Veganuary: How to tell if your nail & beauty products are vegan
By Callie Iley | 25 January 2024 | Feature, Products & Treatments, Sustainability & the environment
Are your clients calling for vegan and cruelty-free products? Scratch explores how to tell if your nail and beauty products fit the bill…
The global vegan cosmetics market is anticipated to reach $24.79 billion in 2028, according to research by Fortune Business Insights. It’s a big focal point for clients and pros alike – but what does it mean for a product to be vegan?
A vegan product will not contain any animal-derived ingredients, such as colourants or animal by-products, and won’t have been tested on animals.
Common animal-derived ingredients in nail and handcare products include:
- Animal hair – used in some nail brushes.
- Beeswax – often found in moisturising products.
- Carmine dye – used in some red nail polishes.
- Tallow – sometimes used in nail polish.
Wolverhampton-based Yasmin Hodge of Gels By Yas uses vegan products for her nail services, explaining: “I use vegan gel products for my treatments, as I’ve previously had new clients ask if my products are cruelty-free. It increases my possible audience as I can now cater to more people.”
“Being able to provide reassurance to my clients that I provide vegan and cruelty-free nail services is really important to me, and transparency around places I’ve found challenges in doing this enables my clients to make informed decisions about their treatments,” notes vegan & cruelty-free salon owner, Abi Hassan of Hot Wheels Nails.
“Clients and pros are increasingly aware of how products are made and what goes into them,” says Julie-Anne Larivière, Salon System nail expert & owner of Sketched by J-A Nails, Kent. “For me, it’s important to use vegan, cruelty-free products in my treatments.”
How to tell if a product is vegan
“A lot of brands offering vegan and cruelty-free products and are generally quite transparent about it,” comments Abi Hassan. “However, I still like to contact the brands that I use to ensure that their ethos aligns with the ethical values of my typical clientele.”
“Through brand and staff training, all therapists in the salon are aware of which products are suitable for vegan clients, and if we are unsure, we have all the ingredient lists and Safety Data Sheets to hand in the salon – we would always rather double-check and get it right,” explains Rachel Harrison, Louella Belle educator & owner of Inspire by Rachel. “We verify products are vegan by using long-standing, professional brands that produce and manufacture consistent quality products, as well as checking all ingredient listings and ensuring they are not tested on animals.”
Logos to look for
A spokesperson from The Vegan Society notes: “Unfamiliar terminology on product packaging can mean customers are unaware that they are purchasing something with animal-derived ingredients, which is why we would suggest looking out for a certification, such as the Vegan Trademark, which gives consumers confidence that their purchase is both free from animal ingredients and has not been tested on animals.”
What is the Vegan Trademark?
Established in 1990 by The Vegan Society, the Vegan Trademark is present on over 65,000 certified vegan products, including a range of cosmetics and beauty products.
An inside look
“Obtaining the vegan certification for products is a very thorough process. The Vegan Society checks every single ingredient in each product,” reveals Laura Rudoe, founder of vegan and cruelty-free brand, Evolve Organic Beauty. “Some active ingredients can contain a list of up to five or six sub-ingredients, so it’s a pretty lengthy process, as not only the sub-ingredients are checked, but the solvent and extraction process.
“Sometimes, ingredients that have been approved in the past will get re-checked, so the evidence must be provided for this again, making the process even longer. Not many ingredient suppliers get their ingredients approved by The Vegan Society, so the leg work has to be done by us.”