When it is explained that ALL TIGERS is a vegan lipstick, it is not uncommon for a polite smile to welcome the news... And right after, almost without fail the question arises "by the way, what animal origin ingredients can there be in a lipstick...?".
Good question! Because, even without being particularly sensitive to vegan beliefs, you have the right to demand a little transparency on the subject.
These ingredients of animal origin that hide in your cosmetics
The list of ingredients found on the back of the packaging, under some unsuspected (or incomprehensible) names, can hide animal substances... Without you being clearly warned.
The names in INCI format, a mixture of Latin, English and acronyms, imposed by international standards to detail the ingredients, are indeed rarely explicit (and it is intended!). Here are some examples, with their name in INCI format, so you can easily spot them.
Carmine red pigment [INCI: Carmine or CI75470] is obtained by grinding up cochineal in specialized farms. Yummy? As you know, ALL TIGERS refuses to use it, for obvious ethical reasons: how to justify this practice in a "cruelty-free" era? And yet it is used as a makeup pigment, including by natural brands. And because organic labels do not allow any other red pigment to be used: we will not be labelled as organic ☹
Glycerin [INCI: Glycerin] = It could be of plant origin, but beware, most often it is animal fats, of bovine or porcine origin, cheaper than plants.
Collagen and Elastin [INCI: Collagen, elastin and other variants] = naturally, there is plant collagen derived from yeast proteins. But most often, these proteins are extracted from carcasses of animal slaughterhouses (often swine origin) or more rarely from fish.
Chitosan [INCI: Chitosan] = This thickening agent is extracted from the shell of crustaceans, waste from the food industry.
Lanolin [INCI: Lanolin and other variants] = this natural "wax" is a form of sebum that protects sheep's wool.
Allantoin [INCI: Allantoin] is an extract of snail's slime, its plant equivalent is less common.
Squalane or squalene [INCI: Squalene] is a moisturizing agent derived from shark liver, its use thus contributes to over-fishing. Fortunately there is a plant equivalent that is more and more present in cosmetic formulas.
Keratin [INCI: Keratin] is commonly derived from poultry feathers or scrap of sheep wool, unless clearly mentioned as plant base keratin.
Lactic Acid [INCI: Lactic acid] is most often derived from animal milks.
Pork and Beef Fats [INCI: ADEPs bovis, ADEPs Suillis, or variants with the terms-tallow, or-lard], waste from slaughterhouses. They are no longer used for the manufacturing of soaps, but they are still found in cosmetics in the form of processed derivatives. Other animal fats [struthio for ostriches, Dromiceus for emus or Marmota for groundhogs] are also not very common... At least in European brands.
Fish Oils [INCI: Fish, piscum lecur, Morrhuate, Brevoortia, Hoplosthetus, Thunnus, Pisces Extract, piscum] are exploited as a source of unsaturated fatty acids.
The products of the hive such as honey or beeswax [INCI: Mel, Cera Alba, Propolis, Royal jelly, beeswax] are also part of extracts of animal origin but not compatible with the values of vegan cosmetics.
The animal components of fragrances are generally not even listed on the INCI lists in the name of the confidentiality of fragrance formulas. People thing they are often forbidden, but it is not that simple... Animal Musk, civet, castoreum, grey Amber: These often controversial fragrances of animal origin are emblematic of the perfumery of the twentieth century are now used very little... But it's mostly for cost reasons!
On the other hand, hyaluronic acid, urea, lecithin, caprylic acid, formerly of animal origin, are now derived from plants in cosmetics.
Are organic cosmetics still vegan? Not at all!
A common confusion is to believe that ecological cosmetics have banned ingredients of animal origin. False! An ingredient of animal origin is generally considered as a natural ingredient, and may be okay-ed for an organic product, as seen with cochineal Carmine.
So make sure that your products are natural and vegan, if that is something that is important to you.
What about Castor Oil?
"Castor oil" is actually castor oil, a shrub of tropical regions. The term remains a reference to the ingredients of animal origin: it has replaced castoreum, secreted by the beaver glands -and we specify: recovering castoreum was not at all a nice moment for the animal.
With this overview, you now have a clearer idea of what your cosmetics can contain. What ingredients surprised or shocked you?