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Vegan Makeup - It's More Than Cruelty Free

Updated: Apr 1

So two questions, is vegan makeup cruelty free? Is cruelty free makeup vegan?


When it comes to make-up and other cosmetics vegans can have questions: Is vegan makeup synonymous with cruelty-free? The answer, by definition, seems straightforward. Vegan makeup, crafted to minimise harm to animals, abstains from animal testing. However, the conundrum arises when considering whether cruelty-free makeup is invariably vegan. Surprisingly, the two terms don't always overlap. While cruelty-free products don't involve animal testing, they may still contain non-vegan ingredients. This discrepancy underscores a broader issue in the beauty industry, where animal testing remains a contentious practice. From skincare to cleaning products, animals endure distressing tests, ranging from ingestion to having products squirted up their noses, all in the name of human safety. While many countries have banned such tests, others, like China, mandate them for beauty products. This leaves companies facing a moral problem: compromise their cruelty-free ethics to be able to sell in other countries or uphold their principles, forfeiting potential sales and profits.



eye shadow pallet
Even makeup brushes can be made with animals products, including hairs


So, what is vegan makeup? Vegan makeup and other beauty products are items that do not contain any animal ingredients or products and are not tested on animals, either the ingredients or the final product. There are many different ingredients that can be gotten from animals, honey and wax from bees, carmine from beetles, gelatine from cows, pigs or fish. You can also get products that contain silk that people take from silk worms. None of this is necessary, we don’t have to take anything from animals to be able to put on mascara or have a foot soak. There are many companies that have vegan ranges and label their items so that you can make an informed choice, but there also companies that are fully vegan and everything is cruelty free. So, next time you’re out at the shops take a look at the labels and ingredients on bottles, tubes and tubs and see what is in there. Anything that is certified vegan will say so and may have the vegan society sunflower on it, cruelty free items will say so too. It may only be written but if there is a bunny on it you know it’s ok.


If you aren't sure about a product you can check the website of the brand, but many items are now be marked began, so check packaging for the sunflower of The Vegan Society, a "V" or the word "Vegan".


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