Are Botox, Dysport and Juvederm Vegan?
- Michael Donald - July 30th 2019
As the popularity of the vegan lifestyle and of minimally invasive cosmetic treatments grows, it can only lead to one thing: more patient inquiries regarding vegan-friendly cosmetic injections. While you may be an expert at restoring youth and beauty, these lifestyle questions can be difficult to address. Read on to find out whether top brand names like Juvederm, Restylane, Botox, and more fit the bill.
What makes a product vegan?
Two main factors determine if a product is vegan: its ingredients and its testing.
For a product to be considered vegan, it must contain no animal products and no ingredients derived from animals. A vegan individual does not consume meat, eggs, dairy or other products obtained from animals and also does not wear leather, fur or wool.
For a product to be considered vegan, it must not be tested on animals. While, legally, a product can be labelled as vegan if it does not contain animal ingredients, most vegans prefer that their products not be tested on animals.
Is Botox vegan?
The most popular cosmetic injectables, Botox contains botulinum toxin, which is produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. While this ingredient is vegan, a secondary ingredient in Botox is human albumin, which is a protein from human blood. Although the main ingredient in Botox comes from bacteria, Botox is not vegan.
Botox is also tested on animals. To determine the Lethal Dose (LD50) of each batch, Allergan injects mice with the solution and records how many die. Allergan is working to reduce its animal testing by 95% by switching to a cell-based assay. Although this has not completely eliminated their animal testing, it is a large improvement.
Are other botulinum toxins vegan?
Botox's main rivals, Xeomin/Bocouture and Dysport/Azzalure, also contain human albumin. The two manufacturers also test on animals, although Merz is switching testing types for a 95% reduction in animal testing for Xeomin and Bocouture. Ipsen has pledged to stop animal testing of its Dysport and Azzalure.
The South Korean company Medytox produces a botulinum toxin that does not contain human albumin. Neuronox contains a plant protein, which makes its ingredients vegan and, arguably, safer for human use. Unfortunately, this vegan Botox alternative is not available in the U.S.
Is Juvederm vegan?
Juvederm products are made of hyaluronic acid, which is a natural wrinkle-filling substance found throughout animal tissues. While many orthopedic injectables are made with hyaluronic acid found in rooster combs, most dermal fillers, including Juvederm, source theirs from bacterial fermentation. Since Juvederm fillers are produced using bacterial fermentation, their ingredients are vegan.
However, most medical products, including dermal fillers, are required by law to be tested. Juvederm has been tested on animals, but just as with Botox, Allergan has committed to greatly reducing their animal testing.
Is Restylane vegan?
Like Juvederm, Restylane fillers are made from non-animal hyaluronic acid. Produced by bacterial fermentation, this hyaluronic acid does not come from animal sources, and is therefore vegan-friendly. However, Restylane has been tested on animals.
Is Filorga vegan?
Similar to Juvederm and Restylane, Filorga fillers are made with vegan hyaluronic acid that is produced through bacterial fermentation. According to Filorga, they do not test their cosmetic products on animals, although it is unclear if this applies to their cosmetic injectables as well.
Are other lip fillers and dermal fillers vegan?
Most lip fillers and dermal fillers are made of hyaluronic acid from bacterial fermentation. Although this is a vegan-friendly ingredient, most medical products in the U.S. have undergone some sort of animal testing, which means that these fillers are likely not cruelty-free.
Can vegans receive cosmetic injections?
As more people choose to become vegan, and still others become more aware of animal testing and other ethical concerns, you will likely receive more questions about the ingredients and testing of the products in your clinic.
For vegan patients with dynamic wrinkles, there is no botulinum toxin currently available in the U.S. that is both made with vegan ingredients and not tested on animals. Some vegan patients may opt for lip and dermal fillers, as the majority of hyaluronic acid fillers are produced with bacterial fermentation, making them non-animal products. However, most have been tested on animals. While some vegan individuals may accept products that have been tested on animals, others may not. It is important to provide all relevant information to your patients and let them determine what they are comfortable with.