It’s January. Or, as many clean-eating, eco-conscious, plant-based people would have it; Veganuary. This year, a record 500,000 have signed up to the Veganuary Challenge, pledging to eat only plant-based foods for an entire month. If you’re one of them, take a look at our round up of the best vegan restaurants in London for some fast-food inspiration.
But veganism doesn’t start and end with your diet. In fact, when we met racing driver (and famed vegan) Lewis Hamilton for our Summer 2020 issue of Gentleman’s Journal, he revealed that true veganism means so much more. For example, Neat Burger — Hamilton’s chain of plant-based burger restaurants — even ensures that its packaging is sustainably sourced.
Which got us to thinking; if we really want to commit to Veganuary, we shouldn’t be confining our cruelty-free lifestyle changes to the kitchen. So, below, we’ve rounded up a handful of the best vegan grooming brands — to do this plant-based thing properly.
For the best masks and moisturisers, Q+A Natural Skincare
Who are they? A Norfolk-based brand; family-run and founded in 2012. On a mission to demystify skincare, Q+A’s entire skincare range is 98% natural, meaning no silicones or petrochemical bases.
Why should you care? Because no Q+A product has been tested on animals — or ever will be. The brand also uses COSMOS certified suppliers; a standard that ensures all ingredients are sourced sustainably.
What should you buy? We’d recommend the ‘Activated Charcoal Face Mask’. Purifying, detoxifying and perfect for oily, stressed skin, it’s the back-to-work pick-me-up we all could do with this Veganuary.
Q+A Activated Charcoal Face Mask
For top oral hygiene, Waken Mouthcare
Who are they? Springing onto the dental hygiene scene in 2019, Waken is the brainchild of Simon Duffy — he of another acclaimed vegan men’s grooming brand, Bulldog Skincare. Keeping our teeth and tongues in tip-top condition, they produce non-chemical mouthwashes.
Why should you care? Because the vegan-friendly range of mouthwashes are unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. Far from the swill we’re made to swill at the dentist, these brilliantly botanical offerings use extracts from eucalyptus, natural mint and other plants to deeply cleanse your mouth.
What should you buy? For us, it has to be the ‘SpearMint Mouthwash’. A teeth-strengthening, gum-supporting, breath-freshening formula, this zero-alcohol offering is as effective as it is stylish. (Those bottles are sustainably made, too).
Waken SpearMint Mouthwash
For the best fragrances, Laboratory Perfumes
Who are they? Founded by menswear retailer Aaron Firth in 2011, Laboratory Perfumes is run by a small, dedicated team in London. Creating unisex fragrances and pushing for sustainability are the brand’s two main focuses.
Why should you care? Because every ingredient, element and packaging component is sourced within a 130-mile radius of Laboratory Perfumes HQ. Add that to the brand’s plant-based principles, and you’ve got a seriously impressive set-up.
What should you buy? We’d suggest ‘Atlas’. Inspired by the scents and scenery of Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, Laboratory’s latest eau de perfume is a swirl of rum, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and black pepper.
Laboratory Perfumes Atlas Eau De Toilette
For the best hand wash, KANKAN
Who are they? In bold all-caps, KANKAN are shouting about sustainability (and soap). The British brand are formulating some of the most effective, fragrant vegan hand washes currently on the market — and we all know how important hand-washing is at the moment…
Why should you care? Because of KANKAN’s cans. Using recycled aluminium, the KANKAN team send your hand wash refills in beer-style cans — as they’re lightweight, sustainable and 95% more eco-friendly than plastic.
What should you buy? We’ve got a soft spot for the ‘Mandarin & Clary Sage Hand Wash’. Free from sulphates, parabans, silicon and cruelty, it smells so good that you’ll have to remind yourself not to take a swig from the can.
KANKAN Mandarin & Clary Sage Hand Wash
For everyday protection, The Lost Explorer
Who are they? Founded, in part at least, by genuine explorer David de Rothschild, The Lost Explorer is a brand that produces everything from skin balms to bottles of mezcal (you can read about this latest spirited venture in the current issue of Gentleman’s Journal.)
Why should you care? Because this is a natural wellness range inspired and informed by real adventures. From the ‘Traveler’s Protection Balm’ to the ‘Environmental Protection Lotion’, these are rugged, rough and ready additions to any explorer’s travel bag.
What should you buy? ‘The Lost Explorer Eye Gel’. Especially now it’s wintertime. Created with aloe vera, rose water and samphire, it’ll bring a soothing, fresh quality to the area around your eyes — even if you’ve been tossing and turning in a tent all night.
The Lost Explorer Eye Gel
For the best exfoliating, cleansing skincare, Haeckels
Who are they? Based in Margate, Haeckels are skincare wizards. Despite boasting a product range that is at once eco-friendly, sustainably sourced and completely vegan, the brand’s various blocks, balms and beard oils can work magic.
Why should you care? Because forget Veganuary. Forget and constraints on ingredients or recipes. Haeckel’s ‘Willy Wonka’ approach to grooming — ‘Broccoli Hair Cleanser’, anyone? — makes it one of our favourite bathroom brands full stop.
What should you buy? It has to be the ‘Exfoliating Vegan Seaweed Soap Block’. Luxurious, hydrating and moisture rich, this vegan formula uses raw crushed botanicals including coriander seeds and peppercorns to scrub away dirt and smooth rough patches of skin.
Haeckels Large Exfoliating Vegan Seaweed Block
For the best shaving products, Jack Black Skin Care
Who are they? One of the oldest players in the vegan grooming game, that’s who. Founded over two decades ago, Jack Black has never once tested on animals — and remains committed to using only the best, most natural and uncomplicated ingredients.
Why should you care? Because it’s one of those rare vegan-friendly bands that is male-specific. We’ve been particularly impressed by the shaving range — with products ranging from ‘Supreme Cream Shave Lather’ to ‘Double-Duty Face Moisturiser’.
What should you buy? Infused with jojoba and eucaltypus, we’d recommend the ‘Beard Lube’. Formulated with macadamia nut oil, it functions as a pre-shave oil, shave cream, and an after-shave conditioner all-in-one.
Jack Black Beard Lube