Ethics testing of cosmetics – the difference between ethical and vegan cosmetics

Ethical cosmetics testing - the difference between ethical and vegan cosmeticsThe cosmetics industry looks like an endless celebration. Colorful advertising campaigns, large-scale presentations and articles in fashion magazines offer to buy a product with amazing properties. But behind the original bottles and smiles on the billboards, the downside of the production is hidden. Many products are tested on animals and include animal ingredients.

In the fight against this phenomenon, ethical cosmetics have entered the markets.


The content of the article:

  1. Cruelty free
  2. Vegan, organic and ethical cosmetics
  3. How to check for ethics?
  4. Can ethical packaging be trusted?
  5. What shouldn’t be in vegan cosmetics?

Cruelty free – ethical cosmetics

The movement to abolish animal experimentation first appeared in Britain. In 1898, the British Union was created from five organizations that advocated the abolition of animal surgery – vivisection. The movement was founded by Francis Power.

The organization has existed for over 100 years. In 2012, the movement was named Cruelty Free International. The symbol of the organization is the image of a rabbit. This mark is used by Cruelty Free International to designate products that have passed their certification.

Cruelty free cosmetics are products that are not tested on animals or materials of animal origin.

Animal testing of cosmetics

Are vegan, organic and ethical cosmetics synonymous?

Cruelty free products are often confused with vegan cosmetics. But these are completely different concepts.

Vegan cosmetics can be tested on animals. But at the same time, just like ethical, it does not include animal products in its composition.

There are many more labels on cosmetics bottles that confuse a person:

  1. Apple images marked “formula-safety-conscious” says only that there are no toxic substances and carcinogens in the composition of cosmetics. formula-safety-consciousThe badge is awarded by an international organization for the fight against cancer.
  2. SOIL ASSOCIATION for the first time began to evaluate cosmetics by organic composition. The organization’s certification ensures that cosmetics are not tested on animals. SOIL ASSOCIATIONBut at the same time, the composition of the funds may contain animal components.
  3. In Russian cosmetics, the label “organic” may be part of an advertising campaign, since there is no certification with such a term. It is worth believing only organic labeling… But this term has nothing to do with ethics. The organic composition is the absence of antibiotics, GMOs, hormonal preparations, various additives for growing animals and plants. However, the use of materials of animal origin is not excluded.

Name “ECO”, “BIO” and “Organic” they only say that cosmetics contain at least 50% of products of natural origin. Also, products with this label are safe for the environment.

But that doesn’t mean that manufacturers don’t do animal tests or don’t use animal-based materials. If the company has not received one of the local or international certifications, such a mark may well be a good marketing ploy.

Choosing Ethical Cosmetics – How to Check Cosmetics for Ethics?

The easiest way to find out if it is ethical to use a cosmetic is to examine the packaging in detail.

It may have a label of one of the quality certificates:

  1. Rabbit image… The cruelty free movement symbolism guarantees the ethics of cosmetics. This could include the Cruelty Free International logo, a rabbit with the caption “Not tested on animals”, or other images. Rabbit with the signature
  2. BDIH certificate speaks of organic composition, the absence of refining materials, silicones, synthetic additives. BDIH certificateCosmetic companies with BDIH certification do not conduct tests on animals and do not use components from dead and slaughtered animals in their production.
  3. France has ECOCERT certificate… Cosmetics with this mark do not contain animal products, except for milk and honey. Animal tests are also not carried out. France has ECOCERT certificate
  4. Vegan and Vegetarian Society certifications say that any use of animals for the creation and testing of cosmetics is prohibited. Vegan and Vegetarian Society certificationsSome companies may advertise as vegan. Please note that a manufacturer without an appropriate certification may not have anything to do with vegan and ethical cosmetics.
  5. Tags “BIO Cosmetique” and “ECO Cosmetique” indicate that cosmetic products are made in accordance with ethical standards. Tags
  6. German IHTK certificate also prohibits tests and products of slaughter origin. German IHTN certificateBut there is an exception – if an ingredient was tested before 1979, it can be used in cosmetics. Therefore, the IHTK certificate, in terms of ethics, is rather controversial.

If you bought a product with a certificate that confirms ethics, this does not mean that the entire cosmetic line is not tested and does not contain animal components. Each product is worth checking separately!

Can ethical packaging be trusted?

There is no law in Russia that would regulate the production of cosmetics without animal components. Companies can manipulate public opinion by sticking an image of a prancing rabbit on their packaging. Unfortunately, it is impossible to hold them accountable for pictures of this kind.

To protect yourself from a low-quality manufacturer, it is worth additionally checking all cosmetics:

  1. Use the information on the official website of the company. Do not believe the loud words about the organic composition of the cream or about caring for the environment. Any information must be supported by appropriate documents. Many manufacturers post quality certificates on their websites. It is necessary to carefully examine whether the document applies to the entire company or only to a few of its products.
  2. Search information on independent resources… Most of the major foreign cosmetic companies can be checked in the database of the international independent organization PETA. Literally the name of the company stands for “people for an ethical attitude towards animals.” They are one of the most authoritative and independent sources of information about animal testing.
  3. Avoid manufacturers of household chemicals. In Russia, it is forbidden to produce such products without animal tests. An ethical company cannot be a manufacturer of household chemicals.
  4. Contact a cosmetic company directly. If you are interested in a particular brand of products, you can contact them directly. You can ask questions by phone, but it is best to use regular mail or electronic form – so they can send you images of the certificates. Don’t be afraid to inquire exactly which products are cruelty. You can also find out how all dermatological tests are performed on products.

Often, cosmetics may not be tested on animals, but at the same time contain animal components. If you are only interested in vegan cosmetics, you should carefully study the ingredients on the packaging.

What ingredients should not be found in vegan cosmetics?

Sometimes it is enough to read the ingredients carefully to exclude animal products in the face and body products.

Vegan cosmetics should not contain:

  • Gelatin… It is produced from animal bones, skin and cartilage;
  • Estrogen. It is a hormonal substance, the easiest way to get it is from the gallbladder of pregnant horses.
  • Placenta… It is extracted from sheep and pigs.
  • Cysteine… A hardening substance that is extracted from hooves and bristles of pigs, as well as duck feathers.
  • Keratin. One of the ways to obtain the substance is to digest the horns of cloven-hoofed animals.
  • Squalane… It can be obtained from olive oil, but many manufacturers use shark liver.
  • Guanine. It is classified as a natural color for a shiny texture. Guanine is obtained from fish scales.
  • Hydrolyzed collagen. It is made from the fat of slaughtered animals.
  • Lanolin. This is the wax that is released during the digestion of sheep’s wool. The animals are specially bred for the production of lanolin.

Ingredients of animal origin can be not only additional components, but also the basis of cosmetics. Many products contain glycerol… One of the ways to get it is through the processing of lard.

Choose skin care products that are made with vegetable glycerin.

For cosmetics to be of high quality and safe, they do not need to be tested on animals. There are many alternative dermatological control methods. Products with certificates for organic and ethics are not only safe for humans, but also do not require the killing of animals for the sake of beauty.


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