Vegan cosmetics: keys to market access

Whether for environmental, health, religious or ethical reasons, the number of vegan consumers is growing. We mainly meet two types of vegan consumers: those who focus solely on their diet, abstaining from the use of foods with ingredients of animal origin; or those consumers who extend the vegan philosophy to other areas of their lives, opposing the use of animals for any purpose. Currently, there are no legally binding regulations that harmonize the minimum criteria required to label vegan cosmetic products. As a result, this regulatory void often causes these products to be mislabeled, misleading consumers.

Cosmetic products are regulated in the European Union under Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009. In accordance with this regulation, the label of a cosmetic product must list all the ingredients of the product. However, consumers usually cannot interpret whether the ingredients in the product are suitable for vegan consumption. Therefore, cosmetic companies often use claims in order to inform consumers and differentiate their product. In the case of cosmetic products, two types of vegan claims are used: self-declarations and declarations based on vegan certifications. In any case, according to Regulation (EU) No. 655/2013 which establishes the common criteria to which claims regarding cosmetic products must respond, these claims must always be justified in order to be able to use them legally. Thus, any company that distributes cosmetic products for vegan consumers must at least justify that the cosmetic product and its ingredients have not been tested on animals and that none of the ingredients are of animal origin; In other words, the cosmetic product does not contain any ingredient:

  • derived from slaughtered animals;
  • extracted from a live animal;
  • produced by animals; or
  • synthesized from any of the aforementioned ingredients or their derivatives.



In addition, it is necessary to take into account other considerations such as the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), cross-contamination of the cosmetic product or the use of vegan packaging.

At Sigillum Knowledge Solutions we have a team with experience in the study of cosmetic products for vegan consumers and with extensive knowledge of the criteria they must meet, including the detailed study of their ingredients, in order to advise companies interested in launching this type of products to the market