In the beauty community, it’s quite common for the words “cruelty-free” and “vegan” to be used interchangeably. However, this can be a problem because the two actually have completely different meanings.
For example, just because something is cruelty-free does not mean it’s vegan! It can be confusing at first, but once you know the difference between the two, you won’t forget. Here are some reasons why these two labels have completely different meanings and why my natural, vegan and cruelty free skincare products are the choice for you.
Requirements for Cruelty-Free Products
In order for an item to be considered cruelty-free, it has to be free of all animal testing. This includes testing on the finished physical product itself, as well as all of the individual ingredients.
Many beauty and cosmetics companies still use animal testing to see if their products are safe for human use, but it’s completely unnecessary and can be extremely cruel on the animals. During the testing process; animals such as mice, rabbits, and beagles are applied with products and ingredients to complete irritation and toxicity tests, many of which injure the animals for life or worse - kill them.
Cosmetic companies can rub products (such as mascara) directly into animal’s eyes or skin to see how they react to it. They can also shave their skin and expose them to toxic levels of products to see whether there are any adverse reactions.
If you don’t want to support this cruel practice, all you need to do is look for the cruelty-free label or cruelty free statement on products! There are many skincare companies that display cruelty free specific logos or clearly state that the product is cruelty free – you will see this statement on all of my natural skincare products.
Just because a product doesn't have a logo, it doesn't mean it’s not cruelty-free. Some companies use words instead, with a statement on the product such as ‘cruelty free’, ‘never tested on animals’ or similar.
However, if there is no statement or logo about cruelty free or animal testing, it may be safe to assume that the product was likely tested on innocent animals.
If it’s Cruelty-Free, doesn’t that automatically make it Vegan?
There is a common misconception that if a product is cruelty free, then it is automatically vegan. Many people think that just because something isn't tested on animals, that makes it vegan.
Unfortunately, this isn't true. Even though a product might not have been tested on animals, it could still have non-vegan ingredients in it that are derived from animals.
These ingredients might be obvious, or they might be hidden in words that many people wouldn't assume to be a non-vegan ingredient and this is why it’s important to check ingredient labels for any potential ingredients that are animal derived.
Examples of Non-Vegan Ingredients
Here are the most common non-vegan ingredients that are used in cosmetics, even in cruelty-free ones:
- Carmine/ Cochineal - a red dye made from crushed beetles
- Honey – a by product of bees
- Beeswax - a by product of bees
- Lanolin - derived from sheep’s wool
- Tallow - rendered form of beef fat
- Gelatin - ground up hooves, bones, etc
- Glycerin - animal fats, although it can be vegetable derived
- Keratin - a type of animal protein
- Collagen – derived from animals and used due to its plumping effects
Requirements for Vegan Products
In order for a product to be considered vegan, it must be cruelty-free and have vegan ingredients.
Many companies are making the step to ensure their products are cruelty free, however they are unfortunately not taking the additional step to omit animal by-products from their ingredients and move towards vegan products. The well-being of animals is extremely important at Buddy Scrub and that’s why my skincare products are created to be both cruelty free and vegan so that you can always rest assured that no animals are involved or harmed.
What to Look For
When searching for cruelty-free and vegan cosmetics, the easiest thing to do is look for clear statements or the associated logos and can be on the front or back of a product. The logos for cruelty free often include a rabbit and are associated with specific cruelty free organisations, and the vegan logos will often look like a ‘V’.
If you’re not able to find logos, then look for statements or check the ingredients list to make sure there are no animal derivates. All of my skincare products are labeled as natural, cruelty free and vegan friendly so that you know you’re making the right choice as soon as you pick me up.
Now that you have a better understanding of the difference between the words “cruelty-free” and “vegan”, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions in regards to your cosmetics and skincare. Hopefully, companies will move towards making their products both cruelty-free and vegan; but my range of cleansers, body scrubs, moisturisers and lip care have you covered!