Cruelty-free means that the products, and the ingredients that were used in the product, were not tested on animals at any stage during their development.
Vegan means that the products contain no animal ingredients or animal by-products. This includes well known ingredients like honey, beeswax, gelatin, yogurt and other less obvious animal by-products like:
- lanolin (wool grease) which is common in lip products.
- Shellac (from lac bugs) used in some nail products
- squalene (shark liver oil) used in lip balms, deodorants and moisturizers
- carmine (crushed-up beetles) to create a red color for lipsticks, blushes, nail polish.
- ambergris (sperm whale vomit) in perfumes.
Across the USA, UK and Australia, certified “organic” has a very similar definition. If you’re buying certified organic generally your products (food or the ingredients in your cosmetics, for example) come for a farming system which uses:
- No manufactured herbicides or artificial fertilizers
- No artificial or synthetic colors, preservatives or chemicals (including parabens and sulfates)
- No routine use of antibiotics
- No GMOs (genetically modified organisms) or growth regulators
- Very limited number of pesticides allowed
- More sustainable land management