Intelligent Beauty

Everything you need to know about Cult Conscious

Last Updated: 18/01/2022

Honesty and transparency with our customers is a key priority here at Cult Beauty which is why we have partnered with transparency tech-platform — Provenance — to equip you with key facts that matter. With their coveted Proof Points, Provenance uses blockchain technology to digitally verify the wealth of information that pervades the beauty realm — from whether a product is vegan and cruelty-free, to whether it’s coral reef-safe or recyclable, Cult Beauty customers just need to look for the green tick to check out the ethical pros of each product (it’s found on the right at the top of the product page).

Keen to get started? Before you begin, we’ve created a glossary outlining all of the Proof Points so you can embark on your Cult Conscious journey. And remember, if a Proof Point appears alongside a brand bio, this means it applies to the brand overall. Products within the brand may have additional Proof Points — these are found in the Cult Conscious tab on the product page.

And one other thing… if a Proof Point is verified — meaning a third party has authenticated the accuracy of the statement — it will have a green tick next to it. If it doesn’t have a green tick, it just means the information hasn’t been verified by a third party but the brand will still have uploaded evidence that you can check yourself.

a collection of cult conscious products shot in a studio

Here are the Proof Points to look for:

1% for the Planet
This shows that a brand (and its product) supports ‘1% for the Planet’ — a global movement that spearheads environmental solutions by using its annual contribution to undertake everyday, eco-conscious actions.

B Corporation
B Corporation is a certification offered by a non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation named B Lab. The certification allows consumers to identify businesses that serve society by meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance.

Black-Led Business
This indicates that a company is majority-owned by people who identify as black, or has a majority of people who identify as black in senior leadership positions.

Carbon Measured
This business has measured the total greenhouse gas emissions caused by its operations and supply chain, or its product(s). Greenhouse gases from human activities are the most significant driver of climate change, so by monitoring emissions, the brand is taking steps towards safeguarding the future of our planet.

Carbon Offsetting
This indicates that a brand provides funds for external projects that avoid or sequester greenhouse gas emissions, in an effort to compensate for their own emissions.

Climate Neutral
Climate Neutral is a nonprofit organisation founded in 2019. They work to certify brands as Climate Neutral once they have measured, reduced and/or offset their greenhouse gas emissions.

Clinically Tested
Results-driven formulas clinically proven to work, our Clinically Tested products have undergone extensive independent research (on humans and never on animals), facing stringent testing conditions to ascertain – and measure – efficacy. By clicking on the Proof Point you’ll be able to read all about the scale and intricacies of the trial, for example: amongst 50 female subjects aged 35-65 for 12 weeks, those using the product saw a significant improvement in skin hydration.

Compostable Parts
Part of this product’s packaging is capable of decomposing naturally in a home compost or in an industrial compost environment, in a way that is not harmful to the environment and produces compost.

Coral Reef Safe
These products – usually {reef-safe sunscreens} – are made without any ingredients knows to be harmful to coral reefs. Sunning yourself safely shouldn’t come at the expense of the environment, so you can purchase these products and know that they’re free made without octinoxate, oxybenzone or octocrylene – the chemicals with links to coral bleaching.

Respecting the welfare of all who inhabit our planet, you can shop this collection of {cruelty-free} make up and skin care with absolute faith in the fact that no creatures were harmed to create them. Staunchly against any animal testing, these brands won’t be sold in a region where animal testing takes place.

Donates to Charity
This Proof Point shows that a brand’s {giving back} – using profits to offer monetary or in-kind donations to charitable organisations that chime with their ethos.

Demeter Biodynamic
The Demeter standard was introduced in 1928 based on Rudolf Steiner’s work and views on holistic farming. Demeter’s principles include regeneration, integration of nature and human beings, and ecological and social responsibility. The Biodynamic mark means that farms meet the organic standard by refraining from use of any synthetic chemical fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides or fungicides, but that’s not all… Emphasis is on the generation of farm inputs out of the living dynamics of the farm itself, rather than being imported from the outside. Dependence on imported materials for fertility and pest control is reduced. Water conservation is considered and farms are required to maintain at least 10% of total acreage as a biodiversity set aside.

Family Owned Business
Keeping it in the family, this means that in a privately-held company, those who identify as a family control more than 50% of the voting rights and if it’s publicly-held, the family share at least 32% of the voting rights.

Female-Led Business
Close to our Cult Beauty hearts, women in business is something we’re eager to celebrate. This ‘proof point’ indicates that in a privately-held firm, people identifying as female control more than 50% of the voting rights, and at least 32% if it’s publicly-held.

Forest Stewardship Council Approved
Certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, these products use only sustainable forest materials and ethical forestry practices to help secure the future of the planet’s precious ‘lungs’. From biodegradable packaging to sustainably sourced palo santo, these products help to safeguard trees and those who live and work amidst our planet’s vital greenery.

Free from Artificial Flavours
This ‘proof point’ indicates that the product does not contain synthetically produced flavours. It may contain flavours derived from natural ingredients.

Free from Synthetic Preservatives
Meanwhile, this Proof Point indicates that this product does not contain any synthetically produced preservatives. It may contain natural preservatives.

Fully Recycled Packaging
Our recyclable products applaud eco-conscious companies who’re leading the charge with commitment to low-to-zero waste packaging and practices. Ideal if you’re trying to make a step towards more sustainable buying habits, these products mean less will be destined for landfill.

Independently Owned
This Proof Point indicates that the business is majority owned (51%) and operated by the same person or group of people.

Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free/Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free CCIC
Cosmetics, personal care and household brands are approved cruelty free under Cruelty Free International’s Leaping Bunny Programme (in North America, the Leaping Bunny Program is managed by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) a coalition formed of eight animal protection groups). This gold standard gives you assurance that a company has made a genuine commitment to help end animal testing. Brands must meet rigorous criteria which apply globally and extend over and above laws governing animal testing and include ongoing independent audits. Only then can they display the Leaping Bunny logo.

Living Wage Employer
The Living Wage Foundation was founded in 2011. They offer accreditation to employers that pay a ‘living wage’ to all directly employed staff and have an agreed plan in place for third-party contracted staff such as contracted catering, cleaning, security, parks or ground staff. The living wage is calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation, it is based on the real cost of living and determines the wage rate necessary to ensure that households earn enough to reach a minimum acceptable living standard.

Net Zero
This organisation has measured the total greenhouse gas emissions caused by its operations and supply chain or its product and has achieved net zero emissions by reducing its emissions and, where necessary, investing in carbon offsetting projects. Greenhouse gas emissions (including carbon emissions) caused by human activities are the most significant driver of climate change.

Using only the finest certified ingredients, all lovingly reared without any exposure to pesticides, synthetics or non-organic matter that could compromise the purity, we’ve made finding organic products that meet your exacting requirements easy. Subject to rigorous standards to guarantee safety and efficacy, our organic edit is proof that pure can be potent.

Partly Recyclable Packaging
Part of this product’s packaging is curb-side collected and can be broken down into raw materials and repurposed so it can be used again. This does not guarantee that it will be recycled – always check locally.

Partly Recycled Packaging
All or parts of this product’s packaging are waste materials that have been recovered, reprocessed and converted into reusable materials.

Person of Colour-Led Business
In this Proof Point, in a company, those who identify as being people of colour control more than 51% of the shares in this business.

PETA Cruelty-Free/PETA Cruelty-Free & Vegan
PETA is an animal rights organisation founded in 1980 by Ingrid Newkirk & Alex Pacheco and is headquartered in Virginia, USA. PETA’s certification body sets a standard for ‘cruelty-free’ and ‘vegan’ products. These include cosmetics, personal-care and household-cleaning products.

Renewable Energy
At least 80% of the energy used by the business is from renewable sources. Renewable sources are defined as those that naturally replenish within a human lifetime (e.g. biomass, wind or solar power).

Reusable Packaging
This product’s packaging is designed to be reused for the same use case – something we’re very much here for at Cult Beauty. It’s capable of being used repeatedly without impairing its protective function.

Scientifically Tested
This innovative product was independently tested in a laboratory to ensure safety and performance before making it onto our Hall of Fame shelves.

Supports Biodiversity
Close to our Cult Beauty hearts, this business has implemented (and/or provided monetary or in-kind donations to) projects or initiatives supporting biodiversity conservation in its supply chain, as a means to mitigate its footprint on biodiversity.

Supporting Health
This business has implemented or provided monetary or in-kind donations to projects or initiatives supporting health in its supply chain.

Supporting Education
This business has implemented – or provided monetary or in-kind donations to – projects or initiatives supporting education in its supply chain.

Supports Local Community
From ethically sourcing ingredients to increasing awareness of local craftsmanship and providing jobs for local townspeople, these feel-good brands do their bit to support and advance smaller, close-knit communities.

These products contain no animal products – or derivatives of animal products – and none were involved as part of the production process. From lanolin and beeswax to non-plant-derived squalane and oleic acid, you won’t find anything you shouldn’t in our vegan heroes.

Each and every product marked with our Cult Conscious vegetarian tick means that you can be sure that it does not contain any ingredients that are the result of animal slaughter, or use any as part of the production process.

Water Footprint Network
The Water Footprint Network (WFN), founded in 2008, is a platform for collaboration between companies, organisations and individuals to solve the world’s water crises by advancing fair and smart water use. The WFN and its partners develop and apply the Water Footprint accounting framework to support the transition to sustainable and equitable water use and management globally.

Widely Recyclable Packaging
You can be sure that this product’s packaging can be collected by your local council and be broken down into raw materials and repurposed so it can be used again. It may include up to 1% of non-recyclable components that won’t impede the overall recyclability.

Now you’re equipped with the knowledge, it’s time to meet your unique beauty needs.


Verity Douglas

Verity Douglas

Content Editor

Cult Beauty’s Content Editor and a Cult Beauty OG, Verity loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm. A quintessential Libran, she’s a self-professed magpie for luxury ‘must-haves' and always pursuing the new and the niche — from the boujee-est skin care to cutting-edge tech. Balancing an urge to stop the clock with her desire to embrace the ageing process (and set a positive example for her daughter), Verity's a retinol obsessive and will gladly share her thoughts about the time-defying gadgets, masks and treatments worth the splurge...