What’s The Difference Between “Cruelty Free” and “Vegan” Products?

Now a days you may see many products labeled as “cruelty free” or some are even labeled “vegan”… and then there’s those odd ones that say “cruelty free and vegan.” Aren’t they the same thing? Why the seperate labels?
Well truth be told, they are NOT the same thing. 
A lot of people get this mixed up, because I mean I get it, it seems confusing. What does “cruelty free” even mean? 

When you see a product labeled “cruelty free” that means it was not tested on animals 

  • If you want to really be committed to only getting cruelty free products, be sure the ingredients weren’t tested on animals. 
  • A lot of times a brand can and will pass off a product as not tested on animals because the FINAL PRODUCT (aka what you buy) was not tested on animals… but the ingredients could have been tested on animals (usually done by a third party)
  • If a product is “cruelty free” (not tested on animals), this does not mean it is vegan. It CAN HAVE ANIMAL BYPRODUCTS (Such as: beeswax, carmine, etc.)
  • If a brand claims to “not test on animals except where required by law” that means they sell their products in a country where it is required for them to test their product on animals before selling to the public in that country (This is a requirement in China)… so basically the brand does test on animals.

So then what qualifies as a “Vegan product?”

    When you see a product labeled “Vegan” that means it does not contain animal derived ingredients 

    • Animal derived ingredients include anything that comes directly from an animal. The ingredient was produced by an animal of some sort or can be an animal itself (Carmine is a common ingredient in red makeup products and food dyes… apparently crushed up Cochineal beetles really helps to bring out those red shades…gross)
    • Just because a product is vegan does not mean it wasn’t tested on animals. In fact, there are a lot of products out there that are vegan but have been tested on animals. 
    • If a product is not vegan, it doesn’t mean it has crushed up insects. Actually most of the time it’s because the product contains beeswax.


    Can a product be cruelty free and vegan?


    • Products labeled cruelty free and vegan have not been tested on animals and don’t contain any ingredients derived from animals (be sure to check if they allow/engage in third party testing on the ingredients) 

    There are PLENTY of amazing brands that carry cruelty free vegan products.

    Click here to check my list of brands that carry beauty products both cruelty free and vegan (List is constantly being updated to keep you up to date)

    Hopefully I shed some light on the basics you may have had questions about. If you want an easy go to guide for cruelty free brands, please check the following: 

    Cruelty Free Brand List

    Cruelty Free + Vegan Brand List

    Cruelty Free Brands With Vegan OPTIONS

    Brands That TEST ON ANIMALS

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