While we were at the Indie Beauty Expo last month, we noticed a lot of words kept popping up: Clean Beauty, Certified Organic, Vegan, Cruelty-Free, and more. These Beauty Buzz Words can sometimes be confusing and misleading and hard for the everyday consumer to understand. That is why I wanted to bring up a few of them to talk about them and give you definitions and my thoughts on them. For the sake of this blog post, we will only focus on the ones I listed above and may go over more in a future post.
Clean Beauty: This refers to non-harmful and non-toxic ingredients. Note – this does not mean natural and organic ingredients – this simply means that the ingredients used are not linked to harmful side effects with short or long term use. Since the beauty industry isn’t strictly regulated, a lot of ingredients that would be harmful in any other capacity, have been deemed ok to use in beauty products so long as it is in low amounts. (This happens in the food industry too, where you can have aspartame in diet sodas, and “defects” in packaged food items). Things like propylene glycol (the active ingredient in antifreeze) is found in a lot of beauty products because it helps other ingredients absorb into the skin faster. However, it is used in such small amounts the FDA considers it an approved ingredient for beauty products but it would not be considered a clean ingredient. What they don’t take into consideration is the long term effects of using a product with that ingredient and how it could be harmful to humans so that is why it isn’t clean. (We will talk more in depth about clean beauty in a future post).
Certified Organic: This means that a company uses organic ingredients that are grown without the use of GMOs, controversial chemicals, synthetic colors or fragrance, and no animal testing. A lot of companies claim to be organic or 95% organic, because they use mostly organic ingredients. But there is a difference between calling yourself organic and being certified organic. In order to be certified organic, you have to go through a lengthy and very expensive application process to prove that all of the ingredients you source come from organic suppliers. A lot of beauty companies will say they are organic without going through the certification process because of the high cost associated with it. Another aspect of organic beauty is that just because it is organic, it does not mean it is clean or safe.
Vegan: The products do not contain any part or by-product of an animal. That means no shellac, beeswax, lanolin, collagen, honey, gelatin, coloring, and other common ingredients found in a lot of beauty products. However, just because a product is vegan doesn’t mean it is cruelty-free.
Cruelty-Free: No form of animal testing is done on the ingredients or final product. This includes ingredients that you get from a third party and making sure they do not test on animals either. Also just because it is not tested on animal, does not mean that it is vegan. You can have a lipstick that is considered cruelty-free but contains beeswax.
See how confusing some of these terms are? That is why it is so important for you as a consumer to do your own research and decide what matters the most to you and what is best for you. It also is important to look into a company make sure they are trustworthy and transparent with their operations. That is why we here at True North Beauty believes in being open and honest with our customers and encourage you to always reach out with questions. We are more than happy to talk to our customers about our products and share our beauty beliefs!