What Does "Natural" Really Mean for Beauty Products? Nothing, Apparently
We no longer need to make a trip to Whole Foods to get our fix of all-natural beauty products. But what exactly does "natural" mean? Well, when it comes to cosmetics, bodycare, and personal care products, quite frankly, "natural" doesn't mean much. The term is unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so brands are pretty much free to emblazon packaging with the word to lure consumers.
However, this doesn't mean every brand is trying to mislead the public. In fact, more and more brands today are making an effort to maintain transparency with their savvy eco-conscious customers. From Tata Harper to Kat Von D, there are plenty of incredible brands that have voluntary been third-party certified to emphasise their commitment to practices such as cruelty-free and organic. Here, we break down what these seals and labels mean and share a few of our favourite products along the way.
Read on to get the scoop on how to tell if your beauty products are all-natural.
Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation ($49)
The term "cruelty-free" generally means a brand can be either certified by the Leaping Bunny, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or aren't affiliated with any organisation but have an official cruelty-free claim. The general term, however, is defined by each brand but is a way of assuring the public the brand doesn't test on animals at any point during production, either by the company or a third party supplier.
Kat Von D is an example of a brand that has signed a pledge with PETA's Beauty Without Bunnies to remain cruelty-free. According to PETA, for a brand to join its "Don't Test" list and get its bunny-ears seal, it "must complete a short questionnaire and sign a statement of assurance verifying that they do not conduct, commission, or pay for any tests on animals for ingredients, formulations, or finished products and that they pledge not to do so in the future."
Leaping Bunny Certified
Renée Rouleau Advanced Resurfacing Serum ($112)
Leaping Bunny is the only internationally recognized certification organization for cruelty-free brands. According to Leaping Bunny, the standard is, "a voluntary pledge that cosmetic, personal care, and/or household product companies make to clear animal testing from all stages of product development." The pledge isn't limited to the brand—its suppliers must abide by the standard as well. Also, all companies must agree to independent audits for Leaping Bunny to verify those cruelty-free claims and commit to the pledge annually.
Skincare brand Renée Rouleau is Leaping Bunny certified, and it offers customers a comprehensive list of ingredients you'll never spot in a formula, what they mean, and why they should be avoided.
Sundays Nail Polish in No. 5 ($23)
If you like your beauty products the same way you like your food, then you might just be looking for a vegan option. While there's no official vegan certification, brands committed to vegan-friendly ingredients have an official policy on their stance. Case in point: Sundays, a new NYC mani-pedi (and meditation!) destination dedicated to offering an alternative to the toxic nail staples we're used to. Founder Amy Ling Lin created a line of 42 vegan nail polishes in a dreamy array of shades from classic red to a wide range of nudes and bold glitter-laden hues, all of which happen to boast 10-free labeling.
Do any of your favourite beauty brands fall into any of these categories? Tell us in the comments below, and read on about these game-changing vegan skincare products.