There are so many terms that are used; it’s hard not to get confused by what they mean and how they all fit together, especially when it comes to learning if your vegan beauty products are non-toxic. I used to wonder this as well.
I started my vegan diet two years ago. I watched a documentary called “Cowspiracy.” It was about how livestock farming impacts the environment negatively. I highly recommend watching it. So, it got me thinking if we all cut back a little on our meat and dairy consumption, that would make a significant impact for the better, right?
Well, I have always been a big animal lover. So it went from just helping the environment to being more for the welfare of animals. I don’t want animals to be hurt or killed for the use of a product.
It was at this point that I decided if I don’t want to eat any animals or by-products, I don’t want it in my products either. I started researching for vegan make-up, vegan nail polish, etc. and found some great brands. (Once you learn what from an animal is in your beauty products, you will want to as well.)
Move forward two years, and I begin my clean, non-toxic beauty journey. I’m feeling pretty confident that I’m already using really good products because they’re vegan.
Oh, boy, was I WRONG!
Just because my products were vegan, didn’t mean they were non-toxic as well.
What does vegan mean?
Veganism is not using or containing any animal products. This is only referring to what is used in the products themselves. You can find some labels that are certified vegan. The certification is stating that there is no animal or by-product in the product.
The vegan certification does mean that there was no animal testing done. To understand the Vegan Certification symbol more, click here. Now, if a product is vegan and not certified, it does not mean it is cruelty-free.
What does cruelty-free mean?
Cruelty-free means that no animals were tested on, hurt, or harmed in any way to create that product or ingredients. “Some companies will say that they don’t conduct animal tests unless required by law—this means that they’re choosing to pay for tests on animals so that they can sell more products in China,” as stated by Peta
You can distinguish brands that are cruelty-free with the bunny symbol and/or the leaping bunny symbol. To find out what more of the symbols on your beauty products label mean, click here.
What does clean beauty mean?
Clean beauty is all about using non-toxic beauty products. By learning how to read your ingredient labels, you will start to recognize harmful ingredients, and understand which cause skin irritations, cancer-causing, or even linked to reproductive issues. (Click here to get my list of Top 10 Harmful Ingredients to Avoid in Beauty Products)
You now have a better understanding of what each of these means separately, but should they be linked together? In my opinion, yes.
What does clean beauty mean to you?
When you are starting your journey to clean beauty, you need to know your why. Why do you want to make this change?
Once you understand why you are doing this, it will make it easier to know where your standards are. What one person considers the cleanest, may not be the same for another.
To me, clean beauty means:
My products will not contain anything harmful to me, my family, the environment, or animals. This includes the controversial ingredients that some say are ok, whereas others state it is not. If there is at all a chance, it’s not safe; I don’t want it.
I demand transparency. I want to read the label and understand exactly what I am putting on my body. I don’t want to have to contact the company to understand better the source of their ingredients. Or even to know if they are vegan and cruelty-free.
Where do you begin?
I first recommend getting to know which parent companies still test on animals. Some of the more commonly known companies are Unilever, Proctor and Gamble and Henkle. If you look at the back of your products, you can see if the name of the parent company is on there. (A parent company is a large corporation that owns many brands)
You can also look at the website www.crueltyfreekitty.com. There she states which brands are cruelty-free. You can break down your search by category (nail polish, skincare, make-up, etc.)
After learning if the product is cruelty-free, I then begin to read the ingredient label. Like I said in the beginning, the more you do this, the easier it will become to notice common harmful ingredients.
I do offer a 6-week transition program called Impact with Clean Beauty. During this program, I will help guide you on learning if the products you are using are non-toxic and if they are not what to brand to replace. By the end, you will be confident with what you are putting on your body. To join this program, click here. If the program is not open at the time, you can add your name to the waitlist.