DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CRUELTY-FREE & VEGAN

I’m still fairly new to the world of cruelty-free beauty products so I’m learning with you guys! I love writing these posts because I get to do some research. I started actively changing out my beauty products for more animal-friendly alternatives a few months ago. As I’ve been using up everyday items like my shampoo, conditioner, shaving gel and body wash, I’ve been replacing it with vegan and cruelty-free products.

Before I go into the brands, I wanted to let you guys know that there is a distinction between cruelty-free brands and vegan brands.

Just because a product is cruelty-free does not necessarily mean it’s vegan. Cruelty-free means that the product is not tested on animals, which is awesome!

A product that is officially labelled as vegan is generally cruelty-free. I haven’t found any that aren’t, but let me know if you come across an exception! A vegan item doesn’t use any animal products (like milk, honey or beeswax) on top of not testing on animals. 

The below photo shows the only certified cruelty-free logos. If you see any of these 3, then you can be sure the product isn’t tested on our furry friends.

Photo from Nanshy.com

BRANDS

I’ve linked all of the companies’ websites in the text of their names!

Alba Botanica: This is the brand I’m currently using the most. I have to admit I was initially drawn in by the packaging, but I’m liking the products so far. The only issue is that the body wash and shampoo doesn’t lather up as much as I’m used to, but sometimes that’s the way more natural products are. It’s worth the sacrifice! The brand has a bunch of different scents and types of products, including facial scrubs, shaving creams and lotions. The one stipulation is that they have a Honey Mango-scented body wash so that one would obviously not be vegan. However, it’s still all cruelty-free.

Avalon Organics: Everything this brand makes (with the exception of their lipbalm, which has beeswax) is both vegan and cruelty-free! Even their suppliers do not test on animals. They’ve also aimed to make their packaging recyclable and their formulas biodegradable-certified. In addition to selling body washes, lotions, shaving creams and hand soaps, they have skin care and hair care items as well. Their cucumber body wash sounds incredibly refreshing!

Dr. Bronner’s: When I was looking to purchase a new body wash, this was my 2nd choice behind Alba Botanica. They’re mostly known for their body washes, but they have a whole range of products similar to Alba Botanica. They also have a bunch of scent options. Everything is made either in the U.S. or Canada and is both cruelty-free and vegan. I love the way their bottles look, too!

Kiss My Face: This brand is great because they’re on the more affordable side of cruelty-free products. They have deodorant, sunscreen and other products that are used outside of the shower. I like their scents because they offer options like stress-relief, early to bed and cold and flu relief that other brands don’t have. They also work to rescue dogs from animal testing!

Method: Method is a brand you’ve probably already heard of or may already be using. It’s sold in Target, most grocery stores and many drugstores so it’s accessible and is at a lower price point. I’ve been using their hand soap, dish soap and laundry detergent for years now. Their clear bottles and simple design always go well with my home aesthetic. In terms of shower products, they have a few different kinds of body wash (moisturizing, refreshing and foaming) with several scents for each. The white tea moisturizing body wash is one that I’ve liked in the past! Their formulas are naturally-derived, their soaps are safe to use on pets and they don’t believe in testing on animals or using any animal by-products.

Pacifica: If you’re looking for a one-stop shop for vegan and cruelty-free beauty products, this is the company to purchase from. I’ve mainly seen their stuff sold at Target, but grocery stores should have their bath products as well. Their packaging is so eye-catching and they have anything and everything you could ever need in your bathroom. I highly recommend checking them out if you haven’t already! When I run out of deodorant, I want to try their coconut milk deodorant wipes. The same goes for their mascara. I don’t believe they have any shampoo or conditioner, but they have beautiful bars of soap!

Shea Moisture: This company is cool because it was originally started in the early 1900s by a widowed mother of 4 from Sierra Leone. They have products for skincare, for babies and for men. They even have cosmetics as well! Everything seems so luxurious and carefully crafted to ensure it’s paraben- and sulfate-free on top of being cruelty-free. Plus, 10% of their proceeds go to women-led businesses or to communities that provide the natural ingredients for their products.

Zandra Beauty: I recently discovered this brand on Etsy. I’m at the very end of my Alba Botanica body wash and was just doing some research to see what other unique and vegan soaps were out there. I’m obsessed with the packaging! The company is run by a 17-year-old woman who built her brand from the ground up with some help from her fam! She has her own website, but you can also visit her Etsy page if you prefer to order that way. She has an entire section of vegan body washes so I might order the lavender vanilla chai to give it a shot! However, I’m not entirely sure ALL of her products are cruelty-free/vegan so I would double-check before purchasing. She’s also been featured on The Today Show and ABC News! 

WHERE TO BUY

Amazon: To me, this is the best choice if you have Amazon Prime or if none of the other options near you carry the brand/fragrance you want.

Thrive Market: I’ve seen several vegan Youtubers collab with Thrive Market over the last several months (by the way, this post is in no way sponsored). Usually, I wouldn’t pay too much attention to sponsored videos or posts, but Thrive Market seems like a great place to purchase specialty items like this. Their prices are lower and they have a wide variety of options, including snacks and food. I haven’t purchased anything from them yet, but they carry some of my favorite snacks I can’t easily get so I might place an order. You can also narrow down your options to view only vegan products.

Target: Surprisingly, Target has an entire section of natural products in their beauty department. It’s great to see them making changes like that! As if Target wasn’t already enticing enough, this section has many cruelty-free and vegan beauty brands. From what I’ve seen at my local one, they offer Alba Botanica, Dr. Bronner’s, many of the Yes To products, Method, SheaMoisture and a few others. 

Local Grocery Stores & Drugstores: Depending on where you live, this may or may not be a good option. My local grocery stores have Alba Botanica products and a couple of other organic, natural options, but they often don’t have the full range of scents. Since I’m currently mostly using the Alba Botanica stuff, I’m able to just buy from the grocery store or places like CVS, which is convenient. However, I’ve found it can be slightly more expensive than some websites.

Vitamin Shoppe: This is another online retailer if you want to see more options. Sites like this also typically have coupon codes so you can save money if you spend a certain amount. (Thrive Market has one that gives you 20% off your first 3 orders).

iHerb: This is yet another online option! I love seeing all of these sites carry vegan and cruelty-free products, not just for the shower, but for health and nutrition as well.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I hope this helps any of you who are wanting to move toward a more vegan and cruelty-free life! My list of brands is definitely not exhaustive. There are so many companies out there who are striving to make the world a better place by creating their products in a recyclable, cruelty-free, natural, organic and vegan way. Even if the products cost a bit more, it’s a worthy cause! Plus, it’s healthier for our bodies, too.

At first, it can be overwhelming to make your life more vegan. But always remember that you will not only save the lives of animals, but you’ll serve as an amazing example for others. You can be the inspiration others need to live in an animal-friendly way. You can even start by switching out one product at a time like I did. For example, once you run out of your current body wash switch to one of the above products! The same goes for your makeup. Once you run out of your current mascara, give Pacifica or another cruelty-free company a shot!

Cruelty-Cutter app

By the way, if you need a quick way to figure out if a product is cruelty-free when you’re in a store, download the Cruelty-Cutter application to your phone. All you need to do is scan the barcode of the item and it’ll be able to tell you if it’s safe to buy!

Let me know if you guys have a favorite vegan/cruelty-free brand! I’m proud to be part of a generation that is trying to protect animals and the environment! I say this everytime I write a post about vegetarianism or veganism, but just the fact that you’re attempting to make this type of change in your life is what counts. Lots of love!

Image from Pinterest

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