A common ingredient in bars of soap is sodium tallowate, made from rendered animal fat. Stearic acid and glycerin in soap may also be animal derived, whilst honey, lanolin and milk can be added.
Brands which are suitable for vegans have been marked on the score table with [Vg].
Vegan soaps and shower gels are now offered by ALTER/NATIVE and Ecoleaf by Suma, Astonish, Avalon Organics, Baylis and Harding, Bentley Organics, Bio-D, Bulldog, Caurnie Soap, Conscious Skincare, Cuticura bar soap, ECOS, Faith in Nature, Friendly Soap, Honesty, Jason, Little Soap Company, Lucy Bee, Lush, Pure Nuff Stuff, Lavera, Organii, Green People, Weleda, Urtekram, Neal’s Yard.
If you are vegan you may also wish to buy soap from a totally vegan company: Bio-D, Caurnie, Friendly Soap, Honesty, Little Soap Company, Lucy Bee and Faith in Nature.
Cruelty Free Soaps
Although the testing of cosmetics on animals has been banned in the EU, this is not the case everywhere else in the world. But the REACH legislation has complicated the issue. See our feature on animal testing in cosmetics for more on this.
Ethical Consumer rates all companies selling cosmetics on their animal testing policy. Companies will score a best rating if they have a policy not to test on animals, have a fixed cut-off date (a date after which none of their products or ingredients will have been tested on animals), and are not selling to markets where animal testing of products is required by law. A clear rating in the Animal Testing column indicates this.
The following companies were certified by the Leaping Bunny standard, the gold standard for being a cruelty-free company: Astonish, Avalon Organics, Bio-D, Conscious Skincare, Lucy Bee, Faith in Nature, Friendly Soap, Jason, Neal’s Yard, Honesty, Little Soap, Natura (Body Shop).