Since the launch of LIVISH we've gotten a lot of questions along the lines of "What's the difference between clean and organic?" and "Does vegan mean it's clean?"
With the fast rise of "conscious beauty" many are becoming curious about product consumption. So to get you acquainted with this new wave we're gonna break it all down. The best way to do that is to place them into two classes: Clean vs Organic and Vegan vs Cruelty-Free.
CLEAN vs ORGANIC
Let's start with the most prominent of the bunch — clean and organic beauty. A common misconception is that these two are one in the same but that is not the case.
Organic is used to describe pure, non-synthetic, product made from nature-derived ingredients . Clean is defined by products that are mindfully created for humans and the environment and produced without any proven or suspected toxic ingredients. Honey Girl Organics has a helpful overview of the 15 toxic ingredients in most skincare and beauty products.
Unlike organic products, clean beauty can be either natural or lab-made but the common goal is to avoid ingredients that are linked to health problems like skin irritations, allergic reactions, reproduction issues or cancer.
VEGAN vs CRUELTY-FREE
Now let's talk about vegan and cruelty free. Vegan do not contain any animal ingredients or animal-derived ingredients. This includes honey, beeswax, milk, lanolin, collagen, albumen, carmine (a natural pigment used to give your makeup color), cholesterol, gelatin, and many others.
Cruelty-free on the other hand means that there is no animal testing at any point in the creation of the product.
So while a brand like Burt's Bee's may be clean, natural and cruelty free it's base ingredient of beeswax excludes it from the vegan category.
Be warned that just because a product is labeled vegan does not mean it's cruelty-free. The vegan label is not regulated so a product may exclude the use animal products but the company that produces it may still test it on animals. A good way to check if an item is both is to look for the "V" for vegan icon accompanied by the cute cruelty-free bunny!
It's important to note that a company can make any claim on the labeling as long as the ingredient list on the back includes all of the other ingredients. A product isn't required to have the green light from the Food and Drug Administration before hitting the shelves.
Here are of the beauty industry loopholes:
Only a small percentage of organic ingredients are required to put an organic sticker on a product.
A lot of "clean" beauty include fragrance (or parfum). Fragrance is an umbrella term that can disguise over a 1,000 different synthetic or natural chemicals and is protected as fair trade secret, therefore, do not have to be disclosed.
Government regulations in many countries require toxicity testing on animal. So while a brand may not practice animal testing they can allow third parties to test on animals to in order to sell in certain areas around the world.
It's always good to do a bit of research on the ingredients or the brand. Don't take the label at face value.
FINDING WHAT WORKS FOR YOU...
If cruelty-free is a strong ethical stance for you try researching whether the companies (an their parent company) you currently support that participate in "Required by Law" testing. You should also lookout for the stamps of approval by credible organizations such as Choose Cruelty Free, The Vegan Society, PETA, or the USDA.
If you want to know what's in your products resources like the EWG (Environmental Working Group) SkinDeep Healthy Living apps are helpful.
With mega brands like Sephora introducing "Clean at Sephora" and adding clean beauty brands to gondolas in many locations conscious beauty is quickly moving into the forefront of the beauty industry. Just remember that it's not about following what's trendy. It's about finding what fits your lifestyle!