What is Vegan Beauty?


Being vegan is a way of living that seeks to exclude all forms of exploitation and cruelty to animals for food, clothing, skincare, or any other purpose.

Marian Hardiman, Silvan Skincare founder, "I enjoy creating and making products from plants, it was natural to me to want my products to be vegan as that fits within my values. It was also interesting to note that when I started out doing lots of markets the most common question that I was asked was ‘are these products vegan?’. There is such momentum for vegan products from people either buying for themselves or for gifts for vegan family and friends”.

We avoid all animal products
Creating vegan beauty products relates directly to the selection of ingredients - specifically ingredients that are not tested on animals and products that do not contain animal ingredients or animal derived ingredients, for example:

  • Honey or beeswax from bees, used for texture, antibacterial and emollient properties
  • Lanolin from sheep’s wool, used as an emollient and a common ingredient in lip balms, glosses and hair products
  • Collagen from cows, pigs or fish
  • Albumen is derived from egg white
  • Glycerine maybe derived from animal fats used in soaps, haircare, makeup and moisturisers. It can also be derived from soya, coconut oil or palm oil
  • Oleic acid also maybe derived from animal fats, but could also be plant derived from coconut, olives and nuts. Generally manufacturers using the vegan options will label them as such.
  • Carmine red pigment is made from cochineal from insects.
  • Caprylic acid from milk
  • In the processing of citrus fruits some producers will coat the fruit in a wax to help preserve the life of the fruit, it could be beeswax or shellac for example), also what was the extraction method.
Our Vegan certification

Vegan choices often overlap with others for example: ethical, cruelty-free, vegetarian, plant-based. There are some similarities and some differences. For example for a product to be truly vegan, it should not have been tested on animals, so it would also be cruelty-free. A vegan product is not necessarily plant-based, or ethical (depending on your definition of ethical). Ethical may relate to sustainably sourced ingredients, plastic-free packaging, or fair wages for the producers.

There are several organisations that offer a vegan certification for beauty products. The most widely used is the Vegan Society trademark which is the one we are proud to use for our range of balms, lip balms, and creams.

You have to apply, provide information on every single raw ingredient that you use in your products. You need to have full traceability and declare information that you need to obtain from your suppliers, supply the data sheet for each ingredient, information about manufacturing processes, whether it is GM free, whether it has been tested on animals.

There are controls as to how you can use the trademark and all mention needs to be clear and consistent across brands to avoid confusion.

These certifications can give confidence to the consumer that the ingredients have been well checked.

Vegan lifestyle and benefits

When making a change towards vegan beauty products, there is so much advice and information out there.

Marian, "I always think that when you are making a change in life, it is more useful to move towards something than away from something. So embrace that plant-based healthy lifestyle so that it feels like a choice with lots of positivity rather than a focus on all the things that you can’t have any more!"

Vegan products, especially plant-based ones such as ours, can be much better for your skin, especially if you have sensitive or reactive skin. They are rich in vitamins, antioxidants and omega fatty acids that offer true nourishment for the skin. They are well tolerated and processed by the skin as they are ingredients that we also eat and ingest for their nutritional value in their natural state.

Find out more about veganism

You can find out more information from The Vegan Society which is connected to the magazine Vegan Living, which we occasionally advertise in - this is a really good place to start. Although the focus is mostly on food it does have features on health and beauty.

Marian, "On Instagram I like veganbabelife, lots of recipes, skincare reviews and pictures of cats! And a website that I particularly like is beauty-not-cruelty who have a great directory and lots of articles and is ideal for the new vegan to find ideas.

Our hero vegan skincare products

Marian, "The balms are great sellers at the moment. I think that people appreciate the plastic-free packaging, the 100% plant-based ingredients, registered with the Vegan Society - and with the Leaping Bunny programme. They are multipurpose products too!" 

Radiance Balm is a gorgeous blend of wax, butters, infused oils and rosehip and camelia. It can be used as a cleanser, a mask or in the same way as a face oil. It smells divine.

Vegan radiance beauty balm uk

We have a Muscle Balm with arnica and comfrey which is great for post work-out aches and pains.

Vegan Balm Silvan Skincare Muscle

Breathe Balm for congestion or if you want some zing in your step.

Vegan balm Silvan Skincare Breathe

Sleep Balm to help relax in these stressful days or at night as part of your bedtime routine.

Vegan beauty Silvan Skincare Sleep Balm