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What’s the Difference Between Vegan & Cruelty-free Beauty Products?

Do you know the difference between Vegan and Cruelty-free beauty products? There is a lot of confusion in the beauty world around the terms ‘cruelty-free’ and ‘vegan’. Many assume that these are the same thing and use them interchangeably, but we’re here to tell you there is a difference.

We know it can be confusing as a consumer trying to navigate this complex beauty world, which is why this World Vegan Month, we put together this comprehensive guide to help you select products like an expert and shop like a beauty pro!

How Do I Know If A Product Is Vegan?

What’s the Difference Between Vegan & Cruelty-free Beauty Products?close up of an Afrocenchix bottle being held showing the Vegan Logo

Vegan means that the product and ingredients have not been tested on animals and are free from animal ingredients.

Vegan products will typically have a certified vegan logo on its packaging (you can see what we mean by looking your Afrocenchix products). However, there are a lot of vegan and cruelty-free brands that do not use the official logos.  So we would also recommend doing your research and looking out for animal-derived ingredients such as beeswax, carmine, lanolin, shellac and honey. 

How Do I Know If A Product Is Cruelty-free?

Where vegan products are free from animal ingredients and haven’t been tested on animals, cruelty-free simply means that the product and ingredients have not been tested on animals. If a product or company is cruelty-free it will feature a cruelty-free logo. 

There are many cruelty-free programs, but the most common one is The Leaping Bunny. Its logo is easily identifiable and it’s the only internationally recognised symbol that guarantees consumers that no new animal tests were in the development of the product.

NB: EU Law has strict regulations around animal testing, however, China legally requires animal testing. This means that products sold in China will have been tested on animals.

What’s the Difference Between Vegan & Cruelty-free Beauty Products?Vegan and cruelty-free leaping bunny logo

Vegan vs. Cruelty-free: Final Note

Most brands and products will advertise that it is cruelty-free or vegan on its packaging. But it’s always a good idea to double-check websites and social media. Why not ask them these questions? Almost all brands and companies will be happy that you’re interested in their products and will be willing to help by answering! 

  • Are your products tested on animals?
  • Are any of your materials or ingredients tested on animals?
  • Do your suppliers test on animals?
  • Does your parent company test on animals?
  • Are any of your products including raw materials or ingredients derived from animals?
  • Do your suppliers use animal-derived materials?
  • Does your parent company sell or use animal-derived materials?
  • What countries do you sell your products in? 

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