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Cruelty free, the much-needed certification in cosmetics

Cruelty free in the cosmetics world

The vegan movement has taken the beauty world by storm. Hundreds and hundreds of new vegan cosmetics are appearing every day. A whole movement has also been created under the “cruelty-free” umbrella.

But wait a minute… Isn’t it the same thing?

No. In reality, just because a product is vegan does not necessarily mean it is cruelty-free and vice versa.

In this article we explain in more detail the differences between the two labels and the best way to ensure that you are buying a pure, natural product that is 100% kind to any being that inhabits the Earth.

What is a Cruelty free product?

A cruelty-free product is a product that has not been tested on animals. However, unlike vegan products, cruelty-free products may contain animal-derived ingredients.

There are different “not tested on animals” seals , some of which are internationally recognized. Let’s review some of them to understand the guarantees they offer:

PETA cruelty free

  • PETA Cruelty Free: this logo has been created by the International Organization that supports animal rights, PETA. In order for companies to be able to use it, they have to:
  • pay fixed costs,
  • sign a declaration where they commit not to perform, commission or pay for tests on animals, either for ingredients or for the final product, either through their suppliers or in any country in the world.

The problem lies in the fact that companies adhering to this certification are not subject to any independent audit: all we can do is trust that they are declaring the truth.

Leaping Bunny

  • Leaping Bunny: the second logo that can demonstrate a company’scruelty-freeconcept is the Leaping Bunny logo. In this case, a pledge is signed promising not to use ingredients tested on animals or to test them at any stage of the production process.

What makes this pledge more effective and reliable is that companies can be subject to independent audits and must renew their pledge every year.

What do we have to do if there is no seal?

There are companies, such as small producers, that do not display any international seal, nor “Not tested on animals” on the box (basically because they do not have the monetary resources to acquire them).

If it is a product manufactured and marketed only in the European Union, we must remain somewhat alert, since, although the European Law on animal testing prohibits the sale of products and the use of ingredients tested on animals, 100% are not banned.

A few exceptions are allowed:

  • when alternative tests are not considered sufficient,
  • when used in other categories (such as pharmaceuticals or cleaning), where animal testing may be involved,
  • when it has been tested outside Europe under a different legislative landscape.

In the United States and China, for example, animal testing is not prohibited. However, the European Parliament is leading a diplomatic initiative to put an end to animal experiments worldwide.

cosmetics without animal suffering

Is there a difference between vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics? Are cosmetics still being tested on animals?

As we have seen above, just because a product is vegan does not mean it is cruetly-free. A vegan product means that it does not contain any ingredients derived from animals. But it has been tested on them.

A good seal when it comes to guaranteeing the veganism and cruelty-free character of a product is: V-LABEL of the European Vegetarian Union.

Vegan V-Label

Another certification that certifies the vegan and cruelty-free character is Vegan from The Vegan Society. In this case, products that present a high risk of contamination (by animal ingredients) during the manufacturing process may be audited.

You can also find less common ones such as VeganOK, PETA Cruelty Free and Vegan, Certified vegan (vegan.org) from the Vegan Awareness Foundation. (in this case, companies even undertake to take measures to clean utensils, machinery, containers and surfaces used in the production process if they are also used to manufacture non-vegan products).

And although vegan cosmetics is experiencing impressive growth, as it is expected to reach an investment of $20.8 billion in 2025 compared to $12.9 billion in 2017, it is always important to be careful and not be fooled by marketing.

The ideal is to find products that are certified with the organic, vegan and cruelty-free label: this way we ensure that the ingredients come from nature, do not contain animal derivatives, have not been tested with them and respect the environment. If you are an entrepreneur just starting out, a direct and honest dialogue will be key to be sure of the purity and quality of the cosmetic.

natural cosmetics certifications

At Såper you can buy natural and organic cosmetics that are certified, vegan and cruelty-free, contain the highest percentages of organic ingredients, and are made in our private laboratory in an area free of air pollution.

We are committed to quality and not quantity, to what is strictly natural, without excesses and without artifices, as our ancestors did.

The skin breathes, recognizing everything we put on it to feed, moisturize and nourish it with vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids.

This spirit is reflected in our Såper universe.


About the author
Picture of Victoria Sánchez
Victoria Sánchez
Soy una apasionada de la cosmética natural y ecológica, y creadora de la marca Saper Organic Skincare en 2011. Máster en Cosmetología y experta en evaluación y seguridad del producto cosmético. Mi objetivo es la belleza, la salud y la sostenibilidad del planeta. Para ello busco siempre los mejores ingredientes e investigo formulaciones de cosmética vegana, obteniendo los mejores resultados para la piel, cuidando siempre del medio ambiente.
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