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Animal testing is still a huge problem in the beauty industry. The biggest reason is the fact that China’s Food and Drug Administration requires certain types of cosmetics to be tested on animals before being sold into the market – and China is one of the biggest markets in the world. Luckily it looks like these regulatory processes will soon change.

As a point of clarity, in the case of China it is mostly their regulatory bodies that do the testing, not the cosmetics companies (though you could argue that the company is condoning the practice). It is also worth noting that in January 2017 Peta announced that the Chinese FDA “has waived its requirement for certain cosmetics to be registered with the agency, which will mean that animal tests for “non–special use” cosmetics will no longer automatically be required.”**

I decided that instead of naming and shaming, I would instead point you towards the brands that DO NOT test on animals and available locally. Hopefully this list will grow as more and more brands make the shift.

These are only the  brands you can find on South African shores. I compiled this list using information found on PETA’s website, and the Beauty Without Cruelty Humane Guide, as well as information I gathered directly from the brands. I understand that different organisations have different requirements and rules, so it is worth researching the brands you support to ensure you are comfortable with their practices.

I would like to make this a growing list:

If you know of any brands that should be on here, please pop them into the comments and I will add them.

I have also started adding info on whether the brands are vegetarian or vegan friendly, local, and contain natural and organic ingredients. I will continue to refine this.

If a brand is marked as vegetarian/vegan it means they have products that are vegan friendly but not all are, so make sure you check the label.

African Extracts Rooibos – Local, Vegetarian
African Indigenous – Local
Africa Organics – Local, Vegan, Natural, Certified Organic
Africology – Local, Natural
Aloe Unique – Local
Apostrophe Bath & Body – Local, Vegan
Back 2 Nature – Local, Natural, Vegan
Badger Balm – Natural / Certified Organic
Beaucience – Local
Beautiful Earth – Local, Natural
Bee Pure – Local, Natural, Vegetarian
Biomedical Emporium – Local
Body Treats – Local, Natural, Vegan
Caribbean Tan
Catrice Cosmetics
Charlotte Rhys – Local, Vegan
Charwhite – Natural, Vegan
Cherish Beauty – Local, Natural, Vegetarian
Cherubs – Local
Comfort Zone
Couleur Caramel – Vegan, Natural/Organic
Decleor – Natural
Down to Earth – Local, Natural/Organic, Vegan
Dr. Hauschka – Natural/Organic, Vegetarian/Vegan
Dr. Organic – Natural/Organic, Vegetarian
Earthsap – Local, Natural
Eco Diva – Local, Natural/Organic, Vegetarian/Vegan
Ecologic Skincare
Eco Products – Local, Natural/Organic, Vegan
Enchantrix – Local, Natural/Organic
Environ – Local
Esse – Local, Natural/Organic, Vegan
Exuviance by Neostrata
Gaia Organics – Local, Natural/Organic
Giovanni – Natural
Good Stuff – Vegetarian/Vegan
Hey Gorgeous – Local, Natural/Organic, Vegetarian/Vegan
Inglot – Vegan
iS Clinical
Jane Iredale
Juice Beauty – Natural/Organic, Vegan
Kevin Murphy
L.A Girl
Lulu & Marula – Local, Natural, Vegetarian
LUSH – Vegetarian
Mbiri Natural Skincare – Natural
Molton Brown
Natraloe – Local, Organic, Vegan
Noughty Haircare – Vegan
Ofra Cosmetics
Oh-Lief – Local, Natural/Organic, Vegetarian
Oh So Heavenly – Local, Vegetarian/Vegan
Optiphi – Local
Ordinary Skincare
Paul Mitchell
Paula’s Choice
Perricone MD
Physician’s Formula
Pradiance – Local, Natural/Organic, Vegan
Pure Beginnings – Local, Natural/Organic, Vegan
Pure Simple – Local, Natural, Vegan
Rain Africa – Local, Natural, Vegetarian/Vegan
RégimA – Local
Ren Skincare*
Sally Hansen*
Savane – Local, Natural/Organic, Vegan
Simply Bee – Local, Natural
Skin Creamery – Local, Natural/Organic, Vegetarian
Skoon – Local, Natural/Organic, Vegan/Vegetarian
SOiL – Local, Natural/Organic, Vegan
SpaRitual – Vegan
Stila Cosmetics
TanLab – Local, Vegan
Team Dr Joseph – Natural
The Body Shop*
Theranaka – Local, Natural/Organic
Theravine – Local
Urban Decay*
Victorian Garden – Local, Natural/Organic
Vita Liberata – Natural
Wet n Wild
Woolworths Private Label & Earthfriendly products
Young Solution

* These brands do not test on animals but they form part of larger parent companies that are not entirely cruelty free. Make sure you research individual brands before you buy. 

** “Non-functional” or “non-special use cosmetics” include shampoo, body wash, make-up and certain skin care products. (read more here). Special use cosmetics include products for hair growth, hair dye, hair perm, hair removal, breast shaping, fitness, deodorizing, spots removal and sun block; Cosmetics with skin-whitening and skin pigmentation reduction claims are also classified as special use cosmetics (anti-freckle category)

According to the Guidance on Regulations Compliance of Cosmetic Products in China 2016, “The CFDA has authorized 21 labs to perform hygiene safety tests and 6 labs to conduct human safety tests. Hygiene safety tests include physio-chemical, microbiological and toxicological studies, which are mandatory for non-special use cosmetics. For special use cosmetics, human safety tests are also required. […] So far, all toxicological tests are performed in animals in terms of OECD methods. As we know, animal testing can be waived for domestic non special use cosmetics from 30th Jun 2014.”


I am a lifestyle blogger from Cape Town trying to find the best ways to spend my time, take care of my body and express myself. I am slightly obsessed with fragrances, sneakers, Jamie Oliver and Masterchef Australia. Oh, and I probably drink way too much wine.


  1. Annemarie Henson Reply

    I’m pretty sure Woolworths Beauty is also cruelty free.

        • Malherbe Liezel Reply

          Hey Toni. Thanks for the input. I referenced PETA’s site for the international list, and BWCSA for the local list. I will reference yours as well. I understand the issue around The Body Shop, but I think it is up to each person to decide whether they feel comfortable supporting them. In terms of the laws in China, the product must still be tested on animals before being sold in that country. So yes, the products we buy might not have been tested on animals, but the company still does it.

          • I am the national chairperson for Beauty Without Cruelty SA, so I don’t ‘have a list’
            I know this is well meant, but confuses the public as to the truth. Of course people must make their own choices, but such confictling and inaccurate information doesn’t help anyone, even though intentions are good.
            Furthermore, animal testing still takes places in countries other than China, and L’Oréal may be working to eliminate this, but they themselves continue to animal test outside of the EU anyway and have made no effort to stop.

        • It doesn’t matter what a brand SAYS it is what they can prove. Compiling an inaccurate and confusing list because there’s not enough choice is a disservice to the public as well as those brands which do comply with stringent criteria. The Peta requirements for inclusion are negligible and therefore all but meaningless. Is this about one’s own wants and convenience, or being serious about using proven non-animal testing brands? With well over 100 brands, offers everything one may need, and there is never a cost to consumer or company for this service. Beauty Without Cruelty is the only recognized authority in this field, having audited companies for over 40 years in South Africa although there are a couple of non local brands which have applied and been approved. Cruelty Free International offers the Leaping Bunny guide which while accepting animal testing holding (parent) companies, is otherwise stringent in their criteria. The Bidy Shop is now owned by Natura which has also proven their non animal testing claims and is therefore acceptable.

      • Morning. Chinese law confirms products sold Outside of China does not require animal testing.

    • Mina (3ina) is a new brand in RSA that apparently don’t test on animals either.

      As for The Body Shop, I had enquired about their policy regarding testing, given they’re now owned by L’Oreal, & for the first time ever, I received no response…so I’m pretty sure they do test.

  2. Annemarie Henson Reply

    Kat Von D is moving to full vegan and is completely cruelty free, not sure if it is available in SA though

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      Thanks! I don’t think they’re in SA yet, but hoping they arrive soon.

  3. Himalaya is an Indian beautey brand and is cruelty and animal free.

  4. Love this! Body Treats is another local, cruelty-free and vegan beauty brand that’s worth checking out 🙂

  5. Hey, thanks for the list! Just to let you know, Body Shop falls under the Estee Lauder group which is unfortunately not cruelty free. : (

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      Hey Jannis. Actually The Body Shop falls under L’Oreal and while some brands in the group are not cruelty free, The Body Shop and Urban Decay are.

      • Hi! Depends how strict you want to be. The Body Shop itself does not, however the holding company does. Supporting thus indirectly supports the holding company.

        • Malherbe Liezel Reply

          Definitely! I think in general it is important to research the brands you use and make sure you’re comfortable with their ethics.

  6. Kryolan is also cruelty free and is available in SA. Best makeup brand!

  7. Thanks for the list!? which of these brands make shampoo/conditioner?

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      @Calynhil Inoar makes great cruelty-free hair care. You can also try LUSH (they have a shampoo bar that requires to packaging waste!), Aesop, The Body Shop, Ahava, Rain Africa, Paul Mitchell and Noughty.

    • Leandré du Plessis Reply

      Hi Palmer does. They have an amazing shampoo and condotioner

  8. Sarah bentz Reply

    Pureskin ( natural, vegan and completely cruelty free and absolutely incredible make up and beauty products 🙂

  9. Victorian Garden products are local and cruelty free. They have a range of skin and hair care products that are really awesome.

  10. Helllo great article. Have you looked into naturalmente hair products – Renee Short from Gentle Approach salon in Cape Town would be a great person to make contact with.

  11. Hi there, I think Nimue may also be cruelty free. The answer to the China question is still not 100% clear – would love to know if you’d be able to confirm.

  12. Bonafide Beards for men only test on husbands 🙂
    We are in the process of being BWC Certified & some of our products are vegan friendly too, like our vegan beard balm, cleansing bars and fully synthetic beard brushes!

  13. Good Stuff Is NOT vegan – they use ingredients like yoghurt, milk and honey in some of their products!

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      Thanks Des, I have adjusted the labeling. According to their site their lines are vegan, apart from their BEE range.

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      Hey Mia. I will need to confirm this, unfortunately I don’t think they are completely cruelty free.

  14. Thank you for the list! 🙂 It’s so good to be aware and purchase responsibly!
    Is there no local brand that offers natural, organic, vegan/vegetarian and biodegradable skincare products, like face wash and moisturiser?

  15. Gaia. Locally made. Organic. And it smells so great I often just open my products for a sniff.

  16. Beryl Scott Reply

    Most of the products suggested have not provided proof of their claims.

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      Hey Beryl. I got most of the local brands from the BWCSA list on The rest is endorsed by PETA internationally. If you have specific queries, please do elaborate on the brands so that I can investigate.

      • Peta has a very low threshold for testing, in fact they dont require any auditing, just a letter of assurance from companies. BWC & Leaping Bunny do actual tests. Unfortunately companies are unscrupulous in how they make money and lacking the legislation, they will happily advertise as cruelty free. It is safer to choose from the lists of companies such as BWC and Leaping Bunny rather than supporting the unethical businesses. It is also important that a consistent message is sent to consumers who are often in a hurry and frequently kind heartedly gullible.

        • Malherbe Liezel Reply

          Thanks Jo. Unfortunately the BWC South Africa list only mentions local brands and I personally found it very limited. Leaping Bunny meanwhile has loads of brands, but most of them are not available here. So that’s why I created this list. That being said I have tried to give people as much information possible so that they can make informed decisions when they shop. I have also left all of the comments, including those criticising this post, so that people can read them and get counter arguments. I really appreciate everyone’s input and hope that continued pressure will force the industry to change.

  17. Crystal Miles Reply

    Sh’zen is a local product for skin and body. It’s made using essential oils and not tested on animals

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      Thanks Mariska! Can you perhaps email me more info on Heliocare? I can’t find any confirmation of their status?

  18. Hannon also does not test on animals as far as I know and the Rooibos skin range in SA is also sporting the anti-cruelty label.

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      Thanks Charlene. Yes African Extracts Rooibos is cruelty free – or are you referring to another range? I am looking into Hannon 🙂

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      That’s my understanding too but I can’t seem to find any clear statement around this on the brand’s site or any Cruelty-Free sites. Will need to investigate.

  19. Nikita Ramkissoon Reply

    During my research, I found Black Up is also cruelty-free and so is 3ina. Not so sure about whether they’re vegetarian or vegan. I stand to be corrected on Black Up though. That’s just what I found.

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      Thanks for letting me know! I will check it out!

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      Thanks for reminding me! They are so lovely!

  20. The Tan Lab is cruelty-free, vegan friendly and is made in KZN, South Africa! Amazing brand, check them out … or @thetanlab on social media platforms.
    Fab article, thank you! *

  21. Sally Rutherford Reply

    ELIXIR SKINCARE is a fab locally formulated and produced (in Cape Town) aromatherapy-based range that is cruelty-free and very, very, very kind to your skin! The results are excellent, their prices gentle on your pocket and their service very responsive and personal. I couldn’t recommend them more highly.

    • Philippa Field Reply

      Yes, but Loreal still knows about the animal testing that is being done from their products, before Loreal can sell/enter their products in the Chinese borders they have to have a permit to sell their products in China in which Loreal has to agree to the animal testing Law. The fact that Loreal is okay with their products being tested on animais is why they are not cruelty free company.

  22. Comfort Zone and Davines. Also consider the fact that companies might be cruelty free but the suppliers the get their base and active ingredients from are not.

  23. “Benefit” is a new brand, which is part of the LVMH group, available at Edgars stores. Their make up is easy and convenient for everyday use and they also don’t test on animals. They support the “fund for alternatives to animal testing” as well.

    • Philippa Field Reply

      Hi Shae
      I was also under the impression that Benefit Cosmetics were indeed cruelty-free but this is not the case, they are NOT a cruelty free company as they sell their products in China( excluding Hong-Kong) which require under their Law that any cosmetics outside the borders must be tested on animals as well as a fee is to be paid to permit these testings. In other words if Benefit wants to ship then sell their products in China they must first agree to the testing of animals and pay. Loreal brand does this too.
      found this info at the Cruelty-Free Kitty site 🙂

  24. I’m sure Sh’Zen is also not tested on animals – can anyone confirm?
    Made with plant extracts & essential oils & made in SA…so not available on international market.

  25. Clarins claims to be 100% plant-based and not test on animals – I personally contacted them here in SA and they confrimed (without verification) that they don’t. I’d really appreciate a direct answer on this – as I’m not convnced.

    Same applies to MorrocanOil.

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      Hey Jolene. I know that Peta had an issue with Clarins in 2016, and they do sell in China (you can read their article here: It’s all very grey because even though the companies themselves don’t test on animals, or use ingredients that have been tested on animals, their products are tested by Chinese FDA regulatory bodies before being allowed into the market. So unless Clarins has found a loophole I wouldn’t be comfortable putting them on the list. It’s a shame, they do incredible work otherwise in conservation.

      • Thank you! No Clarins for me… explains the merky and non-public statement of no animal testing!

    • Leandré du Plessis Reply

      No they are on Peta list for animal testing. So is Clinique.

  26. Also Oridinary Skincare. Great product locally made in Cape Town and specifically made for sensitive skins… they claim to not test on animals but not clear on the certifications. Would be great to verify

  27. Red Dane Skincare for Men is animal friendly, not tested on animals, cruelty free, paraben free, contains natural ingredients, locally made in South Africa, suitable for vegans, suitable for all skin types.

  28. You’ve left out Ecologic Skin Care. BWC endorsed and approved by the Vegan Society. Local and independent brand with love from me! ?✨

  29. You should most definitely add Simplybee products – they do not test their products on animals. Fantastic brand – especially for skins that’s extra sensitive

  30. Leny Duarte Reply

    Herbalife skin range is not tested on animals and is an awesome product

  31. Jane Gomersall Reply

    Thank you for the list. Found it extremely useful.
    Can u let me know if there is a similar list for household products?

  32. Loren Loubser Reply

    Swiitch Beauty is locally made in SA and cruelty free.
    Flormar is Cruelty free and available in SA

  33. Toni Brockhoven Reply

    Please see for almost 70 brands which have PROVEN their non-animal testing claims. EVERY brand says they don’t animal test, but often you’ll find in the small print they test ‘where required to do so by law’ which often means they choose to use ingredients that are tested for pharmeceutical use, for worker or food safety etc. It doesn’t matter what a brand says, it’s what they will prove!
    Buying a brand which is owned by an animal testing company means you may as well just buy L’Oreal, which received almost 50 million pounds over two years from the Body Shop.
    The only other guide to use is the internationally recognised Leaping Bunny guide,
    Using the PETA list, if one is serious about using non animal tested products, is a waste of tiem; their criteria for inclusion is so low as to be meaningless.
    As there is no charge ever, to consumer or company, there is no reason for any brand making humane manufacture claims not to apply to BWC for listing. Unless of course, they don’t comply.

  34. Esse is certified organic by the EU Responsible Person certification as well as EcoCert certified. I’ved used their products for a while now an they are great especially for the cruelty free and eco concious person.

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      Hey Terry. Esse is on list already, they are wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

  35. Sorry, I left out a few important facts
    Certified organic – Ecocert France
    Supports Fair Trade – PhytoTrade Africa
    Registered by Beauty Without Cruelty
    Registered with the Vegan Society of Europe
    Is also on PETA’s list of cruelty free companies

  36. Nthabiseng Reply

    Please check out Corium Skincare. It’s local and organic.

  37. Hi Liezel. Thanx for the great list. Annique’s products are also endorsed by the Beauty Without Cruelty organisation. x

  38. Hi there,

    I live in Cape Town and make a range of high quality natural bath, body and beauty products only using organically produced or wildcrafted ingredients (besides the bath salts the rest of the products are basically carriers and essential oils). All hand-made and designed by myself. I only have a Facebook Page (@HeartTreeNatural) and Instagram account (heart_tree_natural) at the moment but working on a website that will hopefully be up by the end of October. My family, friends and I are the only guinea pigs involved.

  39. Marinette Roux Reply

    I saw on Instagram yesterday that The Body Shop has a petition against animal testing… So I’m assuming that they then want to move away from being associated with parent companies that are not completely cruelty free, as you say? Not entirely sure, but maybe go check it out for an update :).
    Thanks for this post, very helpful!!

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      They are still part of L’Oréal as far as I know, but yes, as The Body Shop they are against animal testing.

      • Oh okay, did not know that haha! Also have a look at Beauty Treats – they’re a Los Angeles based company, and PETA have listed them as cruelty free (although they’re not vegan, they don’t test on animals and they feature the peta logo). I found it at DisChem.

  40. Hi there, thanks for the list. Just wanted to mention that L A Girl sold at Dischem is made in China. All products sold in China have to be tested on animals, so on principle I won’t buy it. Seems a bit hypocritical to call yourself a cruelty free company and then to manufacture your products in China ?

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      Thanks Loren. As far as I understand through my research, makeup in general doesn’t have to go through the same testing methods as certain types of skincare, so in general it isn’t tested on animals even if it is sold in china. I put a bit more info on this lower down in the article.

  41. Tehne Wright Reply

    Though I think it’s a nice sentiment Beauty without cruelly south africa spends an incredible amount of time and money compiling a list that is proven to be cruelty free. The companies are required to require proof and documentation and beauty without cruelty regularly checks up on them to ensure they stick to the correct practices. Their list is my absolute go to for ethical buying it can be found at I would strongly recommend any south Africans use this list

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      I totally agree Tehne, and I used them as a base for this post. I just found they referred to South African brands, and not to international brands that are also sold locally. This is a combination of lists I’ve found, or research I have done. Of course I still urge people to do their own research about all the products they purchase.

  42. Vanessa Callow Reply

    O SO Heavenly brand from Clicks is also a beauty without cruelty brand

  43. The South African Lamelle Research Laboratories? They tweeted in 2014 that they are cruelty-free. Just curious whether BWC has confirmed this.

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      Lamelle isn’t on the BWC list, so I’m not sure about their status.

  44. Hi! I was wondering about Mandy’s hair removal products? I can’t seem to find any info on it.

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      I will see if I can find out. Generally though, the brands will state if they are cruelty free. They are proud of the fact.

  45. I love this post and the research you’ve done with regards to cruelty-free companies who are owned by companies/parent companies who are not cruelty-free. Thank you for sharing this awareness!

  46. Hi. Smith & Cult and Oribe are cruelty free and most of their products are vegan as well.

  47. Hi there. Anesi products (available in salons only) are cruelty free. Manufactured in Spain and distributed worldwide. 🙂

  48. Hello, thank you for doing your best and giving us information to work with.
    I also use Faithful To Nature as a good indicator for brands that do not test on animals. Great website for South Africans!

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      I agree, they are a great site to work with. Happy you found the post useful!

  49. Hi. I see that Sorbet has started selling shampoo and make-up. Is it anti-animal testing?

  50. Philippa Field Reply

    Hi Malherbe Liezel 🙂
    Thank you for this helpful list of cruelty free product in SA.

    Would you know if Sorbet products are cruelty free and vegan? They have just launched their Sorbet make up range.

    Also a great list of cruelty-free and vegan products/cosmetics can be found on the Cruelty-Free Kitty page. Unfortunately, most of the products mentioned are not found in SA, however the site gives a fantastic insight to other resources about cruelty and vegan free choices!

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      Thanks Philippa. I think we need as much info as we can get on this topic.

  51. Hi there.

    Regarding Essence, LA girl and NYX and certain products from these brands that I do purchase don’t have a Beauty without cruelty or leaping bunny logo. Can they be trusted to be vegan and cruelty free?

    • Liezel Malherbe Reply

      Hey Simi, that’s tricky. It might just be old packaging that hasn’t been updated yet but to be safe I would google the specific products to check.

  52. Bev Pallet Reply

    Foschini ‘All Woman’ cosmetics range is cruelty free – just launched

  53. Tracey Verhovert Reply

    I think you are wrong about Neostrata. When I google them, it says some products are tested on animals.
    Look into Heliocare, seems to be a safe product all round. Great sun protection, not bad for the environment or our skins and not tested on animals.

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