Cruelty-Free vs. Vegan beauty products: 3 things to know

Throughout the past year and a half, I have been looking into cruelty-free and vegan beauty products. I have been wanting to make the switch to vegan for one reason: animal cruelty. I am not ready to go 100% in my everyday eating habits, but I am ready to be more conscious in my beauty and style. I hate seeing videos on beauty product testing, how different beauty products ingredients are gotten, how different fabrics (leather in particular) are made, etc. It breaks my heart.

While I was searching the different resources on cruelty-free and vegan products, I came across a lot of interesting information, made a PINTEREST board of my favorites, and made a list of the top three things I learned about Cruelty-free vs. Vegan beauty products

Cruelty-free and Vegan are not the same thing.

Many people think that cruelty-free and vegan are the same thing, but THEY ARE NOT. Some products will tell you on their packaging that the product does not contain any animal derived ingredients, but that does not mean that they do not animal test.

Cruelty-free. If a beauty product is cruelty-free, it means that the neither the product nor the product ingredients went through animal testing. Basically: as long as a product is not tested on animal at any point in the development process, it is cruelty-free. 

Side note: some beauty brands are owned by parent companies, and those companies will test on animals, but the brand itself doesn't test. Confusing, yes, but an example of this is Urban Decay. Urban Decay is owned by L'Oreal. L'Oreal as a brand uses animal testing, but Urban Decay DOES NOT. 

Vegan. If a beauty product is vegan, that means that a) it doesn't contain any animal ingredients (gelatin), and b) it doesn't contain any ingredients derived from animals (ie. beeswax, lanolin, honey). 

Just because something is Cruelty-Free, it doesn't mean that it is also Vegan.

Just because a beauty product is marketed as cruelty-free, it doesn't mean that it is also vegan. Examples of this are Burt's Bees and BITE. Burt's Bees products are natural and cruelty-free at every step of the development process, but the majority of their products contain honey and beeswax. Honey and beeswax are two ingredients that are derived from animals (in this case, bees), so that means that they are not vegan. BITE on the other hand uses lanolin, beeswax, or carmine in their lipsticks, but they do not animal test. 

However, there are many cruelty-free brands out there that are either offer vegan products or are in the process of reformulating products to reflect the vegan ideal. Examples of brands that offer vegan products include Kat Von D, Too Faced, Becca, The Balm, and IT Cosmetics.

In addition, there are a lot of vegan brands on the market. These brands include Pacifica, e.l.f., EcoTools, NCLA, Trust Fund Beauty, and Derma E, to name a few. 

*While doing research into "if vegan products are also cruelty free", I was met with mixed opinions. According to PETA, vegan products are cruelty-free, in addition to not having products from animals, but according to big cruelty-free and vegan bloggers, vegan products can still be tested on animals. For more information, read this blog post (it was really helpful).

There are so many resources out there.

My best friend's mom has been vegan for the past 10 years, and I have to commend her for that. See, when she made the choice to go vegan, the interwebs didn't have the resources to help her; like they do now. Today, there are so many resources out there for people wanting to go vegan, cruelty-free, or just wanting to dip their toes in the water via beauty products. I can't even begin to tell you how many beauty bloggers are vegan or cruelty-free, but I can tell you that they are so helpful if you want to try either one. 

Some of my favorites --->

Cruelty-Free Kitty has an ultimate guide to cruelty-free and vegan beauty brands (2017). In addition to her guide, Suzi also has beauty product guides, posts for cruelty-free beginners, and more. 

Ethical Elephant has a complete list of 100% vegan beauty products, and in addition to talking about beauty products, Vicky also dives into clothes, purses, shoes, etc. 

Vegan Beauty Review posts beauty reviews of products that are either cruelty-free, vegan, or both. Sunny also posts discounts and promo codes, product demos, and even wrote a book about DIY vegan things. 

Other helpful resources include:
Leaping Bunny

Have you ever thought about Cruelty-Free or Vegan beauty products?

cruelty-free beauty products

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