Want cruelty-free beauty products? Start here!

By November 15, 2014Animals, Beauty, Featured

Photo: Lipstick (Flicrk/1950’s Unlimited)

Lisa Edney gives her take on the why and how of cruelty-free beauty products, with tips on what to buy and where to get them.

Are you wanting to make the switch to cruelty free beauty products but don’t know where to start? Or have you ever bought a product believing it to be cruelty free, then found out the label was misleading? Are you unsure about what labels you can trust?

Whether you’re new to cruelty free cosmetics, or have been on the journey for some time, you can find great beauty products that meet your cruelty free hopes – yes, even in your local supermarket!

Why should I go cruelty-free?

According to Humane Research Australia, there is no longer a need for cosmetic manufacturers to test on animals. Cruel and painful tests are not necessary to check the irritancy, toxicity, carcinogenicity and teratogenicity of a product. CHOICE suggests that alternative methods don’t yet exist for a small number of animal tests, however ingredients that require these tests can be avoided.  

“alternatives to these tests already exist and have proven to be more predictive of human reactions. (Humane Research Australia)

Despite this, the testing of cosmetics on animals still occurs in many countries around the world. Generally speaking, cosmetic and product testing is no longer carried out in Australia, but the many products tested outside  Australia have not necessarily  been tested free of animal cruelty. Further, with there being no legally binding definition of  ‘cruelty free’ or ‘not tested on animals’, companies are free to make their own claims depending on how they view the process their product has been through. One problem, for example, is that while a company may claim, “We do not test on animals,” it could still contract other companies to do the testing for them. Australian consumers can’t assume that their cosmetics are cruelty free.

For more information on why we need to think about going cruelty free,  the Otter eNewsletter highlighted recent developments in animal testing,  and this Choice report reveals that some cosmetics products you know and trust may not be living up to their animal friendly claims.

Ok, I’m convinced, but how do I know when something is really cruelty-free?

Cruelty free certificationsThe best way to be sure that a product hasn’t been tested is to refer to the beauty products currently listed on the PETA, Choose Cruelty Free (CCF) and/or Leaping Bunny websites. These organisations have rigorous application processes to ensure the companies they list are adhering to strict guidelines. Hundreds of CCF certified products are now listed in the Good On You Beauty and Health Category.

If you’re on the go, the CFF mobile phone app allows you to quickly check a brand or product so you can make a purchase (or walk away if it doesn’t fit the cruelty free bill) and best of all, it’s free!

I’m busy, where can I easily buy cruelty free products that fit my lifestyle?

The good news is cruelty free has come a long way, and with consumer demand increasing, mainstream stores such as Coles and Woolworths are starting to stock products as well.

Many products can also be found in your local pharmacy (Natio is stocked at most pharmacies), beauty salon (Endota Spa stock a wide range of Dermalogica products), or beauty store (Priceline Stores stock a range of cruelty free cosmetics including Australis and Nude by Nature).

Plus, with the advent of online shopping, you can get nearly any product you desire delivered straight to your door.

My top picks

If you’re keen to try some products, and still don’t know where to start, here are my top picks of the cruelty free beauty brands currently listed on the PETA, CCF and/or Leaping Bunny websites:

Cleanser – Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel is a great cleanser I use morning and night. It’s suitable for all skin types (even sensitive) and helps remove all the grime of the day without drying out my skin. A cheaper alternative is the Australian Pure Face Wash, which you can find in most supermarkets.

Moisturisers- Again, any of the moisturisers from Dermalogica are great (I use Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF30 ). A budget friendly alternative though is Natio Daily Protection Face Moisturiser which has the added benefit of SPF15 included.

Extra Care – Rosehip Oil from Trilogy or Sukin are a great addition to your normal moisturiser. They soften the skin, help with reducing marks/scars and aren’t oily despite being an oil!

Makeup – Natio has a range of purse friendly makeup and I can’t say enough good things about their new Invisible Blend Foundation (which offers non-greasy natural coverage in a range of shades) and their Extreme Volume Mascara in Black or Black/Brown.  If you want to try a mineral powder then Nude by Nature Natural Mineral Cover offers coverage in a range of shades, is suitable for all skin types and has SPF15 included. Their start up kit is a great way to try out the other products in their range (go easy on the bronzer as it can be quite dark!). Australis is also a really inexpensive ‘one stop shop’ for all your cosmetics.

Hair Care – For a low budget shampoo and conditioner, you can’t go wrong with any of the Natures Organics range – and their antidandruff shampoo left my hair so soft. If you want something a bit more upmarket, then the whole range from Paul Mitchell delivers amazing results – try their Hot Off The Press thermal protection spray if you’re a hot iron user!

By Lisa Edney

Good On You rates thousands of health and beauty products

Browse and shop thousands of beauty and health products from brands rated for ethical performance. Includes hundreds of CCF certified products. Take a look.



Gordon Renouf

Author Gordon Renouf

Gordon Renouf is the CEO & Co-Founder of Good On You. He has been a consumer advocate for 30 years including as head of Campaigns at CHOICE, Australia’s leading consumer organization, and a Board member of Consumers International.

More posts by Gordon Renouf