Animal-testing of cosmetics is not a thing of the past, and what you read on the label can be misleading, says Santosh Krinsky, CEO of the personal-care brand Beauty Without Cruelty ( The terms “natural,” “organic,” and even “cruelty-free” are no guarantee that a given product was not tested on animals. Share Krinsky’s beauty-buying tips with the animal-lovers among your clientele.

> Labels can be misleading, such as “not tested on animals.” While there are multiple organizations dedicated to animal well-being, there is no strict set of rules governing product labels that read, “Not tested on animals” or “We are against animal testing.” The claims may simply mean that a third party does the testing, or the manufacturer acquires raw materials that are being actively tested on animals by the raw material vendor. Or, companies may have a loose interpretation of “cruelty-free.” Look for the endorsement of groups with high certification standards, such as the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics, whose “leaping bunny” logo is an internationally recognized and trusted symbol.

> “Natural” and “organic” do not necessarily mean a product is cruelty-free. These buzzwords may fall short of certification from a reputable organization. “Natural” and “organic” don’t necessarily equate to cruelty-free and not tested on animals. Suppliers are required to assess safety for natural and organic ingredients just as for synthetic materials, and evidence may be gathered using animal tests, so those products are as likely as any others to have relied upon animal testing.

> Look for the country where the product was manufactured. The EU agreed on a European ban on animal testing, but animal testing is still common practice in the United States, Asia, and other parts of the world. American companies no longer test on dogs and cats, however, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, and other creatures are subject to various tests.


For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.