Trying to find the cosmetic products that are a good fit for your skin can be challenging and, at times, frustrating! At the Secret Garden, we know the importance of finding that perfect product and being an informed buyer. One of our goals is to educate our customers on the benefits of the natural ingredients we offer in our products to help them make the best decision for their skin. Concluding our three part series on uncovering the truth behind some of the industry's most mysterious marketing ploys, this month we'll share the secrets behind "cruelty-free" and "vegan" products!
What Does "Cruelty-Free" Mean? Although the FDA has not officially approved the definition of a "cruelty-free" cosmetic product, it typically means the product is not tested on animals. Companies that are strong advocates of cruelty-free products will often make sure that all of the ingredients in their product are also not tested on animals. But unfortunately, since this is not strictly regulated by the FDA, some companies label their products as cruelty-free but do not look into the details of the ingredients they source. Testing on animals is not required by law in any way. Doing some research on the brand in question or reaching out to them is the best way to ensure their products are truly cruelty-free.
Why is This Important in Cosmetics? In the cosmetics industry, animals can be used to test for skin or eye irritation, toxicity, sensitivity, and in extreme cases, toxicity affecting development and reproduction. This kind of testing can cause lifelong health conditions and pain in some cases. In extreme cases, the tests performed can be fatal for the animal. Animal advocates have been fighting this practice for some time now and often recommend simply boycotting brands that practice animal testing.
What Should I Look Out For? You may be familiar with the Leaping Bunny logo on some cruelty-free products. The Leaping Bunny Program is a way for companies to register as a brand that meets the standards for the program and add the leaping bunny symbol to their labels as a marketing opportunity. Their standards require that registered companies do not test source ingredients on animals AND they do not test the final product on animals. Read more about the Leaping Bunny Program HERE. Purchasing products with this logo is often a great way to avoid brands that condone animal testing. However, that doesn't mean that any product without the Leaping Bunny symbol is tested on animals. If you're unsure of whether a product is cruelty-free based on the packaging, reach out to the company directly. Typically, if they prioritize sourcing products that are cruelty-free, they will be happy to answer your questions and give you direct and satisfying answers. If you are still unsure of a company's stance on this issue after speaking with them, it may be best to avoid purchasing this brand in the future.
What Does "Vegan" Mean? The vegan diet has been gaining in popularity in recent years but a lesser known side to veganism is in cosmetics. Being vegan means you do not consumer any product derived from animals. Vegans not only abstain from eating meat, but also eggs, dairy, and sometimes honey. Outside of the diet, many other industries utilize animal derivatives, such as in clothing, bags, purses, and cosmetics.
Why is This Important in Cosmetics? There are varying degrees of veganism. Everyone has their own reasons for choosing this lifestyle and therefore, different priorities. For example, one might choose to be vegan because of animal rights, environmental impacts or perhaps simply because of personal taste or preference. That being said, some vegans prioritize vegan cosmetic products more than others - and that's okay! Others might feel comfortable consuming products with honey in them, while others might not - that's totally fine! When it comes to veganism, its all about what makes you feel most comfortable and where your personal values and priorities lie.
What Should I look Out For? More and more brands are leaning into the fact that they are vegan, and it's becoming more popular to see "vegan" listed front and center on the label. However, if you are unsure, carefully read through the ingredients list looking for any obvious signs of animal ingredients as well as lesser-known ingredients like lanolin, casein, and more. When in doubt, we recommend using this website! This is a searchable database put together by PETA that will be able to more confidently tell you if a brand is vegan!
What about Secret Garden Products?
Here's the good news: ALL of our body products are cruelty-free! When formulating our body products back in 2015, it was important to us to find sources for our ingredients that valued being cruelty-free as much as we do. We are happy to share that our customers can use our products without worrying about animals testing! We've got you covered!
As for our vegan products, we have done our best to offer a variety of high quality products for our vegan customers! Our Hand Soaps and Goat's Milk Bar Soaps contain goat's milk which can be very nourishing for the skin, but are obviously, not vegan. Aside from those products, everything else is vegan friendly! We are always happy to honestly answer any questions our customers have so they can be informed consumers!
We highly recommend checking out the PETA searchable database for cosmetic and cleaning products. This website allows you to search brands and discover if they are cruelty-free and/or vegan! Its super simple to use and will give you peace of mind during your shopping experience!
Brys Secret Garden's In-House Blogger