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Home » What is Cruelty-Free Makeup?

What is Cruelty-Free Makeup?

Over the last few years, the world has increasingly become more and more conscious about the ingredients used in our beauty products. It isn’t rare these days to notice the whole host of different terms applied to everything from shampoo to lip balm. You might notice that terms such as natural and organic often used.

A term that you may have noticed on your cosmetics or makeup in recent years is ‘cruelty-free.’ As someone who is ethically and environmentally conscious, then choosing cruelty-free makeup is a must. But do you know what the term means?

We’re going to explain exactly what cruelty-free makeup is, and then we’re going to look at how you can ensure the makeup you use adheres to this term. After that, we’ll look at some of the most popular cruelty-free makeup brands on the market.

All About Cruelty-Free Makeup

Cosmetics test on rabbit animal, Scientist or pharmacist do research chemical ingredients test on animal in laboratory, Cruelty free and stop animal abuse concept.

To create cosmetic products and makeup, scientists experiment with lots of different chemicals and natural ingredients. As with any scientific process, there is a huge amount of trial and error. For example, when a foundation is produced, it’s unclear what physical effects it can have upon human skin when applied.

There’s always a risk of it causing a rash or having an even worse reaction. In the past, the first step that scientists took to test their new products was by applying it to an animal’s skin. This process has long been protested against by animal rights activists, such as PETA.

In recent years, because of the pressure from animal rights activists and a growing opposition against these practices from the general public, makeup companies have refrained from testing their ingredients on animals. This is where cruelty-free makeup comes in. Any product with the cruelty-free mark of approval will have been produced without testing on animals.

Not only will the ingredients in cruelty-free makeup not have been tested on animals, but the makeup shouldn’t include any ingredients that have been derived from animals either.

How Do I Know if Makeup is Cruelty-Free?

Young woman shopping in a beauty shop

The first thing to do to find out if your makeup is cruelty-free is study the packaging that it comes in. You need to look out for the Leaping Bunny logo. This logo will affirm that Cruelty Free International has verified the product as being completely cruelty-free.

If your makeup product doesn’t have this logo on it, then it’s likely that it’s not cruelty-free. But if the product makes claims on its packaging that it’s cruelty-free, then you should go to the PETA website, and then enter the name of the product into its search engine for its database of cruelty-free companies.

The best way to know if your makeup is cruelty-free is to look out for that Leaping Bunny logo, as Cruelty Free International, the institution that’s behind it, is the only third-party certification program in the world.

Why Should I Choose Cruelty-Free Makeup?

Cruelty free cosmetic, lipstick, brush, blush, perfume on pink and blue background, flat lay

As the name suggests, the processes that are used by scientists to test their products on animals are cruel. When a product is testing on an animal, they are forced to ingest it or inhale it. Some animals are shaved, then products are spread onto the skin on a daily basis for weeks, if not months. This procedure aims to see if the animal has a physical or allergic reaction to it. After these tests have been done, the animals are then killed – that is, if the testing process hasn’t already killed them – and then the animal’s organs are studied to see if the products or ingredients have had any internal effects.

If you purchase makeup that has been tested on animals, then you are contributing to a cruel process. The products that you place on your skin will have been made through the taking of animals’ lives. And the quality of the products is no better than cruelty-free makeup.

Choosing cruelty-free makeup is a choice that is kind to the animals that we share the world with. Supporting companies that follow cruelty-free practices ensures that your money goes to a company with a conscience. It also helps to put pressure on companies who do not follow these procedures to follow suit. Also, cruelty-free makeup will often contain natural, organic ingredients, which are kinder to your skin.

What Are the Most Famous Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands?

There are more than 500 brands that have received the Leaping Bunny stamp of approval for being 100% cruelty-free. It would be impossible to name them all. But some of the most famous, which you may have heard of before, include Aveda, Lush, The Body Shop, Dermalogica, YesTo, Jason, NYX, Trader Joe’s, and Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. These are just some of the biggest brands that make cruelty-free makeup. There are a lot more around, so make sure to check the PETA database and to look out for the Leaping Bunny logo.


Now you know what cruelty-free makeup is. You also know how to spot if a product is cruelty-free – by looking out for the Leaping Bunny logo – and to visit the PETA website to search its database, if you cannot find the logo on the product. Choosing cruelty-free products isn’t just good for your conscience.

It can help to promote companies that don’t engage in cruel practices, meaning that it can contribute to putting pressure on companies who don’t follow these practices to come around to a kinder way of testing their products. Always remember, just because a product is cruelty-free doesn’t mean that it’s lower quality, it just means that it has been produced with ingredients that have not been tested on animals via cruel practices.

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