How to tell if your product is free from animal-derived ingredients…

Source: via Connie on Pinterest

Dear Miss Beauty Nerd,
I see you have a chemistry degree and know a lot about beauty products, so I thought perhaps you’ll be able to answer my question. I really like Bioderma cleanser and creams, I’ve recently discovered them but I have one concern. Perhaps you know if their products contain any animal derived ingredients? Like lanolin, or some strange ones that can hide under a chemical name? Pharmacy ladies cannot answer me this and the company ignores my e-mail. Hoping to hear from you soon. Thanks.

Hi K,
That’s a very good question! I assume if you are a pet lover like me, you want to avoid animal-derived ingredients as much as possible. Am I right? Unfortunately, there is no easy way to tell whether certain ingredients are animal-derived or plant-derived. An ingredient like lanolin is less ambiguous. It is most certainly animal-derived. If the creams and cleansers contain lanolin, you would see it listed explicitly as such in their ingredient list. However, ingredients such as glycerin or squalane can either be animal-derived or plant-derived and many companies do not specify which origin they are derived from.

That’s unfortunate that you were not able to get a hold of anyone at Bioderma to answer the question for you as they are the only ones that would know the answer! I may have a contact there, so let me do some digging around and see if I can get a response for you. If you want to ensure that you are using products that are cruelty free, a good resource is Leaping Bunny where all the beauty brands have been certified not to contain animal-derived ingredients. I hope this helps!


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  • Marywozniak

    Look for the Vegan Certified Logo.  This is a very hard vertification to receive, for they check not only the manufacturer, but all the suppliers as well.  Leaping Bunny does have a listing of vegan certified and cruelty free companies.  This listing does not show your company, so I would guess that they are not vegan certified.  We had a representative from Leaping Bunny at one of our Arbonne meetings and she explained that their quilifications are very strict. 

    • Connie

      Very good tips – thanks Mary!  

  • Adrea

    You can check on PETA too! :)

    • Connie

      I love how Beauty Nerd readers are all such smart cookies :) – thanks Adrea!

  • Vans

    One thing I never understood, as a pet lover… how do you harm bees or sheeps in collecting bees wax or lanolin?
    As long as I know lanolin is the fat covering wool. A by product of wool production, that has great emollient properties (even if it can smell funny).

    • Connie

      You’re right – bees or sheeps do not get harmed – I guess it would be considered robbing them of their personal assets ;)? Jk.  On a more serious note though, squalene can be derived from shark liver and sharks are harmed in the process.

    • dibenallie

      Sheep in particular which are domesticated for their wool may not be kept in a humane environment so for me, that’s where my concern comes from.

  • muslima gowawbara

    Hi Miss Beauty Nerd,

    Did you get any response from Bioderma about their ingredients?
    I wrote to them many times asking, without any response!