Cruelty-Free Body Wash

Cruelty-Free Body Wash

When you are looking for the best body wash, there are many ways you might about the process. Maybe you consider smell first and foremost and are in search of something that has natural scents such as rosewater, lemon, chamomile, or cucumber.

Alternatively, maybe you shop for body wash based on skin concerns. A scented body wash can do more harm than good for people with certain skin types. If you have sensitive skin and are looking for a fragrance-free option, perhaps you focus on the ingredients themselves. 

Whether you most prioritize scent, formula, or something else entirely when it comes to which soap you choose, there might be a factor you forget about entirely: Is your body wash cruelty-free?

Many of us think of body wash as an intrinsic and inherent part of our routine, and we might not consider the possible harm it could be doing. The reality is, many of the products sold to us to clean our bodies are actually polluting and dirtying our planet. 

Cruelty-free body wash can sound like a catchy term for those of us who are new to sustainable practices. Here at Bite, we believe that self-care and environmental care go hand in hand, so we’re here to talk through the basics of cruelty-free body wash.

What Does Cruelty-Free Mean?

There is a bit of debate over what the phrase “cruelty-free” actually means, and that is because it can have different definitions for different companies and products. Consumers are often led to believe that cruelty-free is a catch-all term that means no animal testing occurred during the production process. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

In reality, the exact phrasing of “cruelty-free” is vague. It can mean a wide range of things entirely depending on personal and company-wide ethics. The FDA does not have specific regulations or rules on when a product can or cannot be described as cruelty-free, making things even more unclear. 

Cruelty-free might mean that some companies never tested the product on animals. For others, it could mean that the ingredients within the product were tested on animals, but the finished product itself was not. Even still, cruelty-free could also mean that while one specific company did not perform animal testing, they commissioned another organization to do it for them (an unethical loophole if you ask us).

If this sounds a bit confusing, we understand. This system was intentionally designed to confuse consumers. However, there are some ways to ensure that a company really means it when they claim to be cruelty-free. 

Are Vegan and Cruelty-Free the Same Thing?

Another common misconception about ethical beauty products is that vegan and cruelty-free mean the same thing. While this confusion is understandable because they pertain to a product’s relationship to animals, they are largely different. 

A vegan product is made without animal ingredients, but a cruelty-free product has not been tested on animals.

A product can be cruelty-free without being vegan, and a product can be vegan without being cruelty-free. An item might contain animal products but not have been tested on animals. At the same time, an item might contain no animal products whatsoever but may have been tested on animals. 

This distinction is why it is important to look into and purchase cruelty-free and vegan products. Again, be sure to do your research to guarantee that these products stand behind what they claim to.

Do Cruelty-Free Products Still Contain Animal Ingredients?

A cruelty-free product can still contain animal products. This might seem counterintuitive, but cruelty-free just describes the idea that the company never tested the product on animals. 

A company that does not test on animals may still use animal-derived ingredients in its products. The only way to ensure your products are free of animal derivatives is to read the ingredients closely and investigate the brand itself.

How Do I Know If My Products Are Cruelty-Free?

Since this term can be pretty nebulous in terms of meaning, Leaping Bunny logos have become somewhat of a beacon to indicate which products are actually cruelty-free and which are not. This program is run by the CCIC (Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics) and thoroughly vets all products before giving them the Leaping Bunny seal of approval.

Even if a product does not have this logo emblazoned on its packaging, it may still truly be cruelty-free. Doing research about a brand and its ethics before purchasing from them is one of the best ways for us to know for sure that an organization shares our same moral code.

Why Are Cruelty-Free Products Important?

Cruelty-free products are essential because they set a standard of ethics and morality that, hopefully, other products will come to match. 

Companies that abide by these moral principles show other organizations that it is possible to be profitable without tossing ethics out the window. A company can help consumers and not harm the environment, animals, and workers in the process.

Secondly, where we spend our money matters. If we choose to buy from and support organizations that are indeed as cruelty-free as they say they are, then we show other companies that this is the way of the future. 

Animal welfare is a real issue. Many animals contribute to the continued wellbeing of ecosystems that are much more delicate than we may realize, and with a few easy changes in what we consume, starting even as small as going for more sustainable personal and oral care products, we can make a real impact. 

What Are Some Popular Cruelty-Free Body Wash Brands?

With all this said, here are just a few of the fantastic cruelty-free body washes you have at your disposal.


The first body wash on our list comes alongside many self-care products containing shea butter and African Black Soap. While SheaMoisture has evolved immensely, they stay true to their roots by offering cruelty-free body washes containing shea butter as the primary ingredient. 

Alba Botanica

Also selling products like shampoo and conditioner, Alba Botanica makes entirely plant-based and cruelty-free products. With body washes, body scrubs, body oils, shaving cream, and an abundance of hair and face products, there is no limit to what you can choose with this brand.

Pacifica Beauty

Pacifica brand is 100% vegan and cruelty-free while also offering various beauty products. While their body wash is desirable, they also have makeup and nail products, items for haircare, fragrances, and much more.

Live Clean

Live Clean has plant-based formulas that can address all of your shower needs. Whether you need hand sanitizer complete with aloe vera, shampoos, conditioners, body lotions, or body washes, they have you covered. They also have soap and shampoo for babies to provide a safe and rich lather, all made of natural ingredients.

Love Beauty & Planet

This aptly named company cares about bettering ourselves and our planet through plant-derived beauty products. With the right products, your morning routine can be easy and enjoyable.

Dr. Bronner’s

Dr. Bronner makes a variety of cruelty-free self-care products such as pure-castile liquid soap, bath salts, body wash, and other products that are free of harsh chemicals. Dr. Bronner’s options can help you steer clear of potentially harmful additives when shopping for cruelty-free products.

Earth Lab

Earth Lab Botanicals includes a variety of essential oils in their cruelty-free products to bring natural but pleasant fragrances. Earth Lab’s body washes can help make your beauty routine a wonderful-smelling, sustainable breeze.

The Bottom Line

There can be some confusion arising from the “cruelty-free” label, as it can sometimes be misused. However, as long as we make an effort to research a company and product before purchasing, we can take comfort in the fact that what we are using was never tested on animals. 

Buying cruelty-free is a great way to live more sustainably, and we are so here for it. 


Shower Tips for Sensitive Skin | WebMD

“cruelty-free”/“Not Tested on Animals” | FDA

How Animals Help Us To Save the Planet – Useful Animals for the Nature | Institute of Ecolonomics

Keep Reading

Leave a comment

  • Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.