What’s the difference between Vegan and Cruelty Free?
It is 2023 and animal cruelty should be non-negotiable! Not testing on animals is something we’re fully behind. And if the products are vegan, even better.
It might have all started with food, but what was once a niche lifestyle is becoming the mass and more mainstream as people take steps to save our dying planet. Every little bit counts as they say. Today the beauty industry is catering to a ‘woke’ generation and the options when it comes to ethical choices have never been greater. What you feed your skin is extremely important as our skin absorbs up to 60% of everything we put on it. So, if you aren’t already assessing what you feed your skin, start! Whether you are an astute label reader or not, it can be confusing in the best of times as not all brands that claim to be cruelty free and vegan display their accreditation. So, what does cruelty free and vegan really mean? And how can we get the right information about the ingredients in our beauty products.
Cruelty-free simply refers to products that not have not been tested on animals. Simple right? Not exactly, it refers to the process, not the ingredients, which means it is possible for a cruelty-free product to contain non-vegan ingredients, such as beeswax, carmine, lanolin, shellac, tallow, and goat's milk.
Vegan products are ones that do not contain any animal-derived ingredients. This includes, but is not limited to, honey, beeswax, lanolin, collagen, albumen, carmine, cholesterol, gelatin, and many others.
Where does it get confusing?
By definition a vegan beauty product is cruelty-free because vegans do not opt for products that have been tested on animals. The term ‘cruelty-free’ only refers to animal testing, so a product may be cruelty-free, but ironically contain animal ingredients and thus not be vegan. It is also important to note that just because a product is vegan and cruelty-free it does not necessarily mean that an ingredient list is clean, safe, green, or all-natural. You still need to read the list carefully to be sure you’re not putting dangerous chemicals on your skin.
Labels are everything!
To determine if your product is cruelty-free, look for a logo like the Leaping Bunny approval from Cruelty-Free International, a leading certification for cosmetics, on products. They also have a very handy app available for IOS and Android. Or, look for something that very clearly states that they don’t test on animals. And if you are seeking out vegan products, the best way to know is by looking for one of the universally recognized vegan symbols, often indicated with a “V”. If this is not on the product, your best option is to scan the ingredient list and look out for items like gelatin, beeswax, honey, casein, and lanolin (grease from sheep’s wool) to name a few.