Pages

Search This Blog

Popular Posts

Welcome to the latest installment of my Going Cruelty Free series.

Buzzwords are thrown around a lot in the beauty industry. Sometimes they're useless and inaccurate (nothing is ever going to literally shrink your pores) and sometimes they're helpful and descriptive  it's always good to know a brand is certified cruelty free, for example.

By now you're probably aware that cruelty-free products are not tested on animals. I think it's natural to assume that the same applies to vegan and vegetarian products, too  but that's not the case.

All three labels have different definitions, so today I'm going to break them down and clear up any possible confusion, in the hope it will make your shopping experiences easier.

Skin & Tonic products

Cruelty free

Simply put, a cruelty-free product hasn't been tested on animals. A cruelty-free brand never tests any of their products on animals.

But it goes further than that. As a rule, a cruelty-free brand:

  • Doesn't test their individual ingredients or finished products on animals
  • Doesn't hire a third party to carry out animal testing on products or ingredients
  • Doesn't sell their products in China, where beauty products must be tested on animals before they're sold. Some brands will state they don't carry out animal testing or they're against it, but if they hire a third party or test when it's required by law, they're not cruelty free
Lots of cruelty-free brands display the Leaping Bunny logo, which means they've been certified by Cruelty Free International. This isn't compulsory, but it's a handy symbol to look for when you're out shopping.

Skin & Tonic peppermint lip balm

Vegetarian

Products that don't contain any animal parts derived from slaughter, such as gelatin (made from animal fat and found in some cream/gel products) and carmine (made from boiled, crushed insects and used as a colour in some lipsticks).

Vegetarian products may still contain animal byproducts like honey, beeswax and lanolin (which comes from wool). Brands may or may not be approved by the Vegetarian Society.

Skin & Tonic Calm Balm

Vegan

Products that don't contain any animal parts derived from slaughter or any animal byproducts. Brands may or may not be approved by the Vegan Society.

Bizarrely, a product can be vegetarian or vegan without being cruelty free. This is why non-CF companies like L'Oreal are able to market some of their ranges as vegan, even though they still test on animals. I can't see why anyone who leads a vegan lifestyle would want to buy from them, but the greenwashing persists.

Skin & Tonic Rose Mist

Other beauty buzzwords you might come across


Clean

Clean normally means a product is mostly or entirely natural, and made without synthetic chemicals that have been linked to harmful health problems. While there's nothing inherently wrong with this, the implication (by some brands, not all) that synthetic products and ingredients are dirty makes me feel uneasy.

As Viktoria from The Lifestyle Files points out in her post about beauty marketing, nothing is chemical-free because a chemical is any substance made of matter.

Some synthetics are safe, some aren't; some natural products are safe, some aren't. And different people need different things. My skin has cleared up a lot since I started using a niacinamide and zinc serum, but my face and body also respond well to a good plant oil.

Organic

Organic products are made using ingredients that were grown without chemical fertilisers, pesticides, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The use of the label organic is unregulated, so brands can use it even if they've only added one organic ingredient.

However, you can look for certification by the Soil Association, which has a strict criteria and requires brands to be transparent about their manufacturing processes.

Gluten free

Products that are free from gluten and therefore suitable for people with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance. Sometimes people who have eczema react badly to products containing hydrolysed wheat protein, so gluten-free beauty is good for them too. Otherwise, we apparently don't need to worry about it.

TL;DR

Cruelty-free = product and its ingredients have not been tested on animals by anyone at any stage

Vegetarian = no animals were killed for the sake of the product

Vegan = no animals were killed for the sake of the product + no animal byproducts have been used in the ingredients

Going Cruelty Free posts you may have missed:

1. Why Go Cruelty Free?
2. Going Cruelty Free Step By Step
3. Where to Buy Products on the High Street
4. Where to Buy Products Online
5. Advice From People Who've Been There

Going Cruelty Free | What's the Difference Between Cruelty-Free, Vegan, and Vegetarian Beauty?

Welcome to the latest installment of my Going Cruelty Free series.

Buzzwords are thrown around a lot in the beauty industry. Sometimes they're useless and inaccurate (nothing is ever going to literally shrink your pores) and sometimes they're helpful and descriptive  it's always good to know a brand is certified cruelty free, for example.

By now you're probably aware that cruelty-free products are not tested on animals. I think it's natural to assume that the same applies to vegan and vegetarian products, too  but that's not the case.

All three labels have different definitions, so today I'm going to break them down and clear up any possible confusion, in the hope it will make your shopping experiences easier.

Skin & Tonic products

Cruelty free

Simply put, a cruelty-free product hasn't been tested on animals. A cruelty-free brand never tests any of their products on animals.

But it goes further than that. As a rule, a cruelty-free brand:

  • Doesn't test their individual ingredients or finished products on animals
  • Doesn't hire a third party to carry out animal testing on products or ingredients
  • Doesn't sell their products in China, where beauty products must be tested on animals before they're sold. Some brands will state they don't carry out animal testing or they're against it, but if they hire a third party or test when it's required by law, they're not cruelty free
Lots of cruelty-free brands display the Leaping Bunny logo, which means they've been certified by Cruelty Free International. This isn't compulsory, but it's a handy symbol to look for when you're out shopping.

Skin & Tonic peppermint lip balm

Vegetarian

Products that don't contain any animal parts derived from slaughter, such as gelatin (made from animal fat and found in some cream/gel products) and carmine (made from boiled, crushed insects and used as a colour in some lipsticks).

Vegetarian products may still contain animal byproducts like honey, beeswax and lanolin (which comes from wool). Brands may or may not be approved by the Vegetarian Society.

Skin & Tonic Calm Balm

Vegan

Products that don't contain any animal parts derived from slaughter or any animal byproducts. Brands may or may not be approved by the Vegan Society.

Bizarrely, a product can be vegetarian or vegan without being cruelty free. This is why non-CF companies like L'Oreal are able to market some of their ranges as vegan, even though they still test on animals. I can't see why anyone who leads a vegan lifestyle would want to buy from them, but the greenwashing persists.

Skin & Tonic Rose Mist

Other beauty buzzwords you might come across


Clean

Clean normally means a product is mostly or entirely natural, and made without synthetic chemicals that have been linked to harmful health problems. While there's nothing inherently wrong with this, the implication (by some brands, not all) that synthetic products and ingredients are dirty makes me feel uneasy.

As Viktoria from The Lifestyle Files points out in her post about beauty marketing, nothing is chemical-free because a chemical is any substance made of matter.

Some synthetics are safe, some aren't; some natural products are safe, some aren't. And different people need different things. My skin has cleared up a lot since I started using a niacinamide and zinc serum, but my face and body also respond well to a good plant oil.

Organic

Organic products are made using ingredients that were grown without chemical fertilisers, pesticides, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The use of the label organic is unregulated, so brands can use it even if they've only added one organic ingredient.

However, you can look for certification by the Soil Association, which has a strict criteria and requires brands to be transparent about their manufacturing processes.

Gluten free

Products that are free from gluten and therefore suitable for people with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance. Sometimes people who have eczema react badly to products containing hydrolysed wheat protein, so gluten-free beauty is good for them too. Otherwise, we apparently don't need to worry about it.

TL;DR

Cruelty-free = product and its ingredients have not been tested on animals by anyone at any stage

Vegetarian = no animals were killed for the sake of the product

Vegan = no animals were killed for the sake of the product + no animal byproducts have been used in the ingredients

Going Cruelty Free posts you may have missed:

1. Why Go Cruelty Free?
2. Going Cruelty Free Step By Step
3. Where to Buy Products on the High Street
4. Where to Buy Products Online
5. Advice From People Who've Been There
It's been a while, hasn't it?

I expected to be back sooner than this, but I haven't put any pressure on myself  turns out I really needed a break. I've had time to read, write, travel, rest, and just get a bit of motivation back.

(I also got the ends of my hair lightened and joined a yoga class. It all feels very new years resolution-like, but with better weather.)

As for blogging, it's only by giving myself some space from it that I've realised a) it's still important to me and b) I want to take a new approach to it.

Preparing to blog again

I've been reading a lot about consumerism lately. It's so ingrained in our society  the must-buys, the sales, the need-it-now mentality  that it's not always noticed or talked about (although I have noticed a slight shift recently). But once you start looking into it and thinking about everything you buy and throw away, it can be unnerving.

I'm trying to be more careful about the things I purchase; gone are the days when I'd impulse-buy products for this blog. And that'll feed into the posts I publish.

Tuscany
Pretty sure I was contemplating whether or not to come back to the UK. Tuscany was beautiful.

My new approach

I want this to be a space where you can learn about cruelty-free beauty, whether you're a newbie or have been avoiding animal-tested products for a while. I'll be focusing less on new products and more on using what you already have. You'll still be able to read reviews and recommendations, but they won't be as frequent as before. If something doesn't add value to my life and I don't think other people will benefit from hearing about it, I won't buy it, accept a sample of it, or write about it.

This is a lifestyle blog, so I'll also talk about vegan and vegetarian food, minimalism, my attempts to be low waste, and my efforts to shop in a more sustainable way.

I've always thought of beauty as my main topic, and it was once, but looking back (as part of Jasmin's blog audit) it was the rambly life posts I enjoyed re-reading most, so there might be some of those too.

I read some wonderful blogs about sustainable living. However, most of them seem to be written by people who are cohabiting/married and maybe have kids; they have roots and a lot more disposable income than I do. I'll be offering the single, twenty-something perspective  definitely an adult, bumbling along, not quite settled and not quite sure.

I also want to try and take all experiences into account, whether that's by using inclusive language or considering the challenges others might face (the plastic straw row springs to mind). Being able to make these lifestyle choices is a privilege. I'm well aware my perspective is that of an able-bodied white women who has a regular income and no mouths to feed, and as Sara Pascoe says in her brilliant book, Animal, I've forgiven myself for that.

However, that doesn't mean I can then disregard different experiences to my own. I can't speak for others because it's not my place to do so, but I can try to be as inclusive as possible.

Tuscany

Where I'm at


  • I've been cruelty free for over four years and vegetarian for nearly two. I eat a vegan diet most of the time.
  • I believe in the minimalist idea of only buying things you'll get use out of and which add value to your life, but I'm struggling to fully embrace this. (I come from a family of hoarders and it's not an easy habit to break.)
  • I own a reusable water bottle, take canvas bags everywhere and always recycle. I could still do more to cut down on waste.
  • I'm trying to buy fewer clothes, shoes, accessories etc and buy them from ethical, sustainable companies or charity shops. It's a work in progress.

I'm still learning about all these ways of living, so I'll be picking things up as I go and documenting my discoveries here. Perfection is impossible but doing something is better than doing nothing, and I hope you get something helpful out of this blog, no matter what stage you're at. Everyone's welcome.

You may also like:

A New Approach to Blogging

It's been a while, hasn't it?

I expected to be back sooner than this, but I haven't put any pressure on myself  turns out I really needed a break. I've had time to read, write, travel, rest, and just get a bit of motivation back.

(I also got the ends of my hair lightened and joined a yoga class. It all feels very new years resolution-like, but with better weather.)

As for blogging, it's only by giving myself some space from it that I've realised a) it's still important to me and b) I want to take a new approach to it.

Preparing to blog again

I've been reading a lot about consumerism lately. It's so ingrained in our society  the must-buys, the sales, the need-it-now mentality  that it's not always noticed or talked about (although I have noticed a slight shift recently). But once you start looking into it and thinking about everything you buy and throw away, it can be unnerving.

I'm trying to be more careful about the things I purchase; gone are the days when I'd impulse-buy products for this blog. And that'll feed into the posts I publish.

Tuscany
Pretty sure I was contemplating whether or not to come back to the UK. Tuscany was beautiful.

My new approach

I want this to be a space where you can learn about cruelty-free beauty, whether you're a newbie or have been avoiding animal-tested products for a while. I'll be focusing less on new products and more on using what you already have. You'll still be able to read reviews and recommendations, but they won't be as frequent as before. If something doesn't add value to my life and I don't think other people will benefit from hearing about it, I won't buy it, accept a sample of it, or write about it.

This is a lifestyle blog, so I'll also talk about vegan and vegetarian food, minimalism, my attempts to be low waste, and my efforts to shop in a more sustainable way.

I've always thought of beauty as my main topic, and it was once, but looking back (as part of Jasmin's blog audit) it was the rambly life posts I enjoyed re-reading most, so there might be some of those too.

I read some wonderful blogs about sustainable living. However, most of them seem to be written by people who are cohabiting/married and maybe have kids; they have roots and a lot more disposable income than I do. I'll be offering the single, twenty-something perspective  definitely an adult, bumbling along, not quite settled and not quite sure.

I also want to try and take all experiences into account, whether that's by using inclusive language or considering the challenges others might face (the plastic straw row springs to mind). Being able to make these lifestyle choices is a privilege. I'm well aware my perspective is that of an able-bodied white women who has a regular income and no mouths to feed, and as Sara Pascoe says in her brilliant book, Animal, I've forgiven myself for that.

However, that doesn't mean I can then disregard different experiences to my own. I can't speak for others because it's not my place to do so, but I can try to be as inclusive as possible.

Tuscany

Where I'm at


  • I've been cruelty free for over four years and vegetarian for nearly two. I eat a vegan diet most of the time.
  • I believe in the minimalist idea of only buying things you'll get use out of and which add value to your life, but I'm struggling to fully embrace this. (I come from a family of hoarders and it's not an easy habit to break.)
  • I own a reusable water bottle, take canvas bags everywhere and always recycle. I could still do more to cut down on waste.
  • I'm trying to buy fewer clothes, shoes, accessories etc and buy them from ethical, sustainable companies or charity shops. It's a work in progress.

I'm still learning about all these ways of living, so I'll be picking things up as I go and documenting my discoveries here. Perfection is impossible but doing something is better than doing nothing, and I hope you get something helpful out of this blog, no matter what stage you're at. Everyone's welcome.

You may also like:

This has been a long time coming.

I thought I'd be able to balance blogging and working full-time  I've done it before  but it turns out when you spend your day writing, it's the last thing you want to do when you get home.

Bear has no relevance to this post, but he's adorable and we all need more puppy pictures in our lives, so in he goes.

I've also been stuck in a bit of a rut. I took advantage of Jasmin's coaching services at the end of 2017, and although I've slowly started sorting out everything she's recommended, I want to be able to focus on making the changes without worrying about what to post next.

(Side note: The Blog Audit is fab  insightful and easy to follow  and Jasmin is beyond lovely, so I would thoroughly recommend it if you're not sure of your next blogging steps.)

Most of all, I want to give my brain a breather. I like to think I can juggle everything and I can be very hard on myself if that doesn't happen, but sometimes something has to give  and at the moment, that something is blogging. For now. I'm hoping to be back once I get everything from the audit done. And of course, I'll still be on Twitter and Instagram (and trying to read everything on my Bloglovin feed!)

I'll see you all on the other side xx

Toasty is Going on Hiatus

This has been a long time coming.

I thought I'd be able to balance blogging and working full-time  I've done it before  but it turns out when you spend your day writing, it's the last thing you want to do when you get home.

Bear has no relevance to this post, but he's adorable and we all need more puppy pictures in our lives, so in he goes.

I've also been stuck in a bit of a rut. I took advantage of Jasmin's coaching services at the end of 2017, and although I've slowly started sorting out everything she's recommended, I want to be able to focus on making the changes without worrying about what to post next.

(Side note: The Blog Audit is fab  insightful and easy to follow  and Jasmin is beyond lovely, so I would thoroughly recommend it if you're not sure of your next blogging steps.)

Most of all, I want to give my brain a breather. I like to think I can juggle everything and I can be very hard on myself if that doesn't happen, but sometimes something has to give  and at the moment, that something is blogging. For now. I'm hoping to be back once I get everything from the audit done. And of course, I'll still be on Twitter and Instagram (and trying to read everything on my Bloglovin feed!)

I'll see you all on the other side xx

Beth, 24, UK. I'm a writer who loves books, animals, yoga, travel, and the Oxford comma. I share my experiences of trying a cruelty-free, vegetarian and low waste lifestyle, with the odd bit of twenty-something angst thrown in. beth.toasty@gmail.com

Keep Up To Date

Follow

Social

Blog Archive

Copyright @ Toasty. Blog Design by KotrynaBassDesign