Whether you are choosing to go vegan for anticipated health benefits or to help save the planet, avoiding animal-derived ingredients is relatively straightforward when it comes to diet. This isn’t always so straightforward when it comes to skincare formulations. Many of the ingredients routinely used in skincare products aren’t vegan, including lanolin, beeswax, collagen, elastin and squalene. These are some of our most common antiaging and moisturizing ingredients, so going vegan presents some challenges according to Dr. Amy Ross, an esteemed South Tampa dermatologist.

In her practice, Dr.Ross has found many of her patients have been pleased with MONAT skincare products, in particular the Vegan Retinol Alternative Lotion for antiaging. This product is plant based using bakuchiol as an alternative to retinol. Bakuchiol is an extract derived from the babchi plant and is great to use on sensitive skin. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties in addition to its anti-aging effects. After consistent twice daily use, skin shows improvement in wrinkles, pigmentation, firmness, elasticity and pore size.

One other benefit of this vegan plant based product is it doesn’t make skin more sensitive to the sun. We live and work in Florida, so photoprotection is key to preventing ongoing damage to our skin. Traditional retinoids as well as some commonly used acne medications can cause individuals to be more sensitive to the sun and more easily susceptible to damage. Bakuchiol doesn’t have this effect, and is a great product to use throughout the year no matter how intense the sun gets.

Finding plant based vegan skincare products that are effective isn’t a simple task. As a consumer it’s important to pay attention to works like “clean”, “organic” and “cruelty-free”. These words don’t have the same meaning as plant based and vegan, and can be misleading. Consumers are demanding more transparency on what ingredients are in products and the manufacturers are listening. You do have options for vegan skincare that can keep your skin maintain its youthful glow.