Vegan and Cruelty Free Skincare, What Does It Mean?
There are a lot of trends when it comes to beauty and skincare, and many don’t last more than a few years at best, but one we’re hoping transcends its “trend” status and becomes a staple in the industry is vegan and cruelty-free products. At Oxygenetix, we’re proud to be certified vegan and cruelty-free by Peta, the largest animal rights organization in the world.
If you’re anything like us, you care just as much about how a cosmetic product was made as what’s in it and how effective it is. Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion surrounding the terms “vegan” and “cruelty-free” when it comes to cosmetics, and this isn’t helped by the fact that there have been lawsuits over misleading claims of vegan and crudely-free products. It’s important to us that consumers understand what they should expect when seeing other brands make these claims and what they can expect from Oxygenetix as well.
What does Vegan Beauty Mean?
In short, vegan beauty describes products that are created without any animal ingredients or byproducts. Common animal-derived ingredients include squalene (shark liver oil), lanolin (wool grease), carmine (crushed-up beetles), beeswax, and honey, and you’d be surprised just how many are in most popular cosmetic products.
In that sense, it’s very similar to a vegan diet because both require the absence of any product or ingredient sourced from an animal. The vegan diet is much more well known, but most individuals who identify as vegan will seek out vegan beauty products in addition to food.
You should never trust a brand that claims to be vegan without certification from Peta. When Peta certifies a brand as vegan, they’re putting their statement of assurance on that brand and verifying that they don’t use animal ingredients in their formulas or in any phase of their development and pledge not to do so in the future. This is a pledge we’re passionate about and have been since the beginning. Oxygenetix was founded on the principle of being health-conscious, and that includes the health of animals.
While our products are made for all skin types, those with sensitive skin often benefit the most from using vegan certified cosmetic products. This is because vegan skincare and beauty products typically contain far fewer ingredients than their non-vegan counterparts, thus reducing the chance of there being an irritant in the formula that could cause a rash, acne, or dry skin.
What does Cruelty-Free Mean?
Cruelty-free means a brand does not conduct any animal tests on ingredients, formulas, or finished products, nor do they commission any such tests. Like with claims of vegan beauty products, you should never trust a brand that claims to be cruelty-free without a certification from Peta. In fact, you may want to do more research than that considering some of the lawsuits over false cruelty-free claims. In 2012, Avon and Estee Lauder – two brand names you probably recognize – were sued for misleading consumers with cruelty-free claims. It turned out that the two brands were selling products in the Chinese market which, at the time, required animal testing on cosmetic products before they can be sold on the market. While the case was dismissed, it did raise awareness on the legitimacy of cruelty-free claims. Today China no longer requires animal testing by law, but it’s still common practice.
Unfortunately, there is no law banning testing cosmetic products on animals in the United States, but some individual states do. California, New Jersey, New York, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, and Virginia have all done so in the last 20 years. California was the first to do so in 2002. On the international level, 41 countries have passed laws that either limit or outright ban cosmetic testing on animals, so there is hope that America can one day join them.
With cruelty-free products, you’re not just getting peace of mind that no animal has been harmed or abused in the production of the product, but a healthier product as well. When you use certified cruelty-free skincare and beauty products, you’re ditching harmful chemicals like parabens, sulfates, phthalates, phenoxyethanol, and many others! This makes cruelty-free products much better for your skin, reducing the risk of breakouts and inflammation.