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Photo by Ivan Samkov

January has long since been a time for new beginnings and setting intentions – the very first New Year’s resolutions were thought to have been made some four thousand years ago, by the ancient Babylonians! Since 2014, however, many people have been adopting “veganuary” as their new start, whereby they try to eat a vegan, plant-based diet for the whole of January. 

In fact, last year, over 600,000 people around the world signed up for Veganuary, and many more took part without doing the official sign up. For some, it’s just about diet, but becoming vegan usually means eradicating animal products from all areas of your life, including clothing and even skincare. With this in mind, we’ve put together a handy list of simple skincare swaps that you can make to ensure your skincare is vegan and cruelty free, for January and beyond:


There are a number of different animal-derived ingredients which can be found in cleansers, but with Evolve Organic Beauty you can be safe in the knowledge that ALL of their products are vegan and cruelty free. Evolve Organic Beauty Daily Detox Facial Wash contains natural sugars which cleanse away impurities, while organic aloe vera softens, leaving skin clean, smooth and supple. Natural goji berry extract and moringa peptides defend against pollution and help to rebalance the skin’s natural oil production. 


Many toners contain glycerin, and while glycerin can be vegan, it’s also often derived from animal fat extracts, which is cheaper. Elemis Balancing Lavender Toner contains only vegan ingredients, including extracts of lavender, sweet betty flower and saponins from quillaja wood to help to balance and soften the skin. It’s also a non-drying formula, unlike many toners, as it contains no harsh alcohols or detergents. 


While there are MANY plant-based ingredients which are amazingly nourishing for the skin, some companies still rely on animal products like beeswax and lanolin. REN Clean Skincare Ultra Moisture Day Cream contains a natural blend of beech tree buds extract, which hydrates and improves skin texture, shea butter which softens and smooths skin and cranberry seed oil which replenishes with lipids and reinforces skin barrier, all of which are vegan and cruelty free. 


Another non-vegan ingredient which is commonly found in serums and other hydrating products is urea, which literally comes from animal urine – pretty nasty even if you’re NOT a vegan! Dermalogica Biolumin-C Serum contains ingredients which hydrate, brighten and firm the skin, all of which are vegan in origin. In fact, this powerhouse serum combines ultra stable Vitamin C complex with a bio-technology to deliver the natural power of Vitamin C where it’s needed most. 


Sun protection often contains a number of different ingredients, such as elastin, lanolin and stearic acid, all of which are animal byproducts. However, Medik8 Advanced Day Total Protect SPF30 is a completely vegan formula and offers Pollution Shield, anti-infrared, anti-blue light and anti-A.G.E technology alongside SPF 30 and 5* UVA protection all in a lightweight moisturiser. This nourishing day cream boasts a range of protective technologies and replenishes skin’s hydration levels to keep it looking healthy and young.