Are Valley Mist Lip Balms, Skincare and Beauty Products Cruelty Free?
This is one of our most commonly asked questions and of course, the answer is yes.
As an ethical and sustainable skincare and wellness brand we consider testing on animals to be morally wrong. So, we are proud to say that our renowned lip balms are indeed, cruelty free lip balms, as well as our full range of other products. But what exactly does ‘cruelty free’ mean? And how can you tell whether a brand tests on animals without necessarily having to ask? Hopefully this article will help to iron out some of those more difficult questions.
In 2013 it was made illegal for any cosmetics manufacturing in the EU to test on animals. Valley Mist was launched in 2016 and Jo hand-makes most of our products herself in Leyland, Lancashire, and even those that are not made by her are made locally by other small businesses. As a result, Valley Mist conforms and works to EU guidelines and good manufacturing practices, which are considered to be the ultimate and highest standard so, not only do we consider it morally wrong to test on animals, but it would also be illegal for us to do so.
However, on the other hand, in China it is a legal requirement that all cosmetics are tested on animals. Any brand that sells its products there will as a result, not be classified as cruelty free and a good way to tell whether a brand is likely to be cruelty free or not is to find out whether its products are sold in China. Needless to say, Valley Mist’s products are not. So, you can rest assured that your cruelty free lip balm is cruelty free wherever it is being sold in the world.
Sometimes it just comes down to the Money
Often it can be quite difficult to find out whether a brand sells its products in China. However, if they are independently owned and not part of a conglomerate, then the chances are that they do not test on animals. Aside from the lawful and the moral reasons against testing on animals, most small businesses simply couldn’t afford to do so.
Furthermore, all of our products use many ingredients that have been used for centuries in medicinal and cosmetic practices, meaning that we already know that they are safe to use. There would be no reason to subject animals to testing when there are plenty of humans keen to try out our new product samples for us.
Can our Cruelty Free Lip Balm ever really be Cruelty Free?
The final question is, can anything ever really be considered cruelty free? As previously mentioned, most of our ingredients have been used for centuries and so, we already know that they are safe to use. But in order to know this it is likely that they have been tested on animals at some point in the past, as is the case with anything that we use today. In my view at least, the most important thing is focusing on what is still going on now. There is nothing that can be done now about what has happened in the past. We now have much greater technology, greater understanding and greater knowledge of not the ingredients that we are using, of the science behind what works and what doesn’t, and of the ethical issues surrounding testing on animals and should use this to our advantage. Nonetheless, is ‘cruelty free’ necessarily the right term for brands that do not test on animals but still incorporate ingredients that we only know are safe because they have been tested on animals in the past?
Furthermore, when we begin to look at this label with closer scrutiny all sorts of other issues begin to emerge. The harvesting of plant materials itself will inevitably cause habitat and food-source loss for many wild animals, making it extremely difficult to judge what might be referred to as cruelty free and what cannot. As soon as we begin to consider all these issues the clearer it becomes that life simply is not cruelty free, it will always be a scale from cruel to cruelty free.
Nonetheless, to me, the label ‘cruelty free’ has not lost its relevance but is still a useful tool for being able to discern between brands that consciously cause harm to animals in their manufacturing processes and those that do their utmost to avoid it. In this way it is possible to keep our livelihoods as close to the cruelty free end of the scale as possible. Considerations beyond the current regulations would likely become impossible to keep track of, but by buying our ingredients from like-minded suppliers who prioritise the environment, we hope to minimise our environmental impact and hold the cruelty free label to the highest standards we can. However, being aware of the other issues that surround the products we consume and the labels that they use can only be a good thing.
All of our ingredients are sourced as locally and sustainably as possible in order to minimise environmental impact. Additionally, most of our ingredients are organic in order to support sustainable farming methods. Therefore, although the harvesting of plant material is an unavoidable part of the creation of our skincare products, we can rest assured that the farming methods we are supporting focus on preserving biodiversity and ecological balance. Many of our products have also recently been registered with the vegan society.