YouTube #6: How to wash your face and not be a bitch

We all need to wash our faces, right? Well, how about we all stop washing our faces and being bitches at the same time. You’re probably wondering what on Earth I’m going on about, so I’ll enlighten you.

Horse in autumn sun (5089765157)

Horse wee on your face, bitch?

We need to be much more aware about what skincare products we use on our faces – many brands still test on animals and use a medley of their by-products. On the surface you may think that’s fine. But, seriously, have a damn heart. The list of animal based ingredients in skincare and cosmetics is long enough to make the mind boggle. It’s unnecessary, cruel and downright disgusting. We unknowingly use a number of animal by-products in our skincare routine every single day. Did you know that female hormones from pregnant mare’s urine have been used in some face creams, perfumes and lotions? Or that animal nerve tissue (see ‘lecithin’) is used in some soaps, shampoos and make-up? How about animal fat (tallow) in your cosmetics? Or ground animal bones (glycerine) in your toothpaste? No – I didn’t think you knew.

Dead animals on ya face

Animal ingredients are used in personal care products because they are cheaper than their synthetic and vegetable-derived ingredients. Slaughterhouses have found a perfectly profitable solution to disposing of the by-products of billions of murdered animals each year by selling them to food and cosmetic manufacturers. Yes that’s right – you’re basically rubbing the remains of dead animal flesh all over your face and body. Is that what you thought you were buying?

So how can you avoid all of these animal by-products in your face-wash, shampoo and general skincare? Simple – go green. We are constantly finding more eco-friendly and vegan ways of living – such as recycling and composting – so why not apply the treatment to your skincare regime? Check the ingredients used in your cosmetics: I’m positive that you’re currently using many products that contain animal by-products and nasty synthetic chemicals without even realising it. Choose products that contain fewer ingredients and also that contain ingredients that you understand and recognise: remember natural is key.

Tallow-beef suet after rendering

Tallow, yum, slather it on your face!

Stop being a drone

Make an effort and research products yourself before buying them. As the beauty industry is largely unregulated, you never know what you might be buying if you don’t read around a brand. Consider what a brand represents and whether they are owned by a larger parent company. I used to love ‘The Body Shop’ and ‘Kiehl’s’ products, but L’Oreal, which does not bat an eyelid over breaking animal welfare laws, now owns both. When you buy a product from a brand, you are directly supporting that company and allowing their practices to continue, whatever they may be. There are no legal standards for personal care products labelled as “pure,” “natural” or “organic,” so look beyond the marketing claims and read labels carefully. Knowledge is power!

My current skincare regime is truly awesome. I’ve read around each of my products and not only do all the brands I use not test on animals, they also do not contain any animal by-products to boot. I highly recommend the following:

  1. Ren Clean Skincare Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel – my current facial wash. This brand is amazing. Almost all of their products are vegan and they do not test on animals. The ingredients lists are easy to understand and their prices are middle of the road. I love their Rosa Centifolia Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser too. Check them out because what you see is what you get.

Ren Clean Skincare facewash

  1. Neal’s Yard Remedies Rehydrating Rose Facial Oil – an utterly delicious feeling once you apply this to your face after your toner. Despite this product being an oil, there is nothing oily about your face once you’ve massaged this in. It’s a dream: hydrating and moisturising in one. Neal’s Yard is one of my favourite brands for a number of key reasons: they use almost entirely organic, plant-based ingredients, they do not test on animals and the majority of their products are also vegan friendly. What more could you ask for?

Neal's Yard Remedies

  1. Neal’s Yard Remedies Rose and Mallow Moisturiser – a rich, thick and creamy moisturiser faintly smelling of rose. Perfect for those cold winter mornings of chapped lips.

Neal's Yard Remedies

  1. Bamboo toothbrushes – Have you ever considered the amount of waste each person generates per year – let alone in their lifetime – in toothbrushes? The plastic used in the average toothbrush is not recycled, and as a result, they end up in landfill. I’m talking piles upon piles of toothbrushes. We can change this by switching to bamboo toothbrushes that are 100% biodegradable. Leave no mark on the planet and go bamboo!
  1. Kingfisher Toothpaste – A strictly vegan toothpaste brand, containing no animal based ingredients and not tested on animals. The brand attempts to minimise its impact on the environment, but palm oil is used which I’m not exactly thrilled about. Far better than other toothpaste brands I’ve looked into, though.

Kingfisher toothpaste and bamboo toothbrush

When it comes to skincare products always read the ingredients carefully and research any brand that you’re considering buying from.

Some of my favourite skincare brands offering vegan products are:

Happy vegan skincare shopping!

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