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Cruelty-Free Skin Care We Buy On Repeat


There’s nothing quite like coming home after a stressful day at the office, putting on your cosiest pyjamas (plus your favourite podcast/comfort series/vibe-inducing playlist) and doing your skin care routine. Ahhh, we can feel the bliss already.  

Yep, there’s no denying that it’s a ritual many of us look forward to — but how can we be sure our double cleanse comes with a clear conscience?  

Thankfully, it’s never been easier to find out whether your favourite products (or those on your wish list) align with your values. Powered by Provenance (more on that in a minute), our transparency initiative — Cult Conscious — is all about laying bare the ins and outs when it comes to our beauty buys. And today’s focus? Cruelty-free skin care. 

What does it mean to be cruelty-free? 

In partnership with Provenance — which performs extensive due diligence into brands’ impact claims and then displays these via Proof Points to give you at-a-glance confirmation — we’ve sourced the brands doing good when it comes to protecting our furry (and sometimes not so furry) friends. 

When shopping, look out for the Leaping Bunny logo which provides assurance that products meet the global gold standard for cruelty-free. For a brand to be classed as Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free (and be awarded a coveted Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free Proof Point) there are several steps it must take, these include: 

  • Applying a fixed cut-off date after which neither the brand nor any of its suppliers and manufacturers may conduct, commission or be a party to animal tests for raw materials or ingredients anywhere in the world 
  • Setting up a continuous monitoring system to ensure all its suppliers and manufacturers comply with Leaping Bunny criteria 
  • Checking through every level of supply chains down to component ingredient manufacturers and gather annual declarations from all suppliers 

“Brands must meet rigorous criteria which apply globally and extend over and above laws governing animal testing and include ongoing independent audits,” explains the Cruelty-Free International's Leaping Bunny Programme. “Only then can they display the Leaping Bunny logo.” 

As well as the Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free Proof Point, keep your eyes peeled for the PETA Cruelty-Free and PETA Cruelty-Free & Vegan Proof Points. Familiar to many, PETA (AKA the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is an animal rights organisation that, among other things, sets a standard for cruelty-free products. Like the Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free Proof Point, there’s a string of requirements that brands need to meet to be awarded a PETA Cruelty-Free or PETA Cruelty-Free & Vegan Proof Point. 

For a brand to be classed as PETA Cruelty-Free, some of the steps it must take include: 

  • Signing a statement that it or its suppliers do not conduct, commission, pay for or allow any tests on animals for ingredients, formulations or finished products and won’t do so in the future 
  • Putting agreements in place with its suppliers that no animal testing is done at any stage 

For a brand to be classed as PETA Cruelty-Free & Vegan it must follow the above steps as well as: 

  • Guaranteeing its product do not include animal products or derivatives of animal products  

“Labels can be deceptive, so be careful!” the organisation explains, emphasising the importance of work like that carried out by Provenance. “No specific laws exist regarding ‘cruelty-free’ or ‘no animal testing’ labeling of products, and companies may not have the same high standards as PETA when labeling their products,” PETA adds. “Our requirements include ingredients, ingredient suppliers, formulations, and finished products.” 

 Shop cruelty-free skin care

Now you’ve got the lowdown on cruelty-free skin care and how to spot it when you’re shopping these are the products you need on your radar (and in your routine)... 

A time and time again favourite (that always sells out) the Superfood Cleanser instantly feeds your face with refreshing, good-for-you ingredients including cold-pressed antioxidants and anti-inflammatory essentials. 

Combining the power of leafy-green superfoods with the moisture magnet that is hyaluronic acid, the Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream boasts a deliciously light, creamy, gel-like texture that absorbs quickly and works to restore, balance and condition all skin types. 

Super-charged with vitamin C to dramatically improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone, this serum also tackles dullness and dehydration along with fine lines. 

As if we needed another excuse to love Glow Recipe, the cult classic Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops are cruelty-free as well as working wonders when it comes to achieving sought-after radiance. 

Ideal for blemish-prone, oily or combination skin, this non-abrasive formula is laced with BHA salicylic acid to remove dead skin cells both on the skin's surface and within pores. And that’s not all, as this wonder formula also soothes skin while boosting hydration levels. 

 More cruelty-free skin care


Jade Biggs
Jade Biggs Writer and expert
Having spent much of her career in the world of glossy magazines, Jade is one of Cult Beauty's Senior Copywriters. As well as a passion for all-things-words (she can — and will, if asked — write a dissertation on fake tan), she has heaps of skin care and beauty know-how (including how to achieve the perfect winged eyeliner again and again... and again). When she’s not applying fake tan or admiring her knife-sharp liner, she’s an adoring mum to four feline fur babies, hunting down inspiration for her next set of acrylic nails or watching endless episodes of reality TV.

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