When it comes to health, every one of us is looking for the best possible products. From foods and clothes to skincare products, the world is turning and paying more attention to the core products and ingredients used in what we are eating and wearing. The same goes for beauty products. There is no greater peace of mind when you know that the ingredients and the final product are made of ingredients and products that you know their origin. And this is a great way into preserving the overall health and well-being of a person, as well as caring for the environment.

When it comes to the environment, animals are a great part of it. And it is no secret that the animals are used as a testing object for many industries, among which is the beauty and skincare industry too. To avoid that, particularly testing on animals, many brands have decided to switch their production processes and not involve animals anymore. That is a great way into caring for the life of animals as well as for ourselves. Those brands and companies that stand behind the moto and not test on animals hold the title of “cruelty-free” brands and companies.

The meaning of the term “cruelty-free” in the beauty industry

Cruelty-free is a term that is widely used by the beauty and cosmetics companies to let its consumers and customers that they do not use animal testing in the process of product making. It shows that the manufacturer and the brand in general have a positive preference when it comes to animals and their rights. Although it is not mandatory and required for the companies to be cruelty-free, nor to state it on their packaging, many brands and companies are choosing to be transparent and show the cruelty-free approach.

What does it mean for a brand to be cruelty-free?

Each company has a cruelty-free policy. The cruelty-free market is in constant demand and rising and many companies have started to post this type of information on their websites. The information about whether a brand is cruelty-free or not can most commonly be found in the FAQ section.

Overall, besides the well-known clarification and explanation of the term “cruelty-free”, one beauty brand has to undergo and complete a few things for it to be certified as cruelty-free. These are some of the things that have to be included so that they can meet the cruelty-free criteria:

  1. It does not test on animals during any part of the production
  2. It does not order materials from any third party vendor who tests on animals
  3. It does not have third parties test their products on animals on their behalf
  4. It does not sell their products in countries that require animal testing (i.e. mainland China)
  5. It is not owned by a parent company who tests on animals

Cruelty-free brand certification

For a beauty brand to be able to carry the logo of a cruelty-free brand, it must be certified by a special organization. In almost all cases, there is some kind of licensing fee that is required to be paid so that the brand can use the cruelty-free logo on their packaging, website, etc. Each company has a different approach toward the certification process, and here are the top 3 most popular cruelty0free companies and their respective certification requirement:

PETA // Beauty Without Bunnies


A company that is interested in having its name added to our cruelty-free list(s) must complete a short questionnaire and sign a statement of assurance. Upon receipt of these completed documents, your company will be added to our pocket-sized Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide and our searchable online database of cruelty-free companies


CCIC // Leaping Bunny


Companies may license the use of the logo after becoming certified by CCIC, thereby making a pledge that, as of the fixed cut-off date, they do not conduct or commission animal tests, and do not use any ingredient or formulation that is tested on animals. A one-time licensing fee, based on the company’s gross annual sales, is required for use of the Logo.


CCF // Choose Cruelty Free


To be eligible to apply for CCF accreditation your company must:

  1. Produce cosmetics, toiletries, and/or household cleaning products;
    2. be fully established for one year;
    3. have an ABN (or equivalent for offshore companies);
    4. have a business e-mail address and an operational website; and
    5. be selling to Australian consumers online and/or retail.

To become an accredited cruelty-free company with CCF, you must fill in the Questionnaire & Application for Accreditation (Q&A), including a legally binding contract. If you use a contract manufacturer to make some or all of your products, they too are required to complete a Q&A in support of your application. Your manufacturer need only complete the forms as they relate to the products they make for you.


On that note…

Another important issue in the entire cruelty-free brand/certification process is that although a brand might produce and sell products in one state and call it cruelty-free if it does sell its products in other states that cruelty-free is required by law to test, then, automatically, this brand is not cruelty-free worldwide. This is a kind of loophole that many are using, especially in China. Also, different cruelty-free logos are issued by different organizations. These logos do not guarantee that the products are actually vegan and they still might contain some animal ingredients.

The future of the beauty and the cosmetics industry is going towards being clean and cruelty-free. On the world level, each day more and more brands are becoming part of the cruelty-free movement and that is a great way into preserving the environment as well as caring for the animals, their right, and their health. The beauty is more beautiful when you know that no animals are involved in the products that you use. And this is quite a big thing and inspiration for all those in the beauty and cosmetics business.