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It’s not what we intended in the beginning, heck I hadn’t even noticed it until a friend, who happened to be vegan, asked the question – Nat, do you create vegan skin care products? I’ll admit I was a little taken aback, I had not given any thought to it.

You see, Verissima was formulated by a certified Aromatherapist & Gestalt Therapist which means your entire wellbeing; physical, mental and spiritual was in mind when each and every product was developed.

When a need arose, an aromatherapy blend was carefully put together, that blend was intended to help heal, to make one feel better using the ingredients from natures pantry. Creating vegan skin care was not her mission.

This blend was then carefully incorporated into a recipe to make a product that the person would benefit from using, a bit like medicine I suppose. Amazing. Arising out of need, the way it should be.

When I, an environmentalist, took the range under my wings I drastically improved every product by only using natural, certified organic and non-toxic ingredients so not only were us humans being looked after, so was our planet.

I was confused! Vegan? No, they are not. But is vegan skin care the best?

Does that mean they are not everything that I had worked so hard for them to be?

No, it didn’t.

I decided to revisit every recipe, to go through them with a fine-tooth comb to ease my curious mind & to make sure I hadn’t missed an important issue when formulating our products.

Immediately, I knew those products that I used beeswax in, were not vegan skin care. I was a little aghast at that. In my mind beeswax has so many beneficial healing benefits, plus I only sourced our beeswax from a local certified organic farm. But I do understand that the wellbeing of the animal comes first, that is what I am about to so why no beeswax in vegan skincare?

Well I did learn that some company’s factory farm bee’s. What the? Yes, according to People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals (PETA) “…Factory-farmed bees are denied their hardwired, instinctual desire to seek out nearby flowers and plants to pollinate…” and I totally get that.

I was rather happy to know I was not supporting that culture by only sourcing our beeswax from a Certified Organic apiarist where the wellbeing of the animal is paramount. I know they personally drive hundreds of kilometres, at different times of the year, to where their hives are located because they work with nature, with what flowers are in season. Rather than sticking all the bees in a factory they have hives amongst the natural ecosystems and they travel to them.  

I’m not even sure if that practise occurs in Australia, I hope not.

I also found out that “…bees won’t urinate or defecate in their hives, they are forced, while trapped inside boxes, to “hold it.” Many bees—and sometimes entire colonies—die from this ordeal”. I was beginning to understand the importance of vegan skin care.

So not being allowed out into the world has dire consequences. Omg! Imagine if we were made to hold it, no thanks!

And I’m acutely aware of the pests and diseases that bees are prone to. If a hive were found to be infested, they are burned or sprayed with toxic chemicals to kill of the pest or disease. I do understand why products with beeswax or honey is frowned upon by vegans.

In my previous employment as a Quarantine Officer, part of my responsibilities included inspecting any machinery entering Western Australia, including apiary equipment. At the time, used apiary equipment was prohibited entry due to the potential risk of introducing pests and diseases here. Honey from other States and Territories had to be heat treated at extremely high temperatures to prevent pests and diseases from establishing themselves. Hence why I only buy fresh local honey from the farm, it hasn’t been heat treated and, in my opinion, it’s amazing health promoting goodness is intact and the welfare of the colony comes first. But that’s another story.

So that meant of our 23 products, 5 were out straight away. Our Rosehip Moisturiser, Lip Balm, Healing Balm, Gardeners Hand Cream and our Rich Night Cream were not vegan.

But that was it! Only 5 products in our entire range were not vegan but  the only animal derived ingredient we used in these were certified organic beeswax. We do not use any other animal derived ingredients.

What a relief!

So what is Verissima’s stance on using animal derived ingredients?

Now that I have re-visited all our recipes I am thrilled to say that what I initially wanted in our range, still stands.

Verissima incorporates purposeful ingredients in all products so you confidently know every ingredient is included because it needs to be there to contribute to optimal wellbeing. We do not believe in testing on animals, we do not believe any animal or human for that matter should be harmed for beauty. There is just no need whatsoever and those who do think it is ok need to take a good look at themselves in the mirror.

We formulate our products with the health of you and the health of the planet in mind, using only natural & organic ingredients meaning you are benefiting from all the goodness nature has to offer, every time you use Verissima. Our entire range is not vegan, and in your mind vegan skin care might be the best. I think we have achieved an ethical, sustainable and effective skin care range than many vegan’s will love, including my friend.

You can check out our completely vegan products here

Are you vegan, do you already use Verissima? I’d love to know. 

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