Cruelty Free - Are You?


With the terms “cruelty-free” and “vegan” prominently promoted online and in other media, some people might be inclined to dismiss them as a fad. However, with businesses becoming more purposeful in their missions and the growing consumer interest in supporting ethically sound companies, I believe it’s accurate to say that cruelty-free and vegan skin care products are here to stay.

The movement is not only in fashion now, but it also will be a factor that influences how customers perceive businesses (manufac­turers and spas alike) in the future. Customers are becoming increasingly aware of and passionate about what companies stand for. Respect for other living creatures and the planet will never go out of style, and spa industry companies that embrace that in their missions will have a competitive advantage.

Cruelty-free Matters

Although most people have some understanding of animal testing, many may not realize that it’s still a widespread practice in the cosmetic and skin care industries. Over 100 million animals are unnecessarily used for testing each year. What is frustrating is that there’s no reason for it. The U.​S. Food and Drug Administ­ration (FDA) does not require animal testing for cosmetics and spa products. With perfectly suitable alternatives available—like using artificial skin or consenting human test subjects—manufacturers have viable options.

Moreover, there’s no excuse for buying skin care products that have been tested on animals. With an array of cruelty-free products available today, spas have options when choosing the products they purchase and use on their spa guests. When you select cruelty-free products, you help prevent innocent animals from undergoing pain and suffering, and you, your spa staff and your guests can have a clear conscious.

What Does It Mean to be Cruelty-free?

The Leaping Bunny certification is different from others out there. Developed by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics, it requires companies to uphold the strictest non-animal testing standards to achieve its international certific­ation. This includes proving that both raw materials and finished products are not tested on animals before being certified.

Other organizations often grant companies a certification if they pay a fee and sign a form stating that they don’t test on animals.

It takes months to vet all raw material vendors to ensure they do not use animal testing in any part of their processes. Each vendor has to sign a declaration of compliance stating that no animal testing occurs on the ingredient that they supply.

To retain Leaping Bunny certific­ation, companies must uphold its standards at all times. The Coalition requires documentation of all the ingredients used. At any time, it can send represen­tatives to perform on-site audits of the facility and the products produced there.

If your spa or resort would like to incorporate more cruelty-free and vegan treatments into your menu, look for products from a manufacturer that is certified as cruelty-free through the Leaping Bunny program. As mentioned before, Leaping Bunny certified companies are held to the highest standards in the world.

Also, don’t hesitate to contact manufacturers to learn more about their products and manufacturing practices. In addition to finding a product maker that’s certified cruelty-free and offers vegan skin care lines, you might also consider working with one that is Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) compliant. You can rest assured that those products are produced using controlled processes and standards to ensure consistency, quality and safety.

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