Many of us have become aware that the luxuries of our daily lives, our hair care and beauty products come with a dark side, that they may be tested on animals. Looking for the right logo is important, but there are a few things that you should know as a conscious consumer to help you get what you are paying for when it comes to cruelty free beauty.
A recent investigation by Choice found that major cosmetic companies are misleading consumers on their animal testing policies, with 40 percent making claims they were cruelty free while only a small minority are certified by an independent third party. In order to gain access to the extremely lucrative Chinese market, where eye and skin irritation tests are compulsory, certain companies are allowing their products to be tested on animals, despite telling Australian customers they are animal and cruelty free.
When out shopping you should know that, companies can print -not tested on animals' on their packaging even if some ingredients they use have been supplied by a third party, who does test on animals.
According to Choose Cruelty Free, in Australia, there is no standard legal definition for what cruelty free is, so companies are free to interpret this as they like. There are some fantastic resources that can help you find the products you are looking for, so get informed and inspired to support the companies who are truly cruelty free, and click through on the links listed at the end of this article.
Some companies with a history of no animal testing, have been bought out and their parent company does not have the same ethics. Kheil's, Pureology and The Body Shop can maintain their stance on no animal testing, however the parent company that owns them, L'Oreal, does test on animals for its other products.
It's a tricky dilemma. Would you continue to purchase a product if you knew that it's cruelty free stance was compromised by being owned by a parent company without the same ethical standards. At the end of the day, where does your money end up?
What to avoid: Brands testing on animals (SOURCE: Choice Magazine, May 2013)
Avon, Biotherm, Bobbi Brown, Bumble and Bumble, Chanel, Carefree, Chapstick, Clairol, Clean and Clear, Clinique, Clearasil, Dove, Donna Karan, Elizabeth Arden, Estee Lauder, Garnier, Giorgio Armani, Head & Shoulders, Helena Rubinstein, Herbal Essences, Jurlique, Kerastase, Kiehl's, La Mer, L'Oreal, L'Occitane, Lancome, M.A.C, Max Factor, Maybelline, Michael Kors, Missoni, Nair, Neutrogena, Olay, Old Spice, Pantene, Ponds, Redken, Revlon, Shiseido, SK-II, Sunsilk, Vee, Vidal Sassoon
Choice also found that sales assistants at beauty counters in department stores such as Myer and David Jones are not sufficiently educated about whether their products are tested on animals in other markets. Staff selling SK II, Lancome, Dior and M.A.C all claimed their products weren't tested on animals when they are, while those selling Clarins said that animal testing was illegal around the world.
CHOICE also purchased 32 products claiming to be cruelty free. Out of nine products that carried logos which suggested certification by a third party, only four of them were genuinely certified.
What to support: Brands not tested on animals (SOURCE: Choice Magazine, May 2013)
Aesop, Akin, Alchemy , Argan Life, Australian Pure, Australis, Aussie Mineral make up Aveda, Bare Essentials, The Body Shop, Catwalk, The Cruelty Free Shop, Dermologica, Eco Tan Face of Australia, Gaia Skin Naturals, Inoxa, Jason, Tri-Shave, Lush, Natio, Nature's Organics, New Directions, Paul Mitchell, Smashbox, Stila Cosmetics, Sukin Organics, Trilogy Urbay Decay
How to buy cruelty–free products
These websites provide a list of products which have not been tested on animals:
To attain Choose Cruelty Free accreditation manufacturers must sign an official declaration. The list also indicates which brands' products are suitable for vegans.
To get on the PETA list companies must sign a statement that they, and their suppliers, do not conduct or commission any animal tests on ingredients, formulations or finished products.
The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics' (CCIC) Leaping Bunny Program administers a cruelty-free standard and the internationally recognized Leaping Bunny Logo for companies producing cosmetics, personal care and household products. With such a huge range of cruelty free beauty products now available it's easy to buy products that will make you feel beautiful both inside and out.
-Natalie Penn & Debbie Kertesz
Founder of Consume With Care