Beauty | Going Cruelty Free


I’ve made a semi-secret resolution this year. Over the coming months – and beyond – I want to start actively buying more and more cruelty-free products. This resolution has been inspired by my favourite Youtube-‘crew’ (Lex, Rosianna, Sanne and Marion), who have all started switching out their regular beauty stash to buy cruelty-free make-up and skincare.

So what’s the definition of ‘cruelty-free’?

For the most part all beauty and skincare products in the UK and EU in general have not gone through animal testing as part of EU law. This is usually enough for most people’s conscious but there is a loophole though many companies use. If companies choose to retail their products in places like China companies still currently have to test their products on animals before selling in that country. This means even if the product is considered cruelty-free here in the UK, if they retail in China, shipments of their products may have gone through the testing process.

It’s loophole that’s exploited time and time again but many of these companies aren’t evil in any way. These companies are – for the most part – following International consumer law but if I can personally do my little bit towards the cause I’ll sleep better at night. Obviously animal testing is a hotly debated subject and in my opinion unavoidable in certain circumstances i.e. medical/scientific testing prior to human trials. But when beauty is a luxury for most of us don’t actually need it does make you think why we find testing lipstick and cleansing lotions on animals is widely accepted.

For me going cruelty-free does mean sacrificing product lust for being more self-conscious about the consequences of my beauty purchases – and when my blog is called Wishing For Chanel, the fact Chanel beauty retails in China is a bit of an awkward situation…(I guess I’ll stick to just wishing for their clothing and accessories range then?)

So what is my own definition of cruelty-free?

For me cruelty-free brands include:

  1. Brands/companies that have passed the EU no-animal testing regulations for cosmetic products
  2. Brands that have Peta’s leaping bunny logo on their product lines as proof of the fact they do not test on animals.
  3. Brands that do not retail in China and other countries that require animal testing in order to sell those products

As I ease myself into this process, I’ll allow one exception to the rules, with brands who themselves do not test on animals but are owned by parent companies that do – these include the likes of The Body Shop – who are owned by L’Oreal, who still retail in China.

This exception is debatable though, because are you contributing to and encouraging the idea of animal testing by adding to the profits of the parent company? I’ll keep tabs on this though, as company’s tend to chop and change their definition of cruelty free as they start to expand Internationally.

So in terms of next steps, I’m currently working my way through all the non-cruelty free brands I have in my make-up/skincare collection (of which there are A LOT). But as I run out of products and get a craving to buy new beauty bits I’ll be heading to the brands that support the cruelty free message.

And though I’m not the kind of person to push others into following the same strict guidelines I’m imposing on myself, I’m also going to start actively denoting which products I review and write about are and are not cruelty-free, so you can make informed decisions too.

For a little more info and insight into cruelty free I’ll leave you with the video that got me thinking in the first place from the frankly kick-ass Lex Croucher.

And I’ve linked to a couple of resources I’ve found handy as I’ve transitioned to go cruelty free.

Feel free to weigh in on the topic in the comments below!