Cruelty Free Beauty
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Back in the 1980s there were very few well-known cosmetic brands that didn’t test their products or ingredients on animals in some way. Fast forward to the 2000s and things had come a long way… awareness about cruelty free cosmetic was high, many high street brands had become cruelty free, many other brands professed to be cruelty free (even if sometimes their parent companies did still test ingredients on animals) and lots of small independent brands had sprung up offering natural, organic and cruelty free products.
On 11th March 2013 a European Union (EU) ban on animal testing for cosmetics products and ingredients came into force. This means that companies are not able to animal test new cosmetic products and ingredients that will be on sale in the EU, however they can still sell products in the EU that have been tested on animals in the past. Companies can also still animal test cosmetics that are sold outside the EU (and the animal testing must be done outside the EU).
At first glance this all sounds great, we’ve certainly come a long way in the past 30 years and a lot of this is down to the tireless campaigning by organisations and charities such as BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection).
So imagine my surprise recently when I found out that Chinese law requires all cosmetic products sold into China to be tested on animals first. I couldn’t believe that whilst organisations within Britain and the EU have been campaigning to get rid of animal testing all together, China actually demands it! Unfortunately some companies which had previously been awarded the cruelty free Leaping Bunny mark, including Caudalie, L’Occitane and Yves Rocher, have had their certification suspended recently because despite previously being cruelty free they have chosen to give up this in order to sell into China. I appreciate that China is big business, but I’m disappointed with these brands that they have chosen to go against their original principles.
So you may be wondering how to find out if a brand is cruelty free? The best way is to look for brands that have been awarded the aforementioned Leaping Bunny mark. This is a certification awarded by Cruelty Free International and they only certify companies who do not use animal tests for any market. While some products carry labels claiming that their brand is ‘not tested on animals’ these can sometimes be confusing and do not guarantee that the product and its ingredients are completely free from animal testing – only the Leaping Bunny mark can provide peace of mind. Check out the Go Cruelty Free website and use the search tool to find out if your favourite brands are cruelty free or not. Some of my favourite Leaping Bunny certified brands include Beautiful Movements Cosmetics, Burts Bees, The Body Shop and Urban Decay. You’ll also find a lot of brands that you may not have heard of, many of which are small brands producing natural and organic skincare and make-up.
At the Go Cruelty Free website you can also request a FREE Little Book of Cruelty Free which details the current up-to-date list of cruelty free cosmetic brands, sign pledges, and find out other ways in which you get involved.
I have to admit that I don’t exclusively buy cosmetic products that are cruelty free and you will see several products on my blog that are from large multi-national brands who do test, or have in the past tested, their products on animals. However, I do try to buy more and more products from small UK brands, many of which are made from natural or organic ingredients and have the Leaping Bunny mark. Plus, knowing what I know now about the Chinese law relating to animal testing I am going to be a lot more rigorous in the future when making decisions about what make-up and skincare products to purchase, so expect to see reviews coming up on Beauty Best Friend from a lot more Leaping Bunny certified brands!
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