HOW TO SURVIVE IN THE CRUELTY-FREE CERTIFICATIONS WORLD
Shopping cruelty-free and vegan beauty can be an exausting experience. With all the symbols and labels out there it can be really challenging to know what to buy, which certifications to trust and what each symbols means. Most brands deliberately choose to add as many labels as possible, to convince customers to buy.
We get asked a lot, whether a vegan label on a cosmetic product automatically means it is also cruelty-free. While this can make some kind of sense when thinking about the values and principles behind a vegan lifestyle, the sad answer to that is simply NO. A product may in fact be vegan, meaning it does not contain any animal-derived ingredients, but a V label on it does not say anything about its cruelty-free status.
There are a lot of aspects which must be considered in order to call a brand cruelty-free and just a few reliable certifications which take them into account. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Cruelty-free and Vegan Cosmetics to know more about the topic.
We have created a table of the most common symbols and labels you can find on the market, their meanings and their differences, hoping this will make your purchases easier.
It is essential to buy from and support only those certifications which truly exclude animal-cruelty in all its forms with a strict policy.
CRUELTY-FREE LOGOS, MEANING, DIFFERENCES
|CUT-OFF DATE POLICY
-No animal testing on finished
-Forever, does not
-Strict policy. No animal testing on finished
- Must be reaccredited every
-No animal testing on finished product as well as
- Retroactive Five Years Policy. Companies
- Must be reaccredited (no
SO, WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU PICK?
As you can see from the table, the standars of each certifications are different: since we are serious about what we do and understand the consequences that buying products with unreliable or superficial certifications may have, we intentionally do not support any PETA certified brand, since their standards are not strict and even useless in Europe. The only certification we offer is the Leaping Bunny program, Naturewatch, ICEA and a few more, the only reliable ones in Europe.
The Naturewatch Foundation based in the UK provides a written list of all local cruelty-free brands. Although they do not use any of the logos above and their one is not that famous, they do follow a very strict policy in certifying companies. They use a fixed cut-off date, cover the China issue, do not accept a brand that test when required by law, make sure the brand and all their suppliers do not conduct animal testing on finished product as well as on the ingredients and do not accept brands owned by non cruelty-free parent company.
The Compassionate Shopping Guide by the Naturewatch has always been printed and needs to be requested though their website. Their 15th Edition will be also available online.
WHAT ABOUT ALL OTHER BUNNIES SYMBOLS OR THE LABEL "NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS"?
Even if there are so many organizations with independent logos which aim to fight animal cruelty and do good their way, we recommend you only purchase products with logos from internationally recognized organizations. Any other bunny symbol you may encounter, or even the label "Not tested on animals" doesn´t really tell you anything about their cruelty-free status and you want to make sure that the policy they follow is a strict one.
Keep in mind that "Not Tested on Animals" only means that the finished product has not been tested: oh but thank you! It is already illegal to test the finished product as well as its ingredients in Europe, so what does that mean? Absolutely nothing.
ALWAYS CHECK IF A BRAND IS TRULY ON THE LIST
With more people demanding for cruelty-free cosmetics, company now realize how important it is to get a reliable certification. But darling, we live in a brutal world and some companies may use a trustworthy logo on their products without even being certified (yes, dishonesty but hey... it happens and we should all keep that in mind). You want to make sure you reasearch the brand and see if is on the database of the organization they claim to be certified by.
SO, DOES THAT MEAN YOU HAVE TO GO CRAZY BEFORE BUYING A COSMETIC PRODUCT?
We did and we know what this means. Why do you think we have created Realness of Beauty then? For you! To make your beauty shopping an enjoyable experience as it should be. We think vegans are way too often perceived as they are missing on something. Let´s show that you can be compassionate and still get the best beauty products without having to compromise on quality or performance.