Vegan and cruelty-free are hot topics nowadays, with cosmetic brands and companies making more conscious decisions when creating their products. Our contributing writer, Danielle Driscoll discusses the big debate between the two labels and what they really mean.

Look I understand this should be a pretty simple and fluid topic but then it spirals out of control and next thing you know you’re in a full-blown war with a woman wearing homemade deodorant and can’t let tie dye… die. Somehow you’ve ended up confused and flustered about your new found political stance. Trust me, this isn’t a generalisation, it’s literally what happened to me.

It took me a red-hot minute to work out that what may be cruelty-free does not equal vegan and if in fact it’s not vegan then is it always cruelty free?

I have used these “concepts” interchangeably over the last few years, especially in my own veganism journey. I hope this will make people question their conscientious around the widely used “cruelty-free label”.

Let’s break it down:

“Cruelty-Free” commonly suggests that a product was not tested on animals. However, this does not necessarily mean that it does not contain animal products.

“Vegan” suggests the products do not contain any animal-derived ingredients.

Just to throw a curveball I must mention this can mean a product can be vegan but not cruelty-free and vice versa. Whist a vegan product being tested on an animal is unlikely, I can’t speak for every vegan brand.

For example, a common occurrence in cruelty-free products is the use of animal milks in soaps and cosmetics. Additionally, most toothpastes are classed as vegan but there are brands that still test on animals.

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry you got this!

Here are a few tips and tricks to help when you are looking to make more conscious choices when deciding on your cosmetic and lifestyle products.

1 – Look out for the logos below.

  •         Certified Vegan Logo by Vegan Action
  •         Cruelty-Free and Vegan Logo by PETA
  •         Vegan Trademark by Vegan Society

2 – Familiarize yourself with the labels you are using and make discussion based on your own beliefs and values.

3 – Remember that we are always learning and evolving and everything we can do to cause less harm will make an impact regardless of how big or small our actions seem.


As I’ve come this far, here are my top 3 makeup and skincare ranges that give you the best of both worlds.

Makeup: Too FacedJeffree Star Cosmetics ELF Cosmetics

Skincare: Ole HenriksenTropic SkincareSand and Sky

Read about our six favourite Welsh ethical beauty brands here.


Words by Danielle Driscoll.



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