Vegan vs. Cruelty-Free
The sad truth: the popular marketing claims of "cruelty-free" and “vegan” do NOT guarantee the total avoidance of animal testing or the absence of animal by-products. With loose regulation surrounding both claims, they’re easy enough to legally circumvent. Here’s what these claims mean between the lines:
The claim “cruelty-free” does not mean that no animal testing was used in product development. The term implies that the final product was not tested on animals, but says nothing about whether or not components of the product were tested on animals. For example, just because a cleanser was not applied to a bunny’s iris does not mean that the cleaner’s surfactants were not individually applied for irritant testing.
The presence of a marketing claim can give false importance to a fact that’s wholly irrelevant. In this case, it’s important to note that most skincare products are made without animal by-products. Even those products that contain oils commonly found in animal fats (like Squalene in shark liver oil) likely instead contain a synthetically-replicated or plant-based version.
You can’t always rely on brands to be animal- and eco-friendly, but you can rely on them to be cost-effective. Animal derivatives are often prohibitively-priced, compared to their synthetic and plant equivalents. That said, the “vegan” claim on skincare is largely irrelevant; most skincare products are vegan by default.
Read: these terms really don't mean much, nor does the absence of them. Geologie products contain no animal by-products. Nor do we, or our affiliates, test our products on animals, at any stage of development.