These products have several different certifications and characteristics. One of the main ways of distinguishing is the ingredients used in the production of each cosmetic formula.
NATURAL & ORGANIC
Natural ingredients are substances of plant, inorganic-mineral or animal origin, which have not undergone chemical transformations, but only certain physical processes are generally allowed, such as: extractions and percolations with solvents on natural substrates, use of purifying agents such as activated carbon, addition of ionic compounds for small pH adjustments.
Naturally derived ingredients are raw materials of natural origin. However, they have undergone chemical or biotechnological transformation processes, which offer minimal health risks. The use of these processes is justified because they allow functions not offered by purely natural and unprocessed ingredients. An example is the class of substances known as surfactants , as only these detergent action compounds are able to effect the interaction between fat and water, which works as a cleaning agent in soaps, or an emulsifier, the responsible ingredient by mixing oils and water to form creams and lotions.
Vegan cosmetics are not categorized according to whether or not they contain natural or organic ingredients. What matters for the vegan classification is the absence of ingredients of animal origin, even if indirectly, such as their use during the manufacturing processes of synthetic or even vegetable ingredients. In addition, non-testing on animals, whether on the ingredients used or on the final product, is also a requirement.
It is important to note that to be considered vegan, cosmetics do not necessarily need to be natural or organic. A product that is entirely synthetic, but has nothing of animal origin and which has not been tested on animals, can be considered vegan.
The term Cruelty Free is applied to cosmetic products of any kind - regardless of whether they are natural, organic, vegan or synthetic - that just haven't had the formulas of their final products tested on animals.
This certification is necessary because, unfortunately, in the cosmetics industry, the practice of animal testing is still normal, in many situations it causes suffering or even death. The purpose of these tests is to ensure the safety of use in humans.
There are several different methodologies for carrying out safety tests, but animal testing is the most chosen because they offer lower costs in relation to more technologically advanced processes, or even in relation to conducting tests on humans themselves, which, not offering serious health risks, would be the most appropriate, since it is the final consumer.
Important: a cruelty free cosmetic can contain ingredients of animal origin, such as beeswax, honey, lanolin, milk, silk proteins, among others, as long as the final product formula has not been tested on animals. Cruelty Free is not synonymous with vegan, the latter has greater restrictions on animal welfare. The main difference is that the vegan takes into account the origin of the ingredients, while the cruelty-free only cares about the final formula of the product.