October is Vegetarian Awareness Month, and while most of us have a pretty easy time knowing when food is vegetarian or not, things are a little different when it comes to beauty. So how do you know if a product you're using qualifies? Check out a few quick tips to help you sleuth it out when you keep reading.
- Look for the Leaping Bunny label. It means that the product you're buying wasn't tested on animals. Note: you'll still have to refer to the label to learn whether or not the product in question is vegan or vegetarian.
- Check the company out online before you buy. Most lines that make vegetarian or vegan products are pretty proud of the fact and make a point of it on their websites. Lush and Melvita are both good examples of this — you can see both their ingredient lists and certifications without ever leaving your couch.
- Does it say there are omega-3s in it? Then, make sure they're not fish derived. Omega-3 fatty acids are a popular ingredient in moisturizers right now, but they can come from different places. Flax and borage sources are veggie, but cod liver and krill aren't. If the provenance isn't listed on the label, assume it's from the latter pair.
- Just say no way to whey. Whey is milk derived, so it's vegetarian but not vegan. Lots of peels and chemical exfoliants also have dairy-derived lactic acid in them, and some hair products also contain milk protein casein. So if you want to buy vegan, watch out for these on labels.
- Gelatin and glycerin can be meat based. Most products today use vegetable gelatin and glycerin, but there are still plenty of exceptions. Again, check the label for the source. If it doesn't specifically say the ingredient is vegetable derived, it very well might not be.