Cruelty-free cosmetics & why LUSH is not listed

So, let’s first talk about Lush…

Up until this last week, I didn’t really support Lush Cosmetics. Even though they campaign to fight animal testing, I was hesitant to use their products as they are not credited by any of the registered cruelty-free NGO’s.

However, for those of you who don’t know, I work for the global animal protection organisation, Humane Society International and last week an HSI press release landed in my inbox announcing that the Lush shampoo bar is re-launching to support HSI’s global #BeCrueltyFree campaign. From the press release I sourced the following:

Lush believes that the most effective and humane way to test the safety of both ingredients and finished products is through modern non-animal tests and a panel of human volunteers. Products and ingredients are never tested on animals, nor do they engage with third-party suppliers to test on their behalf. Lush’s strict policy means they will not buy any ingredient from any ingredient from any supplier that tests its materials on animals for any purpose. Lush invent, manufacture and retail fresh handmade cosmetics. In 2012 Lush launched The Lush Prize (in conjunction with Ethical Consumer Re-search Association), which is a quarter of a million pound annual prize rewarded to politicians, lobbyists, researchers and scientists who are working to end animal testing.  

You can read the full press release here.


I forwarded the press release to my dear friend Toni, who is the chairperson for Beauty Without Cruelty South Africa, and asked her to share her thoughts. Toni’s response:

When it comes to cosmetic testing, the international standard has been set by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC). The CCIC consists of eight animal protection groups (including Humane Society of the United States) who promote a single comprehensive standard for animals testing using the internationally recognised Leaping Bunny Logo. Leaping Bunny, however, is not as stringent as Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC) who does not allow for animal testing parent companies (like L’Oréal).  Currently, Leaping Bunny won’t list Lush as they do not comply with the requirements: providing a list of individual ingredients for all their products from suppliers. Instead, Lush accepts a blanket letter from their suppliers, which is not trustworthy enough for Leaping Bunny or Beauty Without Cruelty’s approval. Also, Lush includes egg in certain products. That said, Lush does amazing work and I can’t wait for the day they are listed with Leaping Bunny so I can enter their store 🙂

Following my conversation with Toni, Beauty Without Cruelty shared this disclaimer today:


Not all of us are going to agree on whether we should use Lush Cosmetics. Personally, if the shampoo bar is available in South Africa I would definitely purchase it to support HSI’s #BeCrueltyFree collaboration. I also love Lush’s other awareness campaigns, especially the latest #GayIsOkay fundraiser.  That said, I believe in the work cruelty-free NGO’s are doing and wish to only use brands credited by one of them. Although I would (like Toni) love to splurge on their yummy-looking goodies, I don’t feel that I am missing out by not purchasing Lush’s products. There are many endorsed alternatives available for products like bath bombs and bubble baths – just not as colourful 🙂

So, which cosmetics am I currently using?


*It is important to know that I still have some products from pre-vegan days that are not cruelty-free. By using or discarding products that have already been bought, I am neither hurting nor saving animals. The best solution is to minimise waste and replace it with cruelty-free alternatives once finished. I am specifically referring to sunscreen which I will purchase from Oh-Lief (credited on BWC’s Humane guide) and insect repellent which I will purchase from Pure Beginnings (credited on BWC’s Humane guide).

If you are unsure of which brands to use, rather play it safe and refer to the BWC Humane Guide, Leaping Bunny Guide and Choose Cruelty Free Guide. No bunny needs to be hurt for us to look our best!

Vegan love,

Leo xx

4 thoughts on “Cruelty-free cosmetics & why LUSH is not listed

  1. Thanks for the article and all the info. The more articles like this that hopefully explain all the various layers of cruelty free cosmetics the better. Ignorance is not bliss. Everyone, please do your research and remember the BWC guide is free for you to download and use.


    • I love their scents too, it is so refreshing! The shampoo and conditioner I haven’t tried yet, but I definitely will when my Woolies bottles are finished 🙂 I am such a fan of Woolies Embody and WBeauty ranges!


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