When going vegan we are often surprised by the number of ingredients in our food that contain animal products. From gelatin to white sugar and carmine, if you want to follow a plant-based diet, you’re now used to checking every label when buying food at your local store.
But what about other products such as clothes and make up? Although the main focus is usually placed on food, there are many items that we use every day that contain ingredients derived from animals.
That’s why today we’re going to check if your make-up routine is completely vegan by exploring glycerin, a common ingredient used in cosmetics and hair products. But what is glycerin? and, most importantly, Glycerin is vegan? Let’s find out together!
What is glycerin?
Glycerin is a thick gelatinous liquid often used in the cosmetics and beauty industry. This product is, in fact, the third most-repeated ingredient in makeup! Also known by this name glycol Or glycerol, glycerin is widely used for its amazing properties.
Is Glycerin Vegetarian?
Often in the vegan world, the answer, unfortunately, is not so simple. Glycerin, in fact, can be extracted from both animal and vegetarian sources. In the former case, this ingredient is made from animal fat and is clearly not vegetarian. In the past, this was the main way to extract glycerin, but luckily Most companies these days are opting for vegan options. This ingredient can also be obtained from various plant sources viz Corn, canola, palm oil, soybeans, coconutand more
Vegan Glycerin or Non-Vegan Glycerin, How to Tell
But how can you tell if the glycerin in your makeup is derived from vegan sources? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. But you can try a few tricks.
Manufacturers sometimes label their glycerin as ‘vegetable glycerin’. If this is the case for you, you can relax. This means that this ingredient was extracted from plants and is therefore a hundred vegetarian.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell when the label simply mentions ‘glycerin’. Food manufacturers often source their ingredients from different companies which means it can be a challenge to find out if the glycerin used in these products is vegan. You can contact the manufacturer and ask for more information but there is no way to tell without it and even then, the operator answering the phone may not be able to give you a real answer.
Whether you decide to continue using this product is up to you and your level of hardness.
Not just in your makeup
Although glycerin is widely used in the beauty industry, It can be found Many other products. This substance is actually present in several foods ranging from From ice cream to cake icing, baklava, pre-cooked pasta, energy bars, beverages, chewing gum, dried fruits and vegetables, seasonings and spices, and spices to name just a few. In other words, if you check a few products in your cupboard, you’ll probably find glycerin on at least one label.
Glycerin is also used in medicines, electronic cigarette liquids, botanical tinctures, and other products. Many people do not know that this is the liquid used to make actors cry in Hollywood!
Why is glycerin everywhere?
Glycerin is present in various industries due to its excellent properties. For example, this substance is a natural solvent as well as a humectant, meaning it helps maintain moisture levels in a given product.
This is why it is so popular in the food industry, as it helps keep food fresh and prevents it from drying out too quickly. This is also true for non-food items such as cosmetics and toothpaste.
On top of this, Unlike regular sugar, glycerin does not feed the microorganisms that live in our mouths And hence, it is a great ally for companies looking to add sweetness to their food while preventing tooth decay.
Last but not least, glycerin can also be used to make nitroglycerin, an essential ingredient for every explosive.
Glycerin, glycerin and glycerol. Is it all the same?
You may have looked through some ingredient lists in your cupboard and found glycerine or glycerol instead of glycerine. But are they the same? Although the terms glycerine and glycerine are often used by manufacturers in their products, Glycerol is the scientific name used to indicate the chemical. Glycerin and glycerine are the same exact thing. The former is widely used in America, while the latter is the common British spelling.
You may also encounter the word glyceride. It’s the same substance as glycerin, but it’s often made using animal fat instead of plant-based, so pay extra attention to this ingredient.
Pay attention to other make-up ingredients
Now that you know about glycerin, you may be wondering if you should include any other animal products in your makeup routine. So here’s a quick list of five common ingredients to look out for!
- Lanolin: Found in most cosmetics and hair products, lanolin is often derived from wool.
- Squalene: Used in the lip balm, deodorant and moisturizer industries, squalene is derived from shark liver oil. Some vegan options are now available on the market, but it’s always good to double check your labels!
- Animal hair: Yes, unfortunately, animal hair is still used today, especially to make fake eyelashes.
- Shellac: Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of bugs are killed every day to produce the small amount of this material used in nail products as well as hair lacquers.
- Carmine: This colorant is used in all kinds of industries to produce a vibrant red color. Its production process involves killing thousands of cochineals.
Summary: Is Glycerin Vegan?
Glycerin can be both vegan and not. In your product list field ‘vegetable glycerin’ Among its ingredients, then you can use it without worry because this glycerin must have been obtained from plants eg Palm corn, coconut, canola, And many more. When this is not specified, however, your product is likely not completely vegan.
Frequently Asked Questions
Glycerin can be extracted from animal fat. So even if it does not contain pork, it may be derived from animals.