Mainstream skin care & cosmetic products are generally not suitable for vegans as they contain animal derived ingredients or have involved animal testing. But vegan alternatives are available covering all types of cosmetics and make-ups.
Checking Vegan body wash products for animal derived ingredients can be tricky, as products won't necessarily have their ingredients list displayed on the packaging. And if they do, they may be difficult to decipher. Many companies avoid using the word "animal" in their ingredient labels in order to avoid putting off consumers.
Animal derived ingredients are commonly used because they are generally cheaper than vegetable derived ingredients. Common animal derived ingredients include: carmine (crushed insects), collagen & elastin (protein derived from animal tissue & ligaments), keratin (from animal horns, hooves, feathers, quills & hair), setaric acid (fatty acid found in animal & vegetable fat), and tallow (animal fat).
It's generally pretty easy to find vegan cosmetic products online or at health food stores, chemists, and specialty stores. Look for products that specifically state that they are free from animal derived ingredients. A cruelty free logo can also show that the products are both free from animal ingredients and free from animal testing.
Choosing vegan products isn't just about ensuring they are free from animal derived ingredients. Many skin care products have also been tested on animals. As a result of campaigning, animal testing for cosmetic products has been phased out in many countries including Australia and the UK. However, there are still many countries where animal testing is still permitted, such as the US and many cosmetics and skin care products still involve animal testing.