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How to Find Cruelty Free Cosmetics

How Do I Find Out if a Brand is Cruelty Free?

How To Find Cruelty Free Products

With so much confusion over finding truly cruelty free cosmetics and health brands, and so many brands spinning falsehoods that SOUND good on paper, but don’t mean much, what’s a consumer to do? I want to give you a guide to put the power back into your hands. You can do a little bit of searching to find out if your brands are really cruelty free.

First – is it listed on the My Beauty Bunny cruelty free brand list? My team and I update this list regularly. I include Leaping Bunny certified brands and brands that are not certified (more on this below), vegan-exclusive and non-vegan-exclusive brands, independently owned and non-independently owned brands. Each has a reason for being listed, and each is carefully marked with a notation so you can determine which are which. For example, if you wanted only 100% vegan AND Leaping Bunny certified brands, simply look for the brands marked with an asterisk (vegan) and heart (Leaping Bunny). The most recent “updated by” date can be found at the bottom of the page.

The gold standard in cruelty free beauty is the Leaping Bunny certification. Brands may choose to be certified only, OR they may choose to license the Leaping Bunny logo for inclusion on their packaging. This means, that a brand COULD be certified by Leaping Bunny, but you may not see the logo on their packaging or website. Leaping Bunny is the best because it was created by several not for profit animal organizations (including The Humane Society of the US, The Humane Society of Canada, NAVS and AAVS, among others). This Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) requires paperwork from the brand AND its ingredient suppliers, plus it actually audits brands to make sure they are maintaining their cruelty free status. You can easily search their online shopping guide as well as their iPhone and Android compatible app to find out if products are certified cruelty free.

Fellow cruelty free bloggers that I trust are Courtney of Phyrra.net and LogicalHarmony.net. Courtney has a cruelty free list that she keeps up to date. Tashina has a regularly updated list that is not only cruelty free, but focuses only on vegan brands and brands that sell vegan products. Courtney, Tashina and I regularly let each other know if there have been changes in laws or changes in cruelty free status for particular brands. This happens often – particularly if a non-Chinese brand decides to start selling in China. Currently animal testing is required for all products imported into China. This includes random “off the shelf” testing. Government officials in China can pull products off shelves for animal testing. This also includes big name companies like Sephora. Tashina, Courtney and I regularly check the Sephora China site to see if any new brands have been added. Note: there is nothing wrong with shopping at Sephora (in my opinion) as long as you do not purchase brands that are known animal testers. As an example, if someone is vegan, they probably shop at stores that sell meat and other animal products, but they avoid the meat, dairy and eggs. It’s a similar situation here.

Finally, if you are not sure if a brand is cruelty free (perhaps you can’t find it on any list, or there is new or conflicting information being distributed around the web), I recommend using the following questions to directly email the company. Depending on which customer service rep you get, the answers may be inconsistent. This is when it’s best to ask them to submit your request to the owner, president or marketing department. If they can’t answer the questions, or they give you a questionable answer, let me know and I’ll do my best to follow up with the brand and my contacts at various agencies.

Animal Testing Questions:

1. Are the finished products tested on animals by the company, a parent company, a third party or an affiliate company?

2. Are the products tested on animals during the production process by the company, a parent company, a third party or an affiliate company?

3. Are any ingredients used in the products tested on animals by the company, a parent company, a third party or an affiliate company?

4. Does your manufacturer purchase any ingredients used in the products from laboratories that test on animals?

5. Are the products sold in any markets where animal testing is required by local law and regulations (China, etc)?

6. Are the products vegetarian? (no animals killed for the products – i.e. some forms of collagen, squalane, etc.)

7. Are the products vegan? (i.e. product ingredients that come from animals like lanolin, honey, milk, etc.)

8. Is your company certified by Leaping Bunny? (It’s easy to get certified by Leaping Bunny and it’s free to join without licensing the logo)

If you find a product you love has changed their animal testing status, or you can’t get a straight answer from a company, please email me at jen at mybeautybunny dot com. Thanks! And happy shopping! – Jen

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You can see my regularly updated list of cruelty free brands here!

About chiefbunny

Jen Mathews is the Chief Bunny and social media maestro for My Beauty Bunny. She is also the President of Top Tier Media, a social media agency for beauty, fashion, health and lifestyle brands.

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  1. Love this! Thank you for mentioning me, too!
    Phyrra recently posted..Saucebox Eyeshadow SinglesMy Profile

  2. Thank you so much for mentioning Logical Harmony! <3

  3. Morning! Thank you for your list! You used to have Kiko listed as cruelty free however this has dissapeares from the list. They still maintain on their website that they do not test and do not order animal testing and I don’t think they sell outside the eu. Do you have any info on this. I am a professional Mua and have a lot of kiko in my kit.

    Thank you for all your hard work re the lists and information on your site!!


  4. Hi
    I notice that both Dr. Hauschka skin care and Green People are not on you list……I thought both were cruelty-free and didn’t test on animals?

  5. Dr. Hauschka now sells in China. 🙁 I’m not sure about Green People though – I’ll look into it!
    chiefbunny recently posted..NYX Cosmetics Unraveled Makeup Set Review and TutorialMy Profile

  6. JessesGirl is also a cruelty free brand. Love the Julie nail polish they have!

  7. Hi, I wanted to know if the new brand Living Proof of Jennifer Aniston with animals head. They are completely free of animal abuse? Thanks in advance

  8. Thanks very much for this detailed guide, Jen. I’m planning on doing a post on cruelty-free hair care brands, and I’ll keep this page bookmarked.

    Before reading this, I was under the impression that most make-up/beauty brands these days are cruelty-free. Apparently this is not the case, as there are a few brands that may seem to be cruelty-free but aren’t totally. Thanks for clearing that up!

  9. Many brands are lying and saying that their products use natural ingredients and be animal friendly. Its was getting difficult to know their true nature. A friend told me that A good place to start is the Leaping Bunny guide, Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics compiled a list of cruelty-free brands.
    opinions matter

  10. Thank you so much for great information 🙂

  11. great information.thank you

  12. Yes, I always check your list as well as Courtney’s and Tashinas. I created a couple month back an App so it’s easier “on the go” to check if a brand is cruelty free. It’s called the “Go Cruelty Free App” and its logo is my cat Schmusie! ☺️

  13. I’ve been going around your cruelty free product reviews. I should have read this first. This is very informative. Really great advocacy to support! Let’s hope more and more products become cruelty free by the day.
    Stephanie James recently posted..Medical Spa DaysMy Profile

  14. Does the phone app get updated? I looked up Anastasia of Beverly Hills after you showcased one of their products, and it does not appear on my phone list?

  15. Which app are you referring to? I don’t think Anastasia is Leaping Bunny certified, but they are cruelty free and not sold in China.
    chiefbunny recently posted..Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario: Hit or Miss?My Profile

  16. Hi,
    This is a helpful blog, thank you. Does anyone know if Greenbrier International Inc is cruelty-free or not? They make most of the stuff sold in Dollar Tree and discount stores.

  17. Love this! Thank you for mentioning me, too! I’ve been going around your cruelty free product reviews. I should have read this first. This is very informative. Thanks for sharing…..

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