I wanted to answer one of the most frequently asked questions, Are ‘vegan’ cosmetics the same thing as ‘cruelty-free’ cosmetics?
No. Generally the terms ‘vegan’ and ‘cruelty-free’ do not mean the same thing.
I say “generally” here because there is no regulation specifically defining or governing the use of the term ‘cruelty-free’ or ‘vegan’ or similar terms.
When I say ‘generally’.. I mean this is how the general beauty and cosmetic industry uses these two terms.
So simply put, cruelty-free is generally used to imply a product or brand does not test its formulations, ingredients, or finished products on animals.
On the other hand, vegan is generally used to imply a product or brand does not use or contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.
Some cosmetics are both cruelty-free and vegan which implies they’re not tested on animals and do not contain any animal ingredients.
Some cosmetic companies claim to be cruelty-free and do not test on animals but they do not claim to be a vegan brand because they use animal ingredients, like carmine, beeswax, lanolin, collagen, in their cosmetics.
There are a few companies that claim their products are vegan and do not contain any animal-derived ingredients however their products may have been tested on animals.
An example of this is L’Oreal’s EverPure Shampoo and Conditioners were spotted with a ‘100% Vegan’ stamp on the packaging.
L’Oreal claims these products are ‘vegan’ in which they don’t contain animal-derived ingredients or by-products, but L’Oreal is definitely not a cruelty-free brand. Some of L’Oreal’s products are tested on animals when required by law.
- The term “Cruelty-free” only implies to animal testing
- The term “Vegan” only implies to the use of animal-derived ingredients (like beeswax, carmine, lanolin, collagen)
- Cosmetics can be both cruelty-free and vegan
- Cosmetics can also be cruelty-free but not vegan
- A few cosmetics can even be vegan but not cruelty-free