Vegan and Cruelty-Free Cosmetics: Is There a Difference?

Vegan and cruelty-free are two labels that get a great deal of attention by both the media and consumers. They often get used interchangeably, which can lead to confusion because one cannot necessarily be used for the other.

What is Vegan?

The “vegan” label is one of the most popular terms that consumers look for when they purchase products such as cosmetics. In 2017, vegan cosmetics sales jumped 100 percent with people aged 16 to 34 years of age noting that they find animal welfare very concerning, according to Mintel, a retail research company.

In order for cosmetics to be labeled as being vegan, it must not contain any products derived from an animal nor can it contain any animal ingredients. This means that makeup that is tested on animals can still claim to be vegan if they don’t contain any animal products. However, a vegan product might still be tested on animals before being released to the market.

What is Cruelty-Free?

In contrast to the vegan label — which refers to the ingredients that comprise a product — the cruelty-free label denotes the process of testing. Makeup that sports the cruelty-free label means that none of its ingredients or components, as well as the final product, has been tested on animals. However, a cruelty-free product could still contain ingredients derived from animals so it wouldn’t necessarily be vegan.

The Confusion

Sometimes confusion arises because there are no standardized definitions of what a product means when it carries the vegan label. To many people, vegan cosmetics are those that don’t have any ingredients derived from animals. Others see the vegan label and think it means that the makeup doesn’t have any animal products nor has it exploited animals during the manufacturing, development or testing phases.

In reality, this thought process is actually referring to cruelty-free testing and not necessarily to whether or not a product is vegan.

As companies move toward a more animal-friendly approach and legacy, it’s important to partner with a business that offers products that support the appropriate label.

As a pioneer in the development and application of cruelty-free testing methods, InVitro International has been meeting the needs of animal-conscious companies since 1985. InVitro International provides a range of products and services that companies can utilize to meet those goals. Contact us today for more information.

The Importance of Testing Products for Skin Irritation Prior to Mass Production

For your company, nothing is as important as the integrity of your product. This is especially true in skincare. Your customers want a product that delivers what it promises. They don’t want adverse side effects.

For your company, getting the right formula before mass production is a key to success. If you find out that there’s a high rate of toxicity or that consumers are having major issues with your product after the release, it’s difficult to recover from that type of set back. Depending on the adverse reaction, there may be legal ramifications. If the product is poorly rated by consumers, the negative publicity is almost impossible to overcome.

The Importance of Testing

In producing any type of skin care for the public, you’re required to make sure that it’s safe when used correctly. Testing for safety is an integral step. Your team should also research and compile information on ingredients so that you can benefit from studies which were already completed. However, research alone isn’t enough. Considering that your product will be proprietary, information on individual ingredients can’t tell you how they’ll react together with human skin.

Some people may be more sensitive to certain ingredients or have allergies. While you can’t possibly know how each individual’s skin will react to your product, you can test widely so that you’ll be able to judge whether people with sensitive skin might not be the best consumers.

Here are a few key reasons that you’ll need to test thoroughly before releasing your product to the public:

  • Liability. You’re required to make certain that your product is safe if used according to the directions. If you release a product that has a widespread negative impact on consumers, you may be legally liable.
  • Quality. The main reason that you should test your product thoroughly is to maintain the highest quality. Your product should do what it advertises for the widest swath of consumers.
  • Consumer Satisfaction. There’s no quicker way to sell a product or sink a product than word of mouth. Testing thoroughly will give you the ability to accurately assess how successful your product is in use. Word of mouth recommendations from satisfied customers will help you build a loyal consumer base. A great many dissatisfied consumers can do the exact opposite. Today, many people research new products before buying. Negative reviews can cost you customers for a long time, which is why it’s important to get the formula just right prior to launch.

In Vitro Testing for Your Products

In the past, many cosmetics companies used animal testing to make certain their products were safe for consumers. This type of testing was deemed the most scientific for many years, but it has traditionally caused some ethical issues. Many consumers and companies today prefer to use testing methods that are cruelty-free and don’t in any way harm animals.

Today, there are in vitro testing methods which prove safe and even more effective than the animal testing predecessor. In vitro methods test the product in a lab setting, using an assay which yields comprehensive, accurate results. This testing method can be completed in less time and is more cost-effective than other options. It is also cruelty-free and can be a selling point for your line of products.