Small step or big leap, we all need to do something. It has never been more important to change one, some or all of those daily habits of ours that are killing our planet, and hurting some of its inhabitants. For many people, going vegan is their step in a new direction, whether it's the food they eat or the fashion they buy into. In fact, ‘vegan’ gets almost three times as many Google searches as vegetarian and gluten-free. PETA recognises London as the most vegan-friendly city on the planet, with more specialist restaurants opening every year – discover some of our favourites here.
However, although it may have taken over kitchens across the city, thoughts about vegan living don't immediately extend to our bathrooms, even though there are plenty of brands in the vegan cosmetics and skincare field. No one knows this better than Imelda Burke, founder of Content Beauty & Wellbeing, a treasure trove of natural, organic and vegan beauty in Marylebone. She firmly believes that "some things in life we have little control over – the skincare we use is one area we do" and, accordingly, offers products which meet strict criteria for sustainability and ethics. Here she shares her favourite vegan make-up, cosmetic, hair and skincare products available now.
Pai Middlemist Seven Camellia & Rose Gentle Cream Cleanser
Burke says: Certified vegan by PETA, the Pai Cleanser is ideal for sensitive skin types.
We say: Also containing caster and sweet almond oil, this gentle yet effective cleanser from Pai is perfect for everyday use. Apply before moisturising to restore the skin's pH balance and prevent blemishes.
Middlemist Seven Camellia & Rose Gentle Cream Cleanser, £34, Pai Organic Skincare
Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator
Burke says: This has become our best-selling facial mist and Josh Rosebrook has a cult following internationally.
We say: A combination hydrator, toner and moisturiser, this is the perfect vegan skincare product for the time-pressed. Simply spritz on after cleansing and allow the advanced formula to do its thing.
Hydrating Accelerator, £35, Josh Rosebrook
Whamisa Organic Seeds Hydrogel Sheet Mask
Burke says: Sheet masks have become a massive beauty trend in the past few years and natural brands do them too. This one is great for skincare in the winter.
We say: Containing 95% organic ingredients, including rice, soy and oat ferments, set aside 20 minutes for yourself with Whamisa's soothing sheet mask. The refreshing serum will soften skin and improve its elasticity to leave your complexion bright and clear.
Organic Seeds Hydrogel Sheet Mask, £6.50, Whamisa
Twelve Essential Bio-Technological Moisturiser
Burke says: Formulated for sensitive skin Twelve’s complete range is vegan. This moisturiser is great for a range of skin issues and doubles as a primer.
We say: Skincare wonder ingredient Hylauronic Acid is the key to this moisturiser's power. Capable of holding up to 70% more water than any other substance, it effectively hydrates skin and preps it for make-up application.
Essential Bio-Technological Moisturiser, £48, Twelve Beauty
Tata Harper Resurfacing Serum
Burke says: Something for working against the signs of time; use it under your moisturiser or alone if your skin is prone to oiliness. This serum has been a customer favourite since its launch.
We say: This lightweight serum blends Hyaluronic Acid and essential vitamins to create a nourishing and gently exfoliating formula that is certified natural and cruelty-free. A quick pick-me-up for when your skin needs some serious rejuvenation.
Resurfacing Serum, £80, Tata Harper
La Belle Lune Organic Skin Facial Oil
Burke says: British made in small batches, this oil is ideal as an overnight treatment for most skin types, as it smells heavenly.
We say: Available with either a pipette or pump cap, this elegant facial oil will take pride of place in your bathroom. Designed to work overnight, it targets fine lines, scars and sun damage to leave skin looking healthy and rested.
Organic Skin Facial Oil, £46, La Belle Lune
Evolve Superfood Shine Shampoo
Burke says: Some natural haircare brands use honey in products but this one avoids all animal-derived ingredients and is made right here in the UK.
We say: A winner at the Natural Health Beauty Awards, this vegan shampoo contains sugar and coconut to effectively cleanse the scalp while nourishing hair. Ideal if your locks are struggling in the winter weather.
Superfood Shine Shampoo, £14, Evolve
Soapwalla Deodorant Cream Citrus
Burke says: It can take a bit of getting used to but cream deodorants can work just as effectively as their liquid counterparts. This one is not only vegan but also without Aluminium Chlorohydrate.
We say: Vegan deodorants often get a bad reputation for, well, not working. Soapwalla's cream formula, however, is created using superfine vegetable powders, clay and essential oils and really does what it says on the tin.
Deodorant Cream Citrus, £18, Soapwalla
Lily Lolo Laid Bare Eyeshadow Palette
Burke says: Lily Lolo is a great UK-made mineral make-up range. The palettes come in very versatile combinations.
We say: Designed to flatter and enhance every skin tone, Lily Lolo's Laid Bare eyeshadow palette offers eight versatile shades with pigments just as strong as their non-vegan counterparts.
Laid Bare Eyeshadow Palette, £21, Lily Lolo
Ilia Color Block Lipstick
Burke says: It can be difficult to formulate vegan lipsticks but Ilia has led by example and avoids both beeswax and carmine in its products.
We say: Created using mango seed butter, castor seed oil and apricot oil, this velvety smooth vegan lipstick is every inch as luxurious as its traditional competitors. Also featuring sunflower seed wax, Ilia's lipstick seel in moisture and stays put all day.
Color Block Lipstick, £16.20, Ilia