Cruelty-Free Beauty: Cosmetics

No Animal Testing

Cruelty-free beauty is more popular than ever before, and for good reason. It’s no longer acceptable for cosmetics companies to routinely brutalise innocent animals in the name of our vanity and consumers are unable to claim ignorance of these practices.

Living more conscientiously is a lot easier these days, thanks to stricter controls on animal testing and a growing demand for planet-friendly products from the public. While I can’t claim to have a 100% cruelty-free existence (and neither can you if you use any products from these brands including L’Oreal, Revlon, Johnson & Johnson, Estée Lauder, Unilever and most of their subsidiaries), I am a huge supporter of the cause and make an effort to spend money with companies who don’t conduct animal testing where I can.

This is the first in a three-part series about cruelty-free beauty brands that are available locally, where we’ll be focusing on cosmetics, skincare and hair products. Brands marked with an asterisk appear on PETA’s list of companies that don’t test on animals, and some are also organic and vegan to boot. You can learn more by visiting the PETA website,, and the Vegan SA product directory.

Cruelty Free Cosmetics available in SA

NYX* (Clicks)
Inglot (Store locator)
Physician’s Formula* (Dischem)
Dr Hauschka* (Stockists)
OPI (Stockists)
GOSH Cosmetics* (Store locator)
LA Colors/LA Girl (Dischem)
LUSH* (V&A Waterfront and Cavendish Square)
Stila* (Stockists)
The Body Shop* (Store locator)

Please note that this list is accurate as far as we are aware and based on recent research. PETA isn’t the only source of such information and their definition of “cruelty free” is not entirely foolproof. Also, not all companies choose to formally pledge with PETA. 

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8 comments on Cruelty-Free Beauty: Cosmetics

  • Kirst

    I’ve never really understood the deal with the Body Shop. They’re owned by L’Oreal, who do test on animals. Bit odd.

    • Jules (author)

      It’s a fair point and a good question! The answer is that The Body Shop was sold to L’Oreal in 2006 under the strict condition that none of their policies (including being firmly against animal testing) would change as a result. All of their products remain 100% cruelty free and they are have a long-standing place on PETA’s “don’t test” list. You can read a detailed explanation of their animal protection policy here:

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  • Rachel Fitzgerald

    It seems that some of the huge companies just don’t care about animals, and it is the one thing that I am comfortable to write about on the internet, so let the world know, that as people we must read the labels on makeup products particularly carefully.

    No animal abuse, no excuses. Don’t believe everything that you read, and believe stuff that is important!

  • Rachel Fitzgerald

    Just one thing – does the above comment mean that The Body Shop tests on animals or not? It’s just why are they on the list at the very top? Thank you. So it seems they are in the clear!

    • Jules (author)

      The Body Shop absolutely DO NOT test on animals.

  • Rachel Fitzgerald

    I see, does the list above with the names of cosmetic brands on it mean then that they don’t test on animals? Thank you for the information about The Body Shop – awesome.

    I am wondering about Revlon as well, do they test on animals? I have heard that they have been around for 100 years, they are not organic though, but have some mineral makeup, and their technology is supposed to be tops?

    As well, does test on animals, and cruelty-free mean two different things? No more questions.

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