“Cruelty-free” and “vegan” are often words that are thrown around in the beauty industry today. They are often interchanged although they are definitely not interchangeable. People pair the words together as if they were one in the same, when in fact they couldn’t be more different. There is actually a huge difference between going cruelty free and going vegan, and then you have going cruelty free and vegan.
The two are often mixed up and confused for one another. If you’re truly passionate about going either completely vegan or completely cruelty free or both- then it’s super important that you understand the vast differences between your options. We’re here to blow this thing wide open. Here’s a simple guide to understanding the magical (we’re biased, we know) world of vegan and/or cruelty free cosmetics!
As with most definitions, things can be a little messy and confusing. There has never been a clear outlined definition of the difference between the two. Generally, the difference is simple…
Vegan is when a product does not contain animal ingredients or animal-derived ingredients. Basically, vegan cosmetics have a focus on where the product’s ingredients come from rather than the process in which it is produced and tested. For example, some non-vegan ingredients include honey or yogurt!
Cruelty-free is all about the production. Cruelty free products are those that are not tested on animals. No animals is harmed or tested on during the testing process. It has nothing to do with the ingredients contained in the product. Instead, it focuses more on how the product is made and tested.
Where The Two Clash
The difference may already be obvious to you by now, but it is simply that each label deals with entirely different factors. Once it’s made clear now, you’re probably regretting all those times you threw the two words around like they were the same. They couldn’t actually be more different!
Now that it is clear what each definition means, it is also clear how the two clash. Since one deals with the ingredients and one deals with the production, the two aren’t inherently one in the same!
One or The Other
Since the two aren’t inherently one in the same, it’s now getting clearer how they are completely different and should be treated differently. The simplest way to think about it is that a cruelty free product isn’t automatically vegan and vice versa.
You can choose to go cruelty free only, or to go vegan only and you would use entirely different products. Choosing to combine the two is where it gets trickier. Which means if you’re looking to full transition you need to find products that list both qualities. Suddenly you’re taking a closer look at those labels- aren’t you? Well, speaking of labels…
Don’t Play Yourself
The saddest truth of the beauty world is that labels aren’t binding. It’s terrifying, we know, but brands can really write whatever they want on their products and not be held accountable. Now, of course we all like to think that some of the more popular brands have a standard to uphold and can’t appear to lie. Well, that doesn’t seem to stop anyone. Labels are a free-for-all. If you’re seriously invested in sticking to cruelty-free/vegan products then it’s best to turn to official websites. For example, PETA, The Vegan Society or Leaping Bunny are ideal go tos to make sure your products are actually cruelty free or vegan!
Another way you can play yourself is by assuming that these cruelty free and/or vegan products are organic! That’s a whole other mess to get into, but it’s never safe to assume that these products contain natural and clean ingredients…
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