You’d be forgiven for thinking that
I’ll also explain how to know if a product is vegan. As well as how to be sure your products are also cruelty-free.
What does Cruelty-Free mean?
When products are truly cruelty-free, it means:
*The finished products have not been tested on animals.
*Nor have its ingredients.
*No third party has carried out any animal testing on behalf of the brand.
*And the products are not sold in mainland China where foreign companies are required by law to test their products on animals before being allowed to sell them in Chinese stores.
I talked about all of this in greater detail in part 1 of this cruelty-free beauty series. So I highly recommend you go and read that post too. As it will help explain everything for you.
What does Vegan mean?
If a cosmetic is vegan it means that:
*No animal products, by-products or derivatives have been used in the product. So this means basically anything that’s come from an animal or insect, living or dead.
However, this does not mean the product or
It only means that none of the ingredients in that product has come from animals or insects. I’ll discuss this in greater detail in a moment.
Examples of Animal By-Products:
Here are some examples of animal products that you’ll find in products. If you see any of these listed on an ingredients list, the product is NOT vegan.
°Beeswax (aka cera alba) – sometimes found in mascara, for example.
°Carmine (aka cochineal, natural red 4, E120, and C.I. 75470) – this is a red pigment derived from crushed beetles and often used in makeup products such as lipstick.
Lanolin – derived from sheep wool and often found in lip balms and hair products.
Animal hair – for example, animal hairs are sometimes used to create makeup brushes.
Milk – found in many skincare products.
Shellac – this comes from killing hundreds of thousands of lac bugs to attain just a small amount of this. It’s most commonly used in nail polish and hairspray.
Glycerine – comes from animal fats. It’s often found in a
Squalene – comes from shark liver oil. You’ll often see this in body care products such as deodorant.
Vegan does not mean Cruelty-Free
As I’ve already mentioned, just because a product doesn’t contain any ingredients that are derived from animals, it doesn’t mean that it’s automatically cruelty-free.
Some vegan products are, in fact, tested on animals. So this is something you need to watch out for.
Is it possible to buy cruelty free and vegan cosmetics?
And there are some amazing products on the market made by wonderful brands with excellent ethics who only produce
Not to mention that they’re really high quality and contain only the best, most nutritious natural and organic ingredients that are good for you, animals and the planet.
Or download this totally FREE Best Natural & Organic Makeup Brands guide. It contains almost 50 of the best green beauty brands on the market all of which are 100% cruelty free. And some only produce
How can I be sure my products are vegan and haven’t been tested on animals?
If you want to ensure you’re only buying cruelty-free and vegan cosmetics, you’ll need to look for products that state they are both.
Something that will really help you to be sure is to look for certifications.
When a brand has been certified by an independent body, this means they would have gone through rigorous testing to prove that their products are in fact, cruelty-free and/or vegan.
I talked all about
Certified Vegan Logos
In addition to those, there are also some vegan certifications you can look out for too.
The Vegan society sunflower logo is probably the most recognisable certified vegan logo.
They award their certification to brands whose products or ingredients don’t contain any animal products, by-products or derivates.
In addition, the finished products and ingredients must not have been tested on animals by the brand or any third party.
In order for brands to attain this certification, the finished product must contain no animal by-products or ingredients. Nor can they be used in the manufacturing process.
The product cannot be tested on animals either by the company itself or a third party.
Plus the brand, along with the
In addition to their
To receive this certification, a brand must sign a statement assuring that their products do not contain any animal products. And that the finished products and ingredients have not been tested on animals by the brand itself or a third party.
If you see either of these Peta approved logos, you can be sure you’re buying
Natural & Organic Beauty Products
By purchasing products that have been certified as natural and organic you can always be certain that those products are 100% cruelty-free.
As this is one of the minimum requirements for a brand to ascertain natural or organic certification.
Final Tips to watch out for:
*A picture of a bunny means nothing!
Just because a product has a picture of a bunny on it, it DOES NOT necessarily mean it’s cruelty-free.
If you want to be certain that the product is in fact certified cruelty free and/or vegan, look for one of the logos I mentioned above. Or in this post. As they are the only trustworthy bunny logos.
*Many terms are unregulated
Terms such as “Not Tested On Animals” can be used by brands however they like. As there are no regulations around the use of these terms.
Unfortunately, many brands abuse this to basically trick you into believing what you’re actually buying are
Here are some terms to watch out for:
“No animal testing”
“Against animal testing”
If you see terms such as these, first check to see if there are any of the logos I showed you above on the product. And if not, then you’ll need to…
*Do your own research
A good place to start is by checking out the brands website. If you’re not happy with what they have to say on their website or if something isn’t clear, send them email or call them to ask them to clarify their cruelty-free policy
Ask them to clarify what exactly they mean by these statements. And how they can prove to you that their products truly are
If they truly are cruelty free, they’ll be more than happy to tell you so and will be transparent about everything.
If you’re really not satisfied with what they have to say, or if their answers are still very vague, then simply don’t buy from them!
As I’ve already mentioned, there are plenty of really amazing brands out there who don’t test on animals and whose products are amazing quality.
*Just because a brand doesn’t have certification, doesn’t mean it’s not a cruelty-free brand
It costs a lot of money, as well as time, to attain certification. And not all brands have the budget or resources for this.
And actually, some brands that do attain
Once again, I encourage you to reach out to the brand and ask them to clarify their cruelty-free policy and practices.
*Don’t overthink things!
I realise this can all seem very overwhelming and it’s a lot of information to take in.
But my advice is to not overthink this.
As long as you’re educating yourself on this bit by bit, you’re already doing a great thing.
Even by reading this post and making yourself aware of this is a great start. So well done you.
*Get some help
And if you really don’t have the time (or desire) to research everything by
I know how much time it can take to do this kind of research. I’ve been doing it for 10 years now and I continue to do it.
But if you’d prefer to save some time and know which brands are
It contains a list of brands who are not
The guide is printable and downloadable. So whichever way you prefer, you can have this guide with you at all times when you’re out shopping.
Here’s a quick summary for you of the terms I talked about in this post:
The product or ingredients have not been tested on animals. But may contain some ingredients derived from animals.
Contains no ingredients that have been derived from animals. But may not necessarily be cruelty-free.
Cruelty-Free and Vegan Cosmetics:
The end product and ingredients have not been tested on animals. And the product contains no ingredients that have been derived from animals.
I really hope you enjoyed this
But this is not the end. And I’ll continue to post even more cruelty free and vegan cosmetics-related posts for you.
P.S: If you’d really like to take things even further, get there much faster and learn all you need to know about natural, organic and cruelty-free beauty. As well as have plenty of resources, guides and cruelty-free product recommendations to help you all in one place that’s super quick and easy to access any time you need it. Make sure to come and join us over in Natural Beauty Society. Find out all the details about it and how you can join in all the fun here.