How to Curate a Cruelty-Free Skincare Routine

By Helen Bradford

If you are on a mission to start using cruelty-free cosmetics and skincare products then you’re in the right place. More and more women all over the world are becoming conscious of the unethical use of animals in research and the development of different cosmetic products. 

These are all the things you need to know before starting a whole cruelty-free skincare regimen.

What are Cruelty-Free Cosmetics?


Cruelty-free cosmetics imply that there was no any kind of animal testing in the creation of certain cosmetic brands and products.

Testing cosmetics products on animals is usually done at some point in the creation of that product or certain ingredients have been tested on animals during the production phase of the product. However, many brands and products in their final phase are also tested on animals.

Many times, this animal testing is required by law. This means that certain countries have laws and regulations that state that in order for a product to be deemed safe it must be tested on animals. 

Products that have been tested on animals are not cruelty-free! In order for a product to be completely cruelty-free, there must not be any kind of animal testing involved.

The difference between cruelty-free and vegan products

People tend to confuse these two terms and refer to cruelty-free products and brands as vegan.  But cruelty-free products are not necessarily vegan. This means that ingredients used for these products include cholesterol, honey, collagen, gelatin, and other similar animal-derived products

On the other hand, vegan products can be tested on animals. This means that even though the product is vegan it could have been tested on animals and thus it’s not cruelty-free.

You can, however, try to start your skincare routine by choosing products that are both cruelty-free and vegan. Or you can just choose the cruelty-free option. This completely depends on you and your preferences.

Typical cruelty-free skincare routine

Now, that we have established what are cruelty-free products and brands, we can move on to what a typical routine should look like.


Let’s start off with cleansing your skin. Skin cleansers are used for the removal of makeup, dirt, oil and dead skin cells, as well as other types of grime that pollute your skin. This step is really important if you’re trying to create a healthy skincare routine. 

Our skin is prone to get clogged with all kinds of pollutants that can lead to the creation of acne and other skin conditions. Finding a good cleanser is the key here. And if you’re trying to start a cruelty-free routine, you should look for cleansers that have not been tested on animals.


The second step in your skincare routine should be toning your skin. Toner, together with a cleanser is supposed to clean your skin. But the purpose of the toner itself is to shrink the pores on our skin and thus minimize the occurrence of many different skin conditions. 

The problem with toners is that many are poorly formulated and due to this they tend to cause skin problems like redness and inflammation. Choosing a good toner that is made of natural ingredients would be best. This is why you should choose only well-formulated organic cosmetic products that are cruelty-free as well. 

Only this way, you can rest assured that your skin won’t get aggravated and inflamed.


Next on our list is the serum. The serum is used after cleansing and toning our skin. The purpose of serum is to penetrate your skin deeper and feed your skin with active ingredients and in turn make your skin firmer and smoother. 

Although adding the serum to your skincare routine is not necessary, it’s not bad either if you want to go a step further.


Moisturizer, on the other hand, is very important and crucial in our skincare regimen – especially if your skin is naturally dry. Moisturizers are meant to hold the water in the skin and the oily substance in the moisturizers is supposed to bind that moisture to the skin and keep it hydrated.

When choosing the appropriate moisturizer for your skin, make sure you choose the one that wasn’t tested on animals.

How to choose cruelty-free products?

Looking for the right kinds of indicators of whether the product you’re interested in buying is really cruelty-free is crucial in this endeavor. Only once you’ve made sure that this product or brand hasn’t been tested on animals you can consider buying it.

 Start by checking the labels and certifications that state that a certain product/brand wasn’t tested on animals. You can easily spot the cruelty-free product because it will most likely have a PETA ’s cruelty-free bunny logo.  

Another way to check if the product/brand is cruelty-free is by looking at ingredients used in this product. Many times, even though the label of the product states that it’s free of animal cruelty, its ingredients prove differently. Always check for ingredients that show that no animal-derived products have been used in the creation of that product.

Starting a cruelty-free skincare routine can be a bit confusing at first. You need to get acquainted with all the terminology and different types of brands and ingredients, but once you start you’ll see that it’s not all that complicated. 

Being a conscious customer and developing ethical shopping choices will save a lot of animals. So, don’t give up your desire to curate a cruelty-free skincare routine.

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