More and more people are paying attention to their nutrition and the products they consume. Many people are embracing veganism as a form of nutrition and way of life. But what exactly does vegan mean, what are vegan cosmetics, and how can you tell if products are vegan? You can find out more about the subject now at pjuractive.
What does vegan actually mean?
While vegetarians avoid eating food that comes from killed animals, vegans completely avoid all products that are derived from animals. This includes meat, fish, milk, and eggs as well as honey. However, a vegan way of life not only includes not consuming food that comes from animals, it also includes any product which is derived from animals. Therefore, this also includes leather, silk, wool, and cosmetic products that contain ingredients derived from animals.
What are vegan cosmetics?
Vegan cosmetics are not allowed to contain any ingredients, such as honey, milk, beeswax or lanolin, because they are derived from animals. Even natural cosmetics increasingly contain these ingredients, which is why vegans often cannot use them. What is more, it is relatively difficult to even tell whether the ingredients listed on a product are animal-based or non-animal-based. The following ingredients are examples of products derived from animals, and for this reason, they should not be used in vegan cosmetics:
You can find a good overview of ingredients derived from animals on the website of the animal protection organization PETA.
Cosmetics without animal testing
Finding vegan cosmetics without any of the animal-derived ingredients on the list is one thing, but living as a vegan also means ensuring that the cosmetics you are using also do not contain ingredients which were tested on animals. This is often not as obvious and not all cosmetic products labeled as vegan are really free from animal testing. The EU law prohibiting animal testing for cosmetics and ingredients used in cosmetics took effect on March 11, 2013. This law prohibits the sale of products which are tested on animals. However, there are some loopholes which still make it possible for animal testing to be carried out and for products to be sold which have been tested on animals. The reason that this is possible is the EU REACH regulation of chemical substances, which continues to prescribe toxicity tests on animals. It applies to a wide variety of ingredients – especially those which are used in cosmetic products. For this reason, numerous ingredients contained in cosmetics are unfortunately still being tested on animals.
How can I tell if a cosmetic product is vegan?
Anyone who has looked into the topic of veganism and vegan cosmetics knows how difficult it is to find out which cosmetic products are really vegan and do not contain ingredients derived from animals. What is more, they also have to make sure the products they use have not been tested on animals. So people who want to ensure both that a cosmetic product is free from ingredients derived from animals and that it has not been tested on animals can only trust products which have been labeled with a corresponding seal for vegan cosmetics.
The vegan flower from the Vegan Society in England indicates that a cosmetic product is one hundred percent vegan. Products with this labeling do not contain any ingredients derived from animals and were not tested on animals. In order for a product to have this seal, it must meet certain criteria:
- The product must be free from animal-based components or animal by-products.
- Raw materials obtained from animals cannot be used.
- Animal testing can be ruled out for the product.
- Using materials derived from animals is also prohibited during the production process.
Our pjuractive products are all labeled with the Vegan Society’s vegan flower. This seal ensures that the products do not contain any ingredients derived from animals and have not been tested on animals.
The Cruelty Free International & CCIC (Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics) awards a logo known as the leaping bunny. This logo is an internationally-valid seal which is promoted by eight animal protection organizations from the USA and Canada. In order to be awarded this seal, companies have to meet the following criteria:
- Animal testing is prohibited during the entire production process up until the end product is made.
- The company also may not commission any animal testing.
- Moreover, it is prohibited to use products and ingredients from other producers that conduct animal testing.
- If a company sells its products in China, it cannot be awarded the seal because animal testing is required for cosmetic products sold on the Chinese market.
The protecting hand over the bunny
This seal has been awarded since 1979 by the Manufactory Association Against Animal Testing in Cosmetics (Internationaler Herstellerverband gegen Tierversuche in der Kosmetik e.V. – IHTK). It is intended to label cosmetic products that have been produced in companies which abide by the strict guidelines of the German Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and completely forgo using animal testing. In order to be awarded this seal, companies have to meet the following criteria:
- They have to submit a legally binding declaration which indicates the following: animal testing was not used during the production process; raw materials are not used which have been tested on animals; the product does not contain any raw materials derived from animals; and there is no economic dependence on companies which conduct animal testing.
- They must submit a raw materials list with information on their suppliers.
- They also must include a complete list of the ingredients contained in the products – either in their product catalogs or on the products themselves.
Moreover, there are Apps that show which products are vegan which are not. Usually these Apps only require you to scan the barcode. Codecheck is one such App.
Overall, it is still difficult to find vegan cosmetics, even if veganism is becoming more popular, and it is still challenging to consciously avoid consuming products which contain animal-derived ingredients and have been tested on animals. But with the help of the seals, list of ingredients, and appropriate Apps it is now possible not only to be vegan in terms of food, but also to select vegan cosmetic products.