Animal By-Products [part 1]

Lead in Lipstick
30th July 2015
Three Confusing Terms…
3rd September 2015
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beaverAre You Concerned About Animal By-Products in Your Cosmetics?

I have divided this blog into two parts as there are at least fifteen animal derived ingredients.

Maybe you are vegetarian or vegan or maybe you just don’t like the idea of putting animal by-products on your face or body…

If this is you…these are some of the ingredients to look out for:

Allantoin: is a compound found in the urine of most mammals with the exception of human and primates. It is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to ease skin irritation & is reported to act as an emollient, helping to soften skin and smooth dry, irritated skin. It can also be made from Comfrey leaves, however says “The chemicals in comfrey might have a healing effect and reduce inflammation when applied to the skin. However, comfrey contains toxic chemicals that can be absorbed through the skin.”

Ambergris: is from the intestinal tract of the sperm whale. It is found floating on the oceans or collected from the shores of many countries around the world. Ambergris is a rare prized ingredient used for centuries for its peculiar qualities: in the perfume industry as a fixative for fine perfumes, for medicinal purposes and as an aphrodisiac.

Castoreum:   is a perfume fixative secreted by the sex glands of a beaver & used to mark their territories which smells like vanilla. It is also used as a food flavouring enhancer.

Gelatin: sometimes known an hydrolyzed collagen is a protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones with water [usually cows and pigs]. It is used in shampoos, face masks, and other cosmetics.  I is also used as a thickener for fruit gelatins, confectionary and puddings . states: Function(s): Binder; Hair Conditioning Agent; Lytic Agent; Oral Health Care Drug; Skin-Conditioning Agent – Miscellaneous; Viscosity Increasing Agent – Aqueous; film forming; viscosity

Hyaluronic acid: The red combs of roosters and hens is thought to be the best source for the molecule hyaluronan, a compound that is already used to protect the eye during surgery, reduce inflammation in arthritic knees and prevent post surgery scar tissue.   Restylane is a gel produced by bacteria & called non-animal stabilized hyaluronic acid (NASHA) because it is not derived from animal sources.

Keratin:  is a protein from the ground-up horns, hooves, feathers, quills, and hair of various animals & is used in  hair rinses, shampoos, permanent wave solutions, etc.

Lanolin: is a wax secreted by the sebaceous glands of wool bearing animals [usually sheep] & is used widely as a moisturiser. Allergic reactions are well documented & my personal thought is that sheep dip, the chemicals used to prevent ticks from damaging the sheep & fleece, may well not have been washed out thoroughly enough.  Lanolin was widely used without problems before the advent of modern chemical interference.

Did you know?  How do you feel?


[image: courtesy of]


  1. lottie says:

    Thanks Susie – really useful list!

  2. Robyn says:

    I’ve seen some of these as ingredients and am unsure how most of them work or where they come from. Your information is so life giving and thought provoking! I’m becoming more aware of everything I put in and on my and my family’s bodies! Thanks for all your hard work!

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