Cruelty Free basics

How do you know?


The world of cruelty free is difficult to navigate because every company uses language and wording that is deliberately vague. On the other hand there are companies that are cruelty free but they choose not to affiliate themselves with any specific PETA-style list – which is totally their choice.

So, in this post I’ll try to make it easier for you to understand what companies are trying to tell you (I won’t use specific names but everything is word for word from big company sites).

Companies that are not 100% cruelty-free will use the following:

1. “x no longer tests on animals any of its products or any of its ingredients, anywhere in the world…An exception could only be made if regulatory authorities demanded it…”   This is a common line companies use when they decide to go into business in China where the law demands animal testing for beauty products (not just medications like in western countries). I won’t say which company this is but it’s a big one and my question is – why not take a stand and tell the Chinese you will not be part of their market until they change their laws? well…money is tempting and China is a massive market.

2. “We do not test on final products..”  This is a sneaky one because you might say “yay! they don’t test it’s fine”, but it really isn’t because not testing on the final product is ok, but they don’t mention products in the supply chain. So…you’ve bought a product that hasn’t been tested as a whole but potentially every ingredient in it has been tested. hmmm….

So what are good statements?

Good statements are the ones that tell you they don’t test full stop. They usually make a big deal out of it too, so they have a special section on their site about animal testing (testers hide it) and they tell you specifically “we don’t test final products on animals nor do we do business with suppliers who do so, nor do we sell in countries where it is required”. You can check out company sites such as Lush, NYX, Barry M for examples.
Of course if you have any doubts you can always go to sites with lists such as PETA or Leaping bunny but remember that if there is a company you like that isn’t on the list it doesn’t mean they test on animals, it might just mean that they haven’t signed
with these organizations. Go on the company site and check for the statements we talked about.

But What if you can’t find anything?

If you’ve found a company you like but can’t find anything about their policies just go to their website and write them an email or leave them a message in a contact form if they have one. Be sure to ask whether they themselves test final products/ingredients, whether they work with suppliers who do so and whether they allow third-party testing (like in China).

Hope this was helpful!
Leave comments or questions and I’ll do my best to answer.

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Cute Bunny Image courtesy of iamharin at


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