Do they consider themselves cruelty free?
Whats important to know here is the term “Cruelty Free” is not regulated so it can be used by companies, when in fact they could be testing on animals. Where it can get a little confusing is that the final product (e.g. your cleanser) may not have been tested on animals so companies will state it is cruelty free however the ingredients inside your cleanser may have been tested. Just to add another factor into the mix, much of the time the products will be tested by a third party which is where we talk about selling in China.
Do they sell in China?
When beauty brands enter the Chinese market and are selling their products in China they agree that their products can undergo animal testing before they can be sold. This is a requirement by the Chinese government.
Note: Companies can manufacture products in China and still be considered cruelty free as it is only if they are selling in China they are required by law to test.
Only tests on animals when required by law.
This section is important because it is a statement you will see on a lot of cosmetics websites. Many companies are cruelty free and do not test their products or ingredients on animals. However many of these same company sell in china making them not necessarily cruelty free.
Are they owned by a parent company that tests on animals?
Some brands are owned by bigger cosmetics companies and many of these companies do test on animals. Because of this many people believe that companies that are owned by larger parent companies that do test are not consider cruelty free because the profits for the products go to the parent company. This is an issue that is not black and white and looked at differently by many people.
So what now?
There is a lot of information out there on the topic. Its important for each individual to decide whats important to them and the educate themselves. Lucky for us their are many great beauty bloggers that have done all the hard work on this issue. Blogs such as Cruelty Free Kitty and Logical Harmony provide a wealth of knowledge and have developed their on “Cruelty free list” you can use as a reference.
You also have many organisation that are dedicated to ending animal testing and have approved lists of companies that don’t test on animals. Your top three you can refer to are
Choose Cruelty Free // Leaping bunny // Peta