Vegan discoveries April round up: Keeping Cool

It’s been hot at last. Our garden has erupted in bluebells and I can bust out my Toms. You leave work and it’s still light, walking places becomes a pleasure again.

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I had planned to update this blog in categories, beauty update, snacks update and so on. But life doesn’t happen in categories and it’s always the how it happened rather than the what happened that makes the better story. Not that there’s much storytelling in today’s cruelty free update, but it’s been a month with things to smile about. I’ve been a bit clever and created a THEME for this post. And so, with no further ado, today’s edition has turned out to be on the loose theme of Keeping Cool.

Cruelty-free beauty: the vegan antiperspirant.

I put a lot of research and effort into looking for a cruelty free antiperspirant. As much as I’d love to run off and live in the woods and live in nature, in reality, I work in an office and no one likes a stinky pits. In addition, I have a very sweaty hobby, and so all in all a good deodorant is an essential.

The trouble with this part of the beauty industry is that everything seems owned by freaking L’Oreal, queens of animal testing. And it’s not just cruelty free that’s the issue, for example, Sure’s Aloe Vera antiperspirant has fish in it. I found this really useful blog post by the amazing The Eco Edit that helps you decode your make up bag’s ingredients list. Warning: it’s disgusting reading. But you owe yourself and your skin the right to make informed choices so please do read.

Anyway, when you Google vegan deodorant, vegan antiperspirant, you get the same handful of brands popping up, and they’re basically all US brands, hard to get hold of, or conflicting advice. It was impossible to find anything. Finally I found one, Salt of the Earth, which is stocked at Vegan Disneyland: (exciting, entertaining, overpriced…) Holland & Barrett.

Salt of the Earth spray
Salt of the Earth spray

When I found it on the shelf, I was underwhelmed. It looks like those little sprays you use to keep houseplants damp. It screamed NATURAL like all it was doing was waving homeopathic sugar piss under your arms. Nevertheless, I shelled out 5 English pounds and tried to think about all the weeping bunnies I would be saving while enduring a sweaty summer.

Let me tell you, I WAS WRONG! This stuff is incredible. It sprays on like water, admittedly taking a little while to dry, but it’s so effective. Probably better than the Mitchum 48 hour stick I used to use, and no greasy whiteness to go with it. I don’t know why the heck we cause this pain and suffering to the animals that are used as ingredients and guinea pigs, spreading crap on our bodies that’s probably giving us cancer (there’s a lot of research linking the aluminium in antiperspirant to breast cancer). This cheeky little bottle is perfect. 5 out of 5. And no I wasn’t gifted it and have never spoken to the company, but I feel like I should write them a letter of commendation. It’s no wonder they’ve won awards, this stuff’s got game.

Salt of the Earth
Platinum awards, vegan seal, leaf juice… ticking all boxes.

On the subject of Mitchum, supposedly their antiperspirants contain no animal ingredients, but they are owned by Revlon who sell in China and therefore conduct animal testing. My gut feel for this is to avoid where possible – it’s not like Mitchum shout about eco credentials, so by purchasing it it’s not like you’re showing off to Revlon that you care like in the case of Body Shop/L’Oreal. But it’s a grey area, let me know what you think?

Keeping Cool: Ice Cream edition

When I was a kid, I was never that into ice cream. I had an allergy to a certain red food colouring but a penchant for strawberry flavour things, so I developed an association between ice cream and vomming early on. When I started uni and our halls kitchen didn’t have a freezer, we had one of those amazing summers where it’s sunny permanently (2006 helloooooo). Suddenly I missed it and I craved it.

Going vegan was like being at uni again. Not being able to have it made me want it more. Luckily it appears there’s a shit tonne of milk free alternatives, and they taste ace. Ice cream must be an easy thing to crack, unlike cheese for example.

Top marks for branding goes to Tesco’s deliciously named “Choc Sticks“.

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Tesco choc sticks

The box looks clinical and weird. I had expectations of those crappy choc ices that are 20 for 50p where the chocolate is thin and bland and the ice cream is crystalline, watery and tasteless. Again: WRONG. I would challenge any non vegans to try this and say it’s not real ice cream. The chocolate on the outside is thick and rich dark chocolate, with a satisfying crack as you break it up. The ice cream inside is smooth, creamy vanilla, just like a magnum. They’re currently 3 for 2 and I have officially Stocked Up. Don’t be out off by the uninspiring packaging or name.

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Get in my belly choc stick

Ice cream treat number two is in even weirder packaging and it reminds me of the Doge meme (much wow, so ice cream).

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Just like Ice Cream Mochi Ice Dessert

I had never heard of Mochi before, so I’ve no comparison to whether these are authentic or different to ‘normal’. Basically, the outside is a sort of chewy, doughy, marshmallowy thing, that immediately makes you panic that there must be gelatin in it. There isn’t, it’s just starch from tapioca. You’re safe. Go with it.

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Mochi:  chewy ice balls

So you bite into it (it’s weirdly not that cold) and there’s a runny centre of coconut ice cream, very drippy rather than a solid scoop. I guess it’s sort of the jam donut of the vegan coconut ice cream world. Apparently they come in other flavours, mango, chocolate, strawberry and Black Sesame, naturally. I didn’t know what to expect when I opened them, but it definitely wasn’t 6 individually wrapped pieces. It seems quite wasteful in the plastic packaging, but they’re so sticky I can see why.

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Six coconutty balls

Would be ace if they replaced that with paper or something more eco friendly. High novelty factor, but it doesn’t sit in a bowl with broken oreos and strawberries in quite the same way. 4/5.

That concludes April’s vegan round up: Keeping Cool!  Looking forward to a theme presenting itself for a May round up. Suggestions welcome.

Love, Kayley xx

 

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