For years many makeup and skin care brands have partaken in questionable practices, the most controversial being animal testing. These policies stayed out of public knowledge for years, but now, with the help of the internet, more and more consumers are learning about these malpractices. This is where the idea of “cruelty-free” comes in.
Certain brands are using the title of “cruelty-free” which is shown in brand packaging through one of two logos created by the Leaping Bunny organization. The term “cruelty-free” implies
that the brand does not test on animals, but since the phrase is not explicitly defined by any government agency (though it is by other non-profit animal-rights groups), it is left up to the brand’s interpretation.
This allows the label to be misused by brands that might not test on animals in their facilities but may use ingredients that were already tested on animals in their products or follow any other number of sly loopholes.
This fact does not discredit all brands that use the logo, as some are entirely built on the idea of being completely “ethical”, as in not using any animal products or unfair labor.
The new surge of these niche products is giving a long-awaiting branch of costumers what they’ve been craving: everyday items without the moral compromise. The rise of veganism, a lifestyle that rejects animal products, may have been the push that these up-and-coming companies needed to break the mold.
The “cruelty-free” label usually is accompanied by a claim of being “all-natural”, a term that is also left up to interpretation. Nonetheless, in most cases, this allows the product to actually be a lot safer to use than the alternative.
Many people tend not to read the ingredients of the skin-care and makeup products they use and therefore don’t detect allergens beforehand. This is usually due to the fact that the ingredients listed on the average product are mostly unrecognizable. A good fraction of these “all-natural” products boast easy to understand components that make identifying possible allergens much easier and therefore safer.
Though these new brands may be accommodating to those who wish to be a little friendlier to our furry counterparts, they may not be so to the wallet. Many of the “cruelty-free”, “all-natural”, “fair-trade” products available today tend to be high-end, meaning more expensive but with higher quality.
There are some exceptions, though. According to Cruelty-Free Kitty, brands such as e.l.f, NYX, Yes To, Hard Candy, EcoTools, Wet n’ Wild, Pacifica, and Milani fit the bill, without draining the cash flow and are available in most drugstores and superstores.
There are many issues still affecting the legitimacy of the “cruelty-free” trend, but this breakthrough is a good place to start. The future of skincare is still up in the air, but hopefully it will include more “ethical” choices.