Beauty Without Cruelty At-A-Glance
Strengths: Inexpensive; does not test on animals (but lots of cosmetics companies can claim that nowadays); provides complete ingredient lists for all products on their Web site; one sunscreen with titanium dioxide; uses many natural ingredients that benefit skin.
Weaknesses: Does not list ingredients according to FDA labeling requirements; inelegant eye makeup removers; one of the sunscreens lacks sufficient UVA protection; ineffective AHA product; no BHA product or products to manage acne; overuse of irritating essential (fragrant) oils; jar packaging for antioxidant-rich products.
Beauty Without Cruelty, established in 1963, is a British import that began by selling makeup. At the time, they had a unique angle, in that they did not test their products on animals, and in 1963, most cosmetics companies did test their products on animals. But today, many companies can (and do) proudly boast that they do not test their products on animals, and, technically, that is true. However, despite the fact that these companies (including Beauty Without Cruelty) don't test their finished products on animals, the formulations they sell are based on ingredient research that was done primarily on animals. Sunscreens, vitamins, myriad plant extracts, and a vast range of other cosmetic ingredients have established their efficacy and safety based on recent or current animal testing. Although it is wonderful that companies like Beauty Without Cruelty do not test their products on animals, many of their formulations, just like those from every other cosmetics company in the industry, include ingredients whose effects are based on the results of animal research. Otherwise, how else would they know if their ingredients worked or if they were safe?
If Beauty Without Cruelty does excel in one area, it is that none of their ingredients are sourced from animals, which is somewhat unique in the industry and definitely a plus for vegans. However, it would be naïve to believe that any company can stay abreast of what is and isn't healthy for skin without the animal testing of the ingredients in their products. The companies may not be doing the testing, but someone is (or did), and this knowledge forms the basis for numerous new discoveries about what various ingredients can and cannot do for our skin.
Much like the rest of the cosmetics industry, Beauty Without Cruelty makes elaborate claims about the benefits of its plant extracts. And, as is also the case for many other cosmetics companies, they use plant extracts and essential oils that are both irritants and anti-irritants. For the most part their products are a mixed bag; there is one good sunscreen and some average cleansers, but many of their products are not recommended due to the presence of irritating fragrant oils. Beauty Without Cruelty is typically sold in health food stores, but also can be found in some drugstores. Their makeup line, once the driving force behind the brand, is difficult to find in the United States, and as such is not reviewed here.
For more information about Beauty Without Cruelty, call 800.824.6396 or visit www.beautywithoutcruelty.com.