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So many labels! Are you wondering what to make of it all so that you’re able to make an informed decision? It’s not as complicated as it sounds and below I’ll give you the low down.

I’m going to explain each category individually. Keep in mind that products can have some cross-over of the individual groups. For example, a product can be Cruelty-Free and Vegan. It can be Cruelty-Free and Organic. It can be Organic and Vegan or not GMO and Organic, yes, there can be overlap.  It’s ultimately up to you, the consumer, to decide what your priority is.


Yes, this is what I’m passionate about sharing. What this means is there were no animals used for testing in any stage of product development.

Ingredients are variable and can contain animal-derived ingredients such as milk, lanolin, honey, royal jelly or carmine. Products can also contain cosmetic and OTC ingredients. Ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid, Retinol, Retinal, Vitamin C, Peptides and Hydroxy Acids yield fantastic skin changing results. When Cruelty-Free, they’ve been tested by alternate methods or by human trial. For more detail on the alternative testing, please refer to the Helping You Find The Best Cruelty-Free Make-Up blog post.

PETA and Leaping Bunny are two certification organizations for Cruelty-Free. Companies require certification, a statement of assurance and then pay for the license to display the cruelty-free logo. This is why many companies are Cruelty-Free but do not have the certification logo. You have to pay for it!


What does this mean? In many cases it means nothing. Natural is not the same thing as organic or Non-GMO or Vegan. There is no regulation by the FDA about “natural” labeling. These can still contain any amount of any additive. It is a marketing ploy designed to make customers think there are only non-harmful ingredients. Don’t rely on this labeling for anything.  Look at the product ingredients.   The companies I’ve got on this site use the term “Natural” very carefully and do full disclosure on their ingredients.


Unlike natural, this means something. Products sold as “Organic,” whether it’s the food we eat or products we use, require certification by the USDA and the CFIA. The USDA seal for manufactured products like skin care and makeup means it contains 95% organic ingredients. “Organic” products without the seal only need to contain a certain percentage of organic ingredients, and that varies from place to place. I believe the average is around 70% so again, read your labels if this is important to you.

The organic products are grown or manufactured without the use of antibiotics, chemicals, GMO’s and synthetic growth hormones.


Vegan products do not contain any animal ingredients or by-products, and no animals harmed which is where the cross-over to Cruelty-Free happens. Vegan products can and may still contain synthetic chemicals. So if that’s a concern for you, label reading is your friend.

As with Cruelty-Free, Vegan certification requires the same process. PETA and Leaping Bunny will certify for Vegan and Cruelty-Free together. As mentioned above, companies need certification, a statement of assurance and then pay for the license to display the logo. Again, some companies don’t participate in the program.


What this means is there have been no products or ingredients used that are genetically modified or altered. The GMO process involves changing the original DNA of the grown product. My understanding is that it has occurred in wheat, corn, and soy over the years. Again, if this is an important issue for you, label reading is a must!

You Decide

It is entirely a personal decision for what products you choose as a consumer. What’s your focus? Cruelty-Free skin care? Is it Organic, Vegan or non-GMO face products? That is a personal decision, and I encourage you to do your homework and check labels.

If you have comments or questions I’d love to hear from you, feel free to leave them for me!