Cruelty-Free vs. Animal-Free Beauty, what's the difference?

Animal-Free Beauty is a philosophy of ethical treatment and respect of animals, requiring a product must not contain any animal parts or animal by products/ingredients.

Animal-Free Beauty goes beyond Cruelty-Free beauty [which focus on the testing of a formula] by requiring that no animal parts, animal by-products or animal-derived ingredients are used in the actual product formulas.

It may surprise many people that a company which proudly displays a Cruelty-Free logo on its product label, may actually be using animal parts and animal by-products in their formulas. Because Cruelty-Free refers only to testing procedures, and not to actual ingredients in the formula, it can be confusing to some consumers.

Some people are shocked when they hear that their cosmetics contain animal products. They just assume that makeup products don’t need to contain animal by products. But most do.

For example, some people go out of their way to buy a brand of cosmetics that has label claims of Cruelty-free or Natural or Organic. Then they apply their makeup using a conventional makeup brush, which is made of animal hairs mostly obtained from goats, ponies and weasels harvested for the food industry. They are applying a Cruelty-Free eye shadow around their eyes with a brush made from dead pony hairs. Or spreading a Cruelty-Free lip colour across their mouth with a brush made from dead weasels.

And the cosmetic formulas themselves can have many animal-derived ingredients. Take for example, a lipstick formula. Chances are when you check the ingredient list, you will find beeswax [insect by-product], lanolin [sheep by-product, and maybe some carmine [made from crushed insect larvae].

Or perhaps you are using a skin cream that contains collagen [often extracted from animal carcasses], glycerin [often derived from animal fat], or perhaps some keratin [often derived from animal carcasses].

If you want to find cosmetic formulas and tools that are not made with any animal parts or animal-derived ingredients, then look for an Animal-Free certification on the package or company website.

Here is a short list of common ingredients that are often animal-derived:

Fur, hair for brushes, leather, feathers, collagen, lanolin, beeswax, milk, honey, silk, cetyl alcohol, glycerin, lecithin, mono- and di-glycerides, stearic acid, carmine, elastin, keratin, musk oil, etc.. 

Artis Team