Cruelty Free means no animal ingredients

Vegan makeup and cosmetics guide

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Vegan Against Cruelty

Vegan beauty products are products that do not contain any animal ingredients, animal by-products, or other animal ingredients. This even includes honey and beeswax. Unfortunately, many animal elements are often used in the manufacture of cosmetics. In addition, such products may be labeled as organic or natural without necessarily being more ethical. For example, beeswax is a natural ingredient, but it is certainly not vegan; Palm oil, also from organic farming, is still a controversial ingredient.

Veganism is about preventing and eliminating cruelty to animals. Therefore, a vegan beauty product should not be tested on animals. However, this is not always the case. The term "vegan" is often only used for "plant-based". Numerous beauty products are also labeled as vegan because they only contain herbal ingredients. This also applies to some that have been tested on animals. "Vegan" products are therefore not necessarily cruelty free. You need to do a lot of research on a particular product to make sure you are buying what you are looking for.

Cruelty-free beauty products have not been tested on animals. Its ingredients have not been tested on animals by any other party. They are also not allowed to be sold in mainland China. The Chinese market requires animal testing for all cosmetic products legally imported into the country. If you are unsure whether a company is cruelty free, you should always read the FAQ section. For example, let's say they mention they don't test their products on animals unless required by law. In this case, it means that they are actually doing animal testing and cannot be considered cruelty free.

Cruelty Free Certification Requirements

For a company to be cruelty free, it must meet the following criteria:

  • Your products have not been tested on animals
  • The ingredients of their products have not been tested on animals
  • They do not commission a third party to carry out the animal experiments on their behalf
  • Their products are not sold in mainland China
  • Your raw material suppliers do not test on animals

However, if a product is cruelty free, it does not mean that it is automatically vegan. Since the term "free from cruelty to animals" only refers to animal experiments, a product without cruelty to animals can still contain animal ingredients. For example, Milani Cosmetics launched a lipstick that is cruelty free but not vegan. This means that Milani lipstick has not been tested on animals. However, it still contains animal ingredients like carmine, the red pigment made from crushed insects.

There are also some cruelty-free brands that are owned by another company that conducts animal testing. One example of this is Urban Decay, a brand that has been certified cruelty free by PETA. However, the parent company is L'Oreal, which is known to test animals when required by law.

Vegan vs. Vegan-Friendly - Is There a Difference?

“Vegan” and “Vegan Friendly” refer to products that do not contain any animal ingredients, animal by-products, or animal ingredients. However, what term is used to refer to a particular product? It depends on whether it is a product of a Organization officially certified. If a product is marked as "vegan" with a logo or brand, it has been approved by the Vegan Society. If a product is marked as "vegan friendly" it does not have such official certification. In this case This does not necessarily mean that the product is less vegan, it just means that an outside organization has not been certified to make sure it meets their standards. However, you should always be careful with brands that do not have official logos or trademarks. If necessary, contact them for information.

Vegetarian beauty products

When you see a product labeled Vegetarian, you can assume that it does not contain any animal-based ingredients. Unfortunately, things are not that simple. As mentioned before, vegan products have nothing that is derived from or made by animals. On the other hand, vegetarian beauty products do not contain animals such as meat or fat. But they contain ingredients that are produced by animals, such as milk, protein, honey, and beeswax. Vegetarian products are not vegan and not necessarily cruelty free.

Animal ingredients to look out for

It may be a chore, but you need to get used to reading labels to make sure your chosen product doesn't contain any animal-based ingredients. They are listed under different names. While you may not be able to remember them all, multiple animal ingredients are often used so you can spot them right away.

Here are some of the ingredients to look out for:

  • Collagen: A protein from animal tissue.
  • Lanolin: A sheep-made wax or fat that is commonly found in eye shadow.
  • Gelatin: A thick substance that comes from the skin or bones of cows.
  • Carmine: A red pigment derived from crushed insects that is commonly found in lipsticks and blushes.
  • Sebum: Animal fat, often derived from cows or sheep.
  • Keratin: ground hooves or feathers.
  • Retinol (Vitamin A): Can be obtained from animal sources such as eggs, beef, chicken liver, and fish, but can also be obtained from plants and vegetables such as carrots, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes.
  • Guanine: Derived from fish scales, often found in lipsticks and mascaras.
  • Musk oil: genital secretions from musk deer commonly used in perfumes.
  • Squalene: An oil made from shark liver.
  • Civet oil: glandular secretions from a cat commonly used in perfumes.
  • Ambergris: Derived from the digestive system of a whale, normally used in perfumes.
  • Stearic Acid: Usually obtained from the stomach of a pig, cow, or sheep, but can also come from vegetable fats.
  • Beeswax: Often used in lipsticks and mascaras.


This section is dedicated to vegan makeup and cosmetics for your face.

Vegan blush

Rosy cheeks are delightful when free from cruelty. Unfortunately, many rouge products are tested on animals. Occasionally, animal ingredients like carmine (crushed beetles) and pearl powder can be added to the ingredient list.

To help you stay absolutely cruel from cheek to cheek, we've put together this list of several vegan and cruelty-free blush options:

  1. 100% pure
  2. Beauty Without Cruelty
  3. OFRA
  4. Tart

Vegan makeup brushes

When applying makeup, it is imperative to use good quality brushes. A good brush can mean the difference between streaky and flawless results. Makeup brushes were traditionally made from animal hair (from squirrels, minks, and horses, to name a few). Even so, synthetic brushes are easy to find these days.

Synthetic brushes are typically made from Taklon fiber or nylon and are hypoallergenic. They also hold powder better and are easier to clean and maintain than non-vegan brushes.

Many cosmetic companies have made a commitment to only use synthetic brushes. Below are some top brands that offer vegan brushes and makeup applicators:

  1. 100% pure
  2. Bdellium
  3. EcoTools
  4. Emani Minerals
  5. Missame
  6. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
  7. Sigma
  8. The Body Shop

Vegan concealer

A touch of concealer can work wonders and hide everything from dark circles to blemishes, burns, and tattoos. Many of the major cosmetic companies that sell concealer are still testing animals. Even so, the cruelty-free concealer continues to grow in popularity and is relatively easy to find.

Here are some companies that make vegan concealers:

  1. 100% pure
  2. Beauty Without Cruelty
  3. Gabriel Cosmetics
  4. ZuZu Luxe
  5. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
  6. Tart

Vegan eyeliner

Nothing can draw attention to your eyes like beautifully applied eyeliner. Eyeliner lets you define your eyes while creating virtually any eye shape imaginable. Whether you prefer liquid, gel-like, or pencil liners, we're here to help you find a vegan and cruelty-free liner that's perfect for you.

Cruelty Free Eyeliner Brands:

  1. 100% pure
  2. Beauty Without Cruelty
  3. Ecco Bella
  4. eleven.
  5. Manic panic
  6. Pacifica
  7. Tart
  8. ZuZu Luxe

Vegan eyeshadow

Nobody wants bug eyes, but that's exactly what you get when you reach for lots of traditional eye shadows. Crushed bugs can create a great shimmer, but let's face it, we can look just as glamorous without harming our bug friends.

Vegan eyeshadow comes in every shade, shine and texture. From loose mineral powders to creamy paint pots, you can find anything cruelty-free if you just take the time to look.

Here are some of the best vegan eyeshadow brands:

  1. 100% pure
  2. Beauty Without Cruelty
  3. eleven.
  4. Manic panic
  5. No miss

Vegan moisturizer for the face

If you want radiant, well-groomed and wrinkle-free skin, it is important to moisturize your face. To make sure that no rabbits (or other animals) have been harmed in the manufacture of your lotion, check that the packaging is clearly labeled "Animal Free" or "Not Tested on Animals" and that the ingredients do not contain any animal derivatives.

You will likely find a wide variety of vegan lotions at your local health food store.

Here are some excellent options for vegan facial moisturizers:

  1. Earth Science
  2. Alba Botanica
  3. 100% pure
  4. Derma E
  5. Jason
  6. The Body Shop

Vegan foundation makeup

When it comes to a product that you put on your face every day, you want to be sure that it is healthy, cruelty free, and of course vegan!

In ancient times, women used a mixture of animal fat, starch, and even white lead (yes, the toxic heavy metal) as an early form of "foundation" to create a desired complexion. While foundations no longer consist primarily of animal fats, modern foundations often include animal ingredients and animal testing.

Here are some great cruelty-free brands that make a vegan foundation:

  1. 100% pure
  2. Beauty Without Cruelty
  3. Ecco Bella
  4. Gabriel Cosmetics
  5. Tart
  6. ZuZu Luxe
  7. eleven.
  8. Emani Minerals

Vegan lipsticks

If you want to pucker up your cruelty-free lips in style, you probably want a vegan lipstick. But watch out! Animal ingredients can be discreetly hidden under thousands of names on lipstick labels. Some key animal ingredients to look out for include beeswax, carmine, lanolin, sebum, and collagen - but again, there are too many to list.

If reading labels and researching ingredients aren't your forte, just go with the companies that pride themselves on being absolutely cruel and vegan. More and more products with the clear label "not tested on animals" and "vegan" are coming onto the market. Some of our favorites are listed below.

Vegan-friendly cosmetic companies that offer vegan lipsticks:

  1. 100% pure
  2. Beauty Without Cruelty
  3. eleven.
  4. Gabriel Cosmetics
  5. Manic panic
  6. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
  7. Pacifica
  8. ZuZu Luxe

Vegan lip balm

When turning to lip balm for super soft and kissable lips, be careful! Most lip balms contain beeswax, and some also contain other nasty ingredients like lanolin, honey, and crimson.

Thankfully, finding a fully vegan lip balm is effortless, and there are several different brands out there that you're sure to love.

Here are some companies that make vegan lip balms:

  1. Hurray!
  2. Crazy Rumors
  3. Ellovi lip butter
  4. Fanciful Fox
  5. LUSH
  6. Surya Brasil

Vegan mascara

Most mascaras contain animal ingredients like beeswax. But ladies, get ready to flip those eyelashes because cruelty-free and vegan mascara just keeps getting easier to find!

Here are some of our favorite brands:

  1. Beauty Without Cruelty
  2. Bodisafe
  3. Gabriel Cosmetics
  4. Lavera
  5. LUSH
  6. Manic panic
  7. Tart
  8. Wet ‘n’ wild
  9. ZuZu Luxe


This section is dedicated to vegan products for your hair.

Vegan shampoo

Several companies make cruelty-free vegan shampoo. Unfortunately, most shampoos still contain animal products. In addition, many top brands are tested on animals.

Which shampoos are vegan?

Many companies make vegan shampoo. These brands often have seals affirming their refusal to use animal testing or ingredients. Regardless of what marketers want you to do, there is generally little quality difference from one brand to the next. So what you probably want is a big, cheap bottle of vegan shampoo, ideally without the need to visit three different stores to find it.

Some well-known cosmetic companies, including Acure, Avalon Organics, and 100% Pure, disapprove of animal testing and label all of their products as vegan.

Here are the top selling vegan shampoos:

  1. 100% pure
  2. Acure
  3. Aubrey Organics
  4. Avalon Organics
  5. Beauty Without Cruelty
  6. Desert Essence
  7. Giovanni
  8. Kiss my face
  9. Love Beauty & Planet
  10. Mineral Fusion
  11. Pacifica
  12. Paul Mitchell

Not so long ago it took a lot of time and effort to find vegan shampoo. But now you have so many great options. It's great to see more and more companies using only vegan ingredients. No doubt our product list above will be twice as long in a few years.

Vegan hair conditioner

You will have no problem finding an excellent brand of vegan hair conditioner without cruelty. Several companies make vegan conditioners that are sold at all prices.

Shampoos and conditioners usually contain the same ingredients. The only notable difference is that conditioners swap oils in place of detergents, as conditioners replace the natural oils that shampoos remove from hair. These oils can be either vegetable or animal. When they are vegetable, they usually come from coconuts or oil seeds. If they are animal, they are almost always obtained from slaughterhouses.

Animal fats are in no way superior to vegetable oils when it comes to hair care, but they are much cheaper. This is why non-premium conditioners are rarely vegan.

Here are the best vegan hair conditioners:

  1. Acure
  2. Aubrey Organics
  3. Avalon Organics
  4. Beauty Without Cruelty
  5. Desert Essence
  6. Giovanni
  7. Love Beauty & Planet
  8. Mineral Fusion
  9. Pacifica
  10. Paul Mitchell

Vegan hairspray

Hairspray, mousse, and styling gels are used to hold hairstyles in place and reduce frizz. These products can contain harmful chemicals and animal by-products and are often tested on animals as well.

Fortunately, there are several cruelty-free hairspray and styling gel options out there. Here are some vegan options:

  1. Aveda
  2. Aubrey Organics
  3. Beauty Without Cruelty
  4. Giovanni
  5. Jason
  6. Pureology

Vegan hair dye

People have always used dyes to color their hair. Although many women in Western countries are often expensive and often toxic, they dye their hair. Due to the harsh nature of hair dyes, these products are highly regulated and are generally tested on animals.

Fortunately, there are some hair dyes that are free from animal ingredients and tests:

  1. LUSH
  2. Manic panic
  3. Morrocco Method
  4. Surya Brasil

Skin care

This section is dedicated to vegan products for your skin.

Vegan deodorant

Finding a cruelty-free vegan deodorant that actually works was once a challenge. But there are so many brands and strains on the market today that you are sure to find one that will work for you.

But first, it's important to distinguish deodorants from antiperspirants. Human sweat is odorless until fermented by bacteria. Deodorants inhibit bacterial growth and mask the odor so you don't stink. At the same time, antiperspirants use chemical agents to narrow the sweat ducts and block sweat altogether.

There are unsubstantiated claims that antiperspirant blockage of the sweat glands is linked to cancer. This is a sketchy claim right now, but regardless, it intuitively seems like a more prudent choice for most people.

Here are some highly rated vegan deodorant brands:

  1. LaVanila
  2. Crystal
  3. Herban cowboy
  4. North Coast Organics

Vegan lotions

There are so many vegan lotions on the market that are perfect for moisturizing dry skin.

The list of ingredients for lotions can be lengthy and virtually indecipherable. Many ingredients can be either animal or vegetable in origin. Depending on where the raw materials come from, there is no way of knowing what they are without asking the company directly. With that in mind, your best bet is to look for seals that indicate the product is free from animal products and testing.

Here is our list of companies that make or sell vegan lotions:

  1. 100% pure
  2. Beauty Without Cruelty
  3. Desert Essence
  4. Earth Science
  5. Ellovi
  6. Jason
  7. LUSH
  8. Mineral Fusion
  9. Nature’s Gate
  10. Pangea Organics

Vegan tanning products

If you're looking for a golden tan without exposing your skin to the sun, you are likely turning to self-tanning products. Self-tanning works by rubbing or spraying chemicals on the skin to darken its color. Most likely, spray tans are less dangerous than a natural sun tan, largely because it's easy to overdo your exposure and get sunburned. It is important to note that any sunburn causes irreversible damage to the skin. Your skin never completely heals from sunburn, and repeated burns result in leathery-looking skin and a significantly increased risk of skin cancer over the next few years or decades.

In contrast to natural tanning in the sun, spray tans have the advantage that they achieve immediate results (if only for a few days).

The bad news is that spray tans can look fake and give the skin an unnatural shade of orange. Worse, most self-tanning products are tested on animals. Fortunately, there are a few vegan products:

  1. MyChelle
  2. Nature’s Gate
  3. Paula's Choice


This section is dedicated to vegan products for your nails.

Vegan nail polish

Nail polish can be a fun way to beautify your nails or cover up imperfections. Unfortunately, most brands of nail polish are tested on animals and contain harsh chemical ingredients. Although formaldehyde is banned for use in cosmetics in several countries, it is commonly used in nail polish.

For the great benefit of animals and humans, several companies have introduced lines of nail polish that are cruelty free and vegan.

Here are the best vegan nail polish brands:

  1. 100% pure
  2. 1143 H20 Nail Polish
  3. A • thorn
  4. Beauty Without Cruelty
  5. Butter London
  6. Ella + Mila
  7. Flower Beauty
  8. LVX
  9. NCLA
  10. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
  11. Pacifica
  12. Spa ritual

Vegan nail polish remover

When it comes time to remove your nail polish, chances are you turn to the store-bought nail polish remover. The active ingredient in nail polish remover is either acetone or ethyl acetate mixed with oils, color, fragrance and vitamin E to make it more comfortable. While the ingredients in nail polish remover are generally animal-free, many companies run a nail polish remover test on animals. Hence, it is important to look for the "cruelty free" label.

Here are some cruelty-free vegan brands of nail polish remover:

  1. Honeybee Gardens
  2. No miss
  3. Spa ritual

You can also buy 100% acetone at any drug store, which is very effective at removing your polish but can be tough on your nails.


This section is dedicated to general vegan products in your bathroom.

Vegan bubble bath

If you enjoy sinking into a hot, bubble-rich bath after a stressful day, you're in luck. Several premium quality vegan bubble bath products will ease your tension. And there is also a vegan bubble bath made just for kids.

All of the products listed below are not only free from animal derivatives, but also contain natural and healthy ingredients that your body can soak up well.

  1. LUSH
  2. 100% pure
  3. Deep steep
  4. EO

Vegan bath bombs

Bath bombs take the luxury and relaxation of a bath to a whole new level and turn your bath water into a swirl of beautiful colors and floral aromas. They are usually made from natural ingredients and are sold without packaging. Always check the ingredient label as some contain honey but most bath bombs are vegan.

Most bath bombs contain sodium bicarbonate and citric acid (which together create a fun bubble that makes the bath bomb swirl around your bathroom like a dance). They also generally contain propylene glycol (which helps the skin absorb moisture), cornstarch, dyes, and aromatic ingredients like essential oils, flowers, and herbs.

The best bath bombs are made by LUSH which has stores worldwide and an online store. LUSH produces fresh handmade cosmetic and bath additives. All vegan products are marked with a "V". If you've never been to a LUSH store before, find one and treat yourself to a bath bomb!

Vegan shaving creams and gels

Say you're in the vegan shaving products market. In this case, shaving cream is the most important place, as all the best-selling private labels contain a number of substances that are likely to be by-products of slaughterhouses. If a pressurized vegan can contains a mass-market shaving cream that is vegan, we haven't heard of it. But some premium shaving gels are vegan and work just as well as regular creams:

  1. Dr. Bronner’s
  2. Earth Science
  3. Herban cowboy

Vegan soap

Vegan soap is easy to find. However, you should always assume that soap contains animal-based ingredients unless otherwise stated on the label.

Many bar soaps contain animal fat derivatives as their main ingredients. Don't expect soap companies to find out about animal fat usage. For example, ivory soap bars have the label "99.44% pure" on the label. However, it is mainly made from rendered animal fat obtained from slaughterhouses. Soap made from animal fat often has "sodium tallow" on the label - a clue as tallow is a fancy word for beef fat.

Similarly, common vegan soap ingredients include sodium cocoate (as found in coconuts) or sodium palm kernel (derived from palm kernels). Olive oil can be processed to make an excellent bar soap. If it's vegetable fat, companies can find a way to turn it into cruelty-free soap.

Fortunately, given the unprecedented demand for cruelty-free personal care products, you can now find vegan soap just about anywhere you shop.

Vegan soap brands:

  1. Mrs. Meyers
  2. 100% pure
  3. Dr. Bronner’s
  4. Herban cowboy
  5. Kiss my face
  6. LUSH
  7. Pacifica
  8. Pangea Organics
✍️ April 26, 2021
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