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 What are the best cruelty-free beauty brands?

Answer: Whether you’re a longtime vegan or just starting to cut animal products out of your lifestyle, navigating the world of cruelty-free beauty can be tricky. Cruelty-free means there was no animal testing during the production of a product. This includes testing specific ingredients along the way.

Luckily, you don’t need to head to specialty stores to find great, affordable cruelty-free products! In fact, many of our favorite brands have already said “no” to testing on animals. To help determine what products are best for you, take a look at the Leaping Bunny program. Leaping Bunny sets the standard for cruelty-free cosmetic, personal care, and household products. Companies that feature the Leaping Bunny logo on their packaging are all subject to audits and inspections, so you can be sure the brands’ claims are true.

It’s also important to know the difference between cruelty-free and vegan products. Vegan products are not only cruelty free — they also don’t contain any ingredients derived from animal sources. These include honey, beeswax, lanolin, and others. Many of the cruelty-free brands above do offer plenty of vegan products among their cruelty-free items. For a full-list of vegan cosmetic brands, visit the PETA website.

Keep reading to find out which of our favorite brands are cruelty-free!


Physicians Formula: Drugstore brand Physicians Formula is a favorite among those with sensitive skin. This company takes the same gentle approach towards animals, refraining from testing on our furry friends.

e.l.f.: e.l.f. is another great drugstore option. In addition to not testing on animals, e.l.f. supports PETA’s Fur Free campaign and recently donated a portion of their profits from special edition tweezers to PETA.

Urban Decay: Every box of high-end cosmetic brand Urban Decay states, “We don’t do animal testing. How could anyone?” The company has always been cruelty-free and recently created a Marley-approved purple paw symbol to signify which products on their site are vegan and entirely free from animal-derived products. According to, the company is actively working to see which of their non-vegan cosmetics can be converted to 100% vegan.

Hot indie brands we love:

AFK Cosmetics: This is a brand new cruelty-free makeup brand from Alaska. AFK is totally unique; they incorporate geeky themes into their makeup line—it’s enough to make any girl gamer or sci-fi addict swoon. While we can be pretty picky when it comes to mineral makeup, AFK exceeds all expectations by offering jaw-droppingly gorgeous pigmentation and enchanting shades. In other words, we think they’re definitely a brand you should be paying attention to. Use coupon code “MAKEOVERLY” for 20% off all orders until May 6th.

Root: Paraben and cruelty-free, this brand sells everything from breathtaking bronzers to mesmerizing eye shadows. In addition, they offer handy makeup tools (we’re talking to you, kabuki brush lovers!) to buff up your cosmetic bag. Root is much more affordable compared to other big mineral makeup names on the market, and adorable as ever. Plus, they have already received the stamp of approval from many noteworthy beauty vloggers. What’s not to love?

Hair and body

Paul Mitchell: Paul Mitchell was the first haircare brand to publicly oppose animal testingThis brand is so committed to providing cruelty-free products that the company pulled its product out of China when the Chinese government mandated that all products sold in China be tested on animals.

Alba Botanica: All of Alba Botanica’s face, body, lip, and hair products are vegetarian, organic, and 100% cruelty-free. They also refrain from using parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, making it a great brand for all-natural total body care.

Tom’s of Maine: For oral care and deodorant, you can’t go wrong with Tom’s of Maine. This company never tests on animals and their products are free of animal-derived ingredients.

Have you gone cruelty-free? What are your favorite products?