The TRUTH about animal derived ingredients!

Last week I did a poll on Instagram asking if you would rather see a video on cruelty-free dupes OR animal derived ingredients, and about 90% of you chose ingredients, so here we are! When I first started looking into cruelty-free beauty and animal testing, I wasn’t looking into ingredients, but it wasn’t long until the nasty truth came out. What are these ingredients that we are putting all over our faces? I found the top 10 most popular animal derived ingredients, and I am definitely going to be more conscious of what ingredients are in my makeup and skin care!

COCHINEAL DYE (also known as CARMINE) – this is literally crushed up beetles. These beetles feed on cactus plants in Central and South America, and the females eat red cactus berries, and when these beetles are crushed a bright red dye is produced. If your makeup is red and it is not vegan, it is most likely from crushed up bugs! It is found most commonly in lipsticks and blush products.

GUANINE – This is a crystalline materiel that is made from crushed fish scales and is mostly found in mascaras, nail polishes, and lipsticks.

TALLOW –This is rendered animal fat. The process involves boiling slaughtered animal carcasses until a fatty substance is produced. This is most common in eye makeup, lipstick, makeup bases, and foundations.

GELATIN – Gelatin is similar to tallow, but instead of boiled animal carcass, it’s boiled animal skin, ligaments, and bones. It is most commonly found in creamy cosmetics – such as lotions, moisturizers, gel cleansers – and nail treatments.

LANOLIN – I don’t know how to properly phrase this, so I’m going to quote exactly what said – “Imagine not showering for days. You know that greasy build-up in your hair? Now imagine never, ever showering and living in a steam room. Pretty gross thought, isn’t it? Well, imagine putting that greasy build-up on your face. Lanolin is the excretion from wool-bearing mammals and is found in most lipsticks and makeup removers.”

SQUALENE – This is a substance that is squeezed from a shark’s liver and is added to eye makeup and lipsticks.

AMBERGRIS – This ingredient is derived from the waxy oil that lines whale’s stomachs. It is used to make the scents stay in perfumes.

COLLAGEN – This is a fibrous protein taken from animal tissue.

ESTROGEN – This is also listed as estradiol, and it is most commonly found in perfumes, lotions, and creams. It is obtained by extracting urine from pregnant horses.

RETINOL – Retinol is found in “anti-aging” products and is vitamin A that is almost always derived from an animal.

ANIMAL HAIR – The hair of fox, sable, horses, mink, goat, and squirrel can be used for makeup brushes and fake eyelashes.

These are the most common animal derived ingredients, but they are definitely not all of them. If you’re curious about more, do you research, look at your ingredients, and remember these.

This all might sound intimidating, but I want you to remember that there are brands who are 100% vegan, and brands that have a wide range of vegan products. Some of my favorite 100% vegan brands are E.L.F. Cosmetics, Cover FX, ecotools, and Pacifica. Brands like Tarte and TooFaced also have a bunch of vegan product options, if you look on their website and search “vegan” a big list of their options should come up! If you have any questions, feel free to ask me on here or reach out to me via Instagram! Don’t be shy 🙂 Here’s the link to the video on YouTube! –





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