5 Ways To Check Cosmetics Are Cruelty-Free In 2024

In today’s beauty industry, more and more consumers are seeking cosmetics that are cruelty-free, meaning they are not tested on animals. However, determining the cruelty-free status of a makeup product or brand can be challenging.

In this article, we will explore five reliable methods to help you identify whether your makeup products are truly cruelty-free. By following these approaches, you can make informed choices that align with your ethical values. Let’s dive into the various ways to determine the cruelty-free status of your makeup products.

how to know cosmetics are cruelty free

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Method 1: Spot the Certified Cruelty-Free Bunny Logo

how to know cosmetics are cruelty free
The simplest and quickest way to identify whether a product is cruelty-free is by looking for a certified cruelty-free bunny logo on the packaging. Keep an eye out for logos such as the Leaping Bunny or PETA’s bunny logos. These logos indicate that the product or brand has been certified as cruelty-free by a reputable organization.

Using this method, you can determine the cruelty-free status when:

1. You have the product in front of you.
2. You’re browsing the official website of the company.
3. You want a convenient and trustworthy reference.
4. You trust the third-party certification and its cruelty-free standards.

However, it’s important to note the limitations of this method:

1. Some companies may not be able to afford the licensing fee to display the certified bunny logo, even if they meet all the cruelty-free criteria.
2. Limited space on packaging might prevent companies from including the logo.
3. EU-based brands may not display the cruelty-free logo due to marketing restrictions.
4. Different organizations have distinct cruelty-free standards, so it’s crucial to research and find the ones that match your values.

Method 2: Utilize an Online Certified Cruelty-Free Database

how to know cosmetics are cruelty free

If you’re shopping online or don’t have the product in front of you, utilizing an online cruelty-free database can be highly beneficial. These databases list brands that meet specific cruelty-free criteria, and companies do not need to pay for inclusion.

To use this method effectively:

1. Trust the third-party certification and its cruelty-free standards.
2. Look up the brand in an official cruelty-free database, such as Leaping Bunny, Cruelty-Free International, or PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies.
3. This method allows you to check the cruelty-free status of a brand without having the product in hand.
5. If you prefer a portable version of the list, you can print it out for reference.

However, keep in mind the limitations:

1. Different cruelty-free certifications have varying standards, so finding an organization that aligns with your values is crucial.
2. Each cruelty-free list may include different brands, leading to variations across databases.

Method 3: Download a Cruelty-Free App

how to know cosmetics are cruelty free
For a quick and on-the-go reference, cruelty-free mobile apps provide an efficient way to determine whether a product is tested on animals. These apps allow you to scan a product’s barcode and instantly receive information about its cruelty-free status.

To effectively use this method:

Have the product in front of you and scan its barcode using a cruelty-free app such as Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide by Leaping Bunny, Bunny Free App by PETA, or Cruelty Cutter App by Beagle Freedom Project.
This method is especially useful when you need a convenient reference while shopping or short on time.
Ensure you trust the third-party certification and its cruelty-free standards.

However, be aware of the limitations:

1. Trust relies on the third-party’s cruelty-free standards and the app’s regular updates.
2. Different apps may yield different results for the same product or brand.

Method 4: Email the Company & Ask

how to know cosmetics are cruelty free

Although time-consuming, reaching out to the company directly and asking specific questions is a reliable way to verify a brand’s cruelty-free status. By communicating with the company, you can address all your concerns and ensure accurate and up-to-date information.

To use this method effectively:

1. Choose this method when other third-party certifications or available information online or on the packaging do not provide satisfactory answers.
2. Take the time to compose well-crafted, specific questions that cover all aspects of cruelty-free commitments and animal testing policies.
3. Be patient, as it may take a week to a month to receive a response, and follow-up emails may be necessary.

However, consider the limitations:

1. This method requires significant time and effort.
2. Responses may vary in terms of timeliness, completeness, or credibility.

Method 5: Consult a Cruelty-Free Blogger

how to know cosmetics are cruelty free

Cruelty-free bloggers, who are knowledgeable about decoding cruelty-free claims, can be valuable resources when determining a brand’s cruelty-free status. They have often communicated directly with companies and compiled their own lists based on brand responses.

To effectively use this method:

1. Trust a cruelty-free blogger and their cruelty-free standards.
2. Seek an independent opinion outside the influence of the brand trying to sell their products.
3. Consult cruelty-free bloggers such as Cruelty-Free Kitty, Logical Harmony, and My Beauty Bunny, who provide comprehensive information and guidance.

However, be aware of the limitations:

1. Different bloggers may have conflicting opinions regarding the cruelty-free status of certain brands.
2. Ensure the blogger is reliable and trustworthy, considering their motivations and information sources.


Determining whether your makeup products are cruelty-free is essential for making ethical choices as a consumer. By employing any of the five methods discussed, you can confidently identify cruelty-free cosmetics. Whether you rely on certified logos, online databases, mobile apps, direct communication with companies, or the guidance of cruelty-free bloggers, remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Choose the methods that align with your values and enable you to make informed decisions. Embrace your power as a consumer and support brands committed to cruelty-free practices.

More To KNow


Are cruelty-free products more expensive?

Not necessarily. While some cruelty-free products may be priced higher due to factors like premium ingredients or sustainable practices, there are plenty of affordable cruelty-free options available in the market. Price variations depend on factors such as brand positioning, product category, and overall brand strategy.

Are cruelty-free products actually cruelty-free?

In most cases, yes. However, it’s important to research and choose brands that have obtained certifications from reputable cruelty-free organizations. These certifications ensure that the products have not been tested on animals during any stage of development. Be cautious of brands that make claims without proper certification or transparency.

Are cruelty-free products better?

The term “better” is subjective and depends on personal preferences and priorities. Cruelty-free products offer the advantage of aligning with ethical values by avoiding animal testing. Additionally, many cruelty-free brands focus on using natural, sustainable, and eco-friendly ingredients. However, the effectiveness and quality of cruelty-free products can vary across brands, just like with any other product category.

Are cruelty-free products safe?

Cruelty-free products, like any other cosmetics, should meet safety regulations and undergo appropriate testing to ensure consumer safety. Brands that are certified as cruelty-free usually adhere to strict manufacturing practices and safety guidelines. However, it’s always recommended to read product labels, conduct patch tests if necessary, and choose reputable brands to ensure the safety of the products you use.

Are cruelty-free products halal?

Cruelty-free products do not necessarily mean they are halal. Halal products comply with Islamic dietary and ethical standards, which encompass more than just animal testing. If you’re specifically looking for halal-certified cosmetics, check for brands that have obtained halal certification from recognized halal certification organizations.

Are cruelty-free products vegan?

Cruelty-free and vegan are separate concepts, but they can overlap. Cruelty-free refers to products that are not tested on animals, while vegan products are free from animal-derived ingredients. Some cruelty-free products are also vegan, but not all of them. Look for products that are explicitly labeled as both cruelty-free and vegan to ensure they meet both criteria.

Are cruelty-free products really cruelty-free?

Products that are certified by reputable cruelty-free organizations can be considered truly cruelty-free. However, it’s important to research the certifications and ensure they meet your personal standards. Keep in mind that the term “cruelty-free” is not regulated, so it’s essential to rely on trusted certifications and transparent brands.

What are some makeup brands that are cruelty-free?

There are several makeup brands that are cruelty-free. Some popular examples include Kat Von D Beauty, Too Faced, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Urban Decay, Tarte Cosmetics, and e.l.f. Cosmetics. It’s always recommended to refer to updated cruelty-free lists and certifications for the most accurate information.

What are some skincare brands that are cruelty-free?

Many skincare brands prioritize cruelty-free practices. Some well-known cruelty-free skincare brands include The Body Shop, CeraVe, Drunk Elephant, Pacifica, Paula’s Choice, and Youth to the People. Always verify their cruelty-free status through reliable sources.

Are there luxury brands that are cruelty-free?

Yes, there are luxury brands that are cruelty-free. Some examples include Hourglass Cosmetics, Charlotte Tilbury, Chantecaille, and Josie Maran. These brands offer high-quality products with a focus on cruelty-free practices. However, it’s always advisable to double-check their current cruelty-free status.

Can companies lie about being cruelty-free?

While it is possible for companies to make false claims about being cruelty-free, reputable cruelty-free certifications and organizations help prevent such instances. However, due diligence is still necessary to ensure a brand’s claims align with recognized certifications and transparency in their supply chain.

What are the cruelty to animals laws in California?

California has strict laws against animal cruelty. The Penal Code Section 597 covers various forms of animal abuse and penalties. It includes provisions for neglect, malicious killing, torture, and fighting of animals, among others. These laws are in place to protect animals from cruelty and ensure their welfare.

Can veterinarians report animal abuse?

Yes, veterinarians are mandatory reporters of animal abuse in many jurisdictions. They are legally obligated to report suspected cases of animal abuse or neglect to the appropriate authorities. Reporting animal abuse helps protect animals and allows authorities to take necessary actions against the perpetrators.

Is cruelty to animals a felony?

In many jurisdictions, certain forms of cruelty to animals can be considered a felony offense. Laws regarding animal cruelty vary by country and state, but there is a growing recognition of the seriousness of such acts. Felony charges can be imposed for severe cases of abuse, torture, or intentional harm to animals.

When did the concept of cruelty-free start?

The concept of cruelty-free emerged in the late 20th century as awareness about animal testing grew. Animal welfare organizations, such as the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), played significant roles in raising awareness and advocating for cruelty-free practices.

When did Covergirl become cruelty-free?

Covergirl officially became cruelty-free in 2018. They obtained Leaping Bunny certification, one of the trusted cruelty-free certifications, which ensures their commitment to not testing their products on animals.

When did Rimmel become cruelty-free?

Rimmel became officially certified as cruelty-free in 2021. They obtained Leaping Bunny certification, indicating their dedication to cruelty-free practices and not testing on animals.

When did Dove go cruelty-free?

Dove, a Unilever brand, has been certified as cruelty-free by PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies program since 2018. This certification verifies that Dove does not test its products on animals.

When did Garnier become cruelty-free?

Garnier obtained Leaping Bunny certification in 2019, demonstrating their commitment to being cruelty-free. They have eliminated animal testing from their product development process.

When did MAC become cruelty-free?

MAC Cosmetics has been cruelty-free since 1988. The brand does not test its products on animals and is recognized as cruelty-free by various certifications, including PETA and Leaping Bunny.

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