You might know that a lot of the beauty industry relies on animal testing and you might even be looking for cruelty free makeup because of this. I know I have always had an eye on this kind of thing and now as a new vegan, I am thinking about it as a top priority when choosing my beauty products and skincare.
What I didn’t know however, was that cruelty free makeup doesn’t mean it is vegan and vice versa. So, when someone pointed this out to me I went digging for more information and what I discovered really opened my eyes.
What is cruelty free makeup?
Simply put it should mean
products that have not been tested on animals in any way and do not harm or kill animals anywhere in the world
This should include the packaging that they come in as well as the actual product itself but in fact it doesn’t have to mean that at all.
Even if the makeup itself was never tested on animals, there’s a chance that the individual ingredients were, despite it being illegal in the UK and the EU since 2013.
Now, I’m a bit naive to be honest and I couldn’t quite wrap my head around what makeup testing on animals would look like? I mean, were they putting lipstick on pigs? Hairspray on rabbits?
I just wasn’t sure. So again, I did my research…
And although I’m not sorry I did, because I think it’s important to be informed, I am going to find it hard to get it out of my head and I don’t advise you google it unless you have a thick skin.
Animal testing is cruel. Really, really cruel.
Think pouring products into a rabbits eyeball, forcing guinea pigs to inhale toxic substances, testing hazardous chemicals in-vitro on mice. I could go on but I won’t.
When I was telling my partner about some of this, he made a valid point that these tests might be necessary to protect humans and I concur that we don’t want to test noxious substances on humans either.
But come on…this is the cosmetics industry we are talking about – appearance based, artificial, unnecessary some might even say?
I love a good mascara as much as anyone but I don’t love it when I know that a poor bunny was repeatedly injected into the eye with it before it came to me. I mean, it freakin’ kills when I poke myself in the eye with that stuff accidentally so I can’t imagine what it would feel like to have it tested on me 🙁
How beautiful can that be exactly?
It certainly has made me think it all through in much more detail.
So how can you find cruelty free makeup?
For some reason that I can’t work out, it seems it is perfectly legal for brands to state that they are “cruelty free” but then add this disclaimer into the small print:
“we don’t test our products on animals unless it’s for legal reasons”
What this usually means, is that they sell their products in China and for some equally unfathomable reason, China has a law that states all cosmetic products MUST be tested on animals.
No. Really. I’m not kidding.
So then, if your beauty brand of choice is selling in China (and that’s most of the major ones FYI), then they are also testing on animals even if they are not doing the actual testing in the UK or the EU…
However, it’s not just China – I read that 80% of the world is still testing on animals so if you are looking to check whether your favourite beauty brand is testing on animals, then I recommend looking at the PETA website, where you can search their database for cruelty-free makeup companies and products.
I know for a fact (because I’ve been looking) that most of my most-loved makeup, skincare and even cleaning products (!!) are far from cruelty free and that makes me feel so sad and so guilty.
It also makes me feel completely duped by companies I’ve loved, bought into and trusted but it just goes to show that I have a long way to go with this new chapter of my life and a lot to learn.
Of course, it is also a chance to find and try new makeup and skincare, ethically sourced and 100% vegan AND cruelty free so that’s pretty exciting. If you know of any brilliant vegan and cruelty free makeup then please let me know so I can try it out too. Any excuse for a bit of shopping 🙂
I’d love to know what you think about all of this so let me know in the comments box below?
TTFN and we will speak soon