Category Archives: Beauty Without Cruelty

Vegan Cosmetic Formulations – Cruelty-Free

Vegan Cosmetic Formulations – Cruelty-Free 

The demand for vegan body, hair and skin care products continues to grow as consumers are becoming more aware and care about the environment and the welfare of animals. In a previous post on beauty trends we covered that Google searches for Vegan Skin Care are growing over 83% each year.

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vegan skin care

Vegan | Plant-Based | Cruelty-Free Hair & Skin Care Products

vegan skin careVegan | Plant-Based | Cruelty-Free Hair & Skin Care Products

Google Beauty Trends reports that Vegan Skin Care is an important trend to watch with searches for Vegan Skin Care growing over 83% each year. What does it mean for a skin care product to be vegan? In this post we explore the term vegan, vegetarian and cruelty-free for hair and skin care products.


Vegan, also known as plant-based, products contain no ingredient from any animal or processed with animal products. This includes honey, beeswax and white sugar produced through animal bone char. Many ingredients from animal flesh are contained in products labeled as vegan because of lack of education.


Vegetarian products may include milk, whey, casein, eggs, honey, beeswax, secretions from the civet cat, lanolin from sheep wool and musk oil from musk deer. Many animal by-product ingredients from the slaughter of animals are contained in products labeled as vegetarian because of lack of education.


Animal-based products are from animals that are killed in order to use the ingredient or used as a by-product. These include tallow (oil from the fat of the cow and pig), emu oil, gelatin, stearic acid (animal derived) and fish scales. Many cosmetics contain animal products especially pig oil and it is not disclosed on the ingredient list. Other ingredients are colorants in make-up from crushed female beetles, gelatin from cow’s skin, tendons, ligaments and bones, keratin and collagen from animals’ horns, hooves, feathers and hair and animal derived hyaluronic acid from the rooster’s comb.


A product may be made of only vegan/plant-based ingredients, however it may still test on animals. Many cosmetics are still tested on animals and these tests can be very painful, cause suffering and even death. Rabbits, mice, rats, and guinea pigs are often used to test cosmetics on to see if they have an allergic reaction. After the external testing, the animal is killed and dissected to examine the effects to their internal organs. A product that is labeled cruelty-free means that no animals were harmed or killed in the making of the product including testing. Animal-testing is out-dated and there is much better technology available that causes no harm to animals.

Vegan Cosmetics also known as Plant-Based Cosmetics

Consumers should know what is in their cosmetics. Many cosmetics contain pig oil, cow skin, hoofs, etc. For a list of common animal-based products read this post. The consumer should know if an ingredient is made from the by product of the slaughter of an animal and if that product contains ingredients from an animal. The cosmetic industry is starting to take note of this and many brands are including a vegan label on their product. However, there is still no regulations or requirements regarding the labeling animal-based ingredients or animal testing in cosmetics. We encourage everyone to know what is in their skin, hair care, and makeup products. If it is not directly labeled as vegan or the ingredient list is not on the product, look up the company online and contact them directly if you cannot find out or are unsure.

What are your thoughts? Is it important to you for cosmetic products to be labeled vegan, vegetarian or animal-based? Do you make natural hair and skin care products? If so, are these products vegan and cruelty-free? We’d love to hear from you in our comments.

At Joan Morais Naturals we are committed in only using vegan/plant-based ingredients that are cruelty-free. All of our formulations are vegan/plant-based and cruelty-free.  


List of companies that DO test on animals. 

List of companies that DO NOT test on animals.

Read about ways you can make a difference as a consumer.

Beauty Without Cruelty Part 3

Beauty Without Cruelty Part 3

You may be surprised to find out that most of your cosmetics and body care products contain animal ingredients such as tissue and fat. Cosmetic companies use animal ingredients because they’re cheap, not because they’re better than plant-based or synthetic ingredients. Slaughterhouses kill billions of animals every year, easily selling the “byproducts” to cosmetics manufacturers. There are thousands of technical and patented names for ingredient variations, making it very difficult for us to know what is in a product. Another reason to make your own skin, body and hair care products or support small businesses who do! Many ingredients known by one name can be of animal, vegetable or synthetic origin. An easy way to guarantee the product does not contain any animal byproducts is by supporting Vegan companies. You can find the list with Vegan companies at Beauty Without Cruelty Part 1.

Below are some of the most used animal byproducts in the cosmetic industry from Choose Cruelty Free.

Carmine/cochineal/carminic acid

Red pigment from the crushed female cochineal insect. Reportedly 70,000 beetles must be killed to produce one pound of this red dye. Used in cosmetics, shampoos and many foods (including food coloring). May cause allergic reaction. Alternatives: beet juice, alkanet root

cochineal beetle


Unctuous secretion painfully scraped from a gland very near the genital organs of civet cats. Used as a fixative in perfumes. Alternatives: labdanum oil and other plants with a musky scent


Fish scales

Used in shimmery makeups, mascara and nail polish. Alternatives: mica, rayon, synthetic pearl

fish scales


Protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones with water. From horses, cows and pigs. Used in shampoos, face masks, and other cosmetics. Used as a thickener for fruit gelatins and puddings. In candies, marshmallows, cakes, ice cream, yogurts. On photographic film and in vitamins as a coating and as capsules.  Alternatives: carrageen, seaweeds, pectin from fruits, dextrins, locust bean gum, cotton gum, silica gel. Vegetarian capsules are now available from several companies.



Protein from the ground-up horns, hooves, feathers, quills, and hair of various animals. In hair rinses, shampoos, permanent wave solutions. Alternatives: almond oil, soy protein, amla oil, rosemary and nettle give body and strand strength to hair.



Lanolin Acids. Wool Fat. Wool Wax. A product of the oil glands of sheep, extracted from their wool. Used as an emollient in many skin care products and cosmetics and in medicines. Derivatives: Aliphatic Alcohols, Cholesterin, Isopropyl Lanolate, Laneth, Lanogene, Lanolin Alcohols, Lanosterols, Sterols, Triterpene Alcohols. Alternatives: plant and vegetable oils


Musk oil

Dried secretion painfully obtained from musk deer, beaver, muskrat, civet cat, and otter genitals. Wild cats are kept captive in cages in horrible conditions and are whipped around the genitals to produce the scent; beavers are trapped; deer are shot. In perfumes and in food flavorings. Alternatives: labdanum oil and other plants with a musky scent

musk deer


Obtained from the liver oil of sharks and from whale ambergris. Used as a lubricant and anti-corrosive agent. In cosmetics. Alternatives: plant oils, synthetics

Squalene oil

From shark livers. In cosmetics, moisturizers, lip balm, sunscreen and hair dyes. Alternatives: vegetable emollients such as olive oil, wheat germ oil, rice bran oil
*Squalane oil not Squalene oil is derived from plants, usually olive oil.

shark liver2

Stearic acid

Most often refers to a fatty substance taken from the stomachs of pigs. Can be harsh, irritating. Used in cosmetics, soaps, lubricants, candles, hairspray, conditioners, deodorants, creams, chewing gum, food flavoring. Derivatives: Stearamide, Stearamine, Stearates, Stearic Hydrazide, Stearone, Stearoxytrimethylsilane, Stearoyl Lactylic Acid, Stearyl Betaine, Stearyl Imidazoline. Alternatives: Stearic acid can be found in many vegetable fats like coconut.


Is a common ingredient in many products, including most soaps, eye makeup, lipsticks, makeup bases and foundations, shampoos, shaving soaps, moisturizers and skin care products. Tallow is made by rendering animal fat, which means boiling the carcasses to create fatty byproducts. The dead animals used to make tallow come from many different sources, including labs, slaughterhouses, zoos, shelters, and roadkill.


Read Beauty Without Cruelty Part 1 HERE

Read Beauty Without Cruelty Part 2 HERE

Beauty Without Cruelty Part 1

Beauty Without Cruelty Part 1

This is part 1 of our 3 part series on Beauty Without Cruelty.

Hundreds of thousands of dogs, cats, rabbits, primates, mice and other animals are poisoned, blinded and killed every year for product tests for cosmetics, personal-care products, household cleaning products, etc. These product tests are not required by law, often produce inaccurate results and even if a product has blinded an animal it can still be marketed to us. Join us in not supporting companies that test on animals.

To give you an idea of how main-stream animal testing is, check out the major brands below that still test on animals.

Below is a small portion of the list of popular companies that DO test on animals

  • Acuvue
  • Almay
  • Arm & Hammer
  • Aveeno
  • Avon Products, Inc.
  • Bobbi Brown
  • Bumble and Bumble
  • Calgon
  • Christina Aguilera Perfumes
  • Clairol
  • Clean & Clear
  • Clearasil
  • Clinique
  • Clorox
  • Coach
  • Crest
  • Dial Corporation
  • Donna Karan
  • Downy
  • Elizabeth Arden
  • Estee Lauder
  • Febreze
  • Garnier
  • Gillette Co.
  • Glade
  • Green Works (Clorox)
  • Gucci Fragrances
  • Head & Shoulders
  • Herbal Essences
  • Ivory
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Jurlique Pure Skin Care
  • K.Y.
  • Kiehl’s
  • L’Occitane
  • La Mer
  • Lancome
  • Listerine
  • Lubriderm
  • M.A.C. Cosmetics
  • Mary Kay
  • Max Factor
  • Maybelline
  • Michael Kors
  • Missoni
  • Nair
  • Natural Instincts
  • Neutrogena
  • Olay
  • Old Spice
  • Pampers
  • Pantene
  • Pledge
  • Ponds
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Rembrandt
  • Revlon
  • Rogaine
  • Scope
  • Scrubbing Bubbles
  • Secret
  • Shout
  • Suave
  • Swiffer
  • Tide
  • Tom Ford
  • Tommy Hilfiger
  • Vaseline
  • Walgreens
  • Windex

Yes, this is just a small portion, there are many more, click here to view list.

Below is a portion of the list of companies that DON’T test on animals

  • 100% Pure
  • Abercrombie & Fitch
  • Alba Botanica
  • Andalou Naturals
  • Antho
  • Aveda
  • Ayana Organics
  • Bare Escentuals
  • Blue Moon Candles
  • Bob’s Red Mill
  • Burt’s Bees
  • Carol’s Daughter
  • Crystal Body Deodorant
  • Dermalogica
  • Dr. Hauschka Skin Care
  • E.L.F. Cosmetics
  • Ecco Bella Botanicals
  • Henna Color Lab
  • Hugo Natural Products
  • jane iredale
  • Jason Natural Cosmetics
  • John Masters Organics
  • Kiss My Face
  • Kora Organics
  • Lime Crime Cosmetics
  • LUSH Cosmetics
  • Mixed Chicks
  • Murad, Inc.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Inc.
  • Physicians Formula
  • Sean John
  • Seventh Generation
  • Smashbox Cosmetics
  • Tarte Cosmetics
  • The Body Shop
  • Trader Joe’s Company
  • Urban Decay
  • Whole Foods Market, 365
  • Zuzu Cosmetics

Click here to view the full list of the companies that do not support testing on animals. Even better- the companies on the list with a V next to the company name indicates they do not use any animal by-products in their products. Just because the company does not test on animals does not mean they do not contain parts of animals in their products.

To learn the 101 on animal testing click here.

Continue Reading Series

Read Beauty Without Cruelty Part 2 – How You Can Make a Difference as a Consumer or Business HERE

Read Beauty Without Cruelty Part 3 – Hidden Animal Ingredients to Look Out For HERE