The best ways to find cruelty free and vegan beauty.
The testing of cosmetics on animals has been banned in the EU since 2004 which on the surface seems wonderful. In fact, lots of people happily buy beauty products believing they all have to be cruelty free but sadly the reality isn't quite so black and white.
The reality is while the testing of cosmetics on animals is banned, ingredients can still be tested on animals for a variety of reasons and then sold into the cosmetics industry to be used in their products. This means the product may not be tested on animals but the ingredients potentially have been. To muddy the water further, countries like China still require most beauty products to be tested on animals before they can be sold. Madness when there are so many alternatives to animal testing.
So how do we know if a product has been tested on animals or not? Well, there are some great certifications that brands can pay to use and this helps to make our search for cruelty free beauty a little easier. The most popular logo is the Leaping Bunny, brands can pay to use this on their products if they prove the product and ingredients have not been tested on animals. There are also certifications brands can get from PETA which to a lesser extent are a good marker of a product being cruelty free.
The stumbling block is that cruelty free does not always mean vegan. A product can have a cruelty free certification and still contain animal bi-products such as collagen, honey, lanolin and cochineal to name but a few. So while a cruelty free certification is absolutely important, you do need to check separately if a product is vegan. Some brands will use the Vegan Society logo to let you know if the product ingredients are vegan friendly but this certification does not advise if the ingredients have been tested on animals. As with cruelty free , it does not meaning a product is vegan, a vegan certification does not make a product cruelty free. Cross referencing the certifications is a pain when you are stood in a shop but it is an easy way to scan and check the back of a product to see if it suits your ethical needs.
If you happen to have your mobile phone on you, the world of cruelty free and vegan friendly beauty becomes much easier to tackle. There are lots of websites offering products that meet these requirements (I mean hello you are on one right now!) and lots of larger brands now offer a filter option when searching their website to enable you to view vegan only products. There are even apps such as Cruelty Cutter where you can scan the barcode to get a quick answer on a brand's cruelty free status.
But my favourite way to check out a brands ethical status online? I go straight to the very people who are seeking what you and I are. The ethical beauty bloggers. Lots of bloggers out there have dedicated a lot of time to creating lists of brands that are cruelty free and will mark if the brand is vegan, vegetarian or neither. The larger bloggers with lists you can check out include Cruelty Free Kitty, Ethical Elephant and Logical Harmony who are always emailing brands for updates and keeping an eye on the beauty market for changes.
If you are based in the UK I also highly recommend following some local beauty bloggers with vegan and cruelty free values at their core such as VeganBeautyGirl, CrueltyFreeBecky, Oh.emj and of course there is my good self – TheGreenerGuru. I only share beauty products that are cruelty free and vegan friendly but take it a step further by trying to find the brands doing that little bit more when it comes to sustainability.
It's hard trying to be good and I commend you for trying to make the right choice but there are lots of us out there trying to make it easier for you. Keep supporting the people making your journey easier because slowly together we are turning the tide on the ethics of beauty. Here's to a sustainable, cruelty free and vegan future for your skincare and make-up routines.
Guest Blog by Emmy - The GreenerGuru