Cosmetics with a conscience: veggie, vegan, not tested on animals & cruelty free

More and more people are concerned by the impact their choices have on other people, animals and the planet. We are seeing increasing realisation from both consumers and manufacturers that cosmetics and care products can also be animal-friendly. Veggie, vegan, not tested on animals, cruelty free, etc. These are buzz words that have gained popularity in recent years But what exactly do all these terms mean in the world of cosmetics?

Pescetarian, vegetarian, vegan?

Let’s start with the form that completely excludes the use of all animal ingredients; vegan cosmetics. These products don't contain any animal ingredients and furthermore they are not tested on animals. 

Vegetarian cosmetics don’t go quite as far. They cannot use any ingredients derived from dead animals. But these products can be tested on animals, for example.

Furthermore, there are pescetarian products, which avoid animal ingredients as much as possible, but may use ingredients from marine (sea) origin.

Not tested on animals ≠ animal-friendly

Who wouldn't want a fresh, healthy and youthful look? But do animals have to suffer for it?

Cosmetics can be developed with the minimum possible impact on animals.

Testing cosmetics on animals has been prohibited in the EU since 2013. This is a very positive development for our four-legged friends. However, there is a small side note to this: products developed before 2013 do not come under this legislation and can therefore sometimes still be found on the shelves in Belgian stores.

Some non-EU countries, the most renowned example being China, do not have any anti-animal testing legislation. More than that, in China it is compulsory to test products on animals, otherwise they cannot be accepted into the Chinese market.

But “not tested on animals” doesn't necessarily mean “animal-friendly”. Because, although the products are not tested on animals, they may contain ingredients of animal origin.

Where do Belène products stand?

At Belène we love animals. But with our products our mission is to give men and women more self-confidence through healthy, smooth skin and a lustrous head of hair.

None of our products is tested on animals. In addition, we have made very conscious choices regarding the origin of the ingredients in our skin and hair products.

For the Belène day and night cream and the serum, for example, we opted for a collagen peptides mix sourced from 3 natural ingredients (rice, yeast and wheat).

The Belène Beauty Drink also contains marine collagen, from fish. The structure of the amino acid chain present in this type of collagen matches the amino acid chain of the collagen in human skin. So, although we have opted for a marine source here, this is because vegetable collagen does not penetrate deeply enough and consequently would have insufficient effect. We have completely ruled out animal-sourced collagen (which often comes from beef) due to the increased risk of allergic reactions and the risk of animal diseases. Artificial collagen also does not penetrate deeply enough and is therefore not an option either.

To find out more about collagen, read our blog (Collagen, the secret ingredient for healthy and youthful skin)

For the hair growth products we opted for animal-friendly and herbal ingredients.

Consequently, we have opted for vegacapsules for our Nutri Capsules. Food supplements are often encased in gelatine capsules, which are made using animal bones, but Belène has specifically chosen natural capsules.

The Nutri Capsules contain keratin peptides derived from the wool of New Zealand sheep. It is a wonderful natural product, which can be collected with very little inconvenience to the animals. This keratin is 100% natural and, thanks to its soluble form, there is optimal absorption by the body: as much as 95% of the keratin goes directly into the bloodstream.

The shampoo, the serum and the capsules all have natural active ingredients, consisting of a vitamin and mineral complex and vitis vinifera (or grape seed extract). We believe in the beneficial effect of plants to nourish our hair and scalp.

To find out more about the ingredients in our hair products, read our blog (All you need to know about hair loss)