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Cruelty-Free Clarity: 7 Common Myths & Facts

If you stumbled upon this blog, chances are you are either already dedicated to a cruelty-free lifestyle, or are on the brink of embarking on one. Chances are also that you’ve come across information that at times may seem contradictory and perplexing. This is because the term “cruelty-free” is unfortunately not regulated anywhere in the world, allowing various interpretations to flourish based on individual ethical beliefs and perspectives. As the popularity of cruelty-free products continues to soar, so too do the myths and misconceptions surrounding them. In this blog post, we aim to dissect and debunk some of the most pervasive myths in the cruelty-free industry, empowering you to confidently navigate your journey toward an ethical lifestyle.


1. Cruelty-Free products are also Vegan

One of the most prevalent myths is that cruelty-free and vegan are interchangeable terms. While cruelty-free products do not undergo animal testing, vegan products go a step further by excluding all animal-derived ingredients. Not all cruelty-free products are vegan, and vice versa.

Having said that, many people consider both the presence of animal ingredients and animal testing when describing something as cruelty-free. This is in many cases justified, as ingredients of animal origin are often derived in ways that are very cruel. For example, squalene, which is often used as a hydratant and antioxidant in many skincare products, is derived from shark liver oil.
Still, regardless of what the term “cruelty-free” means to you personally, it is useful to know that the most widely adopted definition separates animal testing from vegan products, as it will help you when coming across different brands and their labels.


2. Brands that sell in the EU are not tested on animals, because animal testing is illegal in the EU

While it's true that the European Union has banned animal testing for cosmetics, this does not mean that all brands selling in the EU are cruelty-free. Some brands may still conduct animal testing in other countries where it is required or not prohibited.


3. Cosmetics manufactured in China are not Cruelty-free, because animal testing is mandatory in China

While China does require animal testing for imported cosmetics, there are exceptions for products manufactured domestically. Additionally, some brands choose to sell exclusively online in China to bypass animal testing requirements, as the requirement for animal testing applies only for products sold in-store.


4. Cruelty-free equals organic, natural or clean

Although cruelty-free products may align with organic or natural principles, the terms are not synonymous. Cruelty-free refers specifically to the absence of animal testing, while organic and natural refer to the specific ingredients used in the product, their origin, or presence of harmful chemicals.


5. The brand claims to be cruelty-free on their website - therefore it’s cruelty-free

The demand for cruelty-free cosmetics is on the constant rise, and brands are aware of the fact that admitting their animal testing practices could lead to a loss of millions in both customers and profit. So, many brands proudly display cruelty-free claims on their websites, and inexperienced cruelty-free newbies unfortunately fall prey to these claims. Some brands may make misleading statements or lack transparency about their testing policies. It's crucial to verify these claims through third-party certifications or reliable sources.


6. Animal testing is the most reliable safety measure

Contrary to popular belief, animal testing is not always the most reliable or accurate method for ensuring product safety. Advances in technology have led to the development of alternative testing methods that are more ethical, efficient, and predictive of human responses. The fact that many countries have made animal testing for cosmetics illegal, and introduced alternative testing methods, can be seen as a proof of that.


7. Becoming cruelty-free is hard

Transitioning to a cruelty-free lifestyle may seem daunting at first, but it's more achievable than ever before. With the growing availability of cruelty-free brands and information resources, consumers have ample options to make compassionate choices without sacrificing quality or their budget. There are many organisations and blogs that provide invaluable guidance and research, paving the way for conscientious shoppers.

At Cruelty-Free Babe, we go one step further and, for the first time in the world of ethical beauty, enable a direct cruelty-free shopping experience. By incorporating reliable resources and offering only cruelty-free brands, we simplify the decision-making process by saving customers time and mental energy.

Is there any myth about cruelty-free or vegan cosmetics that you once believed, but found out it wasn’t true? Let us know and join us in making cruelty-free the norm, rather than a “category”.