How many make-up, skin-care or hair-care products do you use every day? Three? Seven? Twenty? How many of those products are cruelty free?
To classify as a cruelty free product, neither the ingredients nor the final product should have been tested on animals. An easy way to check for a product’s cruelty free status is to look at the back of the bottle. The leaping bunny logo is used by BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection) to show a product has cruelty free status. However, not all companies will have this logo on them. Lush, for example, actively fights against animal testing and rather than sporting the leaping bunny they show two hares fighting on their packaging. Dr Organic place a small rabbit on their bottles. Brands like Soap and Glory, G.O.S.H and Barry M are all cruelty free but don’t have the logo. Looking at the packaging is a good place to start, but it isn’t the be-all and end-all when it comes to checking for cruelty free products. Luckily, this is where the internet steps in.
Googling a company name followed by the words ‘cruelty free’ will normally let you know if your favourite products have cruelty free status. Alternatively, you can always email the company directly. Asking three simple questions will usually ascertain whether or not a company tests on animals:
1) Do you, or any of your affiliates or parent companies, test your ingredients on animals?
2) Do you, or any of your affiliates or parent companies, test your products on animals?
3) Do you, under your brand name or another, sell your products in countries where animal testing is required by law?
Although testing cosmetic products (make-up, shampoo, toothpaste etc) on animals is against the law in the EU, there are countries where not only is it legal to test on animals, but where it is actually required by law. China and Brazil are prime examples. A lot of companies (anyone owned by the L’Oreal franchise, for example) will state that they do not test on animals unless required by law. This means that they sell their products in one of these countries, and therefore they do test on animals.
Brands like The Body Shop, Burt’s Bees and Urban Decay are all classified as BUAV approved. However, they are owned by companies who do test on animals (Unilever, Clorox and L’Oreal respectively). This means that when you buy products from these companies you are indirectly supporting the animal testing industry, although technically the products you are buying have not been tested.
If all of this is getting you concerned about where you’re going to buy your shampoo from without breaking the bank, don’t worry. There are plenty of companies who don’t test on animals. Superdrug’s own brand products are all BUAV approved. TopShop’s beauty range is cruelty free, as is M&S’s own brand beauty. Eyes.Lips.Face have a very affordable make-up range, and Co-op and Sainsbury’s own brand also sport the leaping bunny logo.
Switching up your skin, hair and make-up routine to make it cruelty free doesn’t have to be an expensive or difficult – it just means doing a little research first. And remember, watch out for flying bunnies!