If you find yourself wondering what the difference between “cruelty-free” and “vegan” is, don’t start worrying. Reading a body or makeup product labelled “cruelty-free” can be very misleading. It is actually quite common that people believe cruelty-free and vegan are the same thing. However, in essence, they are not.
“Vegan” is the term used for a person that does not eat anything animal-based or it can be a product that does not include any animal ingredients.
The difference is specifically relevant when discussing beauty products and cosmetics. If your lipstick is labelled as cruelty-free, then all that means is that the product wasn’t tested on any animals. A cruelty-free lipstick could still contain the dreaded carmine.
On the other hand, a product that is vegan is not always necessarily cruelty-free. A product containing 100% all-natural, vegan ingredients could have been tested on animals. This is especially common when products are “accidentally vegan.” In this case, the producer’s intentions are different.
It does sound contradicting when a vegan product has been tested on animals. However, things work differently in the marketing world.
So, the bottom line is: just because something is cruelty-free doesn’t mean it’s vegan, and vice versa. If someone wants to stick to their true vegan roots, then they’ll have to find products that are both vegan and cruelty-free. Luckily, there are many companies who sell all-vegan and cruelty-free products, such as Kat Von D and Au Naturale Cosmetics.
For those of you who are looking for 100% vegan products, watch out for these animal-derived ingredients:
Click here for a complete list.