What Does Cruelty-Free Really Mean?

There’s a lot of confusion about the definition of cruelty-free, and what the differences are between a cruelty-free and a vegan product.

There are many products that claim to be cruelty-free. However, this doesn’t mean they are animal friendly.

So, what does cruelty-free actually mean?

Cruelty-free refers to a product that has not been tested on animals at any point during its creation. Meaning, neither the ingredients used in the product, nor the finished product was tested on animals either by the creator of the product or any other company.

This can be confusing, as some countries do stipulate that in order for a product to be sold there, it must be tested on animals. So, if a product is cruelty-free here in Australia, it doesn’t necessarily mean the product is cruelty-free in another country.

However, many cruelty-free products do contain a variety of animal-derived ingredients. Check out our previous blog on animal-derived ingredients hiding in your beauty products. http://bondibeauty.com.au/beauty/might-want-switch-vegan-beauty-products-read/

How is that different to vegan products?

Vegan products contain no animal-derived ingredients whatsoever and are completely cruelty-free, as they do not test their product on animals.

And the benefits of choosing cruelty-free?

Most notably you are supporting the fight against animal testing when purchasing cruelty-free products. With so many available testing methods, along with safe chemicals companies can formulate their products with, there is no reason why you wouldn’t choose cruelty-free.

Secondly there are health benefits to choosing a product that hasn’t been tested on animals. Many cruelty-free brands already use ingredients with a proven safety record. Reducing the likelihood of using products that contain potentially harmful ingredients like; carcinogens, parabens and sulfates is always a good idea, as cruelty-free products are often made from 100% natural and organic ingredients which are free from chemicals.

If you’re thinking of making the change to cruelty-free or vegan beauty products, PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) is a great place to start.

PETA has developed a database listing more than 2000 companies that do and don’t test on animals. http://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/index.aspx

CCF (Chose Cruelty Free) is another organization providing a database similar to that of PETA. http://www.choosecrueltyfree.org.au/cruelty-free-list/

If you’re out shopping, check the labelling of your products. Many cruelty free companies and vegan brands print logos on their packaging, identifying they do not test on animals nor contain any animal-derived ingredients.


Rebecca Wilkinson

Beauty Editor

Rebecca is a freelance content creator and beauty editor for Bondi Beauty. She is a pescatarian, who may yet become vegan. She loves all things beauty, health & travel, has a weakness for coffee and is obsessed with cats and yoga. If she's not answering her mobile - it's probably because she's trying out the latest beauty trend, like massaging crushed pearls into her skin for the ultimate collagen and vitamin boost to skin cells.

  1. Some wonderful tips here. The cruelty-free, vegan and even the natural ingredients side of things can be a challenge when purchasing natural skin care products that relate to your true values.

  2. Agreed, it can be really difficult for people to understand the difference when shopping for beauty products. Hopefully this post will help people get a better understanding.

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