It wasn’t that long ago that trying to find vegan and cruelty-free beauty was, to be honest, a bit of a challenge. You had to spend hours looking through the ingredients listed on the packaging of your favourite products to try and see if they contained anything that you wished to avoid. Not only that, trying to figure out just what some of the ingredients were was a total minefield. However, now we have seen a shift. Most of us are now more aware of the things that we put into our bodies and onto our skin. Many want to avoid the harsh or synthetic chemicals which can be used to formulate cosmetics and instead wish to find more ethical and natural alternatives with plant-based ingredients. Over the last seven years, vegan skincare ranges have almost tripled and sales of vegan beauty products have seen a huge increase of over 175%. In 2020 Vegan Beauty was the biggest growing vegan sector with a huge 82% of all new vegan products released in the UK being some form of beauty products. 

For us, this is fantastic. It is the reason why Be Kind Beauty was born, to help showcase the amazing range of cruelty-free and vegan beauty products that are now on offer. Unfortunately, though, these amazing new brands still struggle to showcase their products and fight through the endless marketing campaigns of huge international cult beauty products and brands. Although their clever marketing campaigns and beautiful product imagery makes these titans in the beauty world seem like the must-have products, often they are usually full of harmful chemicals and fillers. Smaller companies find it hard to break through as they simply cannot afford to keep up with the huge marketing budgets of the large beauty conglomerates. However, in many ways, their products are far more effective and better for you all-round.

So, here we have listed some of the best vegan and natural alternatives to some of the most popular and frequently bought beauty products. 

NARS Cosmetics Blusher – Instead – Bellapierre Cosmetics Compact Blusher

NARS Blusher is one of the best know cosmetic products in the beauty industry. They are self-proclaimed as the ultimate authority in blush, with NARS offering the industry’s best-selling, most iconic shades for cheeks. However, NARS is not cruelty-free with the company paying or allowing animal testing when required by law. NARS also sells its products to mainland China where most imported beauty products are required to be tested on animals. 

Instead, try Bellapierre’s 100% Mineral Blusher. Talc-free, paraben-free, and suitable for all skin types and conditions this blusher is the perfect dupe. Bellapierre creates all of its products through natural minerals and they have a huge range of beautiful natural shades. These award-winning, creamy, non-comedogenic (doesn’t cause blocked pores) Mineral Blushes give you a beautiful, healthy flush that looks natural.

MAC Lipsticks – Instead – Jane Iredale Triple-Luxe Long-Lasting Natural Lipstick

MAC cosmetics are one of the biggest cosmetics producers and retailers in the industry. Like NARS, however, they do allow animal testing when required by law and they also do use animal-derived ingredients in many of their products. In their lipsticks for instance they use carmine, a common colourant, produced from crushed beetles. Additionally, MAC uses a variety of synthetic chemicals in their products including parabens and silicon (renowned for blocking pores and causing irritation). 

A Vegan alternative for MAC Lipstick, is the Jane Iredale True Luxe Lipstick. Certified cruelty-free under the leaping bunny programme as well as by PETA, Jane Iredale revolutionised clean beauty. Every product produced by Jane Iredale is carefully thought out to ensure that all the ingredients used have a little impact as possible on both our bodies and on the environment. So this long-lasting luxury lipstick is a perfect dupe for any of MAC’s Lipsticks, and with 15 different shades, there is a look for anyone.

Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing balm – Instead – Evolve Gentle Cleansing Melt

Clinique, owned by Estee Lauder, like the other companies above also test their products on animals when required to by law as they also sell to mainland China. Although the Take the Day Off cleanser has a cult following and is used by millions of women worldwide, there is a much more ethical alternative. 

Evolves Gentle Cleansing Melt is a stunning organic and natural cleanser with a beautiful scent. This luxurious cleansing balm contains nourishing organic baobab oil that helps to soothe and hydrate the skin. Natural sugar extracts gently cleanse, when combined with water it turns the balm into a creamy milk that rinses away clean, leaving your skin clean, calm and hydrated. The best part is that all of Evolves products have organic certification and are carefully produced by hand in the UK with the origin of all its vegan ingredients being traceable.

L’Oreal Revitalift Hyaluronic Acid Serum – Instead – Skin & Tonic Plump Up Hydration Serum

L’Oreal has made a clever statement about its animal testing policy. Although they claim that they do not condone animal testing, nor, do they any longer test any of the ingredients used in their products or the products themselves on animals. They do still state that they allow external parties and governments, such as China, to test their products on animals. Does this, therefore, means that L’Oreal is greenwashing? They are not really sticking to their statement that they are “no longer testing its ingredients on animals and no longer tolerates any exception to this rule” as they are not willing to try and prevent animal testing of their products. L’Oreal also claims that their products are 100% vegan, which to be fair, seems to be the case in that they don’t contain animal ingredients. However, this is not to say that there aren’t other brands out there who are truly honest and stand by their convictions of being cruelty-free and vegan. This brings us nicely onto our ethical alternative to Hyaluronic Acid, Skin & Tonic’s Plump Up Hydration Serum.

The Skin & Tonic Plump Up Hydration Serum is a silky-smooth serum that plumps, protects and firms your skin for a fresh, radiant glow. It combines the ultra-hydrating hyaluronic acid, revitalising glycogens and nourishing prebiotics all of which are natural and 93% organic. Simple and effective ingredients that are kind to your skin, cruelty-free and vegan. Perfect!

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Moisturiser – instead – Green People Nordic Roots Apple Complex Moisturiser  

Neutrogena, owned by Johnson & Johnson, like everything above, continue to allow their products to be tested on animals when required by law. Although Neutrogena state that they try to not use animal ingredients in their products, many of their product lines do still contain animal ingredients like lanolin, made from the fat in lambswool, and stearic acid, made from pork or beef tallow. Now, the Hyrdo Boost water Gel in itself does not contain any animal ingredients and is actually fairly unreactive to your body, wouldn’t be nicer to support a smaller more ethical brand than Johnson & Johnson? 

Instead, why not try Green Peoples Nordic Roots Apple Complex Moisturiser? Green People is an award-winning ethical brand that specialises in cruelty-free and organic skincare. This gentle moisturiser is concentrated with naturally nourishing plant extracts that work in harmony with the skin’s pH balance. The juicy Apple Cellular Water helps to boost skin elasticity and gives your skin a natural and authentic glow.

These are some of the Best Vegan Beauty Gifts this year!

Vegan beauty is one of the quickest growing vegan markets with a massive 82% of all vegan products released in the UK during 2020 belonging to Vegan Beauty. Couple this with vegan beauty having an estimated worth of $21.4 Billion by 2027, it is no wonder that we are seeing a huge influx of Vegan Beauty products.

However, this does not mean that all vegan products are ethical or equal! Or does it ensure that all vegan products are cruelty-free! Many beauty products classed as Vegan may have entered the category accidentally, in that they never contained animal ingredients or they are tweaked to be vegan to take advantage of the growing market but are still created by companies that are not cruelty-free. What is clear though is that there is a demand. There is a growing consciousness within society, we are becoming more aware of our impact on the environment and the world around us. This leads us to make changes within the industry as the more we choose to consciously shop vegan and cruelty-free, the more we force business to change.

Luckily, this has made room for some amazing small beauty brands to emerge. They are producing some incredible products that are more transparent in how they source ingredients, manufacture their products and bring them to market. So, seeing as it is December and we are starting to do some holiday shopping, we thought it would be nice to bring you our Top 5 Vegan Christmas Gifts.

Evolve Organic Beauty specialise in making small-batch handmade artisan skincare in their studio in Hertfordshire. Their products are made to embrace societies change to more natural, holistic, vegan skincare. They provide fresh products that harness the powerful antioxidants within the oils, butters and extracts within their products.
The Feel-Good Facial is the perfect way to try Evolve and fall in love with their range. In this beautiful gift set, you can sample their Gentle Cleansing Melt, Radiant Glow Mask, Hyaluronic Serum 200, Hyaluronic Eye Complex and Daily Renew Facial Cream. This is everything you need to perform a full spa ritual, from deep skin cleanses to a relaxing facial massage. Leaving your skin feeling healthy and serene.

Lani is a brand that stands for natural, vegan and cruelty-free skincare and haircare. Their award-winning range is packed in low waste glass bottles and jars and they are produced using the highest quality natural ingredients.
The Joy to You Collection is the perfect way to treat someone special to the Lani Range. It helps you to rejuvenate, tone, and refine your complexion. Sampling the zesty Juice Cleanse facial cleansing oil, the ultra-soft re-usable bamboo cloth, the super-charged Omega Glow Serum and the coveted Beauty stone, a facial gua sha tool made out of bian stone.

We have created a selection of gift boxes to allow you to sample and gift a variety of ethical brands and bring them together in a beautiful gift box. This ethical sleep gift set is the perfect way to help someone relax, unwind and prepare for a peaceful nights sleep. These are the ultimate sleep treats and included are the Nathalie Bond Unwind Bath Salts, NOA Nap Time Candle, Evolve’s Tranquility Essence and the award-winning Calm Balm from Skin & Tonic. I am sure that you are starting to nod off just reading about it.

Bellapierre stands for purity, variety, simplicity and quality with all their products derived from 100% minerals. They have created a huge range of exciting beauty products to help you achieve the look that you desire. Plus, they continue to make all of their products from safe, eath based natural ingredients and never use things like parabens or add any toxic ingredients.
We love the Emerald City Eyeshadow Palette! This is because there are 35 buttery-smooth coloured eyeshadows with a variety matte, satin, shimmer, and foil eyeshadows. There is a beautiful selection of silky neutrals, shimmering bronze, and rich creamy textures. You are able to create the perfect look during the day or get creative to produce a beautiful eye-catching evening look.

Be Kind Beauty – Build Your Own Self-Care Box

Create your own personalised plastic-free bath and body gift box to introduce your friends and family to the world of sustainable beauty! This is the perfect way to help show your friends and family that using natural and sustainable products doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the quality or the experience. With the delicious natural scents and nourishing ingredients, these products leave your skin looking and feeling healthy with absolutely no guilty feeling whatsoever!

Every change in season brings a different temperature, wind, humidity and UV exposure which can all affect the skin and body. Our skin has to adapt to these different weather conditions. Winter brings cold winds and freezing rain but our skin is also then inflicted with central heating when we come inside. This swing in temperatures can disrupt the skin barrier, making it more susceptible to inflammation and causing our skin to become dry and sensitive. As the season changes from summer to winter you may feel your skin has become dry and tighter and at times sore. Small changes in our skincare routine can help our skin cope with the fluctuations in temperature and environmental changes and ensure a healthy skin barrier. All you need to do is tweak your existing skincare routine depending on your skin’s needs during the new season. Here are some tips:

Switch to a milder cleanser;

If you tend to have dry skin, swap from a foaming or gel cleanser to a cream or milky cleanser that helps encourage the skin to retain moisture. If you have oily or combination skin, reduce the number of times you use a gel or foaming cleanser and instead use a cream cleanser a few times a week, this will help make sure you are not over stripping the skin of its natural oils. Double cleansing at night with a nourishing cleansing balm and then following with a cream cleanser is a great way to nourish and hydrate the skin whilst thoroughly removing any make-up, impurities and excess oil without drying out the skin.

Reduce how frequently you exfoliate;

Exfoliating our skin is an important step to remove the dead skin cells. These dead cells can site on the surface of our skin and can prevent our skincare products from penetrating deep into the skin, reducing the benefits. Dead skin cells can also leave our skin looking dull, so effective exfoliation improves how radiant your skin looks and feels. However, whether you use a chemical exfoliator or a physical exfoliator it is important to reduce their use in winter. This helps ensure a healthy skin barrier during colder months as cell renewal slows in winter reducing the number of dead cells that need exfoliating away. Over exfoliation can cause your skin to become dry and flakey whilst making your skin more sensitive, causing redness and increasing breakouts. With this in mind, your should only look to exfoliate once or maybe twice a week using a gentle and mild exfoliator to keep your skin bright, glowing and smooth.

Time for a heavier moisturiser;

Changing your usual moisturiser to a slightly thicker, more nourishing moisturiser helps to skin ensure it’s getting the hydration and moisture it needs. It’s just as important for oily and combination skin too, even applying a slightly heavier moisturiser at night will help ensure a healthy skin barrier.

Add a facial oil;

Facial oils offer an extra layer of protection for your skin to help strengthen the skin barriers and lock in hydration by preventing water loss. There are so many great facial oils out there that are derived from potent natural oils that boast anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, hydrating and soothing properties, there’s one for every skin type! Face oils can be added to your moisturiser or applied after serum or over your moisturiser to lock in all the benefits of your serums and moisturiser. Facial oils help create a protective barrier, keeping the toxins out and trapping the hydration in which helps ensure a healthy skin barrier which in turn ensures healthy skin.

Green Friday or Black Friday? When you think of Black Friday, you envision a day of frantic buying, with images of vast crowds fighting to get a discount on a product just in time for Christmas. Green Friday on the other hand is seen as the sustainable alternative to Black Friday. It is there to inspire you to shop more thoughtfully and consciously, whilst also encouraging you to get out and spend some time with loved ones.

We all like a discount though, don’t we? You get a little sense of joy when you find something you need a little cheaper than you were expecting. Even more so when you are looking for something to treat somebody else, that is a win-win all around. So, for us, it is about striking a balance. The pressure of Black Friday puts a lot of strain on small businesses like ours. It is difficult to compete in a time where so many large companies push discounts and encourage consumerism, especially when small companies are just not able to offer the same sort of sales. This is especially frustrating when companies inflate their prices beforehand to then make their discounts look even more tantalising. All so you are more likely to be pressured into buying something you might not need or want, whilst pushing out small companies that are trying to be genuine about what they can offer.

This creates a bit of a conundrum for us. Ethical and sustainable companies don’t want to encourage needless purchases or spending but we still need our amazing customers to support us and shop with us to keep our little businesses going. Without supporting ethical brands or brands trying to encourage sustainable change within the market, there is a risk that they will be unable to continue to make a positive change. This will then mean that only large and unethical corporations will be left.

We don’t want to encourage you to buy something for it to sit on a shelf, unused. We do, however, want to provide the very best quality, ethical and sustainable beauty, at a fair price all year round, for when you would like it. We want to make sure that what we sell is enjoyed, All of this, at the same time as you, knowing that you have helped to make a difference. Stopping animal testing and encouraging sustainability to help reduce the impact on our world.

You may have heard that Vitamin C is vastly becoming a must have ingredient in skincare routines. It is boasted as one of the best anti-ageing ingredients in the beauty market. A complexion must have that is vital for maintaining an even, glowing complexion. There are many reasons why Vitamin C is thought of so highly within the skincare industry. One of the reasons is it is suitable for most skin types and can be combined with other skincare products such as retinol and acids (AHA, PHA). It also hydrates the skin whilst it works to reduce the effects of ageing including pigmentation, redness and wrinkles. Vitamin C brightens the skin by helping to fade hyperpigmentation. It does this by impeding melanin production which helps to fade dark spots and evens out the skins tone.

It is also well known that Vitamin C promotes collagen production. Collagen is a naturally occurring protein within our skin which depletes as we age and is responsible for fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C can help maintain the collagen you do have whilst also encourage new collagen, helping protect your skin from premature ageing. It is also packed full of antioxidants which help shield your skin from environmental factors by neutralising free radicals. This helps aid your skin natural regeneration process and repair damaged cells.

Using topical products such as serums and oils is the most direct way for your skin to be rewarded of its benefits, these are three of my favourites;  

Slow beauty is part of the slow living movement. The aim is to reduce fast-paced consumerism and consumption and take on a more minimalist approach. This was first really brought to light when the ‘fast fashion industry came under scrutiny. Many large clothing brands produced large quantities of cheap to manufacture clothing to encourage us to continually buy new clothes and look out for the latest trend. This led to many people only wearing clothes once, or in some cases not even wearing them at all. So, it won’t come to too much of a surprise that nearly 8 million items of clothing were ending up in landfills each year.

Fast Fashion

The same could be said for beauty. With more and more beauty brands now coming to market it means that competition is high. Brands will continually look to develop and release new products in order to keep our attention and encourage us to buy and stock up on new products. Like many of us, I can imagine that we all have products tucked away in the bathroom, half-used and unfinished. We saw something when browsing online or in the shops that caught our eye and that we wanted to try before finishing what we had left. A lot of this mentality comes from thinking that the products we use are no good or ineffective if they do not work straight away. When in actual fact, it can take weeks or even months before we start seeing any results or changes to our skin.

Slow beauty, therefore, takes the essence of slow fashion to create high-end beauty products that choose quality over quantity. This means that products are often multifunctional and are usually produced in a way that has little to no impact on our environment.

The ingredients are carefully selected to be efficient and highly effective leading to a less is more approach to beauty and skincare. Formulated without fillers these organic and natural products help provide the best possible results to leave skin vibrant and blemish-free. Although these products can sometimes be more expensive than some of their mass-produced counterparts. The high quality of the ingredients and the need to use fewer products means you save money in the long run.

Out TOP 5 Slow Beauty Products.

1. Green People Wonder Balm

This multipurpose product can be used as a cleansing balm, nourishing lip balm or cuticle rub. It can also be used to soothe areas of dry skin.

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Green People Age Defy + (plus) Ultimate Wonder Balm | Vegan and Cruelty Free Age Renew and Anti-ageing moisturiser | Ethical Green Anti Ageing Cream

2. Evolve Organic Beauty Hyaluronic Serum

This amazing serum adds hydration to all skin types. The 100% natural and gentle formula can also be applied to the delicate eye area and helps to plump up fine lines and wrinkles.

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3. Dr. Hauschka Facial Toner

A balancing facial toner that can also be used as a refreshing facial spray over makeup.

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4. D’Alchemy Intensive Skin Repair Oil

The highly potent formula deeply nourishes and regenerates the skin and helps to prevent premature ageing. It can be applied directly to the skin or you can mix a couple of drops with your moisturiser.

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D'Alchemy Intensive Repair Oil | Dry, mature, combination & sensitive skin | Reduces the visibility of wrinkles & deeply hydrates | Natural Organic

5. UpCircle Face Mask

Formulated with the Finley ground powder of olive stones which are a natural by-product of the olive oil industry. The olive powder has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

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UpCircle Face Mask | Gently-detoxifying face mask which helps prevent breakouts, fight blackheads and minimise pores | 100% Natural | Cruelty Free

We could not be more disappointed that the UK could be looking to follow the EU decision to ALLOW animal testing for ingredients that are to be solely used in cosmetics and beauty products.

Last year the appeals board of the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) decided that some ingredients that are only used in cosmetic products, needed to be tested on animals to ensure that they are safe for human use. The UK was ahead of its time when it took the decision to ban the testing on animals for cosmetics in 1998 with a similar ban only coming into force across Europe in 2009. Although, beauty products produced and sold throughout the UK and Europe will still have been required to be tested on animals if sold to the Chinese market adding to the confusion to product or brands true animal testing status.

To now hear countries are now backtracking or potentially backtracking on the ban is very upsetting and we must do what we can to encourage our governments to prevent further animal testing. Currently, there are still nearly 3 million animals used in animal testing within the UK each year as under UK regulations to protect the environment and the safety of workers, animal testing can be permitted, where required by UK regulators, on single or multiuse ingredients. However, such testing can only be conducted where there are no non-animal alternatives.

Cruelty Free International has started a petition to encourage the UK government to really consider its stance on animal testing and to recognise the urgent need to look for alternatives. The good news is that at this point in time the legislation preventing animal testing in the cosmetic industry still stands in the UK. By signing the petition below you can help make sure it stays that way and also potentially encourage the government to make even further strides in animal protection.