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Do you ever wonder about the ads of cosmetic brands on your social media feed that use terms such as ‘natural’, ‘organic’, ‘cruelty-free vegan makeup’? Mostly, consumers do not know the difference and it also gets painstaking to open tabs and get on with some research that would help simplify the understanding. 


This in turn, causes us to be lazy about the choices we make. Naturally, if our choices are not well informed, then we cannot expect ourselves to be conscious consumers either. So, here we are, all set to make your life a tad bit easier.


So, when we talk about ‘natural’ products, this means that these products are plant-based or use mineral ingredients. They use natural substitutes in place of chemicals wherever possible. The terms ‘natural’, ‘organic’, ‘vegan’ are sometimes used interchangeably as they all use ingredients that come from nature: botanicals, minerals, animals, metals, etc. Even Ayurveda uses natural substitutes for its makeup and skincare products. 


It is important to note, however, that brands can claim the ‘natural’ label even if they sometimes use chemicals or keep their farming practices discreet. Moreover, most products require preservatives that are usually synthetic because a hundred percent natural product is likely to have a shorter shelf-life. If a product forms a lot of lather while being used, it is highly possible that it has SLS, a surfactant banned in many countries but is persistent in India. Our lip balms, for instance, are made using essential oils and vitamin E which ensure the safety and softness of your skin. 

Now, ‘organic’ is also natural. But that does not mean these products do not deal with the animal world. There are strict guidelines though, in order to claim the ‘organic’ label, such as, the ingredients need to be grown following a clean process where the soil is scrutinised to check if it is free of pesticides and chemicals. This also includes that the products are manufactured using sustainable practices; are free from: harmful chemicals, parabens, synthetic dyes, etc., and not tested on animals. Just like ‘natural’ brands, the ingredients in organic products also should be free of chemical toxins like parabens, SLS, synthetic fragrances, and artificial colour.

Now, when it comes to checking vegan makeup, it is easy because you can check for the Vegan Society Logo on the product. Vegan makeup brands in India or anywhere else in the world are cruelty-free and do not support animal testing either. However, it is a tad bit dicey even when we say that vegan products do not have any animal produce because dairy, lactic acid, honey, biotin, and lanolin are derived from animals only. Apart from that, vegan products do not support animal testing. PETA lists alternatives to all animal products used in skincare and makeup. 

In today’s day and age, as consumers as well as brands, we are becoming more conscious as a collective and slowly turning towards using the least animal-related produce in the cosmetic industry so that the harmony in nature is balanced.