Cruelty-free: What is your standard?


The majority of feedback I receive on this site is in relation to what is or isn’t cruelty-free. I do my best to report on what I know is cruelty-free, and if you think I may be wrong, or misinformed, please let me know! The last thing I want to do is to be promoting a product from a company I think is fantastic, when they actually stink major trucker balls.

There are two variations of cruelty-free that I have noticed. First of all, there is the concept that a product can be considered cruelty-free or animal-friendly if that sole product or that entire product line is not tested, yet the parent company does test (or at least doesn’t claim they don’t test) on their other lines. We see this with L’Oreal’s EverSleek / EverCreme / EverStrong lines, who claim their products to be “100% Vegan – Formula not tested on animals. Contains no animal byproducts.” – as it states on these product lines. But within the animal welfare community, L’Oreal is in no way considered a crusader for ending animal testing on cosmetics.

Secondly,Β  there are companies whose products are 100% cruelty-free; none of their products contain animal ingredients, nor do their ingredients come from tested sources, and the final product is also not tested on animals.

Of course we also have standards set by organizations like Leaping Bunny, or PETA. Companies can apply to be certified by these animal welfare organizations, and it often involves a signed commitment to being cruelty-free (according to the standard set by the particular organization), and even detailed disclosure of testing practices. These organizations serve as a helpful shopping guide, though they are not the be-all-end-all of cruelty-free possibilities.

What is your standard of cruelty-free?

I’d love to hear from you on this issue. Will you support companies like L’Oreal who have product lines that are not tested on animals, but who do not, in any way, ensure their other products are cruelty-free? Or will you only purchase from companies who are 100% cruelty-free in their practices and ingredient sources? Does a company have to have a PETA, LB, or similar certification in order for you to purchase it?

Let’s get the conversation going, everyone! Like this post and comment below if you want to discuss!

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9 responses

  1. It’s pretty tricky, and it seems to be getting harder and harder to buy ethically, with even previously ‘good’ companies going to the bad (thinking about you, MAC!). I try to buy ethically – and by that I mean the whole company doesn’t test. Essie, for example, and OPI, I mostly stay away from because their parent companies test. But…. I am not always a stalwart crusader, and if I see an Essie or an OPI that is super pretty (polish, this is), on sale, I will probably buy it. I won’t buy L’Oreal or Sally Hansen or Maybelline, even on sale. Fine line, but unless I win lotto its mine for now… interesting topic!

    • I’m with you on this. I own quite a few Essie and OPI polishes, and if there is a super sale, I may buy another. Did MAC cave for the purpose of selling to China? I was informed Origins has done the same thing (though they’re owned by Estee Lauder who was never ethical in the first place, to my knowledge). I want to shop cruelty-free as often as I can, but sadly, finances sometimes make that not an option. Health food stores have ridiculously inflated prices, and here in Canada shit is such a rip-off (especially since I visit New Hampshire so often – no sales tax!). Thanks for your thoughts, my dear πŸ™‚

      • Yep, for China. Like so many of them are. Talk about making it harder! And price is the biggest factor, yes. I suppose I could just not wear makeup or nail polish and stuff, but… hmmm…. I like it! Everything is expensive here, too, these little islands at the end of the world. Still, there are some good brands too – Color Club and Kleancolour – esp CC – not too expensive. Thank you for the topic! It’s always a good one.

      • Color Club is cruelty-free? I don’t proclaim myself to be some sort of cruelty-free saint, but if there is an affordable cruelty-free option, I’ll take it! When it comes to makeup, I’ve been trying my best to stick to Too Faced, Tarte, and Urban Decay. Nyx is also cruelty-free (last time I checked!). Have you ever tried Zuii Organic makeup? They are from New Zealand, and I’ve heard very very good things. After a recent zit outbreak, I’m starting to think about trying a more natural foundation.

      • I’ve never heard of Zuii! (runs to check it out). Color Club is – and the only nail polish certified by the Leaping Bunny – though as you say, thats not a solid gold promise. But yep, they are, as are Nyx. Foundation is a killer, alright! I have a foundation from a small maker here and that’s ok, but not light enough (in texture). I might try out Natio, I’ve heard good things about them.

      • It isn’t a guarantee (even on PETA’s site they say trust is involved), but it would tarnish that company’s reputation horribly if they were found to be lying about their animal testing policies! Good to know about Color Club πŸ™‚ Thanks for letting me know. Nyx has some decent stuff, and is pretty affordable (and they say it is gluten-free). If I do try Zuii I will let you know all about it πŸ™‚

      • heheheh gluten free (goes off to drink a bottle of polish). I guess – things seem pretty bleak all around – it’s hard to know who to trust, or where to draw the lines. So my theory is that as long as we are thinking about the important issues, and drawing SOME kind of (probably flexible but still there) line, we are doing ok. So – here’s a pat on the back for you! πŸ˜€

  2. So funny you posted this, as this is a problem of mine lately..
    I have been debating with myself where I stand in this issue. To buy products that are cruelty free, but with a parent company that tests i.e Korres, and products that are now sold in China i. e YSL, Mary Kay and Origins (bastards!!)

    I don’t want to support animal testing in any way, but finding that great product, that is great for my skin, cruelty-free in all ways, AND not too expensive… It is so hard!
    I just recently fell in love with YSL mascara after a looooong period of trying to find that perfect mascara, and Origins skin care. And now I just found out they sell and test their products in China…. What to do???

    Maybe I’ll just give up, and move into a cave somewhere. ;o)

  3. I find Etsy is a good place to find cruelty free and cheap stuff! I won’t knowingly buy from a company who’s parent tests so most highstreet brands are out of the question for me now! Ironically in the UK it’s the cheaper own brand products at some stores/supermarkets that are cruelty free and in a lot of cases just as good! I was especially gutted to find out BodyShop is owned by L’Oreal now, Anita Roddick must be turning in her grave as it goes against everything she started the business for!!

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