What does 'cruelty-free' mean?
What does it mean when products are labelled 'vegetarian' or 'vegan'?
Are vegetarian and vegan personal care products only for people who follow vegetarian and vegan diets?
Aren't animal ingredients a good way to 'use up' all parts of an animal and avoid waste?
Is it really that hard to find cruelty-free products? I thought animal-testing on cosmetics was banned in the EU. What’s the deal?
Are cruelty-free products as effective?
Are cruelty-free products as safe as products tested on animals?
My favourite brands test on animals. What should I do?
What does the name Lumabelle mean?
What do you mean by ‘clean’? Why don’t I see a reference to ‘all-natural’?
Are all lumabelle products cruelty-free?
Are all lumabelle products vegan?
Does lumabelle stock products from brands with parent companies that test on animals?
WHAT DOES 'CRUELTY-FREE' MEAN?
The term ‘cruelty-free’ most commonly refers to a lack of animal testing (this is true for the Leaping Bunny certification). Sometimes people will also use it to mean that the product does not contain any animal-derived ingredients, though this is more commonly labelled ‘vegan’. To help keep things simple and clear, these are the meanings used on Lumabelle. This is also why some products are labelled both cruelty free and vegan.
When the term ‘cruelty-free’ is used on Lumabelle you can understand it to mean that neither the product, nor its ingredients were tested on animals by either the manufacturer or a 3rd party. Unfortunately, most ingredients used today in personal care products have been tested on animals at some point decades ago. But this is no reason to continue testing ingredients on animals today. Lumabelle’s brands all have strong stances against animal-testing and are committed to formulating their products only using ingredients for which safety-data already exists or with new ingredients whose safety is confirmed using alternative animal-free testing methods approved by the European Union.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN PRODUCTS ARE LABELLED 'VEGETARIAN' OR 'VEGAN'?
Something can be labelled cruelty-free but still contain ingredients sourced from animals. This is because the term cruelty-free most commonly only refers to a lack of animal testing and says nothing about the ingredients used (see the previous answer). For this reason some companies choose to mark their personal care products as vegetarian or vegan as a way to indicate the kind of ingredients used.
ARE VEGETARIAN AND VEGAN PRODUCTS ONLY FOR PEOPLE WHO FOLLOW VEGETARIAN AND VEGAN DIETS?
Absolutely not! There are many benefits to choosing to buy vegetarian or vegan products – regardless of who you are or what you eat. You'll also be helping the environment out, as animal ingredients are extremely inefficient to produce and the system of farmed animals they come from is very taxing on the environment.
"You do not have to be vegan to love vegan lipstick" (The Vegan Society)
AREN'T ANIMAL INGREDIENTS A GOOD WAY TO 'USE UP' ALL PARTS OF AN ANIMAL AND AVOID WASTE?
It's true that parts of animals we don't eat are applied in creative ways, including as ingredients in beauty products. They are cheap and readily available and make attractive options for companies concerned only with the bottom line. The problem is that as soon as you justify this by not wanting to contribute to waste, you are creating demand for these animal-derived ingredients and thereby sustaining the industry that inflicts suffering and death on these creatures. These are also often merely ‘filler’ ingredients.
IS IT REALLY THAT HARD TO FIND CRUELTY-FREE PRODUCTS? I THOUGHT ANIMAL TESTING ON COSMETICS WAS BANNED IN THE EU. WHAT'S THE DEAL?
Unfortunately it's not that simple. Although the EU has taken great steps towards eliminating animal testing on cosmetics, there are still loopholes. It's simply not the case that all products sold in the EU are free of animal testing.
The term cruelty-free is not regulated so even products that state they are cruelty-free might not be. Companies claiming to be cruelty-free sometimes sell in China (where animal testing is still required on almost all products, more to come on this soon too!) or procure the services of a 3rd party to do testing on their behalf. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Hence the need for a place like Lumabelle, a cruelty-free sanctuary full of amazing products by ethical companies.
ARE CRUELTY-FREE PRODUCTS AS EFFECTIVE AS OTHER PRODUCTS?
Absolutely! Of course as with anything there are a whole range of products and it's a process of trial and error. However there are some really outstanding cruelty-free and clean products out there and I've picked my absolute favourites to stock here at Lumabelle to make it really easy for you.
ARE CRUELTY-FREE PRODUCTS AS SAFE AS PRODUCTS TESTED ON ANIMALS?
Of course, and arguably even safer. Why? Because scientists are starting to recognise that testing on animals and extrapolating the results to a human context uses less than ideal reasoning. Cruelty-free products still have to pass safety testing, but they either do this by only using ingredients with established safety data or by alternative test methods approved by the European Union, or by a mixture of the two.
MY FAVOURITE BRANDS TEST ON ANIMALS. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
I know the feeling. At first you think you'll never find a replacement as good as your current favourites. But believe me, it can be done, and you'll surprise yourself that you are likely to find products you love even more because you feel good using them (knowing they are kind to your health and to your fuzzy friends, too).
If you're still sad about your ex-favourites, you could also consider sending them an email to let them know about your disappointment. They aren't going to change their ways unless their customers tell them to.
WHAT DOES THE NAME LUMABELLE MEAN?
Luma from illuminate, or the Latin illuminare, meaning to lighten.
Belle, from French belle or Latin bella, meaning beauty.
In other words, enlightened beauty. A discerning consumer is a beautiful thing!
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY ‘CLEAN’? WHY DON’T I SEE A REFERENCE TO ‘ALL-NATURAL’?
Lumabelle stocks products made by companies who give much thought to the ingredients they use and who are completely transparent about it. This is what is meant by ‘clean’. The products are non-toxic to the best of current scientific knowledge and as gentle, safe, and effective as possible. In recent decades there has been a lot more attention to the ingredients of food and drink we put into our bodies. Now society is beginning to realise that we also ought to be considering the long-term effects of ingredients in products we slather or spray onto our skin on a daily basis.
Lumabelle deliberately features references to ‘clean’ rather than ‘natural’. The word natural is quite problematic in the industry, as too many generalisations are made that natural = good and chemicals = bad. The things is, there are many natural things that can be unsafe for consumption and many chemicals which we need and thrive off of. So it was a deliberate choice to stray away from the overuse of the term natural here on Lumabelle. The word is not even regulated in many countries, meaning that it gets used and abused by greenwashing practices (more on this to come on the blog soon). It still pops up here and there and for searching purposes, it is still a really necessary keyword. So you will see it here and there but the emphasis is definitely on being discerning and keeping our concept of ‘natural’ in check.
ARE ALL LUMABELLE PRODUCTS CRUELTY-FREE?
Absolutely! Being cruelty-free is the founding concept of Lumabelle and all of Lumabelle’s brands are committed to cruelty-free standards. Just take a look around and you'll soon notice the obsession ;)
ARE ALL LUMABELLE PRODUCTS VEGAN?
Yes, except for 3 lip glows from Itha which contain organic beeswax (Rose Kiss, Sweet Bomb, and Minty). We are fortunate in the European Union to enjoy very strict regulations on organic bee-keeping that protect the welfare of the bees and ensure honey and beeswax are ethically sourced. Lumabelle does not stock products containing non-organic bee products.
There are no other animal-derived ingredients in Lumabelle products. If you only wish to purchase vegan products, you can select 'vegan' in the search filter (but as mentioned above, everything on the website is vegan except for those three Itha lip glows). Lumabelle is completely transparent about all ingredients and you are encouraged to check them to make sure you are happy before purchasing.
DOES LUMABELLE STOCK PRODUCTS FROM BRANDS WITH PARENT COMPANIES WHO TEST ON ANIMALS?
No. Where you stand on the parent company debate is up to the individual, and there are good arguments on both sides. I decided to make it easy for everyone by stocking brands without animal-testing family companies so that everyone can shop from Lumabelle without having to worry about this.
Still have unanswered questions? Email me and ask away!