Know your makeup: What are cruelty-free cosmetic products?


The growth in demand for cruelty-free products is a testament to the increase in ethical choices and number of consciously shopping consumers.

‘Cruelty-free’ is an old term that has recently come into the spotlight after a recent interview given to by Bollywood celebrity Shraddha Kapoor. She said she only uses products that are natural, ethically sourced, 100 per cent vegetarian and 100 per cent animal cruelty-free.

Cruelty-free products are those which are not tested on animals. These are widely supported by environmental activists and enthusiasts, as the procedure ensures them to live peacefully, without harm. The growth in demand for these products is a testament to the increase in ethical choices and number of consciously shopping consumers.

How do you know if a product is cruelty-free? Though there is no universally accepted standard for its eligibility, a product can be considered cruelty-free if it meets the following parameters:

* The product or any ingredient in the products should not be tested on animals at any stage of manufacturing or development. A brand is considered cruelty-free only once it follows the practice for a certain period of time. The leaping bunny standard, an international certification organisation, follows a span of five years and more. The span is different for every organisation.

* Any ingredient in the product must not be extraction of a dead animal, a living animal, any wildlife species or a by-product of the fur industry. “Though the ingredient derived from slaughter-houses are debated to be cruelty-free the parameters are variable in every country. In India, the slaughter-house by-products are not considered cruelty-free”, says Naina Ruhail, Co-founder of Vanity Wagon.

* The parent company of the subsidiary brand must already be a cruelty-free brand. Any one product or subsidiary concerned cannot earn a cruelty-free certification as per the laid laws.

“There are an ample number of organisations scrutinising eligible brands’ practices every now and then to put an end to the act of putting the innocent animals to try to bring consumers a personal care product that might work on their skin, hair or body,” Ruhail adds.

In our last story in the ‘Know your makeup‘ series, we talked about how Vitamin E is an important fat-soluble antioxidant and has been in use for more than 50 years in dermatology. It is an important ingredient in many cosmetic products to have healthy, firm, radiant-looking skin.

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