Clean, Vegan, Cruelty-Free, and Non-Toxic: What Do They Really Mean?

There are various labels you may find in different skincare and cosmetic products, but do you really know what each of them means? Most of the time, products can claim that they are “clean, vegan, cruelty-free, or non-toxic” without any context for consumer disposal. These labels are often confusing. Not only because their differences may not be much but also because the government does not regulate most of these terminologies.

Clean beauty

There is power in knowing what you put in and on your body so we are here to help break things down for you. If you want to start adopting a clean beauty lifestyle, the first crucial step is to learn and understand the labels.

Four beauty labels you need to know


While so many of the brands out there have their own interpretation and definition of what they mean when they say “clean,” the term generally means that the product is free from any toxic ingredients—whether natural or chemical. 

If you want to dive deeper, brands typically give out a list of all the ingredients they avoid. You can manually check it to know if it works for you.


Vegan simply means that the product does not contain any animal products or by-products. However, contrary to what most people assume, vegan doesn’t necessarily mean clean or cruelty-free. If these things matter to you, it’s safe to always check the ingredients and the brand’s production methodologies.


If the animal’s well-being matters to you, you should always look for this label. Cruelty-free signifies that no animals were harmed during the testing and development of the product. If you want to go out of your way to verify this, you can even check if the product is certified to be cruelty-free. Often, you will find this in the form of a tiny leaping bunny printed on the packaging. 


As the term pretty much implies, when a product is non-toxic, it is basically free from any toxic ingredients. However, you have to take note that in the US, some harmful ingredients aren’t officially banned. So a product may be legally classified as non-toxic even if there really is a harmful content. The only way around this is to check the label and if you have the time, check each ingredient to ensure safety.

Vegan beauty

The terms above may be encompassing and may even vary from one brand to another. But when it comes to things you use on your body, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and the easiest means of doing so is by quick research about the brand and a quick check at the ingredients. Trust us, that quick extra effort can make a world of difference. 

Do you want to learn more about clean beauty? Then don’t forget to subscribe here and follow us on Instagram to stay updated! Join our #AllNaturalGlow campaign and keep that glow going. ♡


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