10 Things to Know About Cruelty-Free Beauty

cru·el·ty-free adjective (of cosmetics or other commercial products) manufactured or developed by methods that do not involve experimentation on animals.

So, your conscious is telling you that you should find out more about where your cosmetics come from? Or maybe you just ran across a posting from PETA showing the horrors of animal testing. Whatever led you here, we’re so happy you came! “Cruelty-free products” and “effective beauty treatments” do not have to be disparate. (We’ve proven that!). And the cruelty-free products offered in every category (hair, makeup, skincare, nail polish, etc.) have grown exponentially over the past 10 – 20 years!

The Good News: Society has become increasingly more aware of healthy, ethical beauty options. And consumers are speaking with their dollars, demanding more and more cosmetic companies to become cruelty-free.

The Bad News: Consumer product companies and marketers are trying to take advantage of the shift by identifying loopholes in the laws and labeling products “Cruelty-Free” or “Not Tested on Animals,” when in actuality they are.

To kick off our celebration of #CreultyFree beauty this month, here are 10 things to know when it comes to cruelty-free beauty:

  1. Know what cruelty-free means. The term “cruelty-free” is used by many beauty companies to denote that they do not directly use animal testing in the development of their products. Though this may not apply to the ingredients contained within the products, it is usually a good indicator that the company is making an effort to be conscious and ethical.
  2. Let someone else do the research for you. There are so many great beauty sites out there dedicated to finding, testing and featuring cruelty-free beauty products. One of our favorites: My Beauty Bunny.
  3. Stemology products are cruelty-free! We do not use ingredients from animal products or by-products except for those produced by live animals such as milk, honey, lanolin, etc. We do not use products that were developed using animal testing, nor do we do any animal testing with our products.
  4. Cruelty-Free beauty is going international! As of last month, China stopped requiring animal testing for some types of cosmetic products manufactured in the country. This is a huge win for animal advocates and an important first step for China to move away from animal testing.
  5. Get in the know on the go. Download PETA’s Bunny Free app to check if a company is cruelty-free while you are shopping.
  6. Cruelty-free is not limited to beauty. From crafts, to household products, to fashion, cruelty-free has gone mainstream. (Yay!)
  7. Natural and organic products does not necessarily mean cruelty-free. “Organic” and “Natural” labels assert that product suppliers are required to assess safety for natural and organic ingredients, just as they would synthetic ingredients. However, that evidence may be gathered using animal testing.
  8. Cruelty-free beauty has some big-name supporters. Actress Thora Birch recently released a statement saying, “Testing cosmetics on animals is an outdated and unnecessary practice. It's also cruel. Our nation's largest trading partner, the European Union, has banned the sale of animal tested cosmetics and proven it is possible to produce safe cosmetics without harming animals… Now the California legislature has passed the Cruelty Free Cosmetics Resolution calling for an end to cruel cosmetics tests nationwide. I'm proud to join Cruelty Free International and the state of California in calling for a US ban on animal testing for cosmetics."
  9. Become knowledgeable about product claims. For a quick and easy start to deciphering product claims, check out our Navigating Product Claims guide.
  10. Don’t get overwhelmed. We think that Jen from My Beauty Bunny said it best, “Although it may seem daunting with all the products available, making one small product change at a time can add up to living a life that is healthy as well as conscientious about animal welfare and the environment in which we live.
Sources: My Beauty Bunny, Humanely Chic, Go Cruelty Free