Are you getting tired of all this rain and dreaming about the summer vacation that you have planned? Us too! Though our summer vacation won't be so exotic, we will be travelling around Norway as we scout out other vegan places outside of the capital. All for you guys! Anyway, wherever you decide to take yourself this summer, whether its the other side of the planet, or just to the end of the garden, it's always a good idea to protect your skin from the suns harmful rays.
Us vegans are always trading insider knowledge on vegan friendly suncreams and summer skincare products (check out the facebook group; Vegansk Produkter to get involved). Sometimes it's hard to tell which companies test on animals, and what exactly is in the products, so we have to stick together and let each other know when we find good stuff! That's why I'm writing this blogpost today. There are many vegan suncreams out there, you just have to do a little bit of research to find them. Many are really really good, but I found an absolute gem last week whilst I was browsing Aēsop, one of my favourite completely vegan skincare stores.
I was wandering through Oslo with my eyes peeled as usual, I am always on the lookout for new vegan stuff and was enticed into Aēsop by the free hand cream samples and their cool product design. Their whole shop on Prinsensgate is designed by the amazing Norwegian architecture company Snøhetta. They made a relatively small shop space into a sleek and elegant experience. I almost feel like I'm in a cool church or monastery when I go in there. Seriously, you have to check it out. It's cool and did I mention free hand cream? You can read more about their vision and creative process here.
Anyway, the cool thing about Aēsop as a brand is that none of their products are tested on animals and none of them contain any animal ingredients, so its safe to shop there! It's a shame that they don't carry the vegan trademark on their packaging, but I can kind of see why they don't. Their brand is so minimalistic, almost resembling some stylish pharmaceutical packaging, I think that the packaging works best the way it is. But a few words making it clear it is all vegan would be nice in the future.
I spoke with a lovely guy who worked there called Cole. He explained a little about the company. Aēsop was born in 1987 in Melbourne with the objective of formulating good quality skin, hair and body products which are plant based and laboratory made. Cole is a vegan too, and we talked a lot about how difficult it could be sometimes to know what skincare companies do behind closed doors. He asked me if I knew any good vegan places in the city and I was like 'UH YEAH, I know literally over 100' and he downloaded the Vegan Oslo app right then and there.
Here's what Aēsop have to say about their products online:
Aesop has maintained a fiercely independent approach to product research and development from the outset. Our team of skilled chemical scientists work out of our Head Office in a utilitarian, custom-built laboratory – conceptualising product ideas, researching blends, and creating prototypes. We source our ingredients from the most reputable suppliers across the globe, then marry cutting-edge technology with long-established scientific practices and principles to craft formulations of exceptional quality.
I told Cole that I wanted something to protect my skin for summer, and he recommended their Protective Body Lotion (SPF50). This is something different from what you would expect from a regular sun cream. It's made from spearmint leaf, panthenol and tocopherol. To be honest I don't know what the other two things are but it smelled minty as hell and I felt so fresh! It's so nice to find a refreshing sun cream like this.
I quite often find suncreams, especially those with a high SPF like this one, to be a little greasy. However this was not the case with the protective body lotion. It felt light and had the texture of a regular body lotion. At around 300kr, this cream is a little pricier than your standard suncreams, but to have the mintyness and feel so nourished, I think it's worth making the purchase for the summer. It's nice to feel wrapped in freshness in the summer months where you usually feel so raw from the sun.
Before I left, Cole also gave me some more goodies. Aēsop are really good with their little tester packs, they're always giving out freebies to customers! I got myself a little skincare kit, and a mens shaving kit (pictured above) for Nick. These are so handy to save for when you need to pack an overnight bag and don't want to be carrying big bottles of product with you.
If you need to buy a vegan gift for someone and want something a little more elegant than a brightly coloured package from Lush (sorry Lush, we love you!) then you can pop along to Aēsop and get a gift set, prices start at around 300kr. If your friends are into smart design, living cruelty free, or skincare, then a gift from Aēsop isn't is a real treat indeed.
However, you could just be like me and buy gifts for yourself, and why wouldn't you? You are fabulous and you deserve it. Now get your sunglasses out, get your suncream on, find that playlist you made for your holiday last year and chill out with a good book. Hopefully the sun will come out for that!
You can find Aesop on the Vegan Oslo app, and you can visit them at Prinsens gate 21, 0157 Oslo.