Cruelty-Free & Vegan nail polish: What’s the difference

Nowadays buzz words can make looking for self-care products extremely complicated. For example, you may have heard of vegan nail polish and cruelty-free nail polish, but are they the same thing? And what do these terms actually mean?

Fortunately, being well informed helps to make the right choice less complicated and that’s where we come in. Below we outline exactly what both terms mean, how they differ and why both are better for your nail health and the environment alike.

vegan and cruelty free nail polish sienna byron bay laying amongst cassava

What is Cruelty-Free nail polish?

Cruelty-free nail polish is a type of nail polish that has not been tested on animals. Many conventional brands of nail polish are tested on animals, often rabbits, to ensure they are safe for humans, whereas Cruelty-free brands of nail polish have not been tested on animals and are therefore considered more humane. When shopping for cruelty-free nail polishes, look for brands that are certified by independent organizations such as Cruelty-Free International (The Leaping Bunny program). These companies have strict guidelines that manufacturers must meet in order to receive certification, so you can be sure that the products you’re buying are genuinely cruelty-free.

Sometimes cruelty-free products are also vegan, meaning they do not contain any animal-derived ingredients, however, it is not safe to assume that this is always the case, as cruelty-free brands can use animal by-products, such as guanine which is made from animal excrement! Thus meaning it is not Vegan. With some brands using terms like “cruelty-free” and “vegan” interchangeably, it’s important to check the label before purchasing.

What is Vegan nail polish?

Cruelty-free nail polish is defined as products that have not been tested on animals, whereas vegan nail polish is defined as being produced without any animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products. This means no fish scales, bat faeces, carmine beetles (a common ingredient to make red) or shellac beetles! However, if a product is Vegan it is not necessarily cruelty free as they can still test on animals. Confusing isn’t it! And highlights the importance to do your research.

Vegan polishes are often made with plant-based ingredients, such as resins, clays, and waxes can be found in a variety of colours and finishes and are just as durable and long-wearing as traditional nail polish. Vegan nail polishes are a great choice for anyone who wants to avoid using animal products, as well as for those who are concerned about the environmental impact of traditional nail polish.

bunny rabbit on plain white background, cruelty free nail polish

Why choose Cruelty-Free and Vegan nail polish?

At first glance, vegan and cruelty-free nail polishes may not seem all that different from traditional polish. However, there are a few key reasons why you may want to consider making the switch.

It’s better for you

While not all vegan and cruelty-free formulas are clean, they tend to be cleaner than traditional nail polishes; without DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde, making them a far healthier choice for you and your nails. These chemicals are known to be toxic and cause a host of problems such as nausea, headaches and irritation to the skin.

You know what you’re getting

Vegan and cruelty-free brands are typically more transparent about their ingredients and manufacturing processes. As a result, you can be sure that you are buying a product that meets your ethical standards.

Spoiled for choice

In addition to these great benefits, it is also important to note that gone are the days when vegan and cruelty-free formulas were limited in the offering. In fact, vegan nail polishes are more vibrant than ever before; especially when you shop at Sienna. Whether you want a classic red or a warm yellow, there’s sure to be a colour that’s perfect for you.

So, what’s the difference between Vegan and Cruelty-Free nail polish?

Vegan polishes are free of animal products but may test on animals, whereas cruelty-free brands do not test on animals, but may contain animal bi-products. If you’re concerned about your environmental impact or what you put on your body, it is essential to do your research before buying a new product to ensure what you’re purchasing is actually good for both your nails and the environment. Next time you’re looking for nail polish, be sure to check the label to see if it is both vegan AND cruelty-free and do as much research around the brand and its certifications.

At Sienna, we are totally transparent about all of our products and we think you will love our products as much as we do! If you have any questions about any of our products or their certifications, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We would be happy to chat with you more about what goes into making our products safe and ethical.

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