Are you interested in starting your cruelty-free journey? At Logical Harmony, I believe it’s important to be mindful of the products we use in our daily lives, particularly in the beauty and household categories. I want to make everything about cruelty-free simple for you. While many people may use the terms “cruelty-free” and “vegan” interchangeably, it’s important to understand that there are differences between the two.

Logical Harmony focuses on having a cruelty-free beauty routine. This includes what’s in your makeup bag, skincare routine, shower staples, and even household cleaners. I personally use only vegan products from cruelty-free brands. I see a lot of confusion about what “cruelty-free” means and what “vegan” means. I think that it’s really important to let people know that there is a difference between cruelty-free and vegan. So, what is the difference between cruelty-free and vegan? This post will help explain how the two can be used differently.

I urge you to take your own cruelty-free pledge. If you can do your part to help by buying all cruelty-free products, then it’s definitely a step in the right direction and worth supporting. For some people, buying vegan products is going to be an easy transition. For others, going cruelty-free is all that they can do. Even just swapping a handful of your products for cruelty-free or vegan versions is great! What each person is able to do is going to be different, and it’s important to take whatever steps you are comfortable with taking. There’s no wrong way to approach going cruelty-free.

So, what exactly is the difference between cruelty-free and vegan?

Simply put, cruelty-free products are those that have not been tested on animals, while vegan products are those that do not contain any animal-derived ingredients. This post will dive deeper into these distinctions and explore how they can impact your purchasing decisions.

I understand that everyone’s cruelty-free journey is unique, and that’s why I encourage you to take your own cruelty-free pledge. Making the switch to cruelty-free or vegan products can be an easy and rewarding step towards a more conscious lifestyle. Whether you choose to swap a handful of products or make a complete switch, every little action counts. Remember, what might seem like a handful of small things does add up.

With Logical Harmony, I’m committed to providing you with the information you need to make informed purchasing decisions that align with your values. So, let’s explore the world of cruelty-free and vegan beauty together.

What does cruelty-free mean?

On a simple level, “cruelty-free” means not being tested on animals. Cruelty-free beauty products are those that have not been tested on animals at any stage of production. This means that the product itself, as well as its individual ingredients and formulas, have not been tested on animals. By choosing cruelty-free beauty, you don’t need to miss out on high-quality products that are effective and easy to find.

For a product to be cruelty-free, there should be no form of animal testing at any point in the creation of a brands products. This starts with the ingredients and extends through formulations, product production, and the finished and final product.

Aside from the cruelty-free brand list, I also have lots of cruelty-free shopping guides broken down by store or product category to help you find what you need.

It’s common for companies to not test the final product on animals, but to test it along the way or to use ingredients that have been tested on animals by a third-party group. This means that the brand or a company that they source ingredients from, has hired an outside group to conduct animal testing on their behalf. Some brands do not verify if their ingredient suppliers test on animals or source from groups that test on animals. In order to be considered cruelty-free, a brand needs to know about the actions of any third-party groups they work with when it comes to their products.

“Required by law” animal testing is also common. There are two common situations where this sort of animal testing happens. One is when the finished products are tested on animals by a third-party company to comply with various regional laws around the world. The second is when some of the ingredients used or the new formulations are required to be tested on animals to meet government requirements. A lot of these brands claim that they have no control over these sorts of animal tests being done on their products. But, it is possible to avoid both scenarios. Because of this, I do not consider these brands to be cruelty-free.

A common misconception is that if a brand is cruelty-free, all of its products are also vegan-friendly. This is not the case. Since cruelty-free refers only to animal testing, these brands can still use animal and animal-derived ingredients in their products.

What does vegan mean?

“Vegan” means free of animal ingredients. Vegan beauty products are those that are free from animal and animal-derived ingredients. This includes but is not limited to honey, beeswax, lanolin, gelatin, silk, pearl, collagen, cholesterol, and carmine. There are animal-derived ingredients found in makeup, skincare, haircare, nail products, and more.

Some assume that if a brand uses the term “vegan” it also means that a product is free from animal testing as well. Because the term is not regulated, it is often used to simply note that a product does not contain animal ingredients. Items that are tested on animals can claim to be “vegan”. This is a very important distinction because a vegan product is not necessarily cruelty-free. Even vegan product certifications do not require that the brand be cruelty-free.

There are lots of beauty companies that are cruelty-free and offer a mostly vegan selection of items. These companies are often more than happy to tell you exactly what items and shades are vegan. If they are unable to give you a clear answer, it’s best to avoid those products. I also offer lots of vegan product lists by brand here on Logical Harmony. T

How can Logical Harmony make your shopping easier?

Here at Logical Harmony, I maintain a vetted list of cruelty-free brands. I call this a list of Logical Harmony Approved brands. There has been confusion in the past, and I do want to clarify that Logical Harmony is not a certifying organization – there are only a few of those out there.

I strongly believe in brand transparency and communication. A cruelty-free brand should have no issue confirming that they are free of animal testing. This means that I require brands to confirm that there is no animal testing occurring on their products at the ingredient level, through product formulation and production, as a finished product, or once the product is available on the market for purchase.

Almost every single cruelty-free brand offers vegan options. But it’s noted on the list if a brand happens to be fully vegan too. You can use cruelty-free shopping guides and vegan product lists to help you too. A couple of the most used are the guides for cruelty-free brands at Sephora and cruelty-free brands at Ulta.

What about cruelty-free certifications and logos?

Cruelty-free logos are great to look for and to encourage brands to get!

CCIC and Cruelty-Free International Leaping Bunny

My favorite to look for is the Leaping Bunny. It’s the most strict of any certification out there. It’s issued to brands by the CCIC Leaping Bunny Program and Cruelty-Free International. Both maintain their own certification programs and may have different brands listed. A lot of brands include the Leaping Bunny logo on product packaging, but not all do. Any brand with a Leaping Bunny certification has to recommit to the program annually and resubmit their paperwork for continued certification.

Joining the Leaping Bunny Program is free for companies, but there is a cost associated with the optional licensing of the Leaping Bunny logo to include on product packaging. Certification through Cruelty-Free International (CFI) is not free but does include licensing of the Leaping Bunny logo to include on product packaging. CCIC offers the Leaping Bunny certification for companies based in the US and Canada, while CFI certifies companies headquartered outside the US and Canada. The CFI version of the Leaping Bunny logo is slightly different, but not too different to be confusing. For both programs, there are no additional fees or costs to recommit. Brands must reach out to the Leaping Bunny Program or CFI to start the process.

PETA Beauty Without Bunnies

PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies program is one of the most recognized cruelty-free certifications. There is a cost associated with this certification that includes licensing of the Beauty Without Bunnies logo to include on product packaging. I think that this program is a good place to start, but I do have reservations about it too. A lot of brands take part in it because it can be more affordable for them. Some brands included in the program do state that they test on animals. There is also no recommitment to the program required. That said, I am happy the program exists and I think it does more good than harm overall.

Are there other cruelty-free websites that are helpful?

Yes! I’m far from the only cruelty-free creator out there and there’s big community to explore. There are some amazing creators on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and other blogs helping make cruelty-free easy for you too. Vegan Beauty Addict, Cruelty-Free Kitty, and Ethical Elephant are some I would suggest checking out. We all have a common goal – to share information that makes shopping cruelty-free super easy. And while we may not always agree on a brands cruelty-free status, each of those sites has so much helpful information.

Pick cruelty-free beauty!

No matter how you do it, picking cruelty-free matters. Start as big or as small as you like. As you use up products, swap them out for cruelty-free options. Look for cruelty-free brands the next time you’re out shopping.

Making the switch to cruelty-free beauty products is an important step towards a more ethical lifestyle. If you haven’t already, I urge you to take the pledge to go cruelty-free and explore the many cruelty-free products available on the market today. Whether you’re a longtime vegan or just starting out on your cruelty-free journey, your support makes a difference. Let me know in the comments which cruelty-free products you love right now, and don’t forget to share this post with your friends and followers to spread the word about the importance of cruelty-free beauty!