What is certified vegan beauty?
Certified vegan beauty products explained
Whether you follow a vegan diet or not, using vegan and cruelty free beauty products might still be high on your agenda to minimise unnecessary animal cruelty, for sustainability reasons or simply because you don't know why you need animal derived ingredients in your skincare and cosmetics. If you're wanting to know what skincare and cosmetic brands are vegan, it's important to know the logos and symbols to look out for on your products and what each certification means.
Why is it important that beauty products are certified vegan?
Let's face it, more and more of us are, quite rightly, concerned that our beauty products aren't being tested on animals or using animal-derived ingredients unnecessarily. With this growth in demand for vegan and cruelty free products, lots of companies make a choice to market their product as vegan for commercial rather than ethical reasons.
Like most beauty terms, 'vegan' isn't regulated so looking for vegan certified beauty products can give you a little bit more peace of mind that an independent, non-biased company has checked and verified your products to make sure they're definitely vegan.
There are a few different certifiers though and each have their own standards when it comes to certifying vegan beauty products so it's important to understand each one and what they mean. Another point to note is that just because a product is certified vegan, doesn't mean it's also cruelty free. Completely plant-based beauty products can still be tested on animals if they've been produced outside of the EU or are sold in countries which demand animal testing. It's best to look for products that are made under EU regulations (which all Blomma Beauty brands are) and/or that have independent cruelty free accreditation too.
In this blog we'll share with you the most used certification bodies for vegan bodycare products in the UK. You may see the logos in different colours on your products as brands can use them in different ways depending on the colour of their packaging.
Vegan beauty certification companies in the UK
The Vegan Society
The vegan society has been in existence since 1990 and is one of the most recognised certifications for vegan products around the globe. To date they've accredited upwards of 49,000 products across 79 countries.
What does the Vegan Society standard mean for vegan beauty products?
- Products must not contain or be manufactured using any animal product, by-product or derivative.
- Nor must the products be tested on animals
- Any Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) must not use animal genes or derivatives
- There should be no cross-contamination in the manufacturing process with non-vegan equipment or surfaces
It's important to note that the vegan society certifies individual products, rather than a brand or range as a whole so just because one product is marked as vegan, doesn't mean the rest of the products are so always check individual labels for the up to date credentials.
Started in 1980, PETA, which stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, champions, lobbies and advocates against any kind of cruelty to animals. They're a not-for-profit that aims to help humans make better choices about the food we eat, the things we buy, and the activities we support, including our beauty products.
What does the PETA standard mean for vegan beauty products?
PETA's certification, 'Beauty without Bunnies' has two certifications; a cruelty free one and one that certifies that a beauty product is both cruelty free and vegan. It requires companies to verify that their entire range hasn't been tested on animals, including ingredients or products from their suppliers, and they contain no animal-derived ingredients.
PETA evaluates both cruelty free and vegan claims at a company level so you can be confident that you're buying into a completely vegan brand with any of their products, however, PETA don't consider post-market animal testing to be a high risk so you will still see some brands that sell in China approved by PETA. Whether you believe this makes them truly vegan and cruelty free is down to personal choice.
Is vegan beauty certification essential?
There are still some big players in the clean beauty industry that don't have vegan certification but are still advocating best practices and complete transparency. At the other end of the scale, lots of smaller, independent brands, like the ones we stock in our organic beauty store, simply can't afford the fees it costs to become certified. For lots of them it's on their roadmap and will be achievable as their business grows so it's important to support small, niche beauty brands like ours you know and trust their ethics.
There's a lot of greenwashing out there though, so choosing certified vegan cosmetics, skincare and bodycare can make shopping easier. It also fully confirms that brand is invested in practicing what they preach when it comes to ethics. However, in the absence of certification, shop with a vegan beauty store you trust has a strict vetting policy for the products they stock. At Blomma Beauty, we only stock brands we're confident are living up to their vegan and cruelty free credentials. You can read more about how we choose our brands here.
Once a brand is list on our site we try to make it as easy and transparent for our customers as possible to be able to shop for vegan beauty products with us. Each product page breaks down the ethical credentials of every single product so you'll be able to tell if it meets your values or not. And when it comes to vegan certified beauty products, you'll see details of vegan accreditation, or whether the product contains any animal derived ingredients or not like honey or beeswax. We're of course always on hand to answer any questions you have if you're not sure of anything and look forward to helping you with your vegan beauty regime.
This blog has focussed on the vegan certifications to look out for that are mainly found in the UK. There are some other international standards available but none that the brands we stock use. If this changes in the future, we'll add them in so you know what to look out for.