Why I Chose to become a Certified Cruelty-Free Brand

I have always sourced my ingredients from trusted suppliers and the products I create are never tested on animals.

However to ensure customer confidence I decided to register Simply Skin as a Cruelty-Free brand as this registration comes with additional confirmations, requirements, and peace of mind to you, my customer.

Expansion into the Chinese Market

In the last few years China opened its market to Western brands. However, it came with the requirement that all products must be tested on animals. Thankfully the law in China is (slowly) changing to become more ethical but animal testing, nonetheless, is still a requirement.

Sadly there have been a number of large Western companies attracted to this new evolving market and many large brands have quietly and stealthily returned to animal testing in order to comply with current Chinese Law.

No matter how attractive, financially, the Chinese market would ever be for Simply Skin, for as long as that country continues to support animal testing and, indeed, requires it, I shall never enter that market. There are so many more global markets to explore.

Unlike many, many other Western cosmetic and skincare brands, for me, principles are more important than profits.

Why Choose PETA?

There are a few recognised Cruelty-Free logos out there for cosmetic and skincare brands to register with, the most recognised being the Leaping Bunny. However after a lot of research and soul searching I chose to rather register with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

A bit like some ethical-pursuant companies, PETA has its followers and it has its disdainers – not everyone agrees with their graphic imagery and the way they openly name and shame some companies. It is an modus operandi that I also question as I prefer to highlight the good rather than shame others.

However my decision was made on the basis of the Principles behind Simply Skin, one of the most important principles being to give back to the species of animal most associated with animal testing – bunnies. Through sales of my products I donate money to a bunny (and animal) rescue centre and my dream is to support many more similar charities. Registration and certification with PETA is substantially less expensive than that of the Leaping Bunny. I chose the less expensive registration so I could give much greater donations to the chosen Simply Skin rescue centre.

As Simply Skin grows as a brand, I may change to also become registered with Leaping Bunny but at this moment supporting a rescue centre is higher in my priorities than paying substantial fees to be registered with a better-known Cruelty-Free brand. The bunnies come first.

What Does it Mean to be Registered as a Cruelty-Free Brand?

Plain and simple it means that neither my ingredients nor my products can be tested on animals.

Therefore, as part of becoming Cruelty-Free certified, I was required to gain written confirmation from all my suppliers that the ingredients I order from them has not, to the very best of their knowledge, been tested on animals.

It also means that when I create a new product that, too, cannot be tested on animals to gauge any possible reactions.

So how do I test?

First and most importantly all my products are covered by an EU Safety Assessment – it is a legal requirement. A Safety Advisor is a registered chemist and the Safety Assessment you are provided with, as a brand, will state certain restrictions such as the maximum percentage of parfum or essential oil a product can contain or, indeed, the maximum percentage of ingredient type (eg butters, oils, surfactants etc) that may be used.

This is the first step in ensuring that the product you buy from Simply Skin is safe to use.

Secondly, depending on the product type, I choose to self-test on my own skin or ask volunteer customers to try out a possible new product. This is to understand the feel of the product on the skin and is a perfectly safe test.

One of my latest products, Mature Skin Facial Serum, I self-tested as I wanted to see the effect over time on my skin. You can read all about this test here > (it’s quite a funny story!)