If you’re reading this, it means you’ve already found the best vegan and cruelty-free toothpaste. At Davids, we take pride in using only the highest quality vegan ingredients sourced and derived from nature. We’re happy to provide you with a natural toothpaste that’s safe and gentle (for you, the earth, and all our furry friends) and also elevates your oral care routine.
But what about the rest of your self-care routine?
As long as it’s a goal of yours, we want you to feel confident saying your self-care routine (and your entire home) contains no animal by-products...especially because animal by-products can show up in the sneakiest places.
So we’re covering 10 common household products that typically contain animal by-products....and 10 easy vegan swaps, so you can ensure your lifestyle aligns with your values.
1: “vegan” products that are tested on animals
Unfortunately, it’s common for brands to claim to be “vegan” (aka, they don’t use animal products as an ingredient), yet they still test on animals. To us, a product cannot be vegan if it continues to test on animals. As a truly vegan and cruelty-free toothpaste, all of our toothpastes are Leaping Bunny certified, and we encourage you to make sure your other products are also certified. You can find Leaping Bunny’s Compassionate Shopping Guide here.
One specific common household product to look out for is contact lens solution. Many of the major contact lens solution brands continue to test on animals, and PETA reveals that many of these companies are not willing to change their behavior.
We recommend that you not only use your dollars to vote for more ethical brands....we recommend you also write to the big-name brands that continue to test on animals.
Vegan swap: Clear Conscience, approved by PETA
2: shampoo and conditioner
Many shampoos and conditioners contain lecithin, a moisturizer that’s extracted from sheep’s skin. It’s thick and packed with moisturizing oils....things that are generally quite appealing when you’re looking for ways to hydrate your hair and scalp.
Don’t worry, there are plenty of vegan and cruelty-free swaps out there. Castor oil and shea butter are vegan alternatives to lecithin, and they do a great job at repairing your skin’s barrier function!
Vegan swaps: Moon Valley's Herbal Shampoo Bar! Zero Waste + Vegan
3: soaps and razors with moisturizing strips
Soaps and luxury razors with “moisture strips” often contain glycerin, a gooey substance derived from animal fats. This is sneaky because companies who use animal-derived glycerin do not have to explicitly state that it’s animal glycerin.
However, if the product does not go out of its way to state that the glycerin is “vegetable” or “plant-based,” you should assume it’s derived from animal fats.
The good news is, vegetable glycerin (derived from soybean, coconut, or palm oils) is also very moisturizing! So there are plenty of moisturizing soap options that contain no animal by-products.
Vegan swaps: Moon Valley Herbal Foaming Hand Soap
4: plastic bags
While plastic bags aren’t necessarily self-care products, they all too often carry or protect your self-care products! Did you know that many plastic bags contain anti-slip coatings derived from animal fat? This generates friction and makes the bag easier to hold and carry, so it doesn’t slip out of your hand.
For this reason (and many others) we recommend completely avoiding single-use plastic bags. We encourage you to bring your own reusable bag with you wherever you go!
Vegan swap: organic cotton tote bags!
5: vitamins and medications
So many vitamins and medications come in a capsule with a gelatin coating. This is alarming for people who dedicate a lot of time and energy to a vegan diet! We recommend checking with your local pharmacist for vegan alternatives to prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements.
6: makeup, lotions, and skin treatments
Many makeup products, lotions, and skin treatments use ingredients derived from animals. Some common animal-derived ingredients in these products include:
- humectants: honey, beeswax, royal jelly, and propolis. These ingredients bind to water to lock in moisture. Vegan alternatives include agave nectar, aloe, and vegetable glycerin.
- moisturizing oils: lanolin is a common one, and it’s derived from sheep’s skin. As previously mentioned, shea butter is a great vegan alternative.
- dyes: carmine is a red dye commonly found in lip balm, lipstick, eye shadow, and blush. It’s extracted from crushed cochineal beetles, and some vegan alternatives include natural fruit+vegetable dyes.
- hyaluronic acid: this ingredient has made its claim to fame in recent years. It packs a punch of moisture and works wonders for dull, dry skin. But many people don’t realize it’s often extracted from rooster combs. But you can find some versions of this ingredient that are made with innovative manufacturing techniques.
These are just a few of the common non-vegan ingredients in conventional beauty products. To discover more, please read this article by Nourish Magazine.
Vegan swaps: Element Botanicals Potion Elixir, or Alchemist Oil!
Most conventional deodorants are not vegan. They contain animal products like lanolin, glycerin, squalene, stearic acid, and beeswax....plus they’re often tested on animals.
Vegan swaps: Element Botanicals Deodorant (made in British Columbia!)
8: toilet paper and tissues
Many name-brand tissues and toilet papers are not vegan! Crazy, right? You’d think that paper is strictly plant-based, but that’s actually not the case.
Tissue + toilet paper manufacturers have been on the mission to create soft, strong tissue that gets the job done but also breaks down in water. How do they make this happen? Usually with animal-derived coatings made from gelatin and stearic acid. These ingredients hold the paper fibers together while keeping them soft to the touch.
Plus, big-name brands continue to test on animals and use toxic chemicals and bleaches to treat their paper products (and don’t have plans to stop anytime soon).
Many flosses are wax-coated nylon, and the wax is derived from animals. Not only are these options not vegan, they’re also not sustainable because they’re non-biodegradable + non-recyclable and take thousands of years to decompose in landfills.
Sustainable, vegan alternatives like Cocofloss, on the other hand, are made with vegan wax and natural ingredients like coconut oil and aromatic fruit oils. Cocofloss is sturdy, fresh, and effective. Not to mention, they’re Leaping Bunny Certified, and they stay away from toxins like parabens, SLS, and PFAS.
Vegan swap: sustainable, vegan floss from Cocofloss or Senza Care's vegan silk floss (also zero-waste!)
10: toothpaste + teeth whitening
We’ve mentioned this before, but we’ve been shocked by the number of people (even long-time vegans) who don’t realize that most conventional toothpastes are not vegan.
Many conventional toothpastes (and some natural toothpastes) contain glycerin. This ingredient (mentioned above in the “soaps” section) gives your toothpaste a thick and gooey consistency, adding body and preserving ingredients by locking in moisture.
As a rule of thumb, we encourage you to avoid products that don’t explicitly claim to be vegan or that list “glycerin” as an ingredient without clarifying that it’s “vegetable” or “plant-based” glycerin. Pro tip: be sure to also look out for the Leaping Bunny certification.
As always, you can rest easy knowing that Davids is the best vegan toothpaste, as we strictly use high-quality vegetable glycerin to moisten your mouth, preserve the flavors and freshness of our essential oils, and keep all of the amazing ingredients from separating. Not to mention, the amazing whitening ingredients in Davids also provide you with a daily dose of vegan teeth whitening, too!
Vegan swap: our natural, plant-based toothpaste
This article was written for David's Toothpaste USA. Feb 4 2022