How To Look For Cruelty-Free Products

Making the switch to cruelty-free cosmetics, skincare, and household products is simpler than ever before. There's lots of resources available to help you make better choices now, but it can be confusing when you’re standing in the drugstore, reading labels, and trying to decide which of the cosmetics are actually cruelty-free. Is it a marketing tactic or is it legit?

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First up, let's define cruelty-free. It means that a product, it's ingredients, and formulations were not tested on animals at any stage of the its development. Everything from lipstick to fine makeup brushes can be cruelty-free. Here’s what to look for when buying cosmetics to help you decide. 

Look for a "certified bunny logo" on the packaging

The fastest way to tell if a product is cruelty-free is to look for a certified cruelty-free bunny logo. You’ll usually find it on the back of the packaging. Make sure you’re looking at one of the three official versions of this logo, and not just a bunny designed to mislead you. Do your research first so you know what each logo means, and which best lines up with your own values. 

Use an online list of certified cruelty-free brands

If you’re shopping online, or can’t see the bunny logo but know the brand makes claims about not using animal testing, you can reference an online directory of certified cruelty-free brands. A company doesn’t have to pay to be on these lists, unlike using the bunny logo. They must meet cruelty-free standards to be listed so you can find some great brands that maybe haven’t paid to use a bunny logo. Lists include:

  • Leaping Bunny

  • Cruelty-Free International

  • Choose Cruelty Free

  • PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies

Use a cruelty-free app

If scrolling through these lists every time you need to buy new foundation doesn’t appeal to you, you can download a cruelty-free app. Several of these lists now have an app. All you have to do is scan the barcode of the product and see what comes up. Apps you could try include:

  • Leaping Bunny

  • Choose Cruelty Free

  • Bunny Free

  • Cruelty Cutter

Contact the company yourself

If you have the time, and can’t find any up-to-date information, you can contact the brand directly. Reach out on social media, or send them an email with your questions. The downside of this method is that it’s not exactly instant, so you can’t use it when you’re in the store trying to decipher the claims of three different mascaras. 

Ask a cruelty-free blogger

There are lots of blogs that specialize in cruelty-free products. They’ve done the hard work already, emailing companies and cross-referencing different lists to find answers about which brands are genuinely cruelty-free. If you want a second opinion on what you’re buying, send an expert blogger a tweet or an email to ask them. Following these blogs can also be a great way to learn about new brands. Make sure you only reach out to a blogger that you trust and that you know has the same principles as you on what counts as cruelty-free. 

NOTE: That's why I became interested in opening my own cruelty-free skincare line called WINNER Skin. Aside from taking care of your skin, you help save animals and the environment. It's time to learn how to stay beautiful without the compromise. :)