Wednesday, 5 August 2015


brands you didn't know were cruelty free

Since starting to make the change to cruelty free cosmetics, there's been some brands that I've just known were cruelty free. Brands like Lush and The Body Shop make this clear with their branding, and other companies part of certification schemes like The Leaping Bunny, also make this clear by the use of a little symbol on their packaging. But some brands keep hush hush, and as a rule of thumb, if there's no symbol, and no other overt marketing attempt - it's likely that the brand tests on animals. But, this is not always the case, and sometimes after a bit of research, you can be pleasantly surprised! 


Even though I'm researching cruelty free brands all the time, sometimes some can slip by me. In fact, until recently, I had no idea that some of the products I actually owned (and felt bad for using as I assumed they were tested on animals) actually are cruelty free!

I've always used Original Source shower gels, partly because they are super affordable, and partly because they smell fantastic. I stopped buying them when I switched to cruelty free as I just assumed they wouldn't be cruelty free and never really looked into it. Then, I got stuck for shower gel and needed to pick some up while in the supermarket (not somewhere renowned for having cruelty free products!) and grabbed their Shea Butter and Honey shower gel, only to find a cute little 'tested on us' message on the back. When I got home I looked up their website and found that they are in fact cruelty free! I'll definitely be buying more from their range for myself and my boyfriend, who can handle their stronger fragrances.

I have two sleek products sitting in my makeup stash - one contour kit, that I use regularly, and one eyeshadow palette I bought to do bruising around Halloween time. I hadn't heard anything about Sleek on cruelty free sites, so was preparing to find an alternative contour kit (which is tricky as I'm super pale), when I thought I would just research them one more time. What I got was, confusing, to say the least. It seems there's been an 'are they, aren't they' saga in Sleek's past, but correspondence since 2014 (here) seems to indicate that they are now (if they ever weren't) cruelty free, and even earlier correspondence (here) suggests that they do not sell in China. They have a pretty brief 'we do not conduct tests on animals' in their FAQs, but the correspondence evidence does seem to suggest that they are a cruelty free company.

Not being a self tanner, or any kind of tanner to be honest (#ghostforlife) I never even thought to find out whether any brands were cruelty free. But, in June's You Beauty Discovery box I received a sample of St. Tropez's in-shower tanner, and thought I may as well try it out, seeing as I had it. I did a quick bit of research and found in their FAQs, that St Tropez are against animal testing and none of their products are tested on animals. This is a nice, definitive statement, and I can't find any indication that they sell in China either - so win win!

I have one of Palmer's cocoa butter lip balms, and I love it - it alone made me fall in love with cocoa butter. But I always felt bad for using it as I assumed Palmer's wasn't cruelty free. Turns out, they are! It proved very difficult to find out any information online, other than on their website, which states that they are 'a "cruelty free" company and do not test on animals'. The only other evidence I could find is a correspondence from a year ago, which says that while they sell in china, their products do not fall under the 'cosmetics' band and therefore do not have to be subject to the same tests. This is definitely encouraging, and means they fulfil my personal criteria of being cruelty free - but more research and correspondence would be needed to fully investigate their dealings with China. 


In contrast, some brands I own, I know test on animals. These are products I've bought and fell in love with before becoming more ethically conscious and making the switch to cruelty free, and brands I wholeheartedly wish would change their stance on animal testing. Instead of buying from these companies, I will be finding cruelty free alternatives, but will still keep an eye on their animal testing stances in case anything changes. 

On their website, Herbal Essences claim that: "Herbal Essences products are not tested on animals. full stop. nor do we ask any supplier or contract lab to test them on our behalf. all messages implying Herbal Essences or any other P&G Beauty & Grooming product was tested on animals are wrong!" But, they are listed on Peta's website as being a company who do test on animals; as their parent company is Proctor & Gamble (who are renowned for testing on animals). Boo, hiss.

Another hair company, but the same issue. On the Peta website, they are also listed as a company that tests on animals - they are owned my Estee Lauder. But unlike Herbal Essences, they say in their FAQs that their products are not tested on animals unless required by law, making it a little clearer that they can and will test on animals. 

Rimmel is one of those companies that desperately wants you to believe that they are cruelty free, against animal testing, committed to finding alternatives - etc etc. They are even listed on Superdrug's website in their cruelty free cosmetics section! But what they don't want you to know, and make it hard to find, is that they do test on animals when required by law. That doesn't make them cruelty free in my book!

Basically, most commercial perfume that you can buy in the department store is tested on animals, or sold in China where animal testing is mandatory - or, more frustratingly, they just keep silent on their policies. This makes it incredibly hard to find cruelty free perfume, as you have to go to natural brands (where the fragrance can have longevity issues) or boutique online brands (which are hard to find and buy from). I'm coming to the end of my Marc Jacobs perfume, which I will (sadly) not be repurchasing as I cannot find out any information about them), and I've stopped looking at other bloggers posts about their Joe Malone perfumes (as they are so beautiful and I cannot have them, it breaks my heart). Booo. 


Now that I've shared with you some new cruelty free finds, and ranted about brands I wish were cruelty free, onto the announcement! 

*** I am in the process of creating a big list of cruelty free brands for people in the UK, as most lists are American and contain brands that we just can't get hold of. This list will be fully researched, and links to any evidence will be provided, so that you can check it out for yourselves (something that other lists do not do). I will also be making downloadable resources that could be printed and used to reference on the go, and will be updating these lists as and when I find out new cruelty free brands. This will hopefully be ready by the end of the month! ***

Any brands that you didn't know were cruelty free until recently? What brands do you wish were cruelty free? Let me know in the comments!

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