I wanted to let you know that I spent time this weekend updating my cruelty free list. I went to Leaping Bunny to see which brands were registered with Leaping Bunny and added that annotation next to each company’s name. On my list I also mention if the parent company is not cruelty free or if the products are vegan. I hope that makes it easier for you to research brands.
I find it very telling that I am becoming more and more hesitant to trust a brand unless I talk directly to the brand owner or if they are Leaping Bunny certified. With many smaller companies like indies, or with Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, I can talk directly to the owner to find out if their products are cruelty free, and if their suppliers ingredients are cruelty free.
With larger companies, such as Lorac and Tigi, I’ve been given the run around, and sometimes rude responses. Both of those companies told me that they can’t verify their suppliers, but they don’t test on animals. I am upset because I purchased the Lorac Pro Palette when I was under the impression that Lorac was cruelty free. Meg’s Makeup spoke to Carol Shaw and she had stated ‘LORAC does not conduct, condone, nor endorse testing on animals!‘
I really wish companies were required to be more transparent. I really appreciate the companies that take the time to be honest and transparent, like Urban Decay. Urban Decay is Leaping Bunny Certified.
What are some of the issues you’ve run into when trying to shop for cruelty free beauty?
I have definitely been lied to my many brands, giving me this long wordy answer and then saying “unless required by law” or something like that. I just think that companies need to be honest, because I would rather have a company just tell me, so that I don’t make purchases on false beliefs (which make my view of the company that much more worse). But that just makes me love those companies who are cruelty fee even more!
P.S. Thank you so much for your list of brands! It helps so much in trying to do my own research!
Yep, I always look for that ‘except where required by law’ phrase. It upsets me. You’re welcome! I try to do the best I can with it.
The transparency issue is huge. I recently started researching the brand Essence because I thought they were cruelty-free, but I didn’t remember where I had seen it. Sadly, I ran across a post on Humanely Chic that makes me question their status. When I emailed the brand the list of questions created by Logical Harmony though, I got “no” answers to all of them. I’ve decided that since I don’t really know how to ask more probing questions about the cruelty-free status of a company, I’m just going to rely on lists by my most trusted cruelty-free bloggers (you, My Beauty Bunny, and Logical Harmony).
I worked with essence last year and they told me that they were cruelty free and did not test on animals.
Here are the questions that My Beauty Bunny and Logical Harmony helped me to formulate for brands who contact me.
1. Do you (or a third party on your behalf) test your products on animals?
2. Have any of your materials/ingredients been tested on animals?
3. Do you sell in countries that require animal testing (like China and Brazil)?
4. Are your products vegetarian (i.e. no animal ingredients) Note: honey, milk proteins, and lanolin are okay.
Those are about the same as the questions I used. Where I’m hesitant is the reply that Humanely Chic got from Essence’s parent company (sorry it is so long):
Thank you for your message. We would like to provide you with some general information regarding your enquiry about animal testing:
Since the autumn of 1998, animal testing for decorative or pampering cosmetic end-products is no longer permitted. Germany is leading the way in Europe with this legislation. We can assure you that cosnova neither conducts testing on animals, nor commissions it to any third parties – not in Germany or anywhere else in the world. We also strongly disapprove of testing on animals with end-products. This is also one of the criteria for the selection of cosnova suppliers as we need to ensure that their products are also produced without testing on animals.
To guarantee the safety of our products, we are only allowed to use completely harmless ingredients (just like other manufacturers).
One must therefore differentiate between two types of testing on animals. Animal testing to prove the effectiveness of cosmetics can be avoided as there are now sufficiently adequate alternative methods. However, animal testing to ascertain the so-called “toxicological profile” of ingredients are indispensible and mandatory until further notice.
This safety data is required by the German legislation for chemicals; it must be determined for all new raw materials – whether synthetic or natural. It must be established how dangerous a pure substance is in order to implement the necessary safety precautions during manufacture and processing of the materials.
There are no exceptions for this safety evaluation, all manufacturers and importers in the EU must conduct these tests. Unfortunately, this can mean, for example, that an animal test may have taken place to test a specific ingredient twenty or thirty years ago.
The term “not tested on animals” is only legally allowed if no testing has ever taken place on the finished products as well as all of the ingredients. This is never actually the case.
We are not on the so-called “positive list” of the German Animal Protection Association (Deutschen Tierschutzbund). The companies listed there have committed to only using ingredients for which no animal testing has been conducted in the past 25 years, which means that the raw materials are extremely old. In the field of decorative cosmetics this is very unrealistic because we aim to offer our consumers new, innovative and better products and some ingredients are therefore replaced with new and improved versions, which are, for example, kinder to your skin. This is the reason you will find practically no producers of decorative cosmetics on this list.
We hope we have been able to clarify this issue for you and that you will continue to have lots of fun with our products.
Should you have any further questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact us again at any time.
I didn’t know how to follow up with this….
Let me reach out to Logical Harmony for you, because the answer you got is REALLY confusing to me.
Glad I’m not the only one confused. I did briefly mention it to Jen, and she was skeptical about this reply too. I just keep hoping that something will pop up that would reassure me that Essence truly is cruelty-free since I just bought a few things from them and have been liking their mascaras.
Thanks for helping do some extra research for me!
Thank you so much for these lists and reviews. You have helped me “clean up” my makeup, and I have found so many new wonderful brands through you
I don’t understand the Chinese connection. If a company sells in China does that automatically mean they test on animals? I agree with you. There is absolutely no reason to animal test. I used to volunteer for a large cosmetics company to test products for allergic or other reactions. I would much rather be the guinea pig and put cream on my arms than in some rabbit’s eyes.
So China (and I recently found out Brazil too) requires testing by law. The only place in China that does not require mandatory testing is Hong Kong. So Nyx can sell in Hong Kong and still be cruelty free. (as an example). If a company is selling in China (not just Hong Kong), they are testing on animals. If you visit my Cruelty Free Beauty List I have 2 links you can use – one for Sephora China’s website (it’s a translator) and one for Skinstore China. If brands are on those sites, they are most likely selling in China and not cruelty free.
So you are saying China makes companies test on animals by law? That is crazy. Any idea what the logic is behind that law?
Yes. China makes companies test on animals by law. Not sure why they do it.
Hi Phyrra. Didn’t Sao Paolo recently ban animal testing? More cosmetic companies are based there than in any other state, IIRC. It’s a step in the right direction if so.
It can be very confusing and while a few companies proudly proclaim they’re CF, others seem to be purposefully vague.