Many people are becoming increasingly conscious of how their beauty purchases affect the environment, animal wellbeing, and even child cruelty.
Many cosmetics contain ‘dubious additives’, and we absorb over 2kg of potentially toxic ingredients a year from our beauty products, according to skin scientist Terri Vinson.
We wanted to clarify the buzzwords - cruelty-free, vegan, clean beauty - and various labels and certifications to help you make an informed decision for a sustainable beauty routine.
If a product is labelled cruelty-free, it means it has not been tested on animals, including the final product as well as the ingredients it’s made of. Since March 2013, animal testing for cosmetics sold in the EU has been officially banned.
However, outside the EU, some tests are still allowed, so be vigilant when choosing your products and check the certification labels if you care about animal wellbeing. Peta has also compiled a list of brands of cosmetics that don't test out their products on animals.
There is a distinct difference between vegan and cruelty-free. In general, while most vegan cosmetics are cruelty-free, the reverse isn’t necessarily true.
To be labelled as vegan, cosmetics cannot use ingredients derived from animals, but some consumers may not be aware that, for example, cosmetics derived from honey are not vegan.
Here are the certification labels to follow for vegan cosmetics: Vegan Society, V-Label, Eve Vegan, Vegecert, VeganOK, or Certified Vegan.
There is not yet any official definition or certification for clean beauty products, as it is more of a concept that aims to define the future of the beauty sector. Brands committing to clean beauty are aiming for consumers who are demanding sustainable, natural, healthy and animal-friendly products.
The concept aims to eliminate toxic or controversial ingredients, replacing with more natural and cruelty-free ingredients taking their place.
Other new buzzwords are trending, like safe beauty or blue beauty (protective of oceans), promoting responsible, ethical and environmentally friendly products.
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