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Cruelty-Free vs Vegan Beauty Explained

man in brown coat holding a rabbit
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Cruelty-Free vs Vegan Beauty

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the beauty industry to produce products that are both cruelty-free and vegan. While the two terms are often used interchangeably, they actually have different meanings. In this article, we will explore the differences between cruelty-free beauty and vegan beauty.

Cruelty-Free Beauty

Cruelty-free beauty refers to products that have not been tested on animals. This means that the products were not subjected to any kind of animal experimentation during the development and production process. Products that are labeled as cruelty-free may still contain animal-derived ingredients, such as beeswax or lanolin.

Many consumers opt for cruelty-free beauty products because they do not want to support the testing of cosmetics on animals. Animal testing can cause pain, suffering, and death to the animals involved. Furthermore, animal testing does not always accurately predict how a product will perform on humans, as there are significant physiological differences between animals and humans.

The Leaping Bunny program is one of the most well-known certification programs for cruelty-free beauty products. Companies that participate in the Leaping Bunny program must meet rigorous standards to ensure that their products are not tested on animals. Other certifications include PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies program and Choose Cruelty-Free.

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Vegan Beauty

Vegan beauty, on the other hand, refers to products that do not contain any animal-derived ingredients. This means that the products are free from ingredients such as honey, beeswax, lanolin, and carmine, which is a red pigment made from crushed beetles.

Vegan beauty products are often appealing to consumers who follow a vegan lifestyle or who have ethical concerns about the use of animal-derived ingredients in beauty products. Vegan products are also often free from harsh chemicals and synthetic ingredients, making them a popular choice for those with sensitive skin.

Certifications for vegan beauty products include The Vegan Society and PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies program, which includes both cruelty-free and vegan criteria.

What’s the Difference?

The primary difference between cruelty-free and vegan beauty products lies in their use of animal-derived ingredients. A product can be considered cruelty-free even if it’s not vegan, but a vegan product is not necessarily cruelty-free. This is because the product might undergo animal testing or be sold in regions where animal testing is mandatory, even though it contains no animal-based ingredients.

Final Thoughts

In summary, cruelty-free and vegan beauty products are not the same thing, although they are often used interchangeably. Consumers who are concerned about the use of animal-derived ingredients should look for vegan products, while those who are concerned about animal testing should look for cruelty-free products. By choosing to support these types of products, consumers can make a positive impact on both animals and the environment.

View our Vetted List of Clean & Cruelty-Free Brands

This post is not sponsored but may contain affiliate links from which we earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Nothing stated in this article should be used in place of professional medical advice. All opinions are our own.

Stephanie Thorn
Founder of Clean & Cruelty-Free. A Midwest girl with a passion for green beauty, makeup artistry, animals rights, and comfy leggings. Since being diagnosed with PCOS she's made it her mission to adopt a less-toxic lifestyle.