Understand commonly used beauty values and what they mean
All natural products indicate that all the ingredients in the product is derived from natural sources or is a naturally-occurring compound. Often, ingredients listed used their respective INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) Latin names, so it is good to reference a cosmetic dictionary if unsure.
For transparency, look at brands that quantify their percentages of natural ingredients in products.
Generally, this means that ingredients and final products have not been tested on animals. It refers to the testing process, not the ingredients, which means it is possible for a cruelty-free product to contain non-vegan ingredients (e.g. honey)
The best is to select products with both vegan and cruelty-free labelling. Accreditation always helps - well-known ones include The Vegan Society, PETA, or Leaping Bunny. Some brands extend this term to include fair trade practices and the quality of working conditions provided by their manufacturers and suppliers. If possible, review the brand's transparency in its supply chain practices.
This usually applies to a broad range of applications from product sourcing, ingredient manufacturing to packaging. For our vendors, we qualify their eco-compliance mainly through ingredient sources and packaging qualities that could be anything from BPA-free, plastic free, recyclable or recycled/repurposed from post-consumer waste materials.
The use of the word organic is actually highly regulated, and legally means a brand or ingredient has been certified by a regulatory body like the USDA. Ingredients usually come with an accompanying logo that confirms this and it is testament that it have been grown and processed under a very strict code of standards.
In a broad sense, it means that a product does not contain animal ingredients or animal by-products such as milk, nor use any of those in the manufacturing process by them or any third-party independent contractor. Brands may pay to use and license the certified vegan logo on a given product from companies like The Vegan Action or The Vegan Society.
It’s worth noting that a vegan product does not necessarily mean that botanical replacements are used in place of animal-derived ingredients; they can include synthesised ingredients made in a laboratory.