How To Differentiate Between the Cruelty-Free, Vegan, Natural & Organic Make-up

We as a consumer are always worried about the chemicals present in our makeup as it spoils our skin. Hence, we are now focussing on the products that claim to be organic, vegan or natural. However, how do we differentiate between the real natural and fake ones? Here in this article, we are going to talk more about this.  

Many of the companies have started to use these terms organic, natural and so on. This is mainly to sustain in this market as they are worried about the chemicals used in conventional makeup. Thus, it becomes important that we know the product ingredients before we even buy them. 

You must have heard about Terre Doree who produces cruelty-free vegan cosmetics based in Vancouver. They make products with natural ingredients like Vitamin E and Jojoba oil. They have their products certified by both FDA and Health Canada’s requirements.

Let us understand more about each term mentioned above:


Cruelty-free product is generally termed when the products are not tested on animals (neither before nor after the products are produced). If the product claims to be not tested on animals, but still contains animal ingredients or their by-products, which has caused the death of animals then they are not considered cruelty-free. 

For example, if you are creating a product like a blush that is refrained from testing on animals then it is generally cruelty-free. However, blush does contain dyes, talc, acids and oxides. So, if the dye is too not tested on animals, only then it will be considered cruelty-free. 

One major benefit of using the cruelty-free product is that you will have peace of mind that these products are not made by harming any animals. Here are some tips that will tell you that the products are cruelty-free:

  • Look for the cruelty-free bunny logos which are usually found on the back or the product labels. However, beware of the lookalikes
  • Look for a list of brands that are cruelty certified
  • You can take the help of cruelty-free apps such as leaping bunny apps, bunny free apps, cruelty cutter apps.
  • You can directly contact the cosmetic company


Vegan make-up is something that doesn’t contain any animal ingredients or by-products in it. However, you should remember that whenever a brand offers a vegan product, it does not mean that all of its offerings are vegan. 

A cosmetic product that is termed vegan does not necessarily mean that it is cruelty-free or vice-versa. Cruelty-free is something that refers to the production process whereas vegan simple refers to a list of ingredients present.

For example, when a moisturizer is said to be cruelty-free but contains beeswax then it is not vegan. Similarly, when a shampoo is said to be vegan (i.e., it has ingredients that are animal-free) but it has some point in its development being tested on animals then it is not considered cruelty-free. Here are some tips to identify vegan products:

  • Look for certifications like Vegan Action, Vegan Society and PETA.
  • Look at the ingredients list and if you are still unsure then you can check the ingredient in the vegan ingredient checker
  • Call the cosmetic company and ask.


Organic definitions are mainly used for food and consumables. Hence there is nothing like FDA approved definitions for organic cosmetic products. It is neither defined by FDCA too. here the term organic is used when any of the personal care products that you have produced does not contain any harmful chemicals. Here the products are manufactured using a sustainable practice without using any harmful ingredients like harmful chemicals, parabens, synthetic dyes, artificial colour etc. 

Here are some tips to identify organic products:

  • Search for the database having organic integrity
  • Look for a USDA organic seal
  • Check the ingredients if they are free from parabens, alcohol etc
  • Ask the company directly


Similar to organic there is no FDA or FDCA definition for this. Natural simply means products that are made from plant-based materials or non-synthetic. It simply means that this product should not contain anything that can risk human health. Apart from this, it should be made from a biodegradable ingredient and environmentally safe packaging.

A major benefit of this product is that it is safe for your skin. So here are some tips to identify natural products:

  • Look at the list of ingredients used
  • Look for NPA certification seals
  • Avoid picking up products that have fragrance written on it.

Now hope this article can help you find the right product.

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