Passionate about beauty but concerned about the impact your skincare, haircare and cosmetics could be having on our furry friends? Well, worry no more! In this bumper guide to cruelty-free beauty, you’ll find everything you need to know to ensure no bunnies were harmed in the making of your favourite beauty buys.
From haircare to self-tan, we'll cover it all. We'll explain what cruelty-free beauty means, why it's so important and which beauty products are commonly tested on animals (not cool). We’ll also discuss the key certifications to look out for, including those we’ve received from our animal-loving pals at PETA.
Lastly, we’ll provide some simple tips and social media accounts to follow to help you make informed choices for your beauty routine. Ready to become a cruelty-free beauty guru? Read on!
What are cruelty-free beauty products?
Cruelty-free beauty products are those that aren’t tested on animals at any stage of their manufacturing. This means no animal testing of the ingredients or the finished product – and no third-party testing on behalf of the manufacturer either!
In the past, many cosmetic companies used animals such as rabbits and mice to test the safety and efficacy of their products before human use. However, this often led to the mistreatment of innocent animals and (rightful) anger among consumers.
Thankfully, due to ethical concerns and advances in technology, cruelty-free beauty has become increasingly popular. Today, more and more beauty buyers are voting with their wallets and purchasing only cruelty-free beauty products – and we applaud them! However, the term ‘cruelty-free’ is unregulated, so it’s important not to take beauty brands’ claims at face value and do a little extra digging.
Beauty products commonly tested on animals (and why we would NEVER)
Beauty products commonly tested on animals include skincare and haircare products, as well as makeup. Think things like mascara, lipstick, moisturiser and shampoo. Many of the biggest names in the beauty industry have been guilty of animal testing in the past – and some still are.
While growing public awareness and pressure has led many companies to clean up their act, Cruelty-Free Kitty lists over 200 brands (including big names like NARS and L’Oreal) involved in animal testing. This list includes companies that either conduct animal testing themselves or down their supply chain, as well as those that allow animal testing to be conducted on their products in China.
Bummed out? We get it. But we can assure you you’re making an ethical choice when you buy any Coco & Eve conditioner, body scrub or tanner. Passionate about the rights of all creatures great and small, we’re a 100% cruelty-free company. This means we don't test our finished products or ingredients on animals and neither do our suppliers or any third parties. We also refuse to sell our products in countries where animal testing is required by law. So you can breathe a big, animal-loving sigh of relief.
How to identify a cruelty-free beauty brand
Ready to rethink your beauty purchases? There are two main ways to identify a cruelty-free brand – by looking for a PETA or Leaping Bunny logo.
A household name, PETA (or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is an animal rights organisations that certifies products as cruelty-free. To receive the PETA-approved cruelty-free seal, a company must meet certain criteria.
To be global animal test-free certified, companies and brands must verify that they and their suppliers do not conduct, commission, pay for or allow any animal testing for their ingredients, formulations or finished products anywhere in the world. And that they will never do so in the future. That's us!
Applying for and receiving PETA certification is free and involves completing a questionnaire and providing a statement of assurance. This process takes anywhere from a few days to several months, depending on the company's size and policies.
From the moment we dreamed up our OG cult hair mask, we knew it was vital for us to be cruelty-free and PETA-approved. So, we applied and are proud to have received our ‘animal test-free and vegan’ certification for the mask!
Leaping Bunny certification
Another certification to look out for is the Leaping Bunny logo. The Leaping Bunny Program is a US and Canada-based coalition of animal rights organisations that work to end animal testing. To be certified by Leaping Bunny, a company must also meet strict criteria.
This includes ensuring that none of their products are tested on animals at any stage of production, from ingredients to finished products. They must also have an independent third-party auditor to verify their compliance with the program's standards, which means the process of getting Leaping Bunny certified can take several months.
We are currently working towards getting our certification – so stay tuned!
Tips to go cruelty-free
If you're looking to go cruelty-free (and why wouldn’t you be?), here are a few tips to make your ethical shopping journey easier.
1. Do your research – and check out these handy resources
First, do your research! Look up the brands you currently use to see if they’re cruelty-free then do your own research to verify their claims. You could start by checking out Cruelty-Free Kitty’s list of cruelty-free brands – including their listing for Coco & Eve ☺. You can also run searches on the PETA and Leaping Bunny websites to find a comprehensive list of cruelty-free brands.
Feeling overwhelmed? Follow the (official) bunnies. When perusing a beauty site or packaging, look out for the Leaping Bunny or PETA’s cruelty-free logo and you can’t go too far wrong.
2. Shop cruelty-free dupes
Devastated to discover some of your fave brands don’t make the cut? There are plenty of cruelty-free dupes out there. And some shopping sites even have a CF filter to help you find new favorites.
For haircare, body and tanning prods, you’re sure to find a (dare we say even better) cruelty-free dupe in the Coco & Eve range. Our Bali Bronzing Foam and Antioxidant Face Tanning Micromist will give all the glow of your go-to self-tanners, minus the guilt. While our Smoothie Shower Gel and Body Moisture Whip will pamper your skin – and our shampoo and conditioner and cult hair masks will whip even super-damaged hair into shape.
3. Follow these social media accounts
If you're looking to stay on top of the latest cruelty-free beauty info and tips, social media is the way to go! Here are some of the most legit social media accounts to follow for all things cruelty-free beauty:
Sam and Ted the Beagle (@sammcgraww) - Ted the beagle was subjected to animal testing for five years and his owner Sam is a fierce advocate of cruelty-free beauty.
Cruelty-Free Kitty (@crueltyfreekitty) - With over 162k Insta followers, Cruelty-Free Kitty is a go-to source for ethical beauty.
Ethical Elephant (@ethicalelephant) - Another excellent resource for cruelty-free beauty with checklists, product spotlights, news and tips for vegan, sustainable and cruelty-free living.
Leaping Bunny Program (@leapingbunnyprogram) - The Leaping Bunny Program Instagram page features certified cruelty-free brands and the latest news on animal testing.
Written By: Pip Jarvis
Edited by: Iris