Is Sunscreen Vegan?

Mostly, no. Animal derived ingredients are used in beauty products for a variety of reasons but luckily, vegan alternatives are available that are just good and often better that their non-vegan counterparts. 

So, which ingredients aren’t vegan? Some of them will be familiar to you (think beeswax and retinol) but some you may not have heard of and you won’t believe where they come from...

We’ve put together a list of some of the most common non-vegan cosmetic ingredients to look out for at the end of the blog.

Is sunscreen vegan?

What is vegan sunscreen?

Simply put, vegan sunscreen and other vegan beauty products are produced using only plant-derived ingredients and none from animals or animal by-products. They avoid harm to animals during the production or testing of the products. 

Unfortunately due to lack of vegan regulation, companies can, for example, claim to be vegan whilst still testing on animals and can claim to be 'cruelty free' whilst not using vegan ingredients, it is also common for individual brands to produce and sell both vegan and non vegan products.

Here at Palm and Pine we are proud to say that we are 100% vegan and cruelty free*. Our products are made from vegan ingredients which you can check out for yourself.

Palm & Pine is 100% vegan sunscreen

Does vegan sunscreen work?

A common question we hear is, ‘are vegan sunscreens as effective as non-vegan ones?'. The answer is a resounding yes... If the brand is legit and correctly tested, but this applies to all sunscreen products.

Before going on sale to the public, sun protection products must meet strict regulations and standards set by the governing body of the region where the products are to be sold. The testing is extensive, costly, and time consuming. The main components are SPF testing, stability, product lifespan and compatibility with packaging.

Palm and Pine are proud to say that all of our products meet standards set by the European Union, widely considered to be the toughest and most comprehensive standards in the world. Yes it’s worth a brag. It was intense.

Palm & Pine EU certified and tested

Are Vegan Products Natural?

Not necessarily. Not all vegan products are made with natural formulations. Animal derived ingredients are often replaced and combined with synthetic ingredients such as Petroleum Jelly, synthetic fragrances/colouring and propylene glycol. 

If you’re looking for natural, vegan products we always recommend checking the ingredients and doing a little research before buying a new product.  

Natural vegan sunscreen

Why choose vegan products?

When choosing cosmetics, clothing, food or the millions of other vegan products now available, you are using your money to vote for a change. Your money will be taken from industries that are responsible for high levels of carbon emissions, animal mistreatment, and destruction of natural habitats. Instead it will be transferred to a new generation of companies aiming to reduce our impact, provide sustainable alternatives, and alleviate some of the strain on our natural world. Vegan does not mean perfect, however, so always check that the vegan ingredients are sustainably grown and sourced. 

Palm & Pine sustainable company

Vegan Sunscreen by Palm & Pine

The experienced chemists in the Palm and Pine laboratory have worked tirelessly to produce plant based formulas using natural, sustainable ingredients to moisturise, nurture, heal, and most importantly protect your skin. You can check out our upcoming Instagram post which shows off some of the delicious vegan ingredients in our sunscreens. 

Why not try Palm & Pine and find out why everyone is talking about their sunscreen upgrade! 

If you would like to know more about sunscreen, debunk some of the myths, and misconceptions about these important products, or would like to know more about us, our products and our values then check out the Palm & Pine blog and guides for more info.

Non-vegan cosmetic ingredients and vegan alternatives





It can be derived from fish oil or egg yolks

Retinoid - derived from vegetables or bakuchiol, which is found in the seeds and leaves of a plant called psoralea corylifolia. 


Secreted by bees and used to form cells in beehives

Helianthus Annuus Seed Wax - derived from sunflower. Carnauba wax - a tree from Brazil. Candelilla wax - a plant from Mexico.


This red colourant, which is often used in lipsticks, blushes and nail polish, is derived from insects.

Iron oxide, plant-based dyes.


Animal fat extracted from sheep wool, used as an emollient and is a common ingredient in lip products (balms, sticks, glosses), as well as hair products. 

Plant oils - olive, coconut. Butters - shea, coconut.


Keratin comes from the hair and horns of animals, and is often found in strengthening nail and hair products. 

Soy protein. Almond oil.


A fibrous protein derived from the bones, skin, and connective tissue of animals, including cattle, fish, horses, pigs, and rabbits.

Soy protein. Almond oil.

Oleyl stearate

This animal fat is used as a softening and conditioning emollient in nail polish, soap, moisturisers and make-up. 

Can be plant-derived from a number of sources, including coconut, olives, and nuts.


Used in a similar way as collagen, elastin is also a protein extracted from the muscles, ligaments and aortas of animals. 

Vegan alternatives include hyaluronic acid and MSM (Methyl Sulfonyl Methane).

Stearic Acid

Used in soaps and cleansers, stearic acid improves the texture and consistency of the products it’s mixed with. It naturally moisturizses and cleanses the skin, which is why it’s popular in many skincare products. Stearic acid is often derived from pork fat and stomachs.

A vegan alternative (also called stearic acid) can be derived from plant fats like coconut oil and cocoa butter.

Casein - Milk derivative

Generally derived from cow’s milk, and can be used in conditioning hair products and face treatments

The plant-based alternative to casein is called legumin, which is obtained from legumes like beans, peas, lentils, and hemp.  


Glycerine (or glycerol), is sometimes derived from tallow, or animal fat. It works as a natural moisturiser, repairing damaged skin tissue and scars while preventing signs of ageing. 

Vegetable glycerin, which is suitable for vegans, can be derived from soya or coconut oil.


Lecithin, like collagen and elastin, is naturally found in the human body. It is used in skincare products to even out the skin’s texture and restore its hydration. Often, it’s derived from eggs or fish.

Vegan is lecithin made from sunflower seeds and soybeans. 

Hyaluronic Acid

A moisturising and anti-aging ingredient, hyaluronic acid often comes from the combs of roosters (the rubbery, red crown at the top of their heads)

Vegan alternatives come from microbial fermentation of plants. 


*Animal testing has been illegal in Europe since 2013 and we ensure we source all of our ingredients within Europe to ensure that they adhere to this law. China, for example allows and in some circumstances mandates animal testing for certain products so we monitor our supply chain to ensure that we comply with European law and avoid animal testing.

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