What to look out for when booking in for a treatment at a beauty room or holistic therapists
Sadly, there are lots of products used in treatments that aren’t always vegan when it comes to beauty rooms or holistic therapists. I’m going to cover the worst offenders in this blog so that you know what to ask when booking in.
Of course, the most obvious products that aren’t vegan are the ones that are tested on animals. Always ask what product range the salon uses. I am not going to list different ranges here as this list can change all the time as companies are brought out by other brands. Or if a brand starts to sell to China this would remove their cruelty free status. If you need assistance in finding out the status of a product range, feel free to contact us here at Greener Beauty and if we don’t know the answer we can find out for you!
In addition to the animal testing it is worth being aware of the following possible ingredients used in beauty treatments:
Believe it or not some lash extensions are still made using mink hair. Lashes can also be made from silk. So always double check that the lashes are synthetic which of course are vegan friendly.
It is also worth asking what glue is used and whether this is vegan friendly.
As a therapist who runs a 100% vegan salon and offers lash lift as a treatment I can tell you how hard it is to find the lash lift product without Lanolin or Hydrolysed Collagen in. There are very few options in the UK professional beauty market place. So always verify if the lash lift product has either of these ingredients in before booking.
When it comes to tinting a common ingredient is royal jelly which comes from bees and the typical beauty ingredient of Lanolin.
Finally, with regards to lash extensions, lash lifts or any sort of tinting I really want to stress the importance of having a patch test done at least 24 hours before the actual treatment. The patch test is done to ensure that you will not react to any of the products used for a treatment and could prevent skin reaction, inflammation, redness, a more severe allergic reaction and even hair loss. Just because you have had your lashes tinted before or had lash extensions before the products used in a different salon could be completely different and a new patch test should always be done. If a salon is not insisting on this make sure you bring it up.
Manicures and Pedicures
In addition to the creams and cuticle oils used in manicures and pedicures, after ensuring that these are not tested on animals make sure that the creams do not contain any of the ingredients listed in the creams section below.
In the actual Nail polish there are several ingredients that might stop the polish being vegan friendly:
- Carmine – a red pigment produced from crushed female beetles
- Guanine or Pearl Essence – a by-product of fish scales
- Oleic Acid – Obtained from various animal and vegetable fats and oils. Usually obtained commercially from inedible tallow.
- Beeswax/ Honeycomb – used in nail whiteners
The wax used in waxing is often made from beeswax.
Sugaring is a nice easy one as the sugar paste is just a blend of sugar, water and lemon juice. Just watch out for the pre and post treatment products!
Threading is another nice easy one as it only uses a thick cotton to remove the hairs. Like sugaring, watch out for the pre and post treatment products.
After the animal testing component there are several ingredients that could be found in skincare and creams used in facial treatments. The section below on creams should be checked. In addition to these be aware that beeswax and bee stings can sometimes be used.
Most masseuses use an oil for massages however be aware that this oil could contain beeswax.
There is a long list of ingredients that could be used in creams that are not vegan. I will try and cover most of these here. If you notice one I have missed please do add a comment!
- Allantoin – Uric acid from cows
- Arachidonic Acid – A liquid unsaturated fatty acid that is found in liver, brain, glands, and fat of animals and humans
- Beeswax & Honeycomb
- Biotin/ Vitamin H/ Vitamin B Factor – In every living cell and in larger amounts in milk and yeast.
- Cholesterol – A steroid alcohol found in all animal fats and oils, nervous tissue, egg yolk, and blood. Can also be derived from lanolin.
- Emu Oil – Yes from the flightless bird’s native to Australia and now factory-farmed.
- Estrogen/ Estradiol – Female hormones from pregnant mares’ urine. Used as a skin restorer in creams.
- Lecithin – frequently used in eye creams.
- Mink Oil
- Oleic Acid – Obtained from various animal fats.
- Placenta – Contains waste matter eliminated by the fetus. Derived from the uterus of slaughtered animals. Animal placenta is widely used in skin creams
- Progesterone – A steroid hormone used in anti-wrinkle face creams
- Sperm oil – From a sperm whales head this is often used in creams.
- Stearic Acid – When animal-derived could be fat from cows, pigs, and sheep and from dogs and cats euthanized in animal shelters etc.
- Steroids – From various animal glands.
- Turtle Oil – From the muscles and genitals of giant sea turtles.
- Vitamin A – Can come from fish liver oil (which of course could mean any fish including sharks – don’t they suffer enough!)
- Vitamin D – Same as above.
When you book in for a treatment it might not always be possible to read off this long list and ask the therapist to ensure that none of these ingredients occur.
My advice is to where possible use a salon that advertises that they are vegan friendly and verify that they use a brand that is leaping bunny and vegan certified.
Therapist and Owner of All Natural Beauty Room and Greener Beauty.