Is It Really Vegan?

Posted on May 14, 2015 by Melanie Brown

A friend of mine asked me a question about vegan skin care products. They wanted to know where the best place to get them was. She was struggling to find vegan friendly products and quite often found that sales assistants didn't fully understand what vegan products were and were quite happy to say something was vegan when in fact it wasn't.  Sorry for my simplistic definition and for those of you who already know, but if someone is a vegan, they do not eat animal products and they do not use products which are bi-products from animals. So for example if they were considering buying a lip balm, they would not use it if it contained beeswax as this is a bi-product of a bee.

Out of curiosity, I went along to a well know company which sells skin care products and asked if they sold vegan products. The shop assistant looked at me as if I had personally insulted her and replied that all their products were suitable for both vegetarian and vegan customers.

I asked her to confirm which products were vegan friendly as I wanted to buy a gift for a friend who was vegan.  The assistant looked quite upset, (haven’t got a clue why), and went to the back of the shop and returned with several sheets of A4 which had been stapled together.  She protected the list by shielding it from my eyes. She scanned down the list and looked puzzled. Then she repeated the scan. The assistant then said, “Oh.” I asked if there was a problem and she said that according to her confidential ingredients list, there were only 3 products she could recommend which were actually vegan friendly. She really looked quite humbled and embarrassed after going through the list. I wondered just how many people have previously visited the shop and accepted at face value that the products were vegan friendly.

My lessons learnt from this experience were, you really have to do your research to ensure that you are buying what you have asked for. It doesn't matter what hostility you face, but if it is truly a reputable company, they will be friendly and willing to answer questions about their products. If they are truly transparent then the company with have nothing to hide!

Posted in Vegan