When it comes to toiletries and cosmetics I like mine cruelty free and I assume that as you are here, you do too. I thought I knew everything when it came to cruelty free shopping but I continue to make mistakes in my choices. I have come to realise that when a label states that a product is cruelty free the background of the company may indicate otherwise. 'Superdrug' for example have a complete own brand range that is cruelty free but their parent company has no fixed cut-off date animal testing policy in place and owns other subsidiaries that contribute to environmental destruction on an industrial scale.
Another example is 'The Body Shop' who have been a subsidiary of L'Oreal since 2006 and been fooling everyone with their campaigns to end animal cruelty when L'Oreal continues to profit from animal testing outside Europe. 'Urban Decay' another cruelty free brand is also a subsidiary of L'Oreal. I have no idea what makes a cruelty free company want to merge with another that is going to tarnish their reputation. It's disappointing to say the least, especially when you think you are doing right by animals by steering away from brands that test on them.
My latest mistake being the purchase of the popular brand 'Jason Natural Cosmetics' made me re-asses the way I go about shopping. If I see a certain brand advertised that I like the look of, I will do a little more research into the company's background. Normally they wouldn't display any negative press on their websites so you may have to search else-where. A good place to start is at leapingbunny.org where you can find lists of different brands that don't test on animals and whether or not they have a parent company that may be involved in animal testing in some way. Unfortunately it doesn't state whether companies don't have fixed cut-off date animal testing policies (like Jason) so that may require a little extra research. I normally type into my browser something like... is such and such cruelty free and more often than not it will provide the information your seeking.
You should also be aware of the product ingredients. Some companies may claim that they don't test on animals when they have animal derived ingredients. Look out for non-vegan ingredients such as 'Glycerin' (which can either be synthetic or derived from plants or animals), 'beeswax,' 'honey,' 'Carmine' (the red pigment produced from some scale insects), 'Casien' (the main protein present in milk), and 'Guanine' (a compound that occurs in guano and fish scales). A list of hidden animal fats can be found HERE.
If all else fails and you are still unsure then contact the company directly. There is so much to learn but at least I know that I am on the right track, I may still make mistakes but at least I will learn from them. I shall use up all my unwanted products and move on to true cruelty free ones. If anyone has any useful information to share regarding this issue then please leave a comment below.