The beauty industry as a whole has been using animal testing for decades. And although many brands are doing away with animal testing to meet the increasing demand for products that are “cruelty free” —the practice still occurs.

Why does it still exist?

The reason animal testing still exists primarily hinges on regulations that exist in China and whether beauty brands want to make their products available there. That said, if the cruelty free hand cream you were considering is being sold in China you might want to think twice about your purchase.

The good news is that there are more cruelty free brands available on the market today than ever before. For the growing population of beauty and skin care consumers who are mindful about purchasing cruelty free beauty products this is a big deal.

To some consumers, the term might just seem like another marketing tactic. So what does the term “cruelty free” actually mean?

Cruelty free products mean that a brand cares about animals and protects them from unnecessary harm during the development of its products. In other words, a product and its ingredients were not tested on animals at any point of its production.

And while the practice of animal testing may still exist in some countries—it has been outright banned by many others.

The European Union passed a law in 2013 that banned the practice of animal testing—making it illegal for any animal tested products to be sold there. So any cruelty free lotion brands (or any brands for that matter) that exist outside of the European Union wanting to sell there must also pass a cruelty free test in order to do business there.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t require products to be tested on animals—but it also hasn’t provided legal definitions for the term “cruelty free”. This makes it difficult to substantiate any brand’s claims unless they are part of a certified program.

You should also know that even when a cruelty free face lotion label says “cruelty-free” or “not tested on animals,” it might not be true. Many times, skin care companies will print the phrase on their packaging—but that doesn’t mean the ingredients they’re sourcing for their products weren’t tested on animals before they got a hold of them.

The best cruelty free skincare brands are the ones who are transparent about their sourcing, certified by an accredited cruelty free program, and not sold in countries that require it.

We especially like vegan and cruelty free skincare as vegan brands also have the added bonus of using no animal derived ingredients. Vegan cruelty free brands mostly guarantee no harm has come to animals at any stage of their product development.  

All that said, the way to ensure that the hyped up best cruelty free night cream you’re about to purchase is truly the best, is to read the label and do your research!

Here are a few additional ways to help you check up on your favorite “cruelty free” companies:

One way to find out whether your favorite brands test on animals is to check their company websites. Many companies will address the issue of animal testing with statements such as, “We do not conduct animal testing, nor ask others to do so on our behalf, except where it is required by law.” Again, this statement includes “except where it is required by law” which means they could be selling in a country like China.

Leaping Bunny, an organization that certifies brands as cruelty free, has a comprehensive shopping guide on its site and even offers an app to help you find the best cruelty free lotion or best cruelty free face moisturizer for you. Products that meet Leaping Bunny’s standard must not have animal tested throughout any stage of production, and they cannot include any ingredients that have been tested on animals as well.

PETA also has a cruelty-free shopping guide and its own searchable database of cruelty-free brands so you can fact check that cruelty free face cream you just purchased. Companies on their list must verify that they or their suppliers do not pay for any animal testing for ingredients, formulas or products.

Choose Cruelty Free also offers similar resources to help you find the absolute best cruelty free moisturizer that you can. The products that meet its criteria must not have been tested on animals, nor include ingredients that have been tested on animals.

While it’s true that China is a huge market and some of the biggest international skin care brands still comply with its animal testing regulation, many of them are starting to do things like fund initiatives that support ethical alternatives. Some are even working with Chinese authorities to help change the testing requirement.

Perhaps the biggest and most important thing we can all do as consumers is to vote with our dollars. The more brands recognize that there’s a demand for cruelty free products, the more they will invest time and money to meet that demand. If there’s motivation for them to make the best cruelty free body lotion, then they will make it.

We think Nucifera makes some of the best cruelty free skin care products on the market. All of our paraben free skin care products are made with certified organic and wild-harvested plant-based oils, butters, essential oils and botanicals. We are a vegan, cruelty free brand and use absolutely no animal derived ingredients.

We wouldn't be anywhere without the amazing support and feedback we get from our community. Here’s a few words from one of our most recent fans. Thank you! We appreciate and love you all!

“This is the most amazing product ever! The smell is so intoxicating. I am super picky about scents and this is just incredible. It smells like the definition of a spa. I love using it for the scent alone. It goes on kind smoothly and then soaks in and you have perfectly soft skin. I am going to start using it as my makeup remover as well. This is probably my most favorite green beauty and cruelty free product ever, and I have tried practically every organic moisturizer out there.”

- Julia M

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