What does 'Cruelty Free' Mean? (no testing pictures)

September 15, 2018

[There will be no images of animal testing in this post, and if there are any in a site I link to from this page, I will make that clear. This post is about facts, not shock.]
You may have seen the term 'Cruelty Free' bouncing around everywhere recently, particularly if you follow me here on my blog or across my social media. But what exactly does it mean?

In the world of beauty, 'cruelty free' means that a cosmetic or skincare product has not been tested on animals, nor have the ingredients in it. If a blogger or person says that they are cruelty free, it means that they don't purchase or endorse products that have been tested on animals.

Animal testing can include irritation tests on the eyes or skin, where chemicals or product are rubbed onto an animal's shaved skin or their eyes to see if there is any negative reaction or side effects. These chemicals or products can also be injected into an animal's skin, muscles, stomach, or throat for further toxity tests. Some animals are also forced to consume large doses of chemicals to see what the lethal dose is, as though that somehow reflects how much a human can safely consume. As well as that, animals are subjected to repeated force feeding over a period of months, to see whether any of the ingredients used in products have long-term effects such as contributing to cancer or other diseases. When the testing is complete, the animals are killed by decapitation, asphyxiation, or their necks are broken. All of that is carried out without pain relief. [Source]

Animals used in cosmetic testing include: rabbits, rats, mice, monkeys, dogs, cats, fish and many more [Source], and half a million animals are tested on annually throughout the world [Source]. All of these animals are capable of experiencing fear and pain, and no measures are in place to help relieve them of that.

Alternatives to animal testing do exist. Replication human skin has been grown in laboratories, and more accurately reflects the effects ingredients and products would have on humans than animal testing does. Research has already been conducted on thousands of chemicals used in cosmetics, and we no longer need to test the same ingredients and formulas time and time again. Humans can be given small doses of ingredients to see the long-term effect on human tissues and cells without affecting the entire body. [Source]

These alternatives to animal testing are not only kinder, they are also more cost-effective, and are actually more eco-friendly than the continued toxity tests of animal tested products. They are more accurate than animal tests as well; a harmful dose to a mouse would barely affect a human being, and there are countless examples of studies that showed no effect on animals, but then when humans were exposed to the substance it led to issues. Look up the results of experiments on the link between glass fibres and cancer, and you'll see what I mean.

As consumers, we have a lot of power.
If we buy things, and show that we like it and it's a beneficial investment for a company, they'll keep producing that and similar products. Likewise, if we show that we are unhappy with something and stop purchasing a certain product, the company will soon realise that it isn't cost-effective to keep working on it and will scrap it. If a moisturiser that actually dried skin out hit the market, no doubt it would flop, and the company that created it would quickly be discontinued.

For that reason, I encourage you to make a choice about whether animal testing in cosmetics bothers you or not. If it doesn't, thanks for reading this far anyway (though I'd encourage you to do more research to see if you could change your mind). And if it does, make a change.

A quick Google search will tell whether a company is cruelty free or not, and I recommend the site Cruelty Free Kitty as an excellent place to start.

Go through your makeup bag and see which products are cruelty free, and which are not, and make the conscious decision to only repurchase the ones that are. Sometimes, this decision can be really hard, particularly if you discover that your favourite lipstick has been tested on animals, but some things are more important than our vanity, in my opinion at least. Make a list on your phone or in a notebook to keep track, and take your phone with you when you're going shopping so you can look up brands and see if they are cruelty free.

If everyone who wore makeup made this same effort, companies would realise their mistake in supporting and allowing animal testing. There'd be no more money coming in, and they would be forced to change their ethics and practices to encourage customers to go back to them again. And even if only you and I stick to cruelty free products, it feels damn good to know for a fact that the products on your face haven't caused another living creature harm.

Thank you so much for reading this post, I hope you have found it helpful and informative. Be sure to follow me on social media using the links in my sidebar to find more cruelty free information, tutorials, reviews, hauls and more.

Here are five of my favourite cruelty free brands:
- Barry M
- Urban Decay
- Lush
- The Body Shop
- Anastasia Beverly Hills
There are hundreds out there for you to explore and support so that you can enjoy beauty without the use of animal testing.


  1. A beautifully written and insightful post with a message Hannah. I would like to think that all of my products are cruelty free as animal testing is DISGUSTING to say the least but I can't be 100% sure, so I'll be checking through my makeup bag to see. I once persuaded our entire class with a presentation to elect Onekind (an animal cruelty charity) as our class charity and we raised a lot of money throughout the while with bake sales and all sorts - it really is worth supporting. Testing shouldn't be done and I'm ashamed to have previously (or even currently, if I'm oblivious to it, I've got a lot of makeup) owned products tested on animals. Wonderful post xx
    Marina Rosie x

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Onekind sounds like a fantastic charity to support, I shall have to look into them to see how I can support them as well! It's so hard to be certain what is cruelty free and what isn't, but any effort you make is fantastic - whether it's speaking out like you have or looking through your makeup and deciding what to repurchase and what not to. Every little bit makes a difference; don't be ashamed of your past purchases, look at the difference you can make in the future!
      Lots of love,
      Hannah xx


Powered by Blogger.