I wanted to write this blog about makeup brushes as I feel passionate that the purchasers of them need to be fully informed of what they are made of. If you see a description saying 100% synthetic fibre, then rest assured there is no animal hair in these brushes.
Synthetic brushes are as good
However, if you see a brush fibre description of "natural/synthetic fibre" or "natural, synthetic blend", this is different. These makeup brushes will contain animal hair. The reason animal hair has in the past been preferred by many is the application of powder has been superior using these brushes. But, advances in technology has now caught up, and synthetic brushes are as good, and in my opinion, better than animal hair makeup brushes.
The plus points to using vegan makeup brushes are their durability, as they are effortless to clean, hypoallergenic, and no animals are harmed in their production.
Animal hair makeup brushes can have the edge on applying powder, as they have an irregular surface. The downside is that the surface can trap bacteria and chemicals.
Animals used in makeup brush manufacture
Animals used in makeup brush manufacture are goat, squirrels, mink, badgers, ponies, sable (hair from kolinsky species of weasel) The methods used to obtain the animal hair are inhumane. Goats are shorn of their hair, causing the animal stress and injury, workers are paid per animal. Badgers are killed fully conscious, by beating them over their head and slitting their throat. The animals are kept in cramped cages and endure crowding and filthy conditions, which is entirely unfair. Sable and mink are by-products of the fur industry. Squirrels are trapped in the wild or bred on farms for their fur.
Gaining any information on where these animals are kept is impossible, the reason is that they are not kept humanely, and too much money can be made from the sale of the hair.
Summary of the Differences
|Synthetic Fibre||Animal Hair|
|Hygiene and Cleaning||Smooth fibres used, making it easier to clean thoroughly.||Has an irregular surface (due to cuticles) which traps powders, dead skin cells, bacteria and chemicals. Cleaning may not necessarily remove all these particles|
|Best Uses||Cream, gel and liquid. Powders can also be applied with the textured synthetic bristles.||Powder makeup products|
|Feel on Skin||Bristles tend to be firmer, though more flexible versions are available||Bristles can vary from very soft and fluffy to firmer, depending on the type of hair|
|Durability||Stands up to solvents and doesn’t dry out. Keeps shape well. Dries quicker than animal hair after washing.||Over time with washing and cleaning, hair is prone to breakage, drying out and can lose its shape. Hair can shed.|
|Ethos||Cruelty-free. No protein element, so vegan-friendly.||Animal treatment issues.|
There is already a big trend
Before synthetic was available the only hair the manufacturer had was animaI to use. I think in the future less, and less animal hair will be used in the manufacture of makeup brushes. There is already a big trend over the last few years for fewer makeup brushes to be produced from animal hair. This reduction of Animal hair in the production of Makeup Brushes will speed up if the consumer decides to buy more vegan brushes. Like the ripple effect in water as this movement gains momentum, animal hair used in makeup brush manufacturer will be eradicated.
I hope this blog has been informative, non-biased and transparent to enable the consumer to decide on their choice of which makeup brush set to choose.