Lucy's Cruelty-Free Beauty and Living: 5 Ways to Tell If A Beauty Product is Vegan

5 Ways to Tell If A Beauty Product is Vegan

Saturday, July 22, 2017


Women and bunny both with makeup on


You’ve finally found the perfect shade of red for your lips and the packaging says it’s cruelty free, bonus! Yet, as you read the ingredient label, you see that Tallow, or rendered animal fat, is listed. So the lipstick is cruelty free, but still uses animal products as ingredients? How then, can you tell if your makeup is actually vegan?  Keep reading for some easy surefire tips!


Vegan vs. Cruelty-Free


As companies become more socially responsible, they are testing on animals less and less. While these companies can brand their products as cruelty-free, most brands still use animal products inside their makeup. For instance, fish scales are often used in nail polish to help metallic colors shimmer. This means that although companies are no longer testing their makeup on animals, the products still aren’t vegan. A vegan beauty product is one made without any animal products.

Now that you know the difference between vegan and cruelty-free products, how can you tell if your favorite beauty products are animal-free?

Shop Known Brands


The easiest way to know whether or not your makeup is actually vegan is to shop brands that are vegan. You can search online to find out which brands are vegan or shop at a natural food store. If you’re not sure whether or not a brand is vegan, don’t be afraid to look it up online. Most companies want to their consumers to know that they are a vegan brand, so they will clearly label themselves or their products as animal-friendly.

Look for the Bunny

Leaping Bunny Logo

An easy way to see if the beauty product is vegan is to look for the bunny. When cruelty-free shopping became more popular in the late 1990’s, it was confusing to tell which brands weren’t testing on animals. Companies designed bunny logos and placed them on their products to let consumers know which products were cruelty-free or animal-friendly.

This sparked eight animal protection groups to band together and form the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC). The coalition produced an internationally recognized LeapingBunny Logo. The logo helps consumers easily identify which brands have been labeled animal-friendly by animal protection groups.

Read the Label


Oftentimes, the ingredients list on a beauty product is filled with a bunch of words that are difficult to recognize. Learn the most common animal product ingredient names, such as collagen, lanolin, or tallow, and avoid products where these are listed as ingredients. Even if the product isn’t labelled, you’ll be armed with the knowledge you need to find an animal-friendly product. PETA also has a more complete list you can read through when checking labels.


Ask Questions


Makeup brushes on white background

If you’ve found a product you like but are not sure about the company’s stance on animals, ask them! Most brands are great about responding to questions whether through email or a message via social media.

While you might be able to find an answer by searching online, reaching out to the company directly means you’ll get a reliable answer and is a great way to let companies know there is a demand for cruelty-free products. When in doubt, just ask.

Don’t Be Afraid


It can be overwhelming to look at a list of ingredients and not known if a product is vegan. Don’t let that stop you from buying makeup ever again! You will get better at reading ingredient labels with time. The information is out there. Who said that social responsibility and beauty don’t go hand-in-hand?

Nicole over at Reasonable Raven has an easy reference guide for non-vegan ingredients found in beauty products on her site.  Check it out here!


About the Author

Katie Rhoton is a beauty product junkie who's focused on spreading the word about vegan products. Find her on twitter at @katerhoton