Updated: 17th February 2020
There’s a difference in Vegan and Cruelty-Free products:
- Vegan is when a product doesn’t contain any animal ingredients
- Cruelty-free is when the product hasn’t been tested on animals
Facts about China
With the amazing efforts of the Humaine Society International, China changed their laws in 2014 to the following:
- Foreign imported ordinary cosmetics – still require animal testing
- Domestically produced ordinary* cosmetics – animal testing no longer an absolute requirement
- Both foreign imported and domestically produced ‘special use’** cosmetics – still require animal testing
- Domestically produced ordinary cosmetics for foreign export only – have never required animal testing
- Any cosmetic bought in China via a foreign e-commerce website – has never required animal testing.
*‘Ordinary’ cosmetics include make-up, fragrances, skin, hair and nail care products.
** ‘Special-use’ cosmetics include hair dyes, perms and hair growth products, deodorants, sunscreens, skin-whitening creams, and other products that make a functional claim on the label.
Read the full article on hsi.org.
This means if a brand who is cruelty-free in the UK starts selling and importing products to sell in China, they are then tested on animals so the company is no longer Cruelty-Free. This happened to the brand Nars.
Brands who test on animals
This list is from the Peta website dated 16.05.2018. It includes big brands such as:
- Air Wick
- Arm & Hammer
- Avon Products
- Benefit Cosmetics
- Bobbi Brown
- Calvin Klein
- Elizabeth Ardon
- Estee Lauder
- Hugo Boss
- Johnson & Johnson
- MAC Cosmetics
- Max Factor
- Michael Kors
- Miu miu
- Nars Cosmetics (they used to be Cruelty-Free but started selling in China)
- Nice and Easy
- St. Ives
- Viktor & Rolf
The list goes on. For the full list, check out Peta’s website. Do the right thing and don’t buy from these brands. There’s no reason good enough for putting animals through harm and suffering.
Brands who DO NOT test on animals (hurrah!)
I’m chuffed to say this list is a LOT bigger than the previous one. Here are a few popular brands featured on the PETA website, but you can see the full list here.
- Adaline & Co
- Anastasia Beverly Hills
- BareFace Cosmetics
- Barefaced Beauty
- Basic Bitch Cosmetics (gorgeous Lucy from Made in Chelsea!)
- Bath Bomb Babes
- The Bodyshop
- Botanical Skin Works
- Burt’s Bees
- Chi Chi Cosmetics
- Dove – new! hurrah! See their statement here
- Dr Roebuck’s
- Dr PAWPAW
- Iconic London
- LUSH Cosmetics
- Mabel & Meg
- Makeup Geek
- MUA Makeup Academy
- Ted Baker
- The Honest Company
- The Organic Skin Co
- The Ordinary
High-Street Vegan and Cruelty-Free makeup
- The Body Shop – Vegan and they do NOT test on animals. Everything ‘beauty’ you can think of including make-up, moisturisers, perfume.
- B. Cosmetics (look in Superdrug) – Makeup including concealers, foundation, bronzer, primer, brows, blush, mascara, etc.
- Barry M – the majority of their products are Vegan. A small number contain beeswax. They do NOT test on animals. Look in Superdrug – they sell a range of makeup including highlighter, foundation, concealer, mascara, primer, eyeshadow, nail varnish, etc.
- HUDA Beauty – Most products are vegan. They do NOT test on animals. Products include mascara, eyeshadow, lipsticks, makeup brushes, etc.
- GOSH – Some products are vegan and the list is here. They do NOT test on animals.
- Dove – cruelty-free – can’t find info relating to if they are vegan
- Kat Von D – Vegan and they do NOT test on animals
- Optimum – Eye and face creams – check out their products on Superdrug
- Revolution Beauty / I Heart Revolution – Cruelty-Free. Not all products are vegan but some are – check out the Vegan section on their website for a full list
- Solaite – Sun creams are vegan, see Superdrug’s website for details
- Superdrug’s own branding has several vegan products (see their website filter here) – such as body spray, toothpaste, cleansing wipes, hair conditioner, shampoo, beard oil, pre-shampoo treatment, facial spritz and deodorant.
- Too Faced – Cruelty-Free. Not all products are vegan but some are – see their vegan-friendly range here which includes the very popular ‘Born This Way’ foundation, mascara, bronzer, eyeliner, primer, etc.
- Urban Decay – Vegan and they do NOT test on animals – see their cruelty-free makeup here which includes setting spray, foundation, concealer, mascara, lip gloss, etc.
- The Co-operative sell their own-branded toothpaste – both Vegan and Cruelty-Free
- Sainsburys and Tesco sell their own branded Vegan toothpaste (unable to find info if it’s Cruelty-Free too)
- Advanced Pro have some toothpaste Vegan and Cruelty-Free
Products I’d recommend
The Body Shop fresh nude foundation
It stays on all day (even on my forehead which is oily) It isn’t heavy but can be if you apply a few coats.
The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Reviver
I use as a primer before I put my makeup on. It helps my skin look more awake.
Dermalogica clay cleanser (for oily skin)
I use as a facemask but also as a 2/3 times-weekly to give my skin a good clean.
Mabel + Meg Lumilixir Serum
I can’t rate this product highly enough. The company is Vegan & Cruelty-Free. Check out my article where I share the benefits I’ve found
I bought these 3 beauties from LookFantastic for a HUGE grand total of…. £17.60. Seriously, I paid £17.60 for 3 bottles, all 30ml each. Absolute bargain. I use the Lactic Acid twice a week; and the other 2 I use 1 or 2 drops each before bed. My skin has never looked so fresh or plump.
- The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution 30ml – “a powerful resurfacing treatment that acts as a ten-minute exfoliating facial to revitalise and tone.”
- The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% Superficial Peeling Formulation 30ml “offers mild exfoliation that transforms the complexion.”
- The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane 30ml – “the botanical lipid Squalane is a saturated and stable hydrocarbon that delivers exceptional moisture retention properties and can help prevent transdermal moisture loss”
Thank you to Michelle at BeautyEditor for her awesome review which helped me decide what to buy.
Need to check a brand/product?
First, try finding the company on Peta’s list. If you don’t get any joy, visit the brands’ website or do a Google search “Brand vegan” and I’m sure you’ll get the answer.
Making the change
It can be hard changing over to Vegan/Cruelty-free products. It feels like a minefield at first especially if you have certain products you’ve used forever and absolutely love.
Hopefully, this list has helped you understand there’s still a lot to do, and knowledge to share to make more people aware of what they’re putting on their skin.
What should you do if you’ve got products to use up?
My advice would be to use up everything you have. Use this time wisely to get to know the products you’ll replace them with.
Update: 17th February 2020
I’ve been using Aurelia products and absolutely love them. They are of course cruelty-free and some are vegan. One of the products I’ve been using is their botanical cream deodorant which is vegan (hurrah). See the vegetarian/vegan confirmation on the Aurelia website.
Dove are now cruelty-free! Hurrah! I have updated the lists above.
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