How To Tell If A Product Is Cruelty Free & Symbols To Look Out For

It can sometimes be a little difficult determining if a product is cruelty free or not. Particularly since the rise in demand for cruelty free products, brands have been getting tricky with their language. This guide will tell you exactly what you need to know to find out if a product is cruelty free.

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What does cruelty free mean? 

A product that is cruelty free must meet the following criteria: 

  • The final product must not have been tested on animals
  • Its ingredients must not be tested on animals
  • It must not have used third parties to test on animals
  • It must not be sold in China (animal testing is required by law)

Some brands claim to be cruelty free by stating that it is illegal in the US/UK so they've been compliant bla bla bla. And then they'll slip in at the end 'except where required by law.' This means that they sell in a country that requires animal testing, i.e China. This means that their products ARE tested on animals and therefore are not cruelty free. They have the choice to not sell to the Chinese market.

If you're still unsure whether a brand is cruelty free, there a plenty of resources you can check against. Cruelty Free Kitty has a list on her blog which is updated regularly. Note: It does not contain every brand so use the criteria above to determine any brands which are not listed.

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What Symbols Should You Look For?

Rather than reading through a brand's FAQs and statements, some companies use logos to denote their cruelty free status. Some brands even make up their own. Here's the breakdown: 

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Some companies will create their own logos. The reason for this is that they have to pay for the accreditation of the symbols above. This doesn't mean that they're not cruelty free or that they're lying, however it does mean that they haven't gone through an accreditation process and so you should double check that they genuinely are cruelty free.

If you are unsure of anything, just leave a comment below.