Every other day, the skincare industry comes up with something new to make products compositions more natural, healthy and safe.
Vegan, organic, biodynamic, natural, cruelty-free, clean-beauty - there are so many names it is hard not to get confused.
All vegan products are cruelty-free, but not all cruelty-free products are vegan.
You see where the confusion comes from? Before we all have a brain-cramps, let’s dive into each terminology, to help you understand what you are consuming and ultimately make better purchases in line with what you are looking for - I promise it’s not that complicated!
We start easy, with one of the most known terms. Vegan skincare does not use any animal by-product in its composition and packaging - like beeswax or collagen. Saying that, don’t let the vegan label misguide you giving an impression of a “natural” product, as one thing is not dependent of the other. There are many vegan products with industrialised and processed ingredients and there are many others only with natural ingredients. The only thing they share in common is the absence of animal ingredients and the fact that they are also not tested on animals, nor their ingredients suppliers - ever! If your concern is animals cruelty or using animals by-products, choose vegan!
As we previously talked about, cruelty-free companies or products and their ingredients (including third party suppliers) are not tested on animals at any stage of research or production. That’s why all vegan products are cruelty-free, but (there is a big but) they may contain animal origin products, like beeswax or honey, and once more it is not a guarantee of natural ingredients. If your concern is animal cruelty but you are ok using animal by-products, choose cruelty-free!
This is a veeeery broad term and as many others can be slightly misleading. Included in this category may be products with lower quality ingredients (produced using toxic fertilizer, insecticide and weed killer. and/or mass produced and/or genetically altered) or even a low percentage of actual natural ingredients in its composition. If you are unsure about a particular product, take a moment to read the ingredients list, it will always start with higher concentration ingredients, those towards the end represent a smaller dose on the formulation. Also, there is no guarantee these products do not contain animal byproducts or are not tested on animals. If your concern is natural beauty, choose natural products (but read the labels)!
Organic & Biodynamic
Take all we mentioned for natural products and add extra love to it! While different organic certification organisations have different criteria, organic products can only receive a title when meeting a minimum percentage of organic ingredients (excluding water and salt) - of which are higher quality products, free of toxic fertilizer, insecticide and weed killer. Biodynamics is an improved and pimped organic, it does take farming to a whole new level. Biodynamic farming is one of the most respectful ways to cultivate plants, in which the self-contained living organism, that is the land, is looked after but respecting all its nuances like weather, seasons and even lunar phases. If your concern is high quality natural beauty, choose organic or biodynamic!
Probably an easy one to grasp, but with a fine line to define it. Clean beauty is not about using natural products (it may include, but may not), the focus is to use only proven safe non-toxic ingredients. The fine line is exactly there, as each country may apply different regulations to the same ingredient. With that, there is a tendency for the usage of natural ingredients, however, industrialised ones can also be used - or avoided! Clean products usually refer to products with no parabens, sulfates, silicones and other harmful ingredients. If you concern is safety, choose clean beauty!
While at times one definition may include the other, like organic and natural or vegan and cruelty free, you can also try to find brands and products that address your main concerns all at one. For example, here at White Witch®, all our products are vegan, cruelty-free, organic and clean! Define what your priorities are and then you will know what to look for!
Leave a comment below with your concerns when shopping for skincare?