If you’re conscious about only supporting ethical and cruelty free skin care brands, then this post is for you. We’re passionate about promoting brands that sell products that are ethically made, ethically sourced – including their ingredients without any animal testing, and sustainably managed. In this article, we’ll be diving into the concept of cruelty free skin care, breaking it down as follows:
- The definition of cruelty free
- How a product or brand is considered cruelty free
- How a company can get cruelty free certification
- The items that fall under skin care
- Our list of cruelty free skin care brands
The definition of cruelty free
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines cruelty free as something that is “developed or produced without inhumane testing on animals.” The term was said to be first used in 1959 by Lady Dowding, who persuaded fake fur manufacturers to use the label Beauty Without Cruelty (she later on formed a charity under the same name). However, the phrase started gaining traction in the ’70s after Marcia Pearson founded the group, Fashion With Compassion.
How a product or brand is considered cruelty free
Products, ingredients, or formulations that are tested on animals cause pain, suffering, and even death to millions of animals every year. The caged animals are forced to inhale or eat the ingredients/products, or the substances are rubbed on their bare skin to see if allergic reactions will occur. Animals commonly used for testing include rabbits, rats, mice, and guinea pigs. Sadly, even primates, dogs, and cats are sometimes subjected to invasive experiments.
Companies that have invested in non-animal testing have resorted to using laboratory-grown cell cultures, healthy and diseased human tissues, computer models, or human volunteers for testing. For a product or brand to be considered cruelty free, it must comply with these conditions:
- The raw ingredients used must not be tested on animals by the company’s suppliers at any phase
- The product formulations and developments must not be tested on animals by the company at any phase
- The final product must not be tested on animals by the company or a third party contracted by the company
Additionally, Waldo’s Friends only considers a brand as truly cruelty free if it is not sold in countries that have animal testing laws. As of May 2021, Ethical Animal reports that China has exempted selected general cosmetics (makeup, skin care, hair care, nail polish, and perfume) from animal testing. Nevertheless, a product may still undergo post-market animal testing depending on certain conditions. These include products for infants or children, products with new cosmetic ingredients, products for whitening, or any product claiming new efficacy.
How a company can get cruelty free certification
Not many companies bother to get cruelty free certification since it is not required by law. In spite of that, there are a growing number of conscientious brands and companies that willingly volunteer to gain accreditation.
The Leaping Bunny Program by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics in the US and Canada and Beauty Without Bunnies by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are two well-known programs that can certify if a brand and its products are cruelty free. They each have their own set of guidelines that companies must meet. (Leaping Bunny has additional requirements involving independent audits and annual membership renewals.) Once a company gains accreditation, their name is included in the organisation’s online database.
The items that fall under skin care
A product that is applied on the skin and alters its structure automatically belongs to the skin care category. These products perform a wide range of tasks from cleaning and protecting to healing and improving the skin. Examples include facial cleanser, exfoliator, serum, sunscreen, chemical peel, toner, face mask, eye cream, body lotion, and foot powder.
Our list of cruelty free skin care brands
Based on the conditions mentioned earlier, we’ve alphabetically listed down which skin care brands are and are not cruelty free.
Cruelty Free Skin Care Brands:
Non-Cruelty Free Skin Care Brands:
- Clean & Clear
- Elizabeth Arden
- Estée Lauder
- Jergens Skincare
- Johnson’s Baby
- La Roche-Posay
- Peter Thomas Roth
- RoC Skincare
- Shu Uemura
- Simple Skincare
- Tom Ford Beauty
- Vichy Laboratories
Cruelty free skin care products are said to be milder on the skin since they contain less chemicals. Aside from protecting the rights of animals, supporting these mindfully made products and their brands can positively influence more people to make the switch, and encourage companies to change their animal testing practices.