Vegan Hair Removal – The Ultimate Guide
Shaving Gels and Oils
There is a wide variety of vegan shaving products available today. Here are a few of the best, with an eye on the environment as well as animal welfare:
A pre-shave oil for men for a an extra smooth, close shave. Comes in a recyclable amber bottle with recycled labels printed with biodegradeable inks. Cruelty free vegan and environmentally friendly! A beard oil is also available.
All natural and organic NSF/ANSI 305 certified, vegan and biodegradeable. Just a small amount of this lightly lavender scented cream required for a smooth, close shave. Comes in an 8oz tube. Suitable for normal to dry skin. Also available unscented.
Certified organic by the USDA National Organic Program and certified vegan by Vegan Action, this Fair Trade product is in a 7oz tube, with all natural ingredients combined with a pure castile liquid base to give a great lather, for men and women.
Non GMO natural ingredients, PETA Certified cruelty free and vegan. Consists of a 100g (3.4fl.oz) bar of olive shaving soap and 50ml (1.7fl.oz) tub of after shave calming moisturizer cream. A lovely gift idea for gents and ladies alike.
There are numerous shaving brushes produced using the traditional badger bristles.
However, this is really unnecessary when there are so many good synthetic brushes available nowadays.
Here are a couple of good one's that we have found:
A short, rounded, solid wood handled shaving brush made from Community Trade Russian birch wood and animal-free, soft, synthetic hairs. Measures 11cm from top to bottom.
100% vegan synthetic shaving brush with black, shiny, shaped handle and weighted chrome coloured stand for easy drying after use. Brush length top to bottom is 10.8cms - total length 12.2cms.
Razors and Shavers
The first thing to consider when looking for truly vegan free options when shaving, is that many of the most popular and well-known Brands of razors and shavers, e.g. Gillette and Braun, are owned by Proctor and Gamble.
Proctor and Gamble are committed to eliminating testing on animals, but at the time of writing this article, still confess to doing so in some instances.
This following is the statement on the P & G website, under the animal welfare and alternatives section:
"At P&G, we believe that eliminating animal testing is the right thing to do.
We do not test our products or ingredients on animals anywhere in the world unless required by law. We are working hard to make it obsolete.
Therefore, we’ve developed over 50 alternative, non-animal testing methods, and have invested nearly $400 million in finding alternatives and getting them accepted by regulators around the world.
We will continue working with the world’s top independent experts and partnering with leading animal protection groups such as the Humane Society of the U.S. to promote new alternatives research and regulatory acceptance of existing alternatives. This is the only way to eliminate all animal testing, globally."
So, you can make your own determination about whether or not you feel comfortable buying vegan Brands owned by P&G.
We have picked a couple of products from Brands that we are sure have legitimate vegan credentials:
Ergonomic handle made from recycled materials available in 3 colours, for men and women. Includes one 5-blade cartridge with cocoa butter and aloe lubricating strip (replacements available separately). No animal testing and handle is recyclable.
There are many advantages of using a safety razor as opposed to a cartridge razor, not least the reduced environmental impact and cost saving.
Replacement cartridges for disposable razors are costly and wasteful, whereas double-edged safety razor blades are cheap as chips!
A decent pair of tweezers is an essential item, be it for the eyebrows, odd strays left behind by other methods, or for any individual hairs such as the odd chin hair.
Tweezerman are a good well-known cruelty free Brand with a range of tweezers and they offer the bonus of a free sharpening service.
Epilators are a good option, if you want to get away from creams and gels altogether and if you opt for a manufacturer with parent company that only produces electrical goods, you can't really go wrong.
Similar to tweezers, they pluck hair from the root so the results are longer lasting than shaving.
In essence, they are a series of up to 72 tweezers which are operated by an electrical motor to cover large areas, such as legs, quickly and effectively.
Here are a couple of good options:
Best of both worlds, wet or dry rechargeable 48 tweezer epilator with 6 attachments. Includes separate gentle, precision epilator head, shaver head and pedicure buffer for remove rough skin from feet. Suitable for sensitive skin. Would make a great gift.
Rechargeable, wet or dry use 32 tweezer epilator with caps for facial use, delicate areas (such as bikini line) and massage cap as well as separate shaver head and comb to complete this all-round package. Features include integral light in epilator head to make sure you don't miss any strays.
Waxing is a difficult one, as many products contain beeswax. Even Nad's, who are 100% cruelty free, list beeswax and honey in their ingredients.
Additionally, wax often contains irritating chemicals, artificial substances and toxins.
However, sugaring has the same effect and is made up of completely natural ingredients; basically sugar, lemon and water and is much more gentle on your skin and the environment.
You can even make it up yourself at home, very easily.
If you would prefer to buy a Proprietary Brand, you could go for Sugar Strip Ease.
Sugar Strip Ease is made from 100% natural ingredients and is certified cruelty free and vegan by PETA.
It is simple to use and can just be heated in its pot in a microwave.
Depilatory creams are another tricky area, as they contain harsh chemicals which dissolve the hair to remove it.
Many are tested on animals, although as we have previously mentioned, Nad's is a cruelty free brand, and they produce a depilatory cream for men with vegan ingredients.
IPL or laser hair removal, uses light rays to target melanin (dark pigment) at the base of the hair, to damage the follicle, causing the hair to fall out can permanently reduce hair regrowth over time.
Vegan - What it means
The definition of veganism, as stated by The Vegan Society is "a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals."
In fact, products derived from or tested on animals are found in the most unexpected places, however, it is now possible to find alternatives to almost everything (a notable exception being medication).
Vegan Certified Trademarks
There are a number of different trademarks to certify the vegan status of products, to make cruelty free shopping easier for the consumer, three of the most well known are shown below:
Vegan action certify products as vegan, so that you can clearly see that items displaying their easily recognised registered trademark are vegan and cruelty free.
The process involves the company providing complete evidentiary documentation for each product to be registered.
If the product is approved, the company pays an annual license fee to display the logo. (Source: vegan.org)
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) have a program whereby a company can complete a statement of assurance that they do not conduct or commission any animal tests on ingredients, formulations or finished products and that they pledge not to do so in the future.
The company then becomes part of the Beauty without Bunnies program and may pay a fee to display the PETA logo on their products. (Source: Peta.org)
The Leaping Bunny certification does not necessarily mean that a product is vegan, but it does denote that it is cruelty-free, and you can then check the ingredients for yourself.
The Leaping Bunny program requires any company registered with it and displaying its certification mark to be willing to submit to an independent audit, in addition to supplying verification and documentation to support its cruelty free status. (Source: leapingbunny.org)