Cruelty-Free or Vegan?
In the last couple of years the terms “cruelty-free” and “vegan” have grown increasingly popular. Similarly, to meet the rising consumer demand for cruelty-free cosmetics, both indie and mainstream brands introduce new cosmetic products touting the “cruelty-free” and “vegan” labels. Hence it is easier to find cruelty-free or vegan cosmetic products from trusted brands in the market. But did you ever wonder how cruelty-free and vegan differ in the first place? Often we find these two labels are being used interchangeably, either by companies or by consumers. Although, ‘Vegan’ and ‘Cruelty-Free’ are not the same. How do they differ? Let’s find out.
In short, generally “Cruelty-Free” implies no animal testing occurred during the process whereas “Vegan” implies zero animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products are used in the making. However, a product can be both cruelty-free and vegan or can satisfy one but not the other.
This is how the beauty industry uses these two labels in general. That does classify something as vegan even though it was tested on animals (i.e. non-cruelty-free) and vice versa. So, we must learn how the beauty industry and cosmetic companies are using these labels today.
Labeling ‘Vegan’ as well as ‘Cruelty-Free’
Oh no, the ‘cruelty-free’ tag on a product only means that the product was developed without testing on animals, whereas the ‘vegan’ label denotes that the product does not include any animal-derived ingredients. Therefore, the products could be vegan but still tested on animals, or, they could be cruelty-free, yet have animal-derived ingredients that may or may not have been ethically sourced.
Did you know that the organic compound called Squalene used in the anti-aging serum is mostly derived from shark liver oil? Though squalene is produced by all plants and animals as is a biochemical intermediate to sterol biosynthesis that occurs in every living being. Similarly, the moisturizing agent in our lipsticks, lip glosses, and lip balms, called Lanolin, is derived from sheep wool. So, our lip care to obtain juicy lips might not be vegan in the first place. Even the collagen protein that boosts our skin’s elasticity and maintains the keratin to strengthen our hair comes from the cartilage, bone, tendon, skin, and connective tissues of animals. However, vegan and plant-based alternatives do exist for most animal-derived ingredients and there are products in the market that use 100% vegan ingredients. The trick is to identify them correctly while shopping. Let’s check how we can make the right decision while looking for vegan or cruelty-free cosmetics and beauty products.
How to make the right decision
A product can be certified as cruelty-free by committing never to commission, conduct, pay for, or allow tests on animals at any developmental phases for both ingredients and final products. Yet, navigating through the rabble of beauty products and ingredients list to find cleaner replacements can be overwhelming as well as confusing.
So, how do we truly know if any living being was harmed or abused anyway while making our favorite moisturizer? Well, the answer is pretty simple though; We need to do our research, do homework, read, and thereby, self-educate ourselves.
Specifically, we should look for the official ‘cruelty-free’ bunny logos on the products and read through the brand’s website carefully to make sure they do not follow any practices that cause harm to any living being. Moreover, we should look for transparency in their communication and write to them directly in case of any doubts. In addition, we can also double-check through official websites like USA-based organization ‘PETA,’ international organization ‘CCIC & BUAV (Cruelty-Free International),’ and Australia-based organization ‘Choose Cruelty-Free,’ that list information about cruelty-free products, brands, and companies.
Explicitly, the good news is that in the Indian market, Vegandukan carefully picks cruelty-free as well as vegan cosmetics and beauty products through authentic lab tests and genuinely scrutinizes each step of the developmental process. Therefore, Vegandukan being the bona fide expert with their wide range of vegan and cruelty-free Personal Care & Fashion products, assures the Indian customers to serve at our doorsteps across India. Hence, it is easier to find authentic vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics and beauty products from trusted brands in the Indian market with India’s biggest vegan marketplace Vegandukan.
Top 10 Vegan and Cruelty-Free Cosmetic and Beauty Brands
Here are some Personal Care and Beauty brands verified and listed at Vegandukan that are walking the talk now:
- My Green Space
- Nature Therapy
- Bare Necessities
- Amayra Naturals
- Hempcann Solution
- GOLI SODA
- Paule Penders
Check them out at Vegandukan.
Concluding personal care on an Ethical note
As customers or consumers our buying spree has the potential to encourage any change, especially when we opt to purchase for our top shelf. Therefore, besides tending to our skin concerns, if we make sure a beauty brand is vegan and cruelty-free, it can help change the overall narrative for beauty and personal care products in the beauty industry.
As Sachin Bengera, the director of Public Relations at PETA India says, it means not purchasing from brands or companies that “force substances into animals’ stomachs, or apply products and formulations to a rabbit’s sensitive eyes and raw skin for every time they formulate a new cosmetic or personal care product.” However, such tests on innocent animals for cosmetics are banned in many countries today, getting replaced by modern cruelty-free methods.
Markedly, India is the first country in Asia that banned the testing of cosmetics and their ingredients on animals. However, putting a ban on the creation of these products doesn’t limit them from finding their way into our vanity. Therefore, it’s up to the consumers to cut the supply of non-vegan and non-cruelty-free cosmetics by putting our money to value the planet where all living beings can be safe.
So, Let’s not pick the perfect shade of Carmine. Instead, let our inner empathy bring the ultimate glow of satisfaction to our faces with vegan and cruelty-free products.
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes makeup and skincare products cruelty-free and vegan?
- The term ‘cruelty-free’ certifies a makeup or skincare product as developed without any animal testing, while vegan products do not contain any animal-derived ingredients.
Why makeup and skincare cosmetics shouldn’t be tested on animals?
- Testing cosmetics on animals is not only cruel and unethical but also unnecessary; Because companies can create innovative products using several commonly used ingredients that do not require any additional testing as they already have a history of safe use.
What is the universal symbol for cruelty-free?
- The only internationally recognized symbol for ‘cruelty-free’ is the Leaping Bunny Logo which guarantees consumers that no new animal tests were performed while developing any product that displays it. Therefore the Logo popularly appears on cruelty-free product packaging, advertising, and websites for household and cosmetic products worldwide.
What ingredients are used to make vegan cosmetics?
- All eco-friendly vegan cosmetic brands only use natural plant-based substitutes for active ingredients strictly eliminating animal products, including beeswax. Furthermore, vegan cosmetics and eco-friendly body personal care products are always packaged in recycled or biodegradable materials to ensure minimum damage to the environment.
Are vegan cosmetics chemical free as well?
- Though vegan cosmetics can contain a few artificial components that are also commonly used in making conventional cosmetic products, they do not contain any substances of animal origin.