What is ethical beauty?
It can be difficult to know what is meant by ethical beauty as it's bandied about by pretty much every beauty brand out there. It's something we get asked about a lot from our customers when deciding their approach to a 'cleaner' beauty regime.
Here we break down a few of the most common ethical standpoints when it comes to the ingredients in your beauty regime. We’ll be covering ethical business practices in a future blog so watch this space!
Ethical by definition is a set of beliefs about what is morally right or wrong, therefore when it comes to determining how to build your ethical beauty regime, it really depends on how you want your own beliefs to be reflected in the products and brands that you buy.
We love how Sustainable Jungle have broken down ethical choices in to two camps; ethical ingredients and ethical business practices. It’s something we strive for with the brands we work with at Blomma Beauty so that we can be as transparent as possible and help you make an informed choice that aligns with your own ethical code.
This is something we’re really passionate about, as most of the brands that we stock contain organic ingredients and failing that, only natural ingredients. Organic means the ingredients have been grown and produced without herbicides, artificial fertilisers, artificial or synthetic colours, preservatives or chemicals.
In the EU and the UK, there are several certifying bodies that approve both ingredients used in products by individually certifying them as well as the product as a whole. There are many UK certifiers but in our opinion the most recognisable is The Soil Association who are a UK based body that certifies both ingredients and products, and COSMOS, a European body that set the standard for certifying products as either natural or organic. The Soil Association certify to the COSMOS standard and follow a strict set of rules and checks to ensure the ingredients are organic throughout their whole supply chain.
Testing ingredients or products on animals has been prohibited in the UK since 2013. It’s a rule that applies in all EU countries but is not worldwide so, depending on your stance, you may want to avoid brands that are sold in countries where animal testing is permitted or even mandatory. Whilst no animal testing is great for the current state of the industry, certain ingredients may have been historically tested on animals prior to this change but it can be difficult to find out the details of historical testing. The Leaping Bunny Program exists to both accredit cruelty free brands as well as give consumers access to their database of approved cruelty free brands and products. A brand can only achieve Leaping Bunny status if they are cruelty free in all of the foreign markets they operate in so this accreditation goes a little further than merely adhering to the EU standards.
Being cruelty free doesn’t necessarily mean that the product doesn’t contain any animal ingredients, for example beeswax. If you want a product that’s totally free of animal ingredients then vegetarian or vegan products might be suited to you.
Vegetarian and vegan
Products that are classed as vegetarian will not contain any ingredients that are a byproduct of animal slaughter, whereas vegan products contain no animal ingredients whatsoever. The difference being that you could have an ingredient such as yoghurt powder or beeswax that are animal derived.
The Vegan Society is a global standard which brands can apply for in order to use their vegan trademark on their products. As with organic certification, brands and products must adhere to the society’s code in order to be considered for the trademark. Whilst the certification isn’t mandatory, it’s a recognised stamp of approval which helps you identify vegan products without having to trawl through ingredients lists.
Of course, there are shades of grey within each of these terms. For example, vegetarian and vegan ingredients doesn’t necessarily mean that they are natural or organic or even cruelty free so you may want to consider products that encompass more than one ethical standpoint depending on your own ethical code.
Here at Blomma Beauty we advocate a natural and organic approach to beauty but it’s down to you to decide how far you want to take this. When it comes to product ingredients we try to be as transparent as possible. On each product page you can click on the ingredients to learn a little bit more about them, what function they have within a skincare formulation and what it will do for your skin. The brands that we partner with span from completely naturally to fully organic, some with various different types of certification which we will list in the organic, vegan and eco credentials sections of the product pages.