Recognize Authentic Vegan-friendly Products
Vegans are living their best life as more and more manufacturers notice and respond to the demand for products free of animal-based ingredients. And there is much to choose from — be it food, cosmetics, or clothes. But before you put a product into your basket, you have to make sure that what you’re about to purchase is genuinely vegan-friendly.
Looking for the right products might be compared to art. Whether you’re a veteran or just a fledgling vegan, your first step would be looking for certification. Then you should carefully read the label — check the potential allergens and the list of ingredients as you might find some hidden animal-based components. If you want to be 100% sure that your products are vegan, you could also shop for confirmed vegan brands or go shopping only in specialized stores.
If you’re at the beginning of your vegan journey, shopping can be a pretty confusing experience for you. Don’t worry because we have prepared a short guide on recognizing authentic vegan-friendly products. Read on to ensure your vegan experience is as authentic as it can be!
Check the Certificate
You can quickly determine if a product is vegan by taking a look at the official certificate. One of the most widely recognized and respected certifications is the Vegan Society trademark with its characteristic sunflower. The organization was founded in 1944, and it has been operating for over 70 years. It advocates that man’s food should be derived from plants and exclude animal-based products.
Whether you are on a hunt for the best organic superfoods or vegan multivitamins — if it has the Vegan Society logo on it, it is worth buying. Because of the strict requirements and detailed screening process, the Vegan Society trademark guarantees that products are completely free of animal-based ingredients. It also certifies that animals have not been involved in any testing process. The other vegan certifications include EVE VEGAN, Vegan Action, VEGANOK, V-Label, and more.
Read the Label Carefully
If a product is labeled vegan, but there is no certificate, there might be something fishy. Your next step should be checking the label carefully. Pay special attention to the ingredients, as they should include only plant-based components.
You may start by looking at the list of potential allergens, as most products require a statement of what might potentially cause an allergic reaction. If the allergen comes from animal-derived ingredients, you will find it there.
Then you can inspect the list of all the other ingredients. At first glance, everything might be okay, but do not presume that there are no animal-based products hidden under another label. For example, casein is a protein derived from milk. It can be found in many products, including protein powders, nutrition bars, and beauty products. Some companies might use different names for casein, such as C12, so make sure you are familiar with all of them.
More often than not, there are animal residues hidden behind a complicated chemical term. As a rule of thumb, you should be wary of all the ingredients using letters and numbers, such as E966. Here is a list of some of those components:
- Cochineal or carmine (E120) — the red colorant derived from insects, widely used in the food industry. It can also be found in lipsticks.
- Gelatin (E441) — a protein derived from animal skin, ligaments, tendons, and bones. A staple in food production, especially for gummy bears and jello, and frequently used in shampoos, face masks, and other cosmetics.
- Glycerin (E422) — a sweet liquid produced from animal fat that is used in food, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industries.
- Lanolin (E913) — a wax that comes from sheep’s wool that is used as a skin moisturizer.
Look For Vegan Brands
As veganism grows in popularity, more and more manufacturers pay attention to this demand and offer their own vegan-friendly products. Some brands even go all-in on the idea of veganism, offering only vegan products.
Recognizing if the brand is truthful about its commitment to veganism can be quickly done by checking the label and looking for the mentioned certification. Besides, several brands have been working on offering vegan-friendly cosmetics, clothes, and food for years. Among them are well-known names such as The Body Shop, LUSH Cosmetics, or Ecover.
All these brands have loyal customers who have been following them for many years and swear by their products. Of course, you might not like some of their products, but at least you know for sure that you won’t end up with an item that has animal-derived ingredients.
Don’t Forget About Specialized Stores
If you’re looking for the most authentic vegan products, there is a good option for you — specialized stores. Online shops are great for finding any kind of vegan-friendly product, but your local store might also be a great choice. Just check what they have to offer and see if you can find something you might like.
In addition to being a great place to buy fresh veggies, fruits, and other plant-based products, dedicated stores offer plenty of vegan-friendly products, including apparel, cosmetics, and more. They are also one of the few options where you can find some rare ingredients and get guidance on how to prepare them. If you need a little guidance in the world of veganism, it’s an excellent opportunity to ask questions and get recommendations from the staff members.
Nowadays, it’s not as challenging to find animal-based products as a few decades ago. Still, even though there are many options for vegan-friendly products, finding the right ones can be a bit tricky. If you’re at the beginning of your journey, look for the familiar certificates and brands that have been known to the community for years.
You can find plenty of vegan options in specialized stores, but your local store might also be a great option. Just make sure to read each label carefully to buy an authentic product. Not all manufacturers are genuine, and they might try to smuggle an animal-based ingredient under a different name. As long as you’re a conscious customer, there should be no problem.
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