The Vegan Lifestyle

Being a Veg*n is incredibly difficult especially as you move into smaller and smaller towns. I do live in a smaller town, the population is around 50,000 but it’s also a college town so population can shift dramatically when school is in session. Unfortunately, in college towns it’s so much harder to be a veg*n, partially because of the student population shifts. Restaurants and bars shut down all the time because of lost revenue during the summer months, and imagining a niche market like a veg*n restaurant would be even more difficult. Everything here evolves around chicken or beef (burger shops and fried chicken abound). We don’t have very many if any options for vegans and a few options at restaurants for vegetarians. If I was a vegan I wouldn’t trust the impossible meat at BK, although it is rather good, it’s still fried next to beef patties.

I was a vegetarian for health reasons and do favor purchasing animal products that are humanely raised. I do buy organic eggs. For Lent, I’ve been a foodie vegan. Honestly, I’ve never lasted longer than 2 weeks. I do eat meatless at least one night a week. Although I’m no longer a practicing vegetarian I feel for the vegetarians, it’s hard. So much planning and checking of labels. Something as simple as sugar isn’t vegetarian since the sugar can be bleached with animal bones to give it that white color. Meal prep was the hardest. Finding good meals that didn’t revolve around pasta was near impossible when I started.

To help with the label check I’m going to go through some vegan and vegetarian skin care and other lifestyle items to help a little. Certain purchases are pretty easy but I’ve been debating adding some skin happy recipes I make to this blog for awhile and a lot of those are veg*n.

Just so we are clear my definition of vegetarianism is a lacto-ovo-vegetarian. I did eat milk products, eggs, and honey. As far as fashion goes I did wear wool but did not wear leather. I did not consider fish to be part of the vegetarian diet. Pescatarians are basically lacto-ovo-vegetarians who eat fish. My definition of vegan is the strictest form where absolutely no animal products (including refined sugar) were used. There is a lot of leeway regarding vegetarianism and different people have of foods and products they do and do not include in their lifestyle on a continuum from pescatarians (some do consider themselves vegetarians) to the strictest of vegetarians (some don’t eat honey or eggs but may drink milk) before taking that next step to a vegan. Hopefully these definitions with clear up any questions about what I feel a vegetarian is since there are many opinions.

Vegan Skincare

Let’s start with vegan skincare. Anything that’s vegan by default will also be vegetarian. Today we’re focusing on vegan and I’ll include vegetarian skin care another day.

In order to be considered Vegan skin care there are generally 2 rules you have to follow:

  1. Does not contain animal products
  2. Is not tested on animals/cruelty free

The second point comes into a huge question mark if the product is sold in China as China, by law, does require animal testing of its skincare. My own work around from the ethical standpoint is that it is a requirement of the company in order to do business in China, which has a massive market, so I’m not really going to think negatively of that company. But I can definitely see why people would get upset since it’s cruelty-free with an asterisk. Some companies have taken the step to not sell in China so as to stay thru to their Vegan/Cruelty-free label. The skin care products listed are considered vegan in the US. There are slightly different standards for different cruelty-free tags. The Vegan label is pretty specific and goes back to the supplier. A link to those requirements can be found here.

Skincare

The Ordinary, Herbivore, Youth to the People, True Botanicals, and Biossance are already known as being high quality products but their products are also vegan and cruelty free. These are products that have hit mainstream skin care statis with their deal with Sephora and/or very photogenic packaging.

Tatcha is cruelty free and mostly vegan. The products that aren’t vegan contain honey and beeswax. Thanks lip products. Tatcha’s vegan products can be found here.

Clarins launch their My Clarins line earlier this year that is vegan, and everyone knows I love me some Clarins. Although the brand isn’t vega it is cruelty free.

Drunk Elephant is known for its aide to helping the elephants but they aren’t entirely vegan although they are cruelty free. For some of those formulations they do include honey. LiveKindly has a great list of the Drunk Elephant products that are vegan.

Paula’s Choice is although not certified vegan they are cruelty free and do try to source their ingredients using as few animal products as they can. A list of Vegan products can be found here.

Skyn Iceland, which is available at Ulta and Amazon. Founded by Sarah Kugelman, Skyn Iceland focuses on natural remedies to decrease stress and boost the skin’s ability to repair itself. One of my favorite products, especially after a late night, are the Hydro Cool Eye Firming Eye Gels. These gels really are gels. The top feels like fabric, they adhere well, and actually stay in place so I can use them in the bath with all the steam. There is a slight cooling feeling but it isn’t annoying or disturbing especially in that delicate eye area.

Maya Chia including the popular The Refresh Mint Resurfacing Mask, which was featured in Glamour as ‘One of the Best Skincare innovations of 2019″ is vegan friendly. Their Waterless Wonder Balm and Pressed Serum Brightening Moisture Concentrate are not vegan as they contain beeswax but the rest of their products are based on my review of the IL

Osea Malibu has been a vegan cruelty-free company since 1996 and stands strong by that philosophy.

Vegan Supplements

Now that the Fall school sessions have begun across the US we're going to start seeing an increase in common illnesses, like the cold, and flu season is less than a month away. For many vegans, they do stay away from the flu vaccine because many are cultured in eggs. There are some that are cell cultured or recombinant virus. If you want to know which one to request you can look here. So many vegans rely heavily on Vitamin C and zinc supplements in order to keep their immune system in top shape. Even non-vegans like myself and my husband take Vitamin C + Zinc supplements daily.

$10 Off HUM Nutrition

Hum does include vegan gummy options. Vegan gummies are clearly labeled on the front of the bottle making it easy to identify. Their collagen and supplements that contain fish oil are not veg*n. If looking to get your Omega fatty acids there are vegan options available. Look at the very bottom of these bottles to identify their 'Vegetarian Gummies' and 'Vegan Gummies'. Price point is around $1 per day per supplement for their entire line which is on the lower price point for vegan supplements.

Bedding

Surprise on this one. A lot of mattresses include wool in their mattress pads especially in the pillow-top coverings. This is a newer company I've found but Avocado Mattress does make a vegan mattress. For those looking to stay organic, their mattresses include organic cotton. For those who suffer from allergies their mattresses have a latex pad on top which prevents allergens from imbedding into the mattress. Latex beds are amazing but they can be expensive. These Avocado mattresses aren't way expensive, we bought a new mattress almost 2 years ago and spent about the same on a Purple mattress as we would've spent on an Avocado mattress. Avocado does use Affirm, so you can make monthly payment at 0% APR if you qualify. We used Affirm when we bought our Purple and it made it so much easier on the bank account.

woman laying on a natural green bed and smiling

I honestly never thought about my mattress. I did think about my sheets. I have a set of bamboo sheets and another set that are a linen set. I bought these forever ago and can't remember the manufacturer. Bamboo and linen are wonderful selections for sheets. Bamboo is a ecological selection to replace silk and gives a similar shine and warmth. Linen is warmer but still works if you're a hot sleeper. I'm a very cold sleeper while my husband is a hot sleeper, both of us are comfortable on either of our sheets and don't sweet even in the hottest times of summer when nighttime temperatures don't fall below 80F.

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