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Cruelty Free, Vegan & Organic

It can often be confusing when brands tout the virtues of their products, especially the differences between vegan, organic and cruelty free. As Beauty Care Choices continues its commitment to the Clean Salon, you will see these symbols associated with brands, brand lines and products. For you to continue making safer choices on what beauty products you purchase, we want to be sure you understand what these terms mean.


Cruelty-free means that the products, and the ingredients that were used in the product, were not tested on animals at any stage during their development. Many brands do go through the processes of being PETA or Leaping Bunny certified, but what about the brands that don't? This does not mean they do test on animals, just that they haven't gone through those larger companies. Also, some brands may not test on animals here in the states but do in other world-wide market places. We are doing the research for you, so you can make a well-informed purchase.


Vegan means that the products contain no animal ingredients or animal by-products. This includes well known ingredients like honey, beeswax, gelatin, yogurt and other less obvious animal by-products like:

  • Lanolin (wool grease) which in common in lip products
  • Shellac (from lac bugs) used in some nail products
  • Squalene (shark liver oil) used in lip balms, deodorants and moisturizers
  • Carmine (crushed beetles) to create a red color for lipsticks, blushes, nail polish.
  • Ambergris (sperm whale vomit) in perfumes


    Across the USA, UK and Australia, certified "organic" has a very similar definition. The FDA has started regulating brands use of the word "organic", meaning for brands to openly market themselves as organic there are hoops to be jumped through. We are asking the questions and looking into all of our brands being organic or not. That way you know, even if they don't outright say it. If you're buying certified organic generally your products (food or the ingredients in your cosmetics, for example) come for a farming system which uses:

  • No manufactured herbicides or artificial fertilizers
  • No artificial or synthetic colors, preservatives or chemicals (including parabens and sulfates)
  • No routine use of antibiotics
  • No GMOs (genetically modified organisms) or growth regulators
  • Very limited number of pesticides allowed
  • More sustainable land management
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