Just because a beauty or personal health care product is out there in the market being advertised and popularized does not necessarily mean it is good for you, or that it is not filled with strong, agitating chemicals. In fact, these kinds of franchises are unregulated by any laws; therefore, there is a possibility they contain toxic ingredients that are potentially harmful even if they make your hair soft.
If you are health-conscious or wary about the chemicals in your makeup or the additives in your shampoo, you might want to venture down the lane of green beauty and seek out some vegan products. This way, you can know how to find vegan, cruelty-free, all-natural and organic brands that are not only better for yourself, but also for the planet.
What Counts as A “Green Beauty” Product
- Vegan: products without animal-derived ingredients.
- Vegetarian: can contain minimal ingredients produced by animals such as honey or beeswax.
- Natural: ingredients are pure (absence of chemicals or synthetics).
- Organic: plant-based ingredients that were not exposed to synthetics, irradiation or harmful pesticides.
- Cruelty-free: products are manufactured without the use of animal testing.
We want brands and products that do good for humanity and the environment, but unfortunately there are grey areas in the green world. Beauty and personal healthcare companies can make claims and lies and they’re unregulated! These claims can include statements that insinuate things that deceive you into thinking it is something that it is not. You have to be careful even when a product is labeled “vegan-friendly” because there is still a possibility they contain synthetic ingredients that have undergone animal testing. Even claims like “we do not test on animals” could actually mean someone else, not the company itself, tests on animals before the product is in their hands (a third party).
It is all about marketing strategies in a demand and supply, materialistic world, so learn to read the label, twice. Also learn to recognize what is just a marketing claim rather than the truth especially when it comes to what is and what is not truly a vegan product.
Logos to Trust
Trust logos, not claims. Herbal Essences shampoo does not contain a single herb in it. If you want an organic product look for a certification—the USDA regulates the United States organic standards. This includes crops, livestock, processed products and wild crops. The goal with organics is to be environmentally conscious by conserving and improving soil, land and wildlife.
If you are against animal testing, even if you do not mind products that contain animal by-products, look for the cruelty-free certification. Merchandise that is labeled with a cruelty-free logo advocates against animal experimentation for the sake of human health care. Cruelty Free International tags cosmetics and household products with a Leaping Bunny once they have been recognized as cruelty-free.
Ultimately, we should prefer vegan products, not only organic and cruelty-free. You know that you can trust that a product is truly vegan if it has been certified. The certified vegan logo is a registered trademark in the U.S., Canada and Australia. The logo does not only mark the fact that the product does not contain animal products or byproducts, but that it has not been tested on animals. If you are vegan, this logo is your best friend as it signifies the product you might want to purchase is actually vegan and not some variant of one.
As said, we should prefer products that are simultaneously cruelty-free, vegan and natural. This is easier said than done—the power of advertising and marketing strategies is deceiving. Lucrative lies such as “all-natural” and “environmentally-friendly” are nothing but words unless they are backed up with a registered certification logo. Question beauty and personal health care products in order to make sure they are what you really want. Keep in mind that a company can add a single somewhat natural ingredient to claim their products’ (fake) naturalness or slightly vegan (there is a difference between vegetarian and vegan products and companies need to recognize that!).
What are your favorite vegan products? Let us know in the comments!