Lush Bee’s

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Are Vegan’s happy to buy Lush Bee related products?

 

I recently attended a blogging event at the Lush store in Liverpool, it was a great night and the Lush staff are fantastic hosts. The event was aimed at promoting the upcoming festive season and next week after halloween I will publish a blog post with some festive gift buying inspiration. First though I want to share an interesting conversation I had with one of the skin expert staff members regarding the ingredients of honey and beeswax in their products. The lady I was speaking with wanted to make it completely clear that Lush source all of their animal derived products from the most ethical of suppliers and that one of her colleagues who is also a Vegan, was initially not happy to use any products that contained the ingredients honey, beeswax or egg’s but after learning more about where the ingredients came from felt confident enough that he wasn’t buying into cruelty.

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Many people often ask why honey and beeswax aren’t considered Vegan? 

Well a Vegan by definition is a person who refrains from using any kind of animal products or by products, in food, beauty products, clothing and for any other day to day purpose.

There are however many reasons as to why people these days are adopting a Vegan lifestyle. Some people are Vegan for the animals, some go Vegan for the environment and there are others that become plant based vegan for their health.

My personal motivation is for the animals and I want to ensure that I am not unconsciously buying into cruelty whenever I make a purchase.

Another question people often have is “what’s so cruel about using bee derived products”? 

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Sadly in any industry where there is profit to be made ethics are rarely considered.

No exception spared for the bee whose survival is integral to our very own survival and the survival of our Earth as we know it.

In manufactured Bee Keeping the Queen often has one of her wings cut or painted with nail varnish to stop them from leaving the hive and flying away, this also prevents swarming.

The culling of drone bees (male bees who don’t contribute to the production of honey).

Bee’s produce honey to feed the hive, many hives have been completely wiped out due to starvation over the winter months as a result of too much honey being removed from the hive and not leaving enough for the Bee’s to survive.

Many Bee’s are also killed during the process of obtaining honey from the hive.

 

That said I do believe that there are independent BeeKeepers who keep Bee’s ethically and do what they can to help increase their ever depleting numbers.

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(Pictured above) David is one of the Lush Bee related product suppliers, this is his take on ethical bee keeping.

https://uk.lush.com/article/sticky-profession

To summarise:

David prefers a hands off approach and does not cut the Queen Bee’s wing, or cull male drone bees. His hives are bigger than standard hives to minimise stress to the bees. He will not intervene with a hive unless he feels that the colony is struggling to survive. Over winter he leaves them with enough honey to sustain them, again only intervening in feeding them if there is a delayed summer.

There is no doubt that the reason why honey is used in so many beauty products is due to its incredible beneficial properties.

Of course there are other products out there that can substitute both honey and beeswax but none quite match their almost magic like qualities. So in some way it is understandable that beauty and cosmetic companies still use bee produce. In fact the usage of Bee related products dates as far back as ancient Egypt.

Going back to my original question “are Vegan’s happy to use Bee related products”?

I feel Lush genuinely aims to be ethical and profitable as possible, they have a reputation for being a great employer and generally seeking to have the best practises for animals, the environment and people. It’s easy to see this is why many Vegan’s love Lush, especially considering that they label their Vegan products and approximately 70% of their products are Vegan friendly.

As a Vegan I believe nature shouldn’t need human intervention, still I wonder have humans interfered so much with nature to the detriment of Bee’s and now like many other species they require our help for survival.

Considering this should it be necessary that we continue to take from them in order to care for them when our own survival is very much intertwined.

I would love to hear other people’s thoughts and knowledge on this topic so please feel free to leave a comment below and start a conversation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Animal Ingredients in Cosmetics

Cruelty Free doesn’t automatically mean that a product is Vegan.

Here are some ingredients to be aware of:-

Honey/Beeswax

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Used in natural skin care products due to it’s healing properties and as an emulsifier in cosmetics.

Often people ask why is honey/beeswax not Vegan and what’s so cruel about using Bee derived products?

In order to keep the queen from flying away and creating a new hive, one of the Queen Bee’s wings will either be cut or pasted with nail vanish to prevent her from being able to leave her hive.

Bee’s produce honey to sustain themselves and there is a great risk of taking too much honey and when this happens the Bee’s will starve to death over the winter.

In manufactured Beekeeping, Bee’s are often killed during the process of obtaining the honey and beeswax.

The number of Bees have massively declined over the last couple of decades and these little critters are our biggest pollinators and our own survival is based on their survival so it’s really important that we look after these little guys.

 

Lanolin

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Lanolin is obtained from washing freshly shorn Sheep’s wool in hot water. Lanolin is a by product of the wool industry and used in many skincare and cosmetic products.

Again people will often ask “why is wool industry deemed as being cruel, don’t sheep need shearing?”

Sadly sheep in the wool industry are seen as a commodity as shearers are often paid by the volume of wool that they shear so the care for the sheep is not a priority.

Peta investigations have uncovered that sheep have been beaten and mutilated during the process and not given any veterinary care and many sheep have died as a result of shearing. One undercover reporter saw a shearer moping urine from the floor using a sheep.

 

Animal Hair

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Animal hair is used in cosmetic brushes. The hair is often derived from squirrels, horses, badgers, mink’s and goats.

So why is using animal hair in cosmetic brushes cruel?

Well animals are not giving their hair willingly, animal hair used in cosmetic brushes will be a by-product of another cruel industry, such as Minks being skinned for the fur industry or horses slaughtered for the meat industry.

Keratin

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Keratin is a strong protein found naturally in our hair, skin and nails. Keratin is mostly used in hair and skin cosmetics and is derived from horns and hooves.

As with most animal products used in the cosmetic industry Keratin is an ingredient obtained from animals being killed for the meat industry.

Stearic Acid

Found in both animal and vegetable fats and in cosmetics is often used as an emulsifier which is a chemical that allows oil and water to mix.

Legally companies do not have to label if stearic acid used in cosmetic ingredients is obtained plant or animal derived.

 

Tallow 

Rendered from Beef and Mutton, it is a by product of the meat industry, so you could also call it slaughterhouse waste. Tallow is used as an emulsifier in cosmetics and soaps.

Carmine

A red dye used in cosmetics as a colourant, obtained from crushing thousands of insects.

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Carmine is often identified on the ingredient labels of foods and cosmetics as E120.

 

Shellac

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Used in nail varnish, shellac is a resin that comes from the secretions of the lac beetle. The beetles secrete the resin onto trees in southeast Asia as a protective shell for their larvae. Males fly away but the females stay and when the resin is scraped from the branches many of the female beetles are killed.

Guanine

Used in cosmetics such as nail polishes, mascara’s and many skin care products, guanine is derived from ground up fish scales.

Hydrolysed Silk

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Hydrolysed Silk is chemically altered proteins obtained from silk. Silk is made from boiling/steaming silkworm (a moth caterpillar) cocoons while still containing their pupae. It takes around 2500 caterpillars to create a single pound of raw silk. Hydrolysed silk is used in hair and skin products for it’s moisturising and binding properties.

 

Squalene

Can be derived from vegetable oils or Sharks liver. It has become a popular trend for Sharks to be killed and hunted to process their livers for the purpose of making health capsules. Used in cosmetics squalene acts as a lubricant on the skin, giving it a smooth appearance and can also used in some hair products.

 

Ambergris

Is Sperm Whale vomit used in perfumes and aftershaves.

Ambergris is found in the ocean and sometimes the stomachs of dead sperms whales It is not actually harvested from whales but in many countries there is a ban on the trade of ambergris as part of the more general ban on the hunting and exploitation of whales.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to go Cruelty Free

Firstly you don’t need to empty your make up and throw everything away, that’s just wasteful and doesn’t do anything to help the cause.

Before becoming a more conscious shopper I predominately used Benefit make up, because Benefit was founded in San Francisco I made the automatic assumption that they wouldn’t allow for their products to be used in animal testing and sadly they do.

So it’s important to do your research. We live in a time of information and ignorance is very much a choice, so you can make a start by researching the brands you currently use. If you cannot find any information regarding their stance on animal testing, email them and be sure to ask if the distribute their products to be sold in mainland China, if they do then they are not cruelty free.

If the cosmetic brands that you are using are not cruelty free begin to look at alternative brands.

My top cruelty free stores on the High Street are Lush, The Body ShopSuperdrug’s own brand and Holland and Barrett.

Online Love LulaAmazonBody Kind , Cocktail Cosmetics and Naturisimo.

My favourite brands are Pacifica (sold in some Tesco’s), The Body ShopLush, Aromi Beauty and Beauty Without Cruelty (bwc).

It can be tricky at first to find suitable alternatives, especially if like me your use wearing particular products, so don’t be put off if you don’t get it right the first time you purchase a Cruelty Free product.

There isn’t many high street brands that are cruelty free and so initially I would take the chance making online purchases and still do now. I find it helpful to read reviews on the brand and the products I was particularly interested in.

In My Make-up Bag

The Body Shop’s Vitamin C primer, BB Foundation, Mascara and Perfumes.

Aromi Beauty (fromCocktail Cosmetics or Etsy) and Beauty Without Cruelty (bwc)(fromAmazon) Lipsticks

Another brand of perfume I usually wear is Pacifica, I usually purchase from Body Kind .

 

Why Go Cruelty Free

For the most part people tend to make unconscious decisions when it comes to purchasing cosmetics. Society is often seduced by clever marketing campaigns that use powerful slogans such as;

“Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline”

“Because your worth it”

Often people buy into these advertisements without any real consideration for the values of the company, buying into the latest trends without much concern for the companies ethics.

Companies through marketing influence consumers and yet consumers have so much power to influence companies. Every time you purchase from a cosmetic company that allows their products to be tested on animals you are buying into those ethics. By boycotting these kind of cosmetic companies allows you become a voice for the voiceless. Your letting companies know with your money that it’s not okay with you that they endorse such cruelty.

Some might say “Oh well the it’s not the cosmetic company testing on animals, it’s the Chinese government”. Quite frankly this isn’t an acceptable excuse for the animals suffering due to cosmetic testing.  If consumers can influence companies with their purchases then cosmetic companies can help influence governments to change laws by withdrawing their products from sale until laws are changed. Imagine if massive companies decided to pull out of the Chinese market, China would be forced to reconsider their stance on animal testing. Under Chinese laws these companies would still be able to make online sales, therefore they wouldn’t necessarily lose all Chinese trade.

By purchasing from cruelty free cosmetic companies you are sending are clear message that you do not endorse cruelty.