Clean Beauty

Is Clean Makeup Cruelty Free?

3 Mins read

The “clean” makeup market is on the rise. In this review I’ll answer your question – is clean makeup really cruelty-free?

Is clean makeup cruelty-free?

The truth is that it is, but it also isn’t. You see, there’s no legal definition of what cruelty-free makeup actually is. It’s not like a product can get certified as being cruelty-free.

What most people refer to as cruelty-free cosmetics are those that are not tested on animals.

So they don’t contain any ingredients that were tested on animals in order to obtain their safety data.

Tested on Animals:

Before we go into what “clean” cosmetics are, let’s talk about products that have been tested on animals first.

This means that before companies create or market their product, they would have had to test the formula in some way or another on animals to determine if it was safe for consumption or use by humans.

There are many common examples of animal testing such as the Draize test, where rabbits and other animals are put into cages and force-fed the product until it kills them.

While this might sound atrocious and disgusting, it has proven to be effective in determining how safe a product is for human consumption or use.

Other examples include skin irritation tests where chemicals are applied to the skin of an animal.

Is clean beauty cruelty-free?

Not all clean beauty is cruelty-free. While there are some great cruelty-free brands out there, many companies in this market aren’t actually cruelty-free.

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Let’s start with some definitions:


This means that the company does not test on animals at any point during the development of the product.

This includes ingredients and finished products.

Some companies will only make this claim if it is not required by law, so if you’re outside of the US and you can’t find a statement saying they’re cruelty-free, assume they’re not.


This means that the product contains no animal-derived ingredients or parts (ie. no beeswax, lanolin, etc.).

Some vegan products are still not cruelty-free because they may have been tested on animals during manufacturing.


This means that the company doesn’t use ingredients in their products that were sourced using unsustainable methods.

It does not necessarily mean that a company is cruelty-free.

How do you find out if a makeup item is cruelty-free?

It can be difficult to know whether your makeup is cruelty-free.

Unlike food, which has to at least list ingredients and nutritional information on the packaging, cosmetics have no such requirements.

It means that even if you are buying from a cruelty-free company, it can be hard to know whether their products contain any animal products.

Date labels on makeup aren’t always reliable either.

For example in 2013, L’Oreal was forced to remove the “cruelty-free” claims on their mascaras after it was discovered that they contained animal products.

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So how do you know if your makeup is cruelty-free? Here are some tips:

1) Check the packaging.

2) Look for certifications.

3) Look at the ingredients list.

4) Search online.

5) Ask the company directly.

6) Avoid brands owned by parent companies who test on animals.

7) Support brands with ethical policies.

8) Get involved in campaigns against animal testing.

9) Buy second-hand and vintage makeup.

What’s the difference between clean beauty and vegan beauty?

In general, “clean” refers to products with minimal ingredients, while “vegan” means that nothing of animal origin is used.

That’s not to say that vegan products are automatically clean.

They can include just as many chemicals as any other product.

The difference is that none of them come from animals or from things like beeswax, which can be obtained by boiling the honey out of beehives.

Why is it important that my makeup is cruelty-free?

Why is it important that your makeup is cruelty-free? Don’t you know that animals are being killed for the sake of your beauty?

I feel like if you care about animals and are against animal testing, you would choose products that are not tested on animals.

I have always loved animals and while growing up, I have rescued many of them.

I was shocked to find out that animals are killed for the sake of my beauty.

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That’s why I prefer buying products that were not tested on animals.

It is a great feeling to know that you helped someone in need with your decision.

So, here are 10 reasons why it is important that your makeup is cruelty-free:

1) You can be nice to someone who cannot be nice to you in return.

2) You can make a statement about what’s important to you.

3) You support small businesses, which means more jobs in the community where you live.

4) You can save money because not all makeup brands test on animals.

5) You can avoid the guilt of supporting animal cruelty.

6) There is a wider range of colors available, which allows you to find exactly what you want without worrying about whether or not it will irritate your skin.

7) If you have allergies or sensitivities, there are more products on the market that cater to people with those concerns when their ingredients are completely transparent and natural.

Final Thoughts

There are many reasons to love cruelty-free clean makeup, especially for those who have sensitive skin.

By purchasing products that are cleaner, you can feel better about what you’re putting on your face and if they’re helping to make a difference in the cosmetic industry.

Your attitude towards clean beauty also has a big impact on how well your skin might react to products.