Cruelty-free makeup products are all over the place. Popular brands started adding the bunny logo to their products and now and then a new makeup brand pops up with the "cruelty-free" claim which seems that is more important than any other detail about the brand. Is cruelty-free just a marketing campaign or there's something more than this?
Let's find out what cruelty-free means and how important is for a cosmetic company to be #crueltyfree.
♥ What cruelty-free means?
There are many misconceptions about the term cruelty-free and unfortunately, the FDA has not approved a legal definition making it extremely hard to define.
(of cosmetics or other commercial products) manufactured or developed by methods which do not involve cruelty to animals.
However most animal rights advocates agree for a product to be considered truly cruelty-free, none of the ingredients can be tested on animals.
Cruelty-free is a label for products and activities that do not harm or kill animals. Any product or ingredient that is tested on animals is not considered anymore a cruelty-free one since these tests are painful and cause suffering and even death to millions of animals every year.
The animals that are used in this kind of tests or "experiments" (it's how I like to call it) are rabbits, rats, mice and guinea pigs which are forced to inhale concentrated substances, or have cosmetic ingredients rubbed onto their shaved skin, eyes or ears for long periods of time to determine if they have an allergic reaction. Then they are killed and cut open to examine the effects that the ingredient has on internal organs.
This gets even worse when the "lab rat" is not anymore just a rat.
Cats, dogs (mostly beagles) and non-human primates like baboons, chimpanzees, monkeys and especially macaques are also used in thousands of experiments which include toxicity tests on medical and non-medical substances such as:
- infectious disease ( ex. HIV, hepatitis)
- neurological studies
- behavior and cognition
These tests are required by the governments who need to establish whether or not an ingredient or product is safe for public health. This doesn't sound THAAAT bad, right?! WRONG!
Nothing can really justify animal testing in the 21st century especially with the technology that we possess nowadays which allows us to use reconstructed human skin, computer models and even in-vitro testing which is also more relevant to human reactions.
There are over 20.000 ingredients in the European Union database that have been already established as safe. And also the truth is that animal testing is pretty much meaningless because humans and animals are genetically different therefore the results are inaccurate.
♥ How to switch to cruelty-free cosmetics?
I am quite sure that now after finding out what is happening behind the closed doors in the cosmetic industry you might want to switch to a cruelty-free and more ethical cosmetic brand.
But just in case saving animals from a lifetime of torture is not enough to make you change your mind, switching to cruelty-free cosmetics is also safer and better for you as a consumer. These brands usually use safer ingredients since they don't test on animals. Their products are free of carcinogens, synthetic fragrances and many other ingredients that are dangerous for your health.
Testing on animals is also really bad for the environment. Animals are bred to be tested on, killed and thrown away just to make an acceptable product for public use. These companies use and dispose of thousands of chemical products in pursuit of something that works, and they produce huge amounts of waste which are harmful to the environment as well.
♥ How you can tell which brand is cruelty-free?
Switching to cruelty-free cosmetics might seem a bit daunting at the beginning but the reality is that these days more and more cosmetic companies already are, and even vegan! I'm pretty sure that you already have in your makeup bag a few products from such companies.
♥ Check out this list of cruelty-free brands by the amazing Suzy from Cruelty-Free Kitty.
By no means I want you to go and throw all your makeup that is not compliant. This will produce more waste and the damage is already done. What you can do from now on is buy the right cosmetic brands that banned animal testing. If you don't feel like using your cruel makeup products you can donate them to a friend or charity.
♥ Cruelty-Free Makeup is Better for You, the Environment & the Animals♥
Unfortunately like I said before this term is not regulated by the FDA so this makes it extra hard for the consumers to determine which brand is truly anti-animal testing.
Luckily there are some trustworthy ways to figure out which brands do not test on animals.
* Look for certified bunny logos on product packaging.
This is the quickest way to determine if the product wasn't tested on animals AT ANY STAGE OF PRODUCTION. The bunny logo is usually displayed on the back of the product.
Keep an eye out for the fake bunny logos that companies display on their products nowadays. Some companies are sneaky and they can trick us into buying their products by labeling them "cruelty-free" even tho they are not.
* Double-check the accuracy of the logos
Some times companies can still use the certified bunny logo even tho they are not certified by the organization! So if the product has one of these trustworthy bunny logos, the next step is to verify its authenticity by searching for the company in the organization’s online database.
No bunny logo? No problem! Some companies can be certified by PETA, Choose Cruelty-Free or Leaping Bunny without displaying the logos on the packaging.
This is happening because the company has to pay a fee to be able to display the bunny logo on the packaging. Many companies choose not to pay for it, even though they might be compliant You can still find the company on the list of organizations. So remember to always check the company on the list even if they don't have the logo on their products.
* Use a cruelty-free app!
There’s an app for almost everything nowadays. What a nice time to be alive! Download a free mobile app when you can quickly scan a product’s barcode and instantly know whether it’s tested on animals or not. YAY!
Cruelty-Free Mobile Apps:
♥ Leaping Bunny App
♥ Choose Cruelty-Free App
♥ Bunny Free App (PETA)
♥ Cruelty-Cutter App (Beagle Freedom Project)
♥ SAFEShopper Cruelty-Free NZ
* Email or message the company yourself.
This method is time-consuming but at least you will get the most updated and definitive results. You need to know what to ask the company to get the answers you are looking for. Some companies are very good at sugarcoating their answers making you believe that they don't test on animals (even if they do).
Check out this blog post to find out more!
♥ Cruelty-Free VS Vegan − What is the difference?
Probably you think that cruelty-free and vegan mean the same thing right? Don't worry, you are not the only one. Most of the time the two are used to describe the same thing but there is a significant difference between them.
When a product it's labeled cruelty-free it means that it wasn't tested on animals. And when a product it's labeled vegan it means that it does not contain any animal ingredients. It might seem confusing at the beginning but in reality, it's very simple.
Can a product be cruelty-free but not vegan? Well yes, that means that the product wasn't tested on animals but it might contain animal products and vice versa. Some companies who are cruelty-free have some products that might contain animal by-products like beeswax or lanolin. Usually, they have a disclaimer letting you know which of their products are vegan.
♥ What we can do to make a change
♥ First thing first start with YOU! Be the change you want to see in the world! Start by buying only cruelty-free & vegan cosmetics and body/face/hair care products.
♥ Spread the world! Let your friends and family know about animal testing. The more people know and become educated, the closer we are to an animal testing free world.
Feel free to leave a comment down below or come and say hello!
XOXO Seraina ♥