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Why your makeup sucks!

July 19, 2018

girl with red hair and sunglasses wearing rainbow shirt putting her thumb down

We love our furry animals, yes we do! We also love our slippery ones!! A dear friend of ours, Rob Stewart was a big proponent of saving the sharks and in honor of him, we thought you should know a few facts about what might be lurking in some of your favorite cosmetic brands. 

person putting squalene moisturizer on pad for face

Squalane or squalene is a lubricant/moisturizer found in it’s largest concentrations in deep sea shark livers. It’s also found in a more expensive, plant based form like olive oil, but unregulated shark fishing is a cheaper source and the reason you can find it in so many cosmetic brands today. Between shark fin soup and the use of shark liver oils in cosmetics, our ocean predators have been decimated. Shark derived squalane/squalene can be found in a wide variety of products includingbath oils, hair products, eye makeup, foundations, lipstick, suntan, sunscreen, body powders, nail products, moisturizers and skin care products, and it can be hard to tell whether it’s derived from Sharks or from a more expensive source like olive oil.

What Can I do?

Make sure that the brands you’re buying from don’t contain shark derived squalane or squalene by checking the ingredients list or going onto the website and checking the FAQ. Many brands will readily post and discuss being shark free, so if you’re having difficulty figuring out whether your product contains shark derived oils, contact the company and ask.

Buy from a trusted brand: Below is a list of Major Brands that doNOT contain shark derived Squalane:

1. L’Oreal                2. Unilever
3. Boots                  4. Clarins
5. Ponds                 6. Dove
7. Sunsilk                8. Vaseline
9. Face Atelier       10. Lancome
11. Soft & Dri         12. Sisley
13. La Mer             14. Marc Jacobs

Sharks aren’t the only critters being harmed by the cosmetics industry. A few other products that use, harm, or kill animals solely for their organs are perfumes,dyes, and nail polish.


African Civet Cat lying on wood

The African Civet Cat is kept in cages for up to 15 years for its rich smelling anal gland secretions, and is used in all sorts of perfumes and musks. Another musk smelling secretion comes from the beaver and is used for the same reason and is often killed for it. Perfume manufacturers that still use and kill beaver includeChanel, Antaeus, Cuir de Russie, Magie Noire by Lancome, Emeraude, Chalimar, Opium by Yves Saint Laurent, and Givenchy III. 

To avoid this you’ll want to stay away from perfumes that aren’t floral based! 


Cochineal beetle on leaf

A natural red dye from the Cochineal beetle, an insect that eats cactus plants in South and Central America, is often used in lipsticks, as well as foods. When the beatles are crushed they excrete a chemical called carminic acid which, when mixed with calcium salts creates a natural dye called Carmine. Carmine is non-toxic, but in order to obtain it, beetles are executed by the thousands.


shellac beetle

Commonly used in nail polish it comes from the secretion of the female Lac Beetle. Unfortunately these beetles are also killed by the thousands solely for their Shellac. 

Don’t fret, below is a list of 15 cosmetic brands that don’t use animal products or animal testing, Happy, animal cruelty-free shopping!

Tarte (Owned by Kose) - Toxin free makeup

Bite - Lipsticks "healthy enough to eat"

Ciate - Nail polish and makeup

Nudestix - No makeup makeup

Becca (owned by Estee Lauder) -Highlighters

Too Faced (by Estee Lauder) - Pressed powders

Anastasia Beverly Hills - Brow Products

Illamasqua - Bold Colors

Kat Von D - Liquid lipsticks

Hourglass - high quality products

Urban Decay (owned by L'Oreal) - neutrals

Milk Makeup - available at Sephora

Charlotte Tillbury - Makeup

Marc Jacobs Beauty - Makeup

Cover fx - Foundations and concealers 

In Loving Memory of Rob Stewart the director of Shark Water, and long-time servant of the sea.

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