There is a growing trend in beauty. Brands are making claims and retailers are grouping products by using these claims:
Let's be perfectly clear, these claims are all open to interpretation. There is no legislation or regulation on any of them with the exception of maybe organic and it would have to be a claim of100% organic for it to be meaningful.
What is clear is the conversation is not going away. Each retailer and brand defines these terms based on what they deem the criteria. If any of these are important to you, then you must do your research by brand (or retailer) to find each interpretation.
Two popular trending claims that are not open to interpretation:
100% Vegan - no animal derived ingredients
100% Cruelty Free - products and ingredients not tested on animals
Californian state legistlation was passed on Friday for bill SB-1249 (Animal Testing Cosmetics). It is a law that goes into effect January 1, 2020. There are to be no products sold in the state that have been tested on animals. All existing ingredients and products prior to this date will be grandfathered in and able to be sold. This would apply to "new" ingredients or products introduced after 1/1/2020. California is the first state in the US to be 'cruelty free' in cosmetics with legislation to back it up.
They might as well proceed to establishing it as a federal law, based on the economic power that California holds.