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Beauty Without Bunnies ?

Tuesday 17 June 2014
Words Ailis Mara

It’s been just over a year since the complete ban on all animal tested cosmetic products within the EU and we thought that it was about time to discuss (not lecture) the pressing issue of animal cruelty in your makeup bag…

In 2009 the testing of cosmetics on animals was banned in Europe, but this didn’t mean that all cosmetic brands sold in Europe automatically became cruelty free. They could no longer do the testing in Europe but they could still do it globally which meant that animal tested products were still ending up in our local shops. The ban was on EU testing not EU selling.

This all changed however when in March 2013 the ban expanded from not only the testing on animals in the EU, but to any animal tested product being able to be sold within the EU-even if the testing had been carried out elsewhere… hoorah!

But, this still doesn’t mean to say that all the brands we see on our European shelves are cruelty free. Far from it in fact! It means that animal tested products can’t be sold within the EU but they can still be sold globally, meaning that companies can still profit from animal testing, they just can’t do it in Europe.

Leaping Bunny Logo

So, you bought all the cosmetics in your make up and toiletry bag in the UK, which is part of the EU, which means that all your purchases were cruelty free, right? Wrong! It’s a pretty confusing issue so that’s where the Leaping Bunny comes in to help us out. Any company that has the Leaping Bunny logo means that they have been approved by PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies programme and are completely cruelty free both within the EU and globally.  The Leaping Bunny is a global standard that only certifies companies that have a policy not to test their products on animals in any market. So only when you see that happy little bunny can you be certain that your consuming is completely cruelty free.


Us consumers can be lazy and we like to stick to what we know. I’m totally guilty too and would love to say that the products I use are completely cruelty-free, but even with the awareness of what brands are and aren’t, convenience, habit and cash flow still play huge roles in our purchasing patterns. There are many brands that I’m sad to say I do really like but that aren’t Leaping Bunny approved, however there are also many that I’m a massive fan of and that I’m over the rabbit hole to say do get that all important stamp of approval. Some of my favourites include Paul Mitchell, Lush, Urban Decay, The Body Shop, Neal’s Yard, Liz Earle, Burt’s Bees, Dermalogica and M&S.

Cruelty Free Products

Some of my absolute fave face washes that I can’t recommend enough are cruelty free; Burt’s Bee’s Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream and Dermalogica’s Special Cleansing Gel. Some of my other recommendations for cruelty free beauty staples include Urban Decay’s Uzi 24/7 eyeliner, Paul Mitchell’s Freeze and Shine Hairspray and any one of The Body Shop’s gazillion body butters.

So despite the logistics seeming confusing at first, and whilst habit and convenience will always play a part in our shopping habits, as long as we follow the bunny it really is easier than we think to go cruelty free with our beauty buys. A full list of Leaping Bunny approved cosmetic brands can be found by following either of these links: http://gocrueltyfree.org/search/?product-type=cosmetics&country=231 and http://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/index.aspx

So how about we make a deal? Let’s pledge that every time we need to replen our cosmetic shelves we’ll check the official lists and where feasible swap as many non-approved products for as many approved as we can. Let’s go forth and be cruelty free, and remember that only the Leaping Bunny can provide total peace of mind.

Just a few symbols to look out for when your shopping for cruelty free beauty :



Words : Steph @BeautsBeauty