes from: If derived from animals, Stearic Acid is fat from cows, pigs, sheep, and even dogs + cats. Stearic acid can also come from plant sources, so if the source isn't specified, send the company a message to clarify.
Its purpose: It's used as a surfactant and/or emulsifier.
Our surfactant: Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate - derived from coconut oil and fermented sugar.
Our emulsifier: Cetearyl Olivate - derived from olive oil.
Also known as + derivatives: Animal keratin, hydrolyzed keratin, cysteine
What it is + where it comes from: Protein from the ground-up hooves, horns, feathers, and hair of animals.
Its Purpose: Containing amino acids that are found naturally in hair, keratin is thought to strengthen hair and make it healthier.
What we use instead: Our 100% plant-derived formula is specifically designed to encourage thicker, fuller, bolder brows and we do not need ANY animal-products to make it happen:
- Castor oil: full of omega fatty acids & proteins that are crucial for lash and brow enhancement. Used on its own, a user could see noticeable improvements. When combined with other synergistic botanicals, the effects are multiplied.
- Coleus Forskohlii Root Oil: the exotic Coleus Forskohlii works with Castor Oil to transform your brows. Together they work to: extend the growth phase and shorten the falling out phase of brow hairs. This means new hairs grow faster. Coleus also slightly darkens hair over time.
- Gooseberry Extract: A major cause of hair breakage is Vitamin C deficiency - Gooseberry Extract helps replenish this essential vitamin directly to the follicle. This ingredient is also high in antioxidants which helps keep the hair and follicles healthy.
- Cystine - A plant-derived amino acid that helps maintain the healthy life cycle of the hair.
- Lauryl Arginine - This plant-derived amino acid has been shown to help promote hair growth by improving the circulation to the roots.
Also known as: Panthenyl, Dexpanthenol. Vitamin B-Complex Factor. Provitamin B-5, Dexpanthenol, Pantothenic Acid.
What it is & where it comes from: An alcohol-form of vitamin B, this ingredient can be sourced from plants, animals, or created synthetically. If a product doesn’t specify plant-derived, contact the brand for clarification.
Its Purpose: Used in many beauty and hair care products for its moisturizing qualities and ability to bind to hairs.
What we use: See above for our many moisturizing ingredients. For the hair-binding factor, we use Castor Oil and Coleus Forskohlii Root Oil. The castor oil surrounds the coleus to deliver the growth properties direct to the hair follicle
Also known as: Cera Alba
What it is & where it comes from: The purified wax from the honeycombs of bees. It is formed by boiling a honeycomb, and then straining and cooling it.
Its Purpose: Beeswax helps keep emulsions from separating into their oil and liquid components, especially in cream-consistency products. It also helps give structure to the product and allow for smooth application.
What we use Euphorbia (Candelilla) Wax – derived from the Euphorbia Cerifera plant and Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax – derived from the Brazilian tropical palm tree. These ingredients create a creamy consistency and create a smooth application.
Also known as: Retinol acetate, retinyl palmitate, vitamin A.
What it is & where it comes from: Retinol is a naturally-occurring form of vitamin A. It can be derived from plants, animals, or created synthetically.
Its Purpose: In brow products, retinol is used to enhance the look, feel, and health of hair.
What we use: Our formula is created specifically to enhance the health, fullness, and volume of your hair. Every ingredient is chosen to achieve these goals + create a gorgeous, long-lasting brow filler. See ‘Lanolin’ above for our moisturizers and ‘Keratin’ for our hair-enhancing ingredients.
DOES CLEAN = VEGAN? AND DOES CRUELTY-FREE = VEGAN?
A common misconception is that all natural products are vegan. The truth: when an ingredient says ‘naturally-derived’ it could be sourced from a plant, animal, mineral, or other living/naturally-occurring substance. Animal fat, secretions, hormones, tissue, and more are all considered ‘natural’ as they weren’t created synthetically.
Also, keep in mind that the word ‘natural’ is not regulated and brands can give it any meaning they like.
Likewise, a brand can be cruelty-free (not test their products on animals), yet still use animal-derived ingredients.
If vegan formulations are important to you, look for a certified vegan logo or contact the company directly to get clarity on any questionable ingredients.
VEGETARIAN VS VEGAN COSMETICS
You may see ‘suitable for vegetarians’ or ‘100% vegetarian ingredients’ on some ingredient labels. How is vegetarian different from vegan?
The difference between vegan and vegetarian cosmetics is the same as with diets. Vegan don’t eat animals and also avoid anything derived from an animal. A vegan cosmetic is the same – it doesn’t contain any animal ingredients period, including animal parts like fats, tissue, or gelatin but also animal-derived ingredients like bee products, lanolin, milk ingredient, secretions, etc.
Vegetarians, on the other hand, don’t eat animals but do eat ingredients made by animals. Likewise, vegetarian cosmetics don’t contain any animal parts but can contain animal bi-products.
PLUME BROW PRODUCTS
Our Nourish & Define Brow Pomade is Certified Vegan, cruelty-free, and always made with 100% natural, non-toxic ingredients. The growth-activated formula is highly pigmented, long-lasting, and promotes thicker, fuller brows over time.
Also, we're so excited for you all try our Nourish & Define Brow Pencil that's launching in November! Everything you love about our pomade in a pencil form! Stay tuned for more on our exciting new launch <3
Thanks for stopping by our blog Pluminati! We hope this was helpful in your quest to choose compassionate beauty <3
-The Plume Team