I’ve been vegan for over fifteen years now and, over the course of that time, the number of vegan products has increased steadily. Then, in the last few years, the demand for, and availability of, these products has skyrocketed. It used to be a real challenge to find products that were not tested on animals, let alone those without any animal ingredients. Times have changed, you can now find cruelty-free products just about anywhere. With just a little label reading, it’s now quite easy to shop compassionately, wherever you go.
That being said, over my many years of searching for personal care products that adhere to my morals, I have discovered some lesser known brands that I think more people should be aware of.
1- The first brand I want to tell you about is Sarawen perfume . This is a Canadian-based vegan-owned company, that makes the most lovely and unique fragrances I have ever found. Sara offers a huge range of scents (many of which are designed to be used by women or men). Though my scent of choice is Chocolat Noir, I have yet to find a single one that didn’t smell amazing. One of the most fun things about Sara’s products is that she bases many of her scents on literature and pop culture. If you’ve ever wanted to smell like your favorite character, her perfumes can make that happen. She also happens to be
a very talented artist!
2- I have been dyeing my hair since I was around twelve years old and, even before I was vegan, I struggled to find a brand that I was happy with. I always ended up with colors that didn’t look the way they did on the box, or they did at first, but then faded after a week. Then I found Herbatint. Their dyes are cruelty-free, vegan, natural, and sustainable. They don’t have that awful chemical smell that most hair dyes do, they actually make my hair feel nicer after I dye it, and the color lasts longer than any other dye I have ever used (vegan or not). Unfortunately, Herbatint doesn’t have the widest range of colors, but the ones they do have are lovely, and they are designed to allow you to mix them, to create your own unique shades. My personal favorite is Henna Red.
3- Soap may seem like a kind of basic thing but, for someone who washes their hands as much as I do, finding one that doesn’t destroy my skin can be a bit of a challenge. Dr. Woods works remarkably well for me. So well, in fact, that I use it as hand soap, body wash, and facial cleanser. It’s vegan, cruelty-free, and made with simple, natural ingredients that leave your skin soft and moisturized. I use the Original with shea butter. It has a very light, almost earthy, scent that I quite enjoy. But for those who want something that smells more like soap, they have several scents to choose from.
4- Crazy Rumors is, by far, the best lip balm I have ever found. They are incredibly moisturizing; so much so that, when I started using them, I stopped bothering to wear lipstick. My lips look so soft and bright that it no longer seems necessary. They have over twenty flavors, and all the ones I have tried are delicious. They are completely vegan and made with all-natural ingredients. So far, my favorite flavor is mint chocolate, but if you are looking for something more simple, or fruity, or that tastes like your favorite dessert, they can accommodate you.
5- I spent a lot of years searching for a good natural deodorant. Most of the ones I tried didn’t really seem to do much. Thai Crystal deodorant from Deodorant Stones of America works! It’s not anti-perspirant, so if you want that, it’s not for you. But if you just want to not get smelly throughout the day, it’s perfect. It’s safe for all skin types, and all areas of the body. They have different scents to choose from but, personally, I like to get the unscented kind and add my own perfume oil.
I hope this helps someone out there to avoid the seemingly endless search for good products, from good companies, that I went through. Based on the recent upward trend in veganism, I’m sure there will be a time, in the near future, when this will no longer be a problem. For now, these are some of the companies that were ahead of the curve, and seem to genuinely care about doing things the right way.
Whitney Metz is the author of the Black Magick Series. She lives outside the town of Mannington, West Virginia with Riley and Petunia, two pigs she adopted during an internship at Farm Sanctuary. She also writes a weekly blog at her website whitneymetz.com.
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