I researched what some common skin care labels mean, specifically, what the “Cruelty Free” bunny logo stands for. I found out that many of the common labels seen on beauty products are actually not very convincing or trustworthy. I learned that some labels and claims like “cruelty-free” and “100% vegan” are dependent on the companies that use them to be honest and decide what that label means to them. I also learned that even most labels that do have guidelines and rules behind them only require a company to fill out short questionnaires to verify that they deserve the label. This includes the cruelty free bunny logo.
The cruelty free bunny logo is verified by PETA, but all it really takes to obtain use of the logo is to answer some questions and then pay to use and license the logo. There is no inspection or any testing by PETA or anyone independent of the company that wants to use the bunny logo. The official meaning of the logo is that the company, their contractors and their suppliers don’t conduct “any tests on animals for ingredients, formulations, or finished products.” This does not mean that the product is vegan, only that there was no testing on animals.
Overall I think that this is a somewhat valid label, but not 100% trustworthy. It is important and seems to be credible as it is backed by PETA, a known animal rights group. But the fact that the verification needed to obtain the label depends on the honesty of the company applying for use of the label makes me doubtful that every single product that uses this label is really cruelty free. I feel that the label would have more credibility if the company applying to use it underwent independent tests or inspections before being granted access to the label.