High street cruelty free beauty

I’ve been vegan for a year and a half now and knowing what I can and can’t eat has become second nature. But it wasn’t until recently I began to think about the implications of buying beauty products that have been tested on animals, it suddenly felt like I hadn’t been a proper vegan for this whole time so I began researching what brands I should be avoiding immediately.

It turns out LOADS of companies test on animals, or claim they don’t but actually do. How annoying! During my research I found lots of cruelty free lists which conflicted each other, so I think the most trust worthy source I found was Go Cruelty Free which has a list of household and beauty brands that definitely don’t test on animals – jackpot!

After my research I hit the high street ready to make loads of cruelty free purchases but when I was faced with an aisle full of products all the hours of Googling ‘what brands do/don’t test on animals uk’ kind of went out the window and I forgot which brands were safe and which were not. I decided the best way forward was to look at the back of the packaging to see if I could see any signs of whether the brands I’d picked up were cruelty free or not – I was pleasantly surprised by a few.




These are the products that I ended up buying:


The Body Shop used to be a trusted name in my eyes, until they got bought by L’Oreal – say what?! They say that they have kept the ethical values of not testing on animals but the fact they are know owned by a big nasty animal testing company puts me off them a bit. Nevertheless their products are amazing and I’ve grown up using them so it’s hard to turn my back on the company, I still had a pot of their olive body butter from before I discovered they were bought by L’Oreal so I have kept using it. Do you think we should boycott The Body Shop?

Superdrug and Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula put on their packaging that they don’t test on animals which is fabulous news, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by both brands, Palmer’s is super moisturising and smells divine and Superdrug products really are no different to the branded stuff. Batiste dry shampoo is like an old friend that is there for you time and time again when your hair isn’t looking its best so I was very pleased to see that it’s vegan friendly. As for Soap and Glory, could that brand get any better?! The bath/shower products are the yummiest out there and their make up is always on point – I swear by their Archery brow pencil.


I know that Topshop and Beauty UK make up ranges aren’t tested on animals and neither are Eco Tools brushes – I mean a name like Eco Tools just sounds cruelty free if ya know what I mean. But then there are brands which are a bit more of a grey area, I bought myself some John Frieda Frizz Ease after reading that John Frieda don’t test on animals but their parent company KAO does so therefore buying John Frieda products supports them, and animal testing – a big no no. In the future I think I will stick to brands which I know are cruelty free like Superdrug and Original Source aka the fruitiest shower gel ever.

So that was my cruelty free shopping adventure, if any of the information I provided was wrong then let me know! My biggest piece of advice would be to remember and avoid the following companies:

  • Johnson and Johnson
  • L’Oreal
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Reckitt Benckiser
  • Unilever

Happy shopping!


27 thoughts on “High street cruelty free beauty

  1. Great post honey! It’s so hard to find products out there that aren’t completely tested on animals! Glad I read this about the body shop, I had no idea they were bought out by L’oreal! Looooved this post hon! 🙂 xoxo

  2. The reasoning behind not boycotting those companies that don’t test but have a parent company that do is because it pushes up the cruelty free brands higher and they put more money into it. I mean, you wouldn’t boycott Amy’s labeled vegan dinners because they also sell a few non vegan meals, right? Or that you’d avoid buying food products like Boca because it’s parent company(Kraft) sells meat products?
    It’s supply and demand, you raise demand for cruelty free products, that shows a desire for them, they funnel more money into advertising those products and getting them in the hands of more consumers. 🙂

  3. For me buying cruelty free was actually before I went vegan! I was shocked when I leaned that animal testing still exists, it’s so barbaric:(
    I buy a lot from The Body Shop. I feel like if the individual company is cruelty free then it is ok (although it seems bad that l’Oreal “owns” them, I feel like they are still separate entities. It is different from say, Estée Lauder which owns several companies and had them change their animal testing policies to include “where required by law). Also on the “where required by law note” keep in mind (if you don’t already know!) that this means a company will allow animal testing (usually to sell in China) and this IS NOT cruelty free! Also be wary that if it is not the PETA or Leaping Bunny symbol, they could be lying! Ie maybe the ingredients were tested on animals but not the final product, or perhaps they sell in China and allow third parties to test for them.
    I hope I’m not being annoying and telling you things you already know! Much love!

  4. Pingback: A vegan in New York | Eve the Vegan

  5. Interesting post thanks, although a bit horrifying that 2 moisturizers that work really well for me (Vaseline and Aveeno) are made by bad companies. Do you know of any vegan ones that are similar? (absorbable, no girly smells! etc) Incidentally I found out that Ovelle and Elave say they are animal testing-free (they make the aqueous cream avaliable in Sainsburys for example.) Do you know anything about the European ban on testing? Are we to trust that anything made in the EU is good? I’m gonna look into it now. Thanks for the blog!

    • Hi thanks for stopping by! I normally use Superdrug own brand products on my face but at the minute I’m using Simple kind to skin moisture cream as I got given a free sample, I’m actually quite liking it although I’m not sure if Simple tests on animals as it’s not clear on the internet. I think the best bet is using products from somewhere like Lush because they’re an advocate for not testing on animals – however they’re not cheap! I’ll look into the EU ban on testing because I know that big companies like Rimmel have factories in China where animal testing is compulsory, so who knows what has been tested where!

  6. Hi! I just came across your blog while googling whether John Frieda is or isn’t vegan. I wanted to point out that if you’re going to boycott brands that are owned by the big bads then Original Source is a No-No. It is part of Cussons.

    • Hi, thanks for stopping by! I’m glad you pointed that out to me, I think in the future I will only buy products with the leaping bunny accreditation as they only endorse ethical companies. Thanks again!

  7. I know batiste must be one of the best and affordable dry shampoo it is still owned by Church & Dwight (Arm & Hammer) which do test on animals. Some companies are really hard to know if they’re cruelty free or not due to this whole thing with parent companies.

  8. Hi, great post. Another great resource for cruelty-free and vegan is Peta. As a vegan, my health and beauty products must be vegan, not simply cruelty free. There are so much information out there, too much in my opinion, and they are not accurate. And, yes, it is important to know who really gets your money – the Parent Co. These companies use animal by-products simply mixed with some chemicals to give a “scientific” sounding name, but basically, dead animals, bird droppings, fish scales, yes, some really gross stuff, but who would purchase anything if those were the listed ingredients. Just wanted to share! Thanks…..k

  9. Hi, just seen this blog and wanted to comment that Original Source may be vegan but is not cruelty free. I’ve queried this with the Vegan Society and their criteria is no animal products not necessarily cruelty free…. crazy but true. You need both vegan and cruelty free to ensure meets both criteria. Yet another level to the minefield of buying the right products, especially when the parent company is not obvious. Came across a useful blog not long ago where a lot of time and effort has been put into identifying the parent companies, Link below makes interesting reading

  10. I just had an email from Palmer’s saying their products are not suitable for vegans – they didn’t explain why that’s the case. I know that sometimes the leaping bunny etc just shows it has not been tested on animals, but it doesn’t mean there are no ingredients derived from animals 😦 a complete minefield!

  11. Palmers sell in China so there products are tested on animals, any products that are sold in China are tested on animals, this is the law so before you say they are animal friendly you must check first.

  12. Hi please could you help? I use cruelty free products but have been told that more and more shops that are in the Uk are opening up in China or have been there for a while like Tesco, Next, House of Fraser, H&M etc etc so does that mean because they actually have stores in China that there products are tested on animals or not because i shop in Tesco so if they test their products i will boycott them thanks. Oh and Palmers sell their products in China so defo not animal friendly and yes we should boycott Body Shop products because they are owned by L’oreal so everytime you buy their products then L’oreal are making more blood money!!! 😦

    • Hi Yvonne, I emailed Tesco and got this response: “We do not carry out, commission or fund testing on animals for consumer products. Where animal testing is required by law e.g. for new medicines, we require suppliers to minimise reliance on animal trials and adopt the highest ethical and welfare standards. This applies across the Group.

      I hope that this answers your questions, and I would also like to point you in the direction of our website: https://www.tescoplc.com/tesco-and-society/further-information-and-disclosure/animal-welfare-policy/ where you can find out more about our animal welfare policies.”

      I hope this helps!

      • Yes i did manage to get hold of Tesco as i was horrified to find out that they use to sell live turtles for the consumers in China and they died a terrible death untill the Daily Mail run a story about this matter and they stopped although they do sell live animals still but they say they are under humane conditions but i still dont agree. Their own products have to be tested on animals if sold in China because thats the law so now i boycott all their stuff. I have found many companies who say they dont test on animals but of course if they sell their products in China then yes they do but they always seem to forget to mention that so now i just check this all out myself just to make sure. Its like the Body Shop i no longer purchase their products because although they dont test on animals the evil company known as Loreal that own Body Shop do so as far as i am concerned you are giving money to Loreal if you buy Body Shop products so they are defo off my list. Thanks for getting back to me. Yvonne 😀

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