Cruelty Free Beauty

Wandering through the glossy beauty section in my local department store, I was on what I thought was a simple mission to find a perfume made by a company who does not test on animals. There is just no way that I could use products that are meant to make me feel beautiful, knowing the ugly truth behind them. I’m a bit obsessive about reading labels so when I couldn’t find what I was looking for I asked a sales assistant for some help. She assured me that despite the fact the product she was selling didn’t display a ‘cruelty free’ logo on the label, the company would never test on animals. Being the cynic I am, I decided to hold off on the purchase and go home to investigate further. What I found confirmed my suspicions.

A recent investigation by Choice found that major cosmetic companies are misleading consumers on their animal testing policies, with 40 percent making claims they were cruelty free while only a small minority are certified by an independent third party. In order to gain access to the extremely lucrative Chinese market, where eye and skin irritation tests are compulsory, certain companies are allowing their products to be tested on animals, despite telling Australian customers they are animal and cruelty free.

What to avoid: Brands testing on animals (SOURCE: Choice Magazine, May 2013)

Avon, Biotherm, Bobbi Brown, Bumble and Bumble, Chanel, Carefree, Chapstick, Clairol, Clean and Clear, Clinique, Clearasil, Dove, Donna Karan, Elizabeth Arden, Estee Lauder, Garnier, Giorgio Armani, Head & Shoulders, Helena Rubinstein, Herbal Essences, Jurlique, Kerastase, Kiehl’s, La Mer, L’Oreal, L’Occitane, Lancome, M.A.C, Max Factor, Maybelline, Michael Kors, Missoni, Nair, Neutrogena, Olay, Old Spice, Pantene, Ponds, Redken, Revlon, Shiseido, SK-II, Sunsilk, Vee, Vidal Sassoon

Choice also found that sales assistants at beauty counters in department stores such as Myer and David Jones are not sufficiently educated about whether their products are tested on animals in other markets. Staff selling SK II, Lancome, Dior and M.A.C all claimed their products weren’t tested on animals when they are, while those selling Clarins said that animal testing was illegal around the world.

CHOICE also purchased 32 products claiming to be cruelty free. Out of nine products that carried logos which suggested certification by a third party, only four of them were genuinely certified.

What to support: Brands not tested on animals (SOURCE: Choice Magazine, May 2013)

Aesop, Akin, Alchemy , Argan Life, Australian Pure, Australis, Aussie Mineral make up Aveda, Bare Essentials, The Body Shop, Catwalk, The Cruelty Free Shop, Dermologica, Eco Tan Face of Australia, Gaia Skin Naturals, Inoxa, Jason, Tri-Shave, Lush, Natio, Nature’s Organics, New Directions, Paul Mitchell, Smashbox, Stila Cosmetics, Sukin Organics, Trilogy Urbay Decay

How to buy cruelty–free products

These websites provide a list of products which have not been tested on animals:


To attain Choose Cruelty Free accreditation manufacturers must sign an official declaration. The list also indicates which brands’ products are suitable for vegans.


To get on the PETA list companies must sign a statement that they, and their suppliers, do not conduct or commission any animal tests on ingredients, formulations or finished products.


The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics’ (CCIC) Leaping Bunny Program administers a cruelty-free standard and the internationally recognized Leaping Bunny Logo for companies producing cosmetics, personal care and household products.

With such a huge range of cruelty free beauty products now available it’s easy to buy products that will make you feel beautiful both inside and out.


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