I’ve had people say to me, “I get why you eat a vegan diet and I am against animal testing. However, I don’t understand why you won’t buy shampoos and lip balms, etc. that contain animal ingredients.”
Simple answer: Do you know exactly what those animal ingredients are? If you did, you just might not want to put them on your body, either (especially lipsticks and lip balms since so much of them can be swallowed!). Here is a more simple list of common animal ingredients in cosmetics.
Next time you are in your shower, read the ingredients in your shampoo. It’s a lot like reading the nutritional information on food. If you don’t know what something is, it’s probably not good for you. Look up the mysterious ingredients on labels before you buy the product. [I’ve found that an easily portable digital camera can help with documenting what ingredients are in a product.]
Makeup, lotions, and body cleansing products often have a variety of animal derived products in them. Why should this concern you? Did you know that, similar to food, what you put ON your body is absorbed INTO your body? (That is sort of the point regarding lotions.) Do you want strange chemicals and animal parts to become part of who you are? Want to know if your products are deemed safe (even if they aren’t vegan)? Look them up on Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Database.
I like a good bath. I’m just careful to note what the ingredients are first! As I’ve mentioned before, Lush vegan bathbombs are my favorite. Vegan Freak has a nice list of companies listed here; check out their whole site, too!
And, of course, there is the issue of testing products ON animals as well. All vegan products do not use animals in any way, not for the product itself nor the testing. Here is an interesting list of Cruelty Free Companies, and here is a great new way to be certified as a vegan product.
When it comes to buying products that go in or on my body, my basic motto is “When in doubt, throw it out.” As with food, unused products can be donated to people that will use them.