Cruelty-Free Beauty Brands You Need to Know

The Cruelty-Free Brands I Use

Going cruelty-free with your makeup and skincare routine isn’t as easy as you might expect. There is a number of buzzwords, strange terminology, different accrediting bodies and many unclear labels floating around and it can be hard to decipher what you might actually be purchasing.

It is important to delve a little deeper into the claims of beauty brands if you want to ensure there is definitely zero animal testing related to the products you’re using and the business you're supporting.

I have seen a lot of people finish off their current products and make the switch to something cruelty-free or at least eco-friendly. Making a change like this obviously makes ourselves feel better about not supporting certain practices. It’s very much a personal thing to do. Switching up which products you’re using can also collectively effect consumer culture and help to send a message to cosmetic giants and big brands.

How to read the labels

If you’re already trying to switch to eco-friendly consumption, it doesn’t take long to realise the vast array of different words and labels that come along with the products that are trying to tap into the cruelty-free market. These claims can range from "cruelty-free vegan" to "against animal testing". If they’re against it, do they still do it?

Choice sent a mystery shopper into a number of different stores to buy products with no animal testing claims. They reported that out of the 32 products purchased, only 9 has certified logos by third parties. Even then, they looked into these third parties and the verification process was questionable.

When looking at logos, make sure you’re only purchasing products that are verified by Choose Cruelty Free, the Leaping Bunny, and PETA. I have read that just because there’s a bunny on the logo, it doesn’t mean it’s cruelty-free. It always pays to do some research and get familiar with what to look for.

There are also a number of brands that don’t sell on the Chinese market that are penalised by these third parties because the ‘parent’ company sells their products in China.

The Ethical Elephant website has an easy to read infographic here about understanding the Chinese legislation and whether something might be tested on animals. It was updated in April 2018.

A good example is the Bobbi Brown website states that they do not test on animals and that they “utilize the latest advances in non-animal safety testing and human volunteer testing”. The same paragraph also states; “We do not test our products or ingredients on animals, or ask others to test on our behalf, except where required by law". This is an interesting example of a brand who chooses to sell in the Chinese market but who are also using alternative testing methods for their products originally. It’s a bit inconsistent and there are a lot of people who are unhappy about companies that do this.

I found this booklet from Choose Cruelty-Free to be pretty interesting if you’d like to have a read. It does talk about some brazen issues surrounding the animal tests but I think it was informative from page 74 onwards. I found it helpful to read about the types of tests now available and what to actually look for on a product label, not just for the leaping bunny logo.

Here’s a great article by Choice on How to Buy Cruelty Free Cosmetics.

Cruelty Free Makeup Brands:

These are the brands that I have loved using for a long time along with my favourite products by each brand. I’m looking forward to finding new brands this year and making some more environmentally conscious decisions!



I have loved the Australis Fresh Flawless pressed powder for years and years. I think it’s good quality coverage for a drugstore product and I know I can rely on it to work every single time.

I’ve written a few blog posts talking about this powder here.

Nude by Nature

I have a huge collection of Nude by Nature products so I’m wearing something from the range daily. I’ve recently fallen in love with their new highlighters and I can’t believe how good they are. This is definitely a brand that makes me feel good about choosing to use their products.



Everyone knows Lush’s stance on animal testing and natural products. Stocking up on delicious bath bombs is one of my favourite things to do but I also love the Ultrabland cleanser. I apply it in the shower and after I wash off my makeup. It feels a little oily but after wiping it off, my skin thanks me for remembering to use the cleanser. It’s hydrating and moisturising, especially because I normally get straight into bed after using it.

Cruelty-Free Skincare:

Sukin Organics

I used Sukin Foaming Face Wash for years and years! I did notice after such a long time that it had slightly dried my skin out. I have only just stopped using Sukin recently, I found that Mario Badescu Acne Face Wash works well with my skin at the moment. They have a bunch of new products available now that didn’t exist when I was using it. I think I need to try some of the new ones!

They’re best know for No Petrolatum, no Mineral Oils, no Synthetic Fragrances, no Animal Derivatives, no Artificial Colours, No Harsh Detergents, No Propylene Glycol (Important!!!), no MEA/DEA?TEA, no Phthalates, no Triclosan, no Sulphates, no Parabens, no Silicones and no EDTA. Read more here.



This is a brand that I’ve been using for around 8 months now. I have loved the moisturiser and I think it’s one of the best products they have, along with the 30+ SPF moisturiser.

I began using these after seeing Iconic Medispa about my skin. These were professionally recommended to fit my skin type and help to deliver the results I wanted to see. The Ultraceuticals website helps you to figure out which products suit your skin type! (& slick new packaging)

I currently use the following products:

Cruelty Free Haircare:

De Lorenzo

I recently used the defence range until the bottles were finished. I loved how these products worked on my hair and I recently reviewed them in a blog post too! Have a read here about the range.

Organic Care by Natures Organics

I haven’t used this haircare in a number of years but I religiously used it throughout high school and my whole family still uses it. I use their washing detergent and I always feel safe knowing that the packaging is 100% recyclable, the product is biodegradable, free of phosphate, bleach and ammonia - in turn reducing waterway pollution! I think they’re a great brand to support.

Choose Cruelty Free brand list is available here.

Ethical Elephant cruelty-free brand list available here.

We live in a world where there are many different ways to safely test products before customers purchase it. In no way am I trying to make anyone feel guilty. This is just a post for the people who have been asking for ways to find brands like this. By all means, try something from this list and see if you like it!

I’m not a vegan or a vegetarian but I do consciously try to consume a minimal amount of animal products by making different choices in the supermarket and when I’m shopping online.

There are many cosmetic brands out there that are working towards a cruelty-free future, donating to research and listening to their customers. I do hope that in the near future that we don’t need any forms of animal testing.

A lot of brands under this cruelty-free umbrella are also claimed to be organic or natural products. Just make sure you read up on your labels and brands because this can mean very different things coming from different companies.

Extra Links:

Here’s an interesting article about China’s animal testing:

Download the Choose Cruelty Free App to use when you’re on the go, be aware that it isn’t updated with ALL brands.

iPhone app // Android app

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