Looking to vegan up your beauty routine?  Just a few simple steps will set you on the right path. We asked vegan beauty brand Lux Aestiva’s founder Katie Blyth for her top tips.

1. Start Off Small
Whether it’s switching over one product at a time, or changing them over gradually as you run out, it’s still contributing in a small, yet positive way. Before you know it, you’ll prefer the plant-based alternative anyway.

A great place to begin is to avoid any brands that test on animals. This is absolutely avoidable. A quick Google search can tell you the brands that are still doing this.

Another great place to start is with your evening routine. Instead of using a heavy, chemical-laden moisturiser, make a switch to a vegan, natural oil, such as Lux Aestiva’s Wildflower Oil for the Face, $99.

Worried about using an oil instead of a moisturiser? Don’t be. Oils can actually be extremely beneficial when it comes to balancing out an oily complexion. Plus, they’re packed with omegas and antioxidants, so they’re great for anti-ageing.

You can also swap your cleanser for a natural, vegan alternative that’s kinder on the skin (and the planet) yet still extremely effective. The newly launched Lux Aestiva Constellations Cleansing Oil, $56, is a great option.

Another place to start is with lip gloss and lip stick. Many contain lanolin or beeswax, both ingredients derived from animals. There are so many kinder alternatives out there. The Vegan Company loves VonBlu Vegan Semi-Matte Lipsticks, $25, available in 16 Cruelty-free hues.

If in doubt or confused, start by seeking out brands that are well known as Vegan brands, or ones that have affiliated with ethical causes, whether it be endorsements by PETA or alignments with Sea Shepard, as we at Lux Aestiva have.

2. Be More Mindful
Everyone can make a huge difference simply by being more mindful. Start by becoming aware of the products you consume and use on your body, and how they may be affecting animals, yourself and the environment. You might find that many of the products that you use have fantastic vegan alternatives, but it’s just been force of habit that you’ve chosen that particular brand.

Or you might be mindful of the packaging and what it could be doing to the environment and its inhabitants, so prefer to make a switch to something more eco-conscious. Avoid beauty products that are housed in plastic and skip ones that use too much packaging. At Lux Aestiva we house most of our products in re-usable glass bottles and use recyclable cardboard packaging. Small things like this can make a huge difference. Always remember, the least amount of packaging, the better it is for the environment.

3. Understand Your Ingredients
Unfortunately, many of us can be completely oblivious when it comes to what is actually in the products that we use in our daily lives. It can be incredibly confusing, and most people simply don’t have the time to put into researching what those ingredients are.

A good way to start is by choosing brands that you know are definitely vegan and natural, so then if you don’t know what the ingredient is, you can still rest assured knowing it is something natural and safe. If you do like using other brands however, try to steer clear of some of the more obvious ingredients that we know are harmful to animals and the planet.

These include ingredients that contain any animal derivatives, which unfortunately can be tricky to spot simply because they are called something else. An example of this is Squalene which many people don’t know is derived from shark liver. Another big one is Palm Oil – absolutely avoid this at all costs. The Palm Oil industry is associated with major issues such as animal cruelty, deforestation and climate change. Hundreds of thousands of acres of rain forests have been cleared and continue to be cleared for the development of Palm oil Plantations, at the expense of biodiversity and ecosystems. Some species are facing extinction due to it, like the beautiful orangutan.

Also avoid the animal fat, Tallow, which is used in many skincare products, particularly soap. Then there’s a few obvious ones like Emu Mink Oil and Emu Oil, which are derived from Australia’s incredible national bird. While considered by many to be by-products, if you’re a staunch vegan, you will want to avoid both beeswax and lanolin, found in many lip glosses and skincare products. Look for alternatives like coconut oil or Shea butter.

And lastly, hyaluronic acid which many people don’t know is often rooster combs (the red crown on the head of a rooster). This is a tricky one as not all hyaluronic acid is animal-derived and safer versions can be manufactured, so do some research into the brand and their products if this is an ingredient.

Even products like nail polish contain non-vegan ingredients so if in doubt, research first. If you aren’t sure about any particular ingredient, simply type in to Google a question about where that ingredient comes from. You’ll soon spot and become familiar with the typical animal derived ingredients that are used.

4. Do Things Your Way
It can be easy to compare yourself to others when it comes to trying to live a plant-based life. Try to focus on doing things your way, in order to be true to yourself. Living a plant-based life comes with incredible benefits, but it is important to follow your intuition with what’s right for you and your body.

Focus on what works for you, eliminating what doesn’t and be sure to just enjoy the journey. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for the next person. For example, you might find everyone you know is using a particular natural ingredient, but you don’t like the smell. It’s OK try something else – there are so many brilliant vegan options out there.

Find the vegan brands that work for you and you’ll soon get into your own rhythm. As long as you’re choosing vegan, natural and sustainable options, you’re on the right track and there are no rules.