DOES VEGAN MEAN CRUELTY-FREE?

VEGAN MEANS CRUELTY-FREE: NO!

We hear it a lot and unfortunately also from vegans: "if it says that is vegan then it is also cruelty-free".

Girl, we do not want to be the ones who destroy your beliefs, but you should be aware that the word "vegan" and the word "cruelty-free" mean two different things, especially when talking beauty.

While the V label on a cosmetic product may tell you whether it contains any animal-derived ingredients or not, the truth is, that label is telling you nothing about its cruelty-free status. Why? Because we are talking about two different things each one involving different aspects that need to be considered to be certified.

The most famous Vegan labels that you can find on cosmetics do not go deep into the cruelty-free topic to make sure that the brand and all its suppliers do not conduct any animal testing. These labels simply research and make sure no animal-derived ingredient is contained in that product, which is yes essential in order to stop animal cruelty in all its forms, but is not enough, as a cruelty-free certification is just as important.

There is currently no certification/logo/label that is able to certify the cruelty-free status as well as the vegan one at the same time. You want to make sure you are looking for two labels, one that states it is cruelty-free and one that states it is vegan.

While cruelty-free certifications are beginning to show up more on packagings (among these unfortunately also fake ones or unreliable ones. Check out our latest article How to Survive in the Cruelty-free Certifications World to discover more about it), the Vegan label is less common to find, at least in the beauty industry, and most of the time you need to ask the manufacturer to make sure it does not include animal-derived ingredients.

Being able to spot non- vegan ingredients just by looking at the INCI/ingredients list of a product, is very difficult, if not impossible sometimes. Some ingredients may be animal-derived as well as plant derived, so there is no easy way to know.

WHICH INGREDIENTS ARE TYPICALLY NOT VEGAN?

Here is a table of the most common animal-derived ingredients you can find in cosmetics:

 

INGREDIENT INCI NAME SOURCE
Stearic Acid STEARIC ACID May be animal- derived or plant derived.
When from animals it comes from their fat
Collagen COLLAGEN, SOLUBLE
COLLAGEN, HYDROLIZED COLLAGEN
Derived from animals hairs, bones, ligaments, nails and
skin. Vegan options are available but not so common.
Lactose LACTOSE Derived from Milk
Lanolin LANOLIN Wax like substance derived from sheep´s wool
Tallow SODIUM TALLOWATE Derived from fatty tissue of sheep or cattle
Silk Proteins HYDROLIZED SILK, SERICIN, FIBROIN Derived from the cocoons of the silk worms
Honey HONEY, MEL Animal-derived
Milk LAC, CAPRAE LAC, LACTIS LIPIDA,
LACTIS PROTEINUM
Animal-derived
Elastin ELASTIN, HYDROLIZED ELASTIN Derived from bovine neck ligaments and aortas.
Beeswax CERA ALBA Animal-derived
Carmine NATURAL RED 4, E 120, CI 75 470,
CRIMSON LAKE, COCHINEAL, CARMINE
Obtained by crushing the female cochineal
insects to isolate carminic acid contained in
their shells
Placenta PLACENTAL PROTEIN, PLACENTAL EXTRACT,
HYDROLIZED PLACENTAL PROTEIN
Derived from animals placenta- most of the time
from sheep
Squalane SQUALANE Can be animal-derived or plant derived. When
from animals is derived from shark livers
Hayluronic Acid HYALURONIC ACID Can be animal-derived or from plant. When from animals
is obtained from joints and eyeballs of cows/horses or
combs of chickens
Keratin HYDROLIZED KERATIN, KERATIN Usually animal derived, there are but some
vegan alternatives derived from amino acids
from plants. When animal-derived it comes from
their nails, horn and hair.
Glycerin GLYCERIN Can be animal-derived (usually tallow) as well as
from plants.

 

THE VEGAN LOGOS

We have gathered the most common vegan labels you can find in cosmetics to help you recognize them quickly. They are very useful when trying to understand whether a cosmetic product contains any of the above mentioned ingredients.

 

Vegan Logos in CosmeticsICEA Vegan Logo Cosmetics

You can choose whatever symbols you like, as long as it is stated that the product is VEGAN. Often times, you will only find the word VEGAN on a product, since the above mentioned logos involve paying money to get certified. This is also an acceptable solution as long as the manufacturer states with certainty that the ingredients are not animal-derived.

 

As mentioned before, none of the above logos tell you that the product is also cruelty-free, so make sure to look for a reliable one on the packaging.

We really hope this article was helpful in clarifying the difference betwenn vegan and cruelty-free in cosmetics and gave you useful information about the most common non-vegan ingredients. Let us know what you think in the comments!

Read more

Cruelty-Free Certifications, which one to choose

HOW TO SURVIVE IN THE CRUELTY-FREE CERTIFICATIONS WORLD

"Not tested on animals": the label and its meaning

"NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS", THE LABEL AND ITS MEANING

How to Choose your Next Vegan Foundation

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR NEXT VEGAN FOUNDATION

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