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Everything you need to know about cruelty-free skincare

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Krista & Mel
Krista & Mel

Scence Co-Founders

The term ‘cruelty-free skincare’ is becoming increasingly popular, but what does it really mean? Many people would be surprised to learn that there’s not one agreed definition.

So as a consumer, how can you make conscious decisions if you want to buy cruelty-free skincare? We’ve taken a look into this issue in more detail and answered some frequently asked questions to help you feel more informed.

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What does ‘Cruelty-Free’ really mean?

At present, there’s no official definition or regulation of the term ‘cruelty-free’.

As such, it’s not uncommon for brands to use the term to mean different things, for example…

  • A final product & its ingredients have never been tested on animals
  • Individual ingredients have been tested on animals, but the final product has not
  • The brand doesn’t test it’s final products on animals, but a supplier of their ingredients may have used animal testing
  • Any animal testing of the product was done in a foreign country where laws protecting animals might be weaker

And this is only some definitions that brands use, so as consumers it can be hard to know exactly what ‘cruelty-free’ means when it comes to the products we’re buying.

One way to get a clearer idea is to see if they have a particular certification or are listed as part of a recognised ‘cruelty-free’ scheme (read on for more details).


What does it mean when products are tested on animals?

Sadly, there are still a number of different product tests that are carried out on animals, including…

  • Acute toxicity testing: to find out the result of exposure to a product once, or several times
  • Eye and skin irritation testing: to see if application causes irritation
  • Carcinogenicity testing: investigates the likelihood of a product to contribute to the development of cancer
  • Skin sensitivity testing: testing to see if the product causes skin allergies

The reality is that animal testing is actually an out of date method of product testing that doesn’t deliver accurate results for human use.

Technology is constantly being developed that is far more suitable and doesn’t require any level of animal testing.

These include computer and mathematical modelling, and the use of cell and tissue cultures.

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How can I find Cruelty-Free products?

A great place to start when you’re looking for cruelty-free skincare are universally recognised schemes for cruelty-free products.

Three of the main ones are The Vegan Society Trademark scheme, PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies database and the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics’ (CCIC) Leaping Bunny program.

Each of these schemes have a strict criteria which a brand and product have to meet before they can be listed, where both the final products and the individual ingredients must all be free from animal testing.

Scence products are all recognised under The Vegan Society Trademark scheme which states…

“Any product developed, manufactured, or both, including its ingredients, must not involve (or have involved) testing of any sort on animals. The Vegan Trademark excludes testing at the initiative of the company (brand owner and manufacturer if separate) or on its behalf, or by parties over whom the company has effective control. “


What are the benefits of cruelty-free skincare?

As a consumer, there are lots of benefits of choosing cruelty-free skincare, beyond the peace of mind that you’re not supporting these terrible practices.

From a product point of view, you’re more likely to get a formula that is free from synthetic ingredients such as sulfates and parabens, so is more gentle and soothing on the skin.

You’ll also be having an ethical impact, as every purchase you make sends a message to manufacturers that you will not support animal testing in any way. In time, as more people become aware of products and brands that use animal testing, the hope is that spending power will encourage more brands to move away from these cruel practices.


Are Scence products cruelty-free?

From day one, we’ve been committed to not compromising. Ever.

From choosing the highest-quality ingredients, to keeping our products free from parabens, aluminum and any other nasties, we’re committed to creating products that do good, with no compromise.

For us, making sure that our skincare products are completely cruelty-free is a no-brainer. It’s essential to us that our products benefit our bodies and our planet, and testing products or ingredients on animals has absolutely no part of that.

We’re very proud of our Vegan Society trademark as it’s a lengthy, detailed application where every element of our production is investigated to ensure we meet their standards.

The Vegan Society trademark on our packaging helps our customers have complete confidence that they’re buying cruelty-free skincare.


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