If you’ve been shopping for new beauty or skincare products lately, you’ve probably noticed a rise in the trend of products, both on the shelves and online, being labelled as “cruelty-free.” But what does cruelty-free actually mean? And what does it mean if a brand calls themselves cruelty-free? Not to worry, we’ll cover all of that important information for you in this post.
Also, did you know Callyssee is proudly cruelty-free? Yep, that’s right - all of our products in our line are cruelty-free and vegan, excluding our Café con Leche Hydrating Mask. You can check them out here.
What does cruelty-free mean? What does a brand have to do to be considered cruelty-free?
First and foremost, let’s get to the bottom of what cruelty-free actually means. According to PETA, the short definition of cruelty-free simply means the product and its ingredients were not tested on animals.
What’s the difference between cruelty-free and vegan?
It’s easy to get them confused because a lot of times these two terms go hand in hand in product descriptions - but cruelty-free and vegan do not mean the same thing. If a product is vegan, that means it doesn’t contain any animal ingredients or byproducts like beeswax or lanolin.
So it is entirely possible for a product to be cruelty-free and vegan, only cruelty-free, or only vegan.
Ingredients to avoid to be completely cruelty free
We put together a few ingredients that are sometimes found in beauty products that are derived from animals. Look out and avoid these ingredients the next time you shop for a truly cruelty free routine.
- Beeswax: Often found in lipsticks and many other cosmetics, especially face creams, lotions, mascara, eye creams and shadows, face makeup, nail whiteners, lip balms, etc. (PETA) This waxy ingredient comes from melting down honeycombs.
- Shellac: Found in certain nail polishes, mascaras and hairsprays and is derived from the secretion of the female lac bug (uhhhhh, ew!)
- Carmine: A red pigment used to dye cosmetics like lipstick that’s derived from the crushed female cochineal insect. It’s also used in certain food dyes for foods like red candies and some wines. The good news is, natural alternatives like beet juice can be used in place of this ingredient and many food brands are starting to do just that.
- Guanine: An ingredient derived from fish scales that is found in many sparkly products like glittery eye shadows, lip glosses, highlighters and more.
- Keratin: According to PETA, Keratin is protein from the ground-up horns, hooves, feathers, quills, and hair of various animals that’s commonly used in some hair products and treatments. There’s plenty of natural, cruelty-free alternatives in haircare these days, so there’s no reason to use animal-sourced keratin!
- Squalene: found in some skincare products and is an oil derived from sharks. However, squalane (note the change in spelling) is typically derived from plants and therefore is vegan and cruelty-free. Just make sure you note the difference!
Benefits of using cruelty-free beauty products
There are many reasons to switch to a cruelty-free beauty routine this year, and we’ve listed out a few reasons why you should consider refreshing your collection with cruelty-free products. It may take some time, but starting to replace your old and empty beauty products with new ones from cruelty-free brands is a great way to start working on a cruelty-free collection of products.
- Cruelty-free products are generally a lot more clean than other beauty products. Many brands who are cruelty-free are also vegan and focus on including non-toxic, healthier ingredients in their products that are better for your overall health.
- There’s many great brands out there that are already cruelty-free. Why give your money to brands that test on animals when there’s thousands of brands that are cruelty-free?! It’s a no brainer.
- Animal testing is cruel and unecessary, and there’s many alternatives to animal testing in 2021.
- Money talks. You can actually make a difference with your wallet. If lots of people support cruelty-free brands and only purchase from cruelty-free brands, that can cause a huge shift in the market. Lots of smaller businesses are cruelty-free and vegan so you can shop small and support local and lesser-known brands that don’t test on animals and make great products!
- It might make you feel better to know that you are using beauty products that weren’t created with ingredients and methods that harm other creatures. Like we mentioned earlier, there are so many amazing cruelty-free brands available that you won’t even miss the ones that aren’t!
Why you should make the switch to cruelty-free in 2021
If you love animals, then you would probably agree that animal testing for cosmetic purposes has no place in 2021. Products can be proven effective without the need to test on animals. Plus, if you’ve ever seen what actually happens in animal testing (it’s not as easy as swatching lipstick shades on a bunny or mouse, btw) you would be horrified! We can all do our part in being a little kinder to others and animals, and since there are so many cruelty-free brands these days you won’t even miss the brands that aren’t cruelty-free! You might be surprised at how many brands you use that are already cruelty free.
So, are you going to be making the switch to only using cruelty-free beauty products this year? Don’t forget to check out our collection of cruelty-free skincare and beauty products. Let us know if you’ve made the switch below! If you’ve been using cruelty-free products for a while, let us know your favorite cruelty-free brands in the comments.