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How To Be Truly Cruelty Free


Lots of people think that cruelty free certification automatically means that a product is suitable for vegans.  Sadly that isn’t the case.


The most widely known and familiar ‘leaping bunny’ certification from Cruelty Free International (formally BUAV) only ensures that the finished product and raw ingredients have not been tested on animals.


This is an excerpt from their website, confirming the criteria required to be certified, no mention of animal derived ingredients:


I Choose What I Use Truly Cruelty Free


For vegans and anyone who is truly concerned about animal cruelty in their personal care and household products, this means that ingredients from both dead and living animals could still be included in these certified products.


Not what you thought, hey?


How you can be truly cruelty free


Cruelty free certification is still a good start, it gives you reassurance from an animal testing perspective (subject to cut-off dates).  However, to avoid all animal ingredients you are still going to have to check the ingredients or look for reassurance on the packaging that the product is vegan.  The Vegan Society logo is a good one to find!


Bear in mind that getting products certified is expensive and the costs can be out of the reach of small businesses.  If you’re unsure, you can always contact the business directly too.


Also remember that, for products to be sold and/or made in the EU (while we’re still a member at least) animal testing of cosmetics and ingredients has been banned since 2013.  Unfortunately household products are not covered by this.  This isn’t a global ban though, so companies could manufacture and test outside of the EU for other markets.


Rest assured, we do research on the brands and products we stock which saves you some of this hard work!


From a beauty perspective, here’s some animal derived ingredients that you need to look out for on cruelty free products:


Cera Alba (beeswax, other bee products – royal jelly, bee venom, honey, propolis, bee pollen)

Carmine/CL75470 (from the cochineal beetle)

Lanolin (from sheep’s fleeces, may be from slaughterhouses)

Sodium Tallowate/Sodium Stearate (animal fat)

Guanine (crushed fish scales)

Squalene (can be derived from olives but also from shark liver)

Retinol (this is the animal derived source of vitamin A, vegetable source is carotene)

Keratin (from hair/hooves/horns/feathers, vegetable source is Phyto-Keratin or Phytokeratin)


This is just a few, check out this huge list from which covers animal ingredients that could be found in food, personal care and household products.


We are I Choose What I Use, the 100% vegan, cruelty free, natural and organic beauty and skin care online store.



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