With the global move towards consumers becoming more earth-conscious, there seems to be an unprecedented upsurge in the demand for cruelty-free skincare and makeup.
But, what does it mean for a product to be cruelty-free? Are there loopholes? And are all cruelty-free products vegan? Start here if you’re looking to switch to a cruelty-free make-up or skincare routine.
What is cruelty-free skincare?
For a product to be classified as cruelty-free, it needs to have been manufactured according to a strict system that ensures that it is not tested on animals. In former years, brands were able to get away with classifying their products as cruelty-free skincare and makeup because the final product was not tested on animals, but the rules that applied to the manufacturing of each individual ingredient weren’t closely monitored.
Today, a more conscious consumer base means that brands have to be 100% sure that none of their ingredients is tested on animals at any stage of the production process – this also applies to cruelty-free face brushes and cruelty-free makeup sponges. While these items may not be top of mind when you think cruelty-free, some of the soft brushes that are on the market are made of real fur or animal hair. That’s why it’s becoming increasingly important to do research on your favourite products and understand what goes into the products you’re using on your face and skin.
How can you identify cruelty-free make-up?
Looking for a cruelty-free foundation or a cruelty-free mascara, but don’t know where to start? Here’s how to make sure you’re choosing the right one. If a product has a Leaping Bunny logo on it, it’s guaranteed to be cruelty-free. Brands that have the Leaping Bunny certification go through a stringent verification process that requires them to collect individual declarations from each of their ingredient suppliers, stating that they don’t conduct animal testing.
Furthermore, the brand must recommit to the program on an annual basis, providing new and updated information every year. If the product doesn’t have the Leaping Bunny logo, simply check the product label for information on whether the brand is committed to cruelty-free manufacturing.
The Body Shop Blusher Brush // The Body Shop Vitamin C Daily Glow Cleansing Polish // NYX Professional Makeup Matte Lipstick // NYX Professional Makeup Stay Matte But Not Flat Liquid Foundation // Wet n Wild Megaglo Liquid Highlighter // Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation
Pay attention to this loophole
Not all consumers realise is that there is a caveat that comes with many products that are declared cruelty-free, usually stated like this: “We do not test on animals, except when animal testing is required by law“. This will generally be used by large, global brands that sell their products in China, where it is required by law that every imported beauty or skincare product is tested on animals.
Therefore, there’s a simple shortcut that every animal lover needs to know about when searching for the right products – simply check if that product is sold in mainland China. If it is, then the brand is not 100% cruelty-free. You can also check the terms and conditions section on company websites for the disclaimer that products are only tested on animals when it is legally required.
Is all cruelty-free skincare also vegan?
Just because your makeup or skincare is labelled cruelty-free or has the Leaping Bunny logo on it, does not necessarily mean that the product is free from animal products. Cruelty-free lip gloss, for example, many contain lanolin, which is derived during the process of producing and refining sheep’s wool. Another example is cruelty-free facial treatments, which may contain glycerine – which is often derived from animal fat – although plant-derived glycerine is becoming increasingly more popular.
If you’re looking for vegan, cruelty-free skincare, thorough research becomes even more important, although vegan skincare and makeup is often explicitly labelled or carries the logo of the Vegan Society. Thinking of finding a new favourite cruelty-free day cream? Now you know what to look out for!
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