Have you noticed that many bloggers and celebrities promote cruelty-free products, but not many of them actually clarify what the term means? Well, if a product is labeled “cruelty-free” it means that neither the product itself nor its ingredients were tested on animals. As PETA explains, in addition to not testing ingredients on animals, by signing the statement of assurance, manufacturers confirm that they won’t pay for the tests to be conducted on animals when it comes to the ingredients, formulations, or finished products anywhere in the world in the future. However, sometimes it’s tricky finding out whether a certain product is cruelty-free or not, and this is how you’ll know.
Look for the bunny
One of the best ways to know whether you’re buying a cruelty-free product is to look for the official logo. There are only three official cruelty-free certification logos in the world – one coordinated by PETA, Choose Cruelty Free and Leaping Bunny Program by Cruelty Free International. The most reliable cruelty-free certification in the world is the Leaping Bunny certification as it analyses the entire company and its suppliers while also requiring independent reviews. This assures that animal testing wasn’t used throughout any of the product development phases. If you come across any other type of logo or a symbol with a bunny picture, disregard the product as cruelty-free. They’re unofficial and haven’t been accredited by a reputable cruelty-free organization. Also, if you do not see the certified bunny logo, it doesn’t have to mean the product is not cruelty-free, because some companies don’t display these logos on their packaging since it requires an extra fee in order to have the cruelty-free symbol displayed on the products. All you need to do is check PETA’s, Leaping Bunny’s and Choose Cruelty-Free’s databases and verify the authenticity of the product by looking up the company in the organization’s online database.
Check the labels
Another way to know for sure that you’re using cruelty-free products is to buy vegan cosmetics. Having in mind that vegan skin care products do not contain animal ingredients you can be sure that they are not tested on animals either. To be completely certain you’re buying a cruelty-free product, check if the label has both cruelty-free certification like the Leaping Bunny Certification or PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies Certification and a vegan certification such as the Vegan Society Certification and the Vegan.org Certification. If there’s no certified bunny logo, and if the product isn’t vegan, the label can still have misleading messages such as, “The finished product not tested on animals” or “Ingredients not tested on animals". Each of the messages contains a hidden meaning that while the product may not have been tested on animals, the ingredients used probably were and vice versa.
See if the brand is sold in China
Before you decide to buy a certain product, look it up and check whether it’s sold in China or not. Namely, China is the leading country in the world that tests on animals and every foreign cosmetic product is required by Chinese law to be tested on animals. Furthermore, China is allowed to torture lab animals and breed them solely for testing purposes, as they have no animal rights. So, the next time you want to buy makeup or any skin care product, look up the Store Locator on Google and see whether it’s going to appear in any of the Chinese stores.
There's an array of ways for you to find out whether a brand is cruelty-free or not, from looking for the certified bunny logo to checking whether the brand is sold in China. However, if you are still not 100% sure of its authenticity, feel free to check a website such as this one and search for the brand’s name on the list.
Thanks for writing for us, Fiona!
Fiona is a lifestyle blogger based in Melbourne, Australia. She's in love with good coffee, croissants and fashion magazines. In her spare time, she plays tennis and travels around the world. You can read more from her on her blog High Style Life.
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