Vegan VS Cruelty Free – What’s The Difference?


There is an overwhelming amount of beauty/health/hygiene products available on our shelves today, from the top brands to the shops own label; each brand has it’s own list of ingredients and it’s own ethics tied in with that list. For a long time I didn’t understand how a shampoo could be vegan – surely there’s no animal derivatives in the product I wash my hair with, right? Wrong. To put it simply, the bunny (which is the most widely used and recognised cruelty free symbol) you find on the back of a product indicates that that product hasn’t been tested on animals, but what it doesn’t mean is that it doesn’t contain animal by-products. Products with the vegan sunflower label (or stated otherwise) indicates that that product doesn’t contain any ingredients derived from animals, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it hasn’t then been tested on animals. In short, only products displaying the sunflower AND the bunny symbol (or otherwise worded on the packaging) are completely free from animal interaction in any way.
I was genuinely horrified to discover that my cruelty free body butter still had the potential to have animal derived ingredients inside – effectively rubbing an animal all over my body, something which as a vegan, the idea of made my stomach turn.
So if like me you’re now avid about only buying vegan approved products, then you’re also about to get very friendly with online shopping. I’ve found very few vegan beauty products on the high street or in supermarkets. My go-to body wash is now Original Source, with make-up and any other vegan goodies I can find coming from Lush or The Body Shop (note – always check if the particular item you’re buying is vegan from both of these stores as not everything is!). However, if you type “vegan make-up” into google, you will be greeted by an abundance of online companies who are happy to meet your animal free wishes.

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