Veganism is not only a hot new trend, it’s a conscious way of life for many. Cruelty-free beauty and lifestyles are becoming more and popular for those who want to be healthier and planet aware.
I’m often asked ‘are essential oils vegan’ so in this complete guide we will find out the definitive answer once and for all!
Let’s get the quick answer down first before we look a little deeper.
In general, most quality essential oils are vegan as they are made from 100% plant products. Most oils will not be tested on or exploit animals. However, some low-quality oils include fillers, synthetic fragrances, diluting oils, and other artificial components. These may not be vegan so check the ingredients carefully.
Ok so now we’ve got the short answer you can start to enjoy all the benefits of essential oils that fit with your holistic vegan lifestyle!
Let’s discover a little about why essential oils are vegan.
Why are essential oils vegan?
So we can understand whether essential oils are vegan, we first need to find out what makes a product vegan?
It can be mind-boggling to work out whether a product including essential oil might be vegan or just cruelty-free!
So let’s start with a little explanation of veganism
According to the vegan society, veganism is a complete philosophy that prohibits animal products including dairy, insects, and honey.
“Veganism is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment. In dietary terms, it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.”
Ok, so from the horse’s mouth it seems as if essential oils need to be free from animal products, alongside any testing which exploits animals.
So it looks like it’s a two-pronged decision that leads us on to whether or not essential oils are vegan.
Have the oils been tested on animals and do they contain animal products?
Vegan essential oil and animal testing
No Animal testing and cruelty-free are marketing captions there to grab the attention of this generations more socially aware consumer.
But as we’ve seen above, it’s imperative for any essential oils to be sold as vegan to ensure it contains no animal products in its ingredients.
Added to this, vegans also require the assurance that there was no exploitation of animals in order to produce the essential oil.
Are essential oils tested on animals?
In general most essential oils are free from animal testing. However, this doesn’t mean every brand is. You will need to check the label thoroughly first to find out.
This is, of course, important if you are following a vegan lifestyle and trying to decide which brand of essential oils more closely follows your vegan ethics!
Read on to find out why it’s important to check the packaging.
“vegans require the assurance that there was no exploitation of animals in order to produce the essential oil.”
Check the packaging
To find out for definite whether essential oils are vegan, it’s back to the time tested tradition of reading the label!
The ingredients in an oil will tell you whether or not they have had extra ingredients added which may not be fully vegan.
Some of these ingredients will include:
- Diluting oils
- Synthetic fragrances
- Other unnatural components
“To find out for definite whether essential oils are vegan, it’s back to the time-tested tradition of reading the label! “
How are essential oils made?
Essential oils are generally fully vegan as they are made from distilling or cold pressing oils from a single plant.
So we can get a better handle on essential oils that are vegan, according to scientific research, one of the main issues with commercially prepared oils is adulteration. In a nutshell, adding extra ingredients.
It’s economically better for manufacturers to add extra filing ingredients and also to blend synthetic fragrance oils into the essential oils they sell.
Synthetic oils can be a real issue for vegans as mostly they are made in laboratories from petroleum chemicals. There is also more likelihood they will be tested on animals.
Fragrance oils can contain up to 200 ingredients
Fragrance oils can be made from a staggering 200 or more ingredients so if you are following a vegan lifestyle, they should be avoided.
So once manufacturers start to add other ingredients, it can be harder working out whether those essential oils are vegan.
It’s important to remember a true essential oils will never have any added ingredients or fragrance enhancers.
Making sure you aren’t accidentally using fragrance oil that for instance is called ‘lavender breeze’ is important if you are vegan.
It could be that it is vegan, but when you investigate the ingredients you could find either that animals may have been exploited in the testing or that they contain animal products.
If you want to know more about fragrance oils and their safety check out my helpful article Are Fragrance Oils Safe To Use On Skin?
Essential oils, in general, should be 100 % pure and wholly derived from the stated botanical source.
“Fragrance oils can be made from a staggering 200 or more ingredients so if you are following a vegan lifestyle, they should be avoided.”
List of 22 vegan essential oils
According to the vegan society, If the world went vegan it could:
- Reduce the worlds death toll by 8 million as at 2050
- Reduce lll agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions by a whopping two thirds
- Save money on healthcare
- Avoid$1.5 trillion in climate damages
So when we see those facts, it doesn’t take a genius to work out there are many reasons why you should use vegan essential oils!
Essential oils can be an important part of your vegan lifestyle. Including:
- Diffusing essential oils in your home
- Using essential oils for DIY vegan beauty products
- Vegan homemade DIY candles
- Massage oils vegan friendly
- Home fragrance for vegans
- Face creams
- Essential oil vegan skincare
So let’s find out 26 essential oil brands to help you keep the vegan philosophy
22 vegan essential oil brands
- Ulta collection
- Guru Nanda
- Heritage store
- Now products
- Pure essential oil works
- Plant therapy
- Jason natural care
- Plant life
- Art naturals
- Mountain rose herb
- Aura cacia
- Little moon essentials
- Well scent
- Oils for life
- Bare ethics
- Clay lotus
Are carrier oils vegan?
If you want to use essential oils to make your own aromatherapy creations and massage blends, you might be wondering whether carrier oils are vegan.
A carrier oil is necessary to dilute essential oils before you use them. They are usually mild in fragrance to allow the aroma of the essential oil to do the talking!
Most carrier oils are mostly derived from vegetables or fruits ( for example avocado and apricot) so by their nature will usually be vegan.
But once again to make sure just check the label and find out if they are ‘ cruelty free’ without animal testing or any kind of animal exploitation.
Many of the better brands of carrier oils will clearly state they are vegan.
So I hope that’s been a helpful article in making it easier to follow a vegan lifestyle when it comes to essential oils!
Using aromatherapy can be a relaxing way to enjoy the benefits of these powerful little oils and it’s great to know that in general most better brands will be vegan.
As I said previously scrutinize the label of any oil that doesn’t state it’s organic or one that doesn’t contain its Latin name. This could be a fragrance oil with added ingredients unsuitable for vegans.
Don’t forget to check out my other helpful articles at Willowyard.com to help vegans and everyone to enjoy essential oils! lots of information on how to use diffusers, best oils for relaxation, whether reed diffusers are better than candles and more!
This content has been checked and verified by a medical professional or aromatherapist The article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication by our editorial policy.