Do You Know If Your Beauty Products Are Good For You?


Cruelty-free, Paraben-free, Gluten-free Skincare | ALASTIN Skincare

Beauty Breakdown: Cruelty-free, Paraben-free, and Gluten-free

You’ve heard all of the buzzwords, and you’ve probably even made an attempt to steer clear of parabens and find good-for-you beauty products, but do you know why? Do you really understand why there is such a strong movement for beauty brands to create cruelty-free products, without parabens, and gluten-free?

We’re going to break it down and give you the real scoop.

What does cruelty-free beauty mean?

bunny with makeup brush

Believe it or not, even today in 2018, over 115 million animals are being used for animal testing worldwide. Let’s first make sure we’re clear on what it means to be “cruelty-free” which means:

Beauty products manufactured or developed by methods that do not involve experimentation on animals.

The key here is the experimentation of products on animals. It should also be understood that cruelty-free beauty products are different than vegan beauty products. Vegan beauty products do not contain anything that comes from an animal or is produced by an animal, but it doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily also cruelty-free.

Over the last 25 years, the demand for cruelty-free beauty products has really been the driving force for brands to innovate and find new ways to test their products. In 2000, California became the first state in the US to require that available non-animal safety tests be used before resorting to animal tests. New Jersey and New York followed shortly after. By 2014, Cruelty Free International introduced the Humane Cosmetic Act with bi-partisan leadership with the aim to phase out animal testing in the US altogether - learn more and support the Humane Cosmetic Act here.

It’s also important to understand that to receive the “cruelty-free” label, neither the finished product nor the ingredients have been tested on animals. This is an important distinction that some beauty brands find a way to work around by stating “finished product not tested on animals”, which likely means that the ingredients, or raw materials, may have been tested on animals.

We at Alastin believe that true beauty should be cruelty-free and that our cruelty-free approach to skincare is a small yet significant step towards a more beautiful world.” - Jim Hartman, Chief Commercial Officer, ALASTIN Skincare Management.

These are the cruelty-free icons or logos that you should be looking for on beauty brand packaging:

cruelty-free logos

If you’re ever unsure if a beauty product is cruelty-free, learn how to spot a fake cruelty-free logo so you can be confident that you are purchasing truly cruelty-free beauty products.

What are parabens and why do they matter?

A paraben is a chemical compound, more specifically defined as:

Any of a group of compounds used as a preservative in the pharmaceutical, beauty, or the food industry.

Parabens are formed from acid in raspberries and blackberries and are classified as “preservatives” because they kill microorganisms. These microorganisms include bacteria and fungi which are part of the reason for their controversy.

Some research has supported the idea that parabens can wreak havoc on our bodies, hence the movement for paraben-free beauty products, but research has been somewhat inconclusive and inconsistent.

For this reason, many beauty brands have decided to remove them altogether just to be on the safe side. All ALASTIN Skincare products including our top-rated beauty product, the Regenerating Skin Nectar, and dermatologist-approved sunscreen, HydraTint Pro Mineral Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 36, are paraben-free.

ALASTIN Skincare Products

Why should I care if there is gluten in my beauty products?

Though wheat can be considered nutritious with its high fiber and B vitamins, for the 1% of the population with celiac disease, and the growingly aware gluten intolerant population, it can be quite problematic.

According to the Mayo Clinic’s research on food allergies, wheat is one of the eight most allergenic foods. And for those with a wheat allergy or gluten intolerance, eating a slice of bread could really cause a major beauty blunder.

woman's belly with wheat

You may have heard of the popular book “Wheat Belly,” which suggests that wheat can have harmful effects on the skin as well.

In the book, Dr. William Davis notes that wheat allergies are difficult to pinpoint even with blood tests - so you may be allergic without realizing it.

In fact, Dr. Davis says that more than 80% of the population has problems with some component of wheat and gluten, and though it’s often hard to quantify and identify, “people look better [wheat free].”

The truth of the matter is that because wheat has an uncommonly high glycemic index, it usually triggers higher blood sugar than most other foods resulting in higher insulin, more so than any other food. Why does this matter? “Elevated insulin is linked to increased sebum production that can clog pores and lead to breakouts” and be a contributing factor to visible signs of skin aging like fine lines and wrinkles and loss of elasticity.

Good-for-you beauty products

There are many resources out there to help you learn more about what goes into your beauty products and how they get made. If you’re seeking a helpful search tool, the CrueltyFreeKitty.com site is an excellent resource for finding reputable brands that meet your criteria.

If you’re looking for professional-grade, dermatologist-recommend skincare that is cruelty-free, paraben-free, and gluten-free, discover ALASTIN Skincare.

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Article Reviewed by Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson

Vice President, Marketing

Wendy Johnson brings to Alastin Skincare over 22 years of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and aesthetics industry experience in various sales, training, marketing and thought leader development roles.

After spending 10 years in gastroenterology at Tap Pharmaceuticals and Prometheus Laboratories, with sales and marketing oversight for in-line and pre-launch products, Mrs. Johnson transitioned to an aesthetic career at SkinMedica in 2004. While there, she was responsible for marketing one of the top 2 branded prescription hydroquinones, launching a leading branded low potency steroid, and oversight of the acne franchise line extensions.

In 2010, Wendy joined Merz North America where she developed and managed the Physician Relations department in support of injectable, topical and device business units under Medical Affairs, before transitioning into managing a Regional Aesthetics Marketing team.

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