The first thing when you become vegan is to check whether or not each product is vegan. Not only food but also hygiene products, clothes and every little thing you can add a label to.
Vaseline is just one more product that raises eyebrows. Particularly because of its chemical composition that is hard to understand.
So the question is… is vaseline vegan? Yes, vaseline is considered vegan because there are no animal-based products in it. Plus, ever since Unilever announced it would stop animal testing, perhaps more vegans are now comfortable with using vaseline.
But lest not forget that vaseline is made with fossil fuels (petroleum), as such not every vegan is willing to use it due to the negative impact fossil fuels have on the environment.
Before you run off to buy vaseline, let me elaborate a bit more. I also want to suggest natural alternatives given how environmentally-conscious vegans may not be willing to use vaseline.
The Basic Definition of Vegan
What led you to become vegan? Whatever it was, vegans typically become vegan because of three different reasons:
- to protect animals;
- save the environment;
- and to improve their health.
Regardless of the reason, I feel like the vegan definition is always evolving and encompassing different causes. When I embraced veganism, I also began to embrace other causes.
But put simply, a vegan is someone that follows a plant-based diet and doesn’t eat animal products. In other words, a vegan avoids:
- Meat (including poultry, fish, squid, and even insects) ;
- And Honey.
In addition to that, many vegans also avoid products that are tested on animals or affect the environment in a negative way.
Additionally, some vegans avoid minor animal by-products or products that show hints of having been refined with animal products. For instance, refined sugar (from sugarcane) is known to be filtered and bleached using bone char, therefore some vegans decide to avoid it.
That’s why I say the definition of being vegan changes from person to person. While I might be willing to avoid refined sugar, you might not. That doesn’t make you less vegan than me.
What’s important is that we both make the best possible effort to stop animal consumption.
Vaseline Has No Animal Products.
The Vaseline Healing Jelly is probably the most popular vaseline on the market. There are different brands of petroleum jelly and they all contain the same ingredients.
Speaking about ingredients, vaseline is usually made up of one ingredient: petroleum jelly.
Petroleum jelly is but a mixture of mineral oils and waxes, therefore it doesn’t contain any animal ingredients. Unfortunately, not every product is as easy to check as vaseline.
Some products have more ingredients, some have less. But a good general rule of thumb is to check for three different things:
- Check the package for a vegan certificate (or just the ‘vegan’ word);
- See the allergen warnings for milk or eggs;
- Read the ingredients from top to bottom;
If the package doesn’t have a vegan “sign”, you can usually verify the product by checking the allergens. However, not every product is easy to decipher.
Certain products (outside food) don’t have an allergens section, so you need to familiarize yourself with ingredients to know what is vegan and what is not.
Is Vaseline Cruelty-Free?
For vegans following a broader definition of veganism, Vaseline may not qualify as a vegan product because Vaseline belongs to Unilever.
Unilever is a huge company that owns 400 different brands such as Dove, Heartbrand, Magnum, Cornetto, Ben & Jerry’s, Hellman’s, Comfort and more. Brands that are either known for connections to the dairy industry or responsible for running experiments on animals to validate the safety of their products for humans.
Recently, Unilever has backed down on animal testing, and they’re committed to ending animal testing. However, they also state that some of their suppliers may conduct animal testing to comply with “regulation”.
Although the company may not conduct animal testing, there’s a connection. Not to mention, they also own brands that require animal products. (Magnum, Nestlé, etc)
This being said, whether you avoid consuming their products or not depends on what type of vegan you are. I, for one, believe that consuming “vegan” products from a company such as Unilever allows us to bring awareness to the vegan movement, forcing these companies to invest more resources in vegan products.
For example, here’s Gary Yourofsky’s opinion on vegans consuming products from non-vegan companies:
Is Vaseline Bad For The Environment
Some vegans are concerned about the petroleum-based ingredients in vaseline. Sure, we should limit fossil fuel consumption, but if you think about limiting every little thing, you’re going to severely limit the number of things you can buy.
Will you stop driving your car because it runs on petrol or gasoline? Won’t you take vaccines or consume pills if you’re in a situation of life or death?
As vegans, we have to do the best we can to better the planet, but at the same time, we can’t simply abandon every product and hope the world does the same thing.
Most vegans probably use vaseline without batting an eye. As long as they’re not causing animal suffering along the way, they’re fine with using polyester or any other sub-product that may have environmental repercussions.
But if you’re not “most vegans”, and you’re willing to go the extra mile— here are a few homemade and natural vaseline replacements:
- Cocoa, shea or mango butter;
- Aloe vera;
- Coconut oil;
- Carnauba wax.
In addition to these homemade ingredients, there are commercially available products that are vegan and do not test on animals.
Here’s a short list of natural and petroleum-free products:
- RMS Beauty Coconut Cream
- Goe Oil
- Lush’s Ultra Balm
Let’s take a quick look at each product and see what they have to offer.
RMS Beauty Coconut Cream
If you happen to suffer from eczema, you will find some relief in applying this coconut oil. This product is solely comprised of coconut oil, so it contains both the enzymes and nutrients your skin needs to nourish itself.
Another positive aspect is that it can be applied to any part of the body without feeling too greasy.
This product is lighter than butter, lasts longer than a moisturizer and it absorbs faster. Goe Oil is a combination of 28 plants, fruit, flower oils, and kinds of butter. Don’t worry, every single ingredient on the label is plant-based, and is petroleum-free.
You can spread it all over your body and feel what it’s like to have baby skin all over again.
Goe Oil is available on Anthropologie.
Lush’s Ultra Balm
Lush’s Ultra Balm is made of organic jojoba oil, candela wax, and rose wax. You can quickly verify from the ingredients that it is vegan, and also from the “vegan” certificate on the package.
This product is available on Revolve.com.
Summary: Vaseline Is Considered Vegan.
From a simple definition, vaseline is vegan.
It doesn’t contain any animal products, but there’s no certainty of whether not it was tested on animals. Plus, because it contains oil it also has a negative environmental impact.
As a result, not many vegans may be okay with using vaseline.
This means that vaseline is vegan from a technical standpoint, but it might not be vegan if your vegan definition goes beyond a product being clear of animal ingredients.
I personally would use vaseline (If I had a need for it), but I don’t use it. However, if you decide to use vaseline, that won’t make you any less vegan so don’t worry about it.
Here’s a list of other similar posts about products that may or may not be vegan:
Thankfully, more cruelty-free alternatives are popping up in the market, so in some of the blog posts I continually write, I’m including alternatives that are 10x kinder to both animals and the environment.
Thanks for reading and feel free to browse the website for more information. In fact, here’s a pretty useful blog post if you want to do veganism the right way!
Top 2 Vegan Recommendations in 2021
- This is hands down our favorite vegan supplement. It’s not your typical multivitamin because it was created from vegans to vegans. It contains vitamin B12, vitamin D, and the Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA & EPA). These ingredients are delivered in the right doses, so that you never have to worry about a potential deficiency in the future. Feel free to read my review on the supplement as well.
- Our second recommendation is this amazing vegan starter kit. It is actually a bundle with 9 e-books that will help you lead a healthy, vegan lifestyle. It has great advice, and it includes print-outs and checklists that will allow you to easily put theory into practice, particularly if you’re new to the vegan lifestyle. This is a recommendation I’ve also included in my essential vegan products page as well.