Just as green beauty certifications guide us through the often-confusing world of natural and organic makeup and skin care, cruelty-free beauty certifications, awards and logos can help to provide us with the clarity we need in our search for clean beauty brands which truly align with our personal values.
A guiding light for those who support an end to animal testing, cruelty-free seals of approval provide official accreditation to the claims made by brands, firmly reassuring us that our favourite products have been fact-checked and vetted by independent organisations. At The Green Edit, we believe that clean ingredients and cruelty-free practices go hand-in-hand, and it is this combination which truly makes our favourite beauty products ethical, which is why it is so important to know which trusted cruelty-free certifications to look out for.
Here, we round up five of our favourite Sea Buckthorn products.
What is cruelty-free beauty?
Put simply, cruelty-free beauty products have not been tested on animals. Demand for cruelty-free makeup, skin care and hair care brands has continued to grow significantly, with the RSPCA stating that approximately 85% of Australians now “oppose the testing of cosmetics on animals.”
In Australia, and around the world, the wider beauty industry is beginning to make moves towards a cruelty-free market. On July 1 2020, new Australian legislation came into effect, banning the use of animal testing as a method to prove the safety of new cosmetic ingredients either manufactured or imported into Australia. However, according to the RSPCA, this legislation came with a loophole, in that it only affects ingredients used exclusively in cosmetics, potentially meaning that an ingredient which is used in both a cosmetic product and another household product may still be animal-tested. According to Safe Cosmetics Australia, a leading campaign for ingredient transparency in cosmetic manufacturing, clinical animal testing for cosmetic purposes may be unnecessary and its results inaccurate. This is one of the many reasons why organisations such as the RSPCA have continued to push for national change and research in order to find alternatives to animal testing.
In this complex situation, cruelty-free beauty certifications can provide us with clear and official information regarding the use of animal testing in the making of beauty products; many of the organisations which provide cruelty-free certification ensure that neither the finished product itself nor any of its individual raw ingredients have been tested on animals.
Image credit: Beautiful Because
The difference between cruelty-free and vegan beauty
On top of ever-changing legislation, another grey area for consumers in the realm of cruelty-free beauty is the terminology used to signify animal-friendly products. For those unfamiliar with the concepts, the terms ‘cruelty-free’ and ‘vegan’ might sound interchangeable, but, in fact, they are very different and must be distinguished from each other. As we have established, ‘cruelty-free’ refers to the absence of animal testing; ‘vegan’ beauty products simply do not contain any ingredients from animal origin, such as beeswax, honey or lanolin. In this way, a cruelty-free product may not also be vegan, and a vegan product may not automatically be cruelty-free.
With this in mind, we have collated some of the most prevalent cruelty-free certifications and logos to watch out for...
Safe Cosmetics Australia awards its Cruelty-Free Certified logo to brands which have pledged never to test their products nor ingredients on animals. Focused on providing clear guidelines for the manufacturing of non-toxic cosmetic products, Safe Cosmetics Australia only endorses brands which are both toxin-free and cruelty-free.
Choose Cruelty Free is an Australian non-profit organisation which has produced its list of accredited cruelty-free makeup, skin care, cleaning and household products since 1993. The comprehensive list only includes brands which do not test on animals not only in Australia but overseas too, as some countries still require animal testing by law.
The Leaping Bunny logo is an internationally-renowned symbol which guarantees that a product has not been tested on animals nor contains any animal-tested ingredients, meeting the guidelines set out in the Leaping Bunny Standard. Brands certified by Leaping Bunny may undergo independent audits to monitor their suppliers or manufacturers.
PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies Program is a database of brands and companies which do not test their products on animals anywhere around the globe, published since 1987. Those on the list have stated that no animal testing is conducted or commissioned at any stage of the production process, from individual ingredients to finished formulations. Brands may be certified ‘Animal Test-Free’ or ‘Animal Test-Free and Vegan’, with the latter indicating the absence of any animal-derived ingredients.