Lifestyle,  Skincare

How To Tell If A Brand Is Cruelty Free

Unfortunately, some brands like to make it very difficult for consumers to know if they are cruelty free or not. Every brand will try to tell you they are cruelty free because if they told you outright that they test on animals, they wouldn’t make any money!


on March 11th 2013 the EU put in place the “Ban on Animal Testing”. You will hear a lot of brands who, when asked about their animal testing policies, will simply reply with a link about the EU ban. Although this EU ban on the outside, seems fool-proof, it is not. The EU Ban on Animal Testing requires that cosmetics sold only within the EU must not be tested on animals.


Unfortunately, along with the EU Ban comes a lot of loopholes. The ban means that the products themselves sold within the EU have not been tested on animals but it DOES NOT mean that the brands do not carry out animal testing. Despite the EU Ban, some brands still sell in countries that require animal testing, pay third parties to test their products or test their ingredients on animals. The EU Ban also only bans tests required for consumer safety, it does not consider tests for environmental damage or worker safety tests. This means that products sold in the EU may still have been subject to these types of animal testing.


There are certain signs to look out for when reading a brands animal testing policy or reading the label on their products.

Do they mention “When required by law?”

When a brand says anything along the lines of “except when required by law” it means that they sell their products in a country (usually China) that requires animal testing. Brands will try to word this in a way that makes it sound like they are “working with (said country) to eliminate animal testing.” What they really mean is, they make a lot of money in that country therefore they won’t pull out. To put it frankly, these brands value money over the lives of innocent beings.

Do they mention anything about testing ingredients or hiring third parties?

Not every brand will say in their policy if third parties are hired to carry out animal testing or whether the ingredients are tested. If a brand’s policy mentions nothing of this then I recommend following it up with an email regarding these points.

Do they use language such as “against animal testing?”

This is another phrase often used by brands who want to look like they are cruelty free when in fact, they are not. Saying they are “against animal testing” means nothing, it certainly doesn’t mean they don’t carry out testing on animals.

Do you recognise the logo on their products?

Again, some brands like to make their own logos to put on their products that make it look like they are cruelty free. Cruelty Free Kitty has a wonderful post on spotting fake cruelty free logos that explains the process better than I can, so do check that out.


If you have any doubts about a brands cruelty free status then I suggest sending them an email, remember to ask the following:

Does insert brand name test their ingredients and/or finished product on animals?

Are your ingredients and/or finished products tested on animals through a third-party? If no, how do you ensure your manufacturers do not carry out animal testing?

Do your manufacturers carry out animal testing on the ingredients and/or finished product?

Are you owned by or affiliated with any companies that do carry out animal testing on their ingredients and/or finished products?

Do yourselves and/or your parent company currently, or have plans to, market and sell your products in the Chinese market which requires animal testing to be carried out?


Luckily for us there are some very lovely people who have worked hard to put together lists of cruelty free and not cruelty free brands. Personally I swear by the list on Logical Harmony but Cruelty Free Kitty also has a very trustworthy list so sometimes I like to compare the two. You can also look at PETA for information on cruelty free and vegan brands but note, they do not update their database as regularly as Logical Harmony or Cruelty Free Kitty.

Stay kind x


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