Vegan Beauty Tips for Veganuary

Veganuary first launched in 2014 as a way to help people go vegan for the month of January. If you are taking part this year we have put together some of our best tips from Greener Beauty HQ and from the UK Vegan community.

Are you doing veganuary this year but struggling with what to do about your full makeup bag or your bathroom cabinet and aren’t sure where to start. Read our guide on what to watch out for.

This Vegan Beauty Tips for Veganuary guide has been put together specifically with regards to your toiletries, makeup and any beauty products.

Vegan and Cruelty Free

This is the most commonly asked questions I see being asked by people doing Veganuary, what’s the difference between vegan and cruelty free?

If something is vegan friendly it means that it does not include any animal ingredients. Whether this is an ingredient like fish scales in nail polish or beeswax in a candle to the less obvious like lanolin in skincare or bulls seamen in hair care. If a product includes anything that has come from an animal it is not vegan friendly.

Cruelty free is where a product is not tested on any animals, whether that is the end product or any of the ingredients that have gone into the product.

For a beauty product to be truly vegan friendly it needs to not only be vegan friendly and not include any animal ingredients but it also needs to be cruelty free.

So in summary….

A product can be described as vegan friendly (because of its lack of animal ingredients) but isn’t Cruelty free.

Or a product can be cruelty free but not vegan because it contains animal ingredients.

While really for a product to be truly vegan friendly it has to be both free of animal ingredients AND cruelty free

Animal Testing Stances

Unfortunately a lot of companies are not totally crystal clear when it comes to their animal testing policy and whether they really do or don’t test on animals.

Here in the UK it is against the law to test on animals but unfortunately some companies still pay overseas ingredient suppliers to test on animals and use these ingredients in their products.

In addition to this it is also currently the law to test any cosmetics and toiletries on animals if they are sold in China and this is a huge loophole! A lot of companies claim to be cruelty free while selling in China so are in fact not cruelty free in all respects.

There is one official loophole when it comes to selling in China and that is companies that retail online do not need to test on animals and that is how some brands can trade there without loosing their cruelty free status. But this is not the common practice.

China announced in March 2021 that from May 1st 2021 the mandatory animal testing requirements for imported ‘general’ cosmetics will no longer be required. There is still some way to go until China is totally Cruelty Free. This change in law will mean that ‘General’ cosmetics such as shampoo, body wash, lotions and make-up which comprise the bulk of the market do not need to be tested. However products that have claims such as anti-ageing, anti-acne, hair dyes, hair perming products, freckle-removing and whitening products, sunscreens, anti-hair loss products and some cosmetics will still need to be tested on animals.

There is also a lack of transparency within these companies where staff are told that they are cruelty free when they are in fact not, so you can’t always rely on what counter staff tell you all the facts despite their best intentions.

If you want to find out a company’s real stance on animal testing the best thing is either do your own research or there are a number of beauty bloggers who can help.

The Parent Companies Debate

This is where there is a lot of division in the vegan community as to whether you should buy a product from a company that is vegan and cruelty free but is owned by a parent company that tests on animals.

My own personal opinion is that I will not buy any products made by a company that has an animal testing parent company. No exceptions, ever. Even if my brand of favourite mascara sells out I will simply stop using it! And this is how I run Greener Beauty too.

However with anything I am a big believer in knowledge being power, so I am going to set out the argument for and against and you can make your own decision.


By purchasing products from a vegan and cruelty free company with an animal testing parent you are sending a very clear message to that parent company that there is money in cruelty free and vegan products.

This is exactly what Anita Roddick tried to do when she sold the Body Shop to Loreal, she was trying to change them from the inside and stop them testing on animals.

The product you are buying is technically vegan and cruelty free. This individual product doesn’t contain any animal ingredients and it isn’t tested on animals.


Any money you spend on products from a brand with animal testing parents, a portion of that money will end up in the pockets of the parent company.

This money could therefore be supporting animal testing.

As someone who is vegan and runs a vegan business it would not matter how much money any company offered to buy me out of Greener Beauty, if they test on animals I would never ever do so. So are these companies that were vegan friendly and cruelty free selling out their morals?


Whichever path you decide to take when it comes to parent companies is completely up to you but my suggestion is to not get into discussions about it on social media. Both sides are very passionate that they are right and it can seriously lead to some argumentative comments being flown around! I prefer to avoid this conversation and keep my peace!

So what can we do to ensure something is Vegan & Cruelty Free?

As you can see its not always easy to ensure that your products are both truly cruelty free and vegan. To be sure that you are only purchasing products that align with your ethics you can easily do one of the following: ⁠

Only purchase items with the vegan society logo on. ⁠

Ingredients don’t always state where it has been derived from and whether its plant based. So if you aren’t sure contact the brand to ask or google to see if someone has already asked the brand. ⁠

Finally shop with a vegan business that you trust.. such as Greener Beauty.

As a vegan run and vegan friendly business, all of the products found at Greener Beauty will be from a vegan friendly source with no animal ingredients. Everything we sell is also truly cruelty free with no products having animal testing either in house or on any of the product ingredients. We also don’t sell any brands that are sell in China and are required by Chinese law to test on animals.


I hope you found our blog on Vegan Beauty Tips for Veganuary helpful, but as always if you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in contact with us, we would love to help you!


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Pin it Vegan Beauty Tips for Veganuary
Pin it Vegan Beauty Tips for Veganuary

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