Some people think of the word vegan as just a food restriction. Vegan can also describe any product you consume. It simply has to be sourced from plants, cruelty-free, and safe for the environment.

Regardless if you are a meat-eater, vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian, it’s important to think about the questionable ingredients and animal cruelty that goes into the products we see advertised the most.

We know that Black women rule the beauty world; we spend trillions of dollars a year buying cosmetic products. But, what we don’t hear about often is how for years beauty brands have been known to include whale vomit, sheep organs, shark liver oil, and crushed-up beetles in their products!

When was the last time you looked at the ingredients of your favorite hair, skin and nail products?

For Earth Month, why not make a commitment to help fight climate change by choosing vegan cosmetics. Not only do vegan products have a generally lower carbon footprint, but also locally sourced vegan products are even better for the environment. Plus, they definitely won’t be made of cow urine!

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If you’re ready to take the vegan plunge, here are 10 ingredients you should keep an eye out for before buying.

  1. Lanolin
  2. Glycerine
  3. Elastin
  4. Oleic acid (also labeled as oleyl stearate, oleyl oleate or tallow)
  5. Stearic acid
  6. Non-vegan keratin 
  7. Gelatin
  8. Musk oil
  9. Carbamide
  10.  Casein (also labeled as sodium caseinate or caseinate)
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If you’re still unsure about the ingredients in your cosmetics, you can check out these vegan-friendly stores. They make sure that everything they offer is vegan and good for the Earth.

The Lip Bar is the beauty brand of our dreams. They provide maximum impact by offering multi-use products like 4-in-1 Face Pallets and 3-in-1 Tinted Skin Conditioner. By using multi-use products, Lip Bar helps reduce plastic waste.

Bomba Curls are the kinky, curly, coily and wavy hair products we need in our lives. Using ingredients like cinnamon extract, coffee seed oil and other organic ingredients, Bomba Curls is certified cruelty-free and made in the USA.

MOODEAUX is the Black-owned fragrance brand that is here to disrupt the industry. The brand was born to blend scent and skincare to help you flaunt without the alcohol, dyes or water. 

Naturalicious is the answer to the lazy nature-lover. Their “Hello Gorgeous” three-step system takes the place of a seven-product routine. They keep it simple and they’ll keep you on time for brunch with the girls!

Jane Carter Solution is the solution to your healthy, curly hair questions. Made with a cruelty-free, vegan formula of sunflower and maracuja oils the products help define your coils to perfection.

Foxie Cosmetics is here to bring out the inner foxie in you! Foxie creates products to soften your skin and make you look and feel youthful. Their products are so gentle they can be used on babies and on skin with new tattoos. 

Kaike coined themselves the “fun, plant-based skin-care brand.” Not only are they  vegan and cruelty-free but they also offer a variety of multi-use products like their Decadent Hair + Body Butter that can be used head to toe. 

Juvia’s Place is a cruelty-free beauty brand that is free of animal products. Used wet or dry, their products will highlight all of your best features. Ninety-nine percent of their products are vegan. 

Mented is a vegan and cruelty-free makeup product. It is created with the finest buildable pigments and creamy powder formulas to leave you with the perfect finish.

Yubi Miracle Brush is a 100% vegan makeup application tool created with a soft and smooth replaceable brush and sponge. Their goal is to efficiently speed up your makeup application and removal process.

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