What Does Cruelty-Free Mean?

What Does Cruelty-Free Mean?

At any given time you can see so many symbols on a product, it can seem like you are trying to translate a hieroglyphic. Now, we aren’t saying that is a bad thing; there are images on products for many reasons, including safety reasons. Some represent how long a product should be in use, others can mean that the product is made in packaging that can be recycled. 

As we continue to explore how our daily routines impact the environment around us, you may be on the lookout for brands that care about that too. With so many options available, it is important to understand the products we are using and consuming. Over the last decade, or more, cruelty-free products have been widely marketed. 

If this has left you wondering what this actually means, you have come to the right place. Let’s go over what cruelty-free actually means and how to make some changes in your daily life that support cruelty-free product choices. 

What Is Cruelty-Free?

For over a century, animals have been used in testing products such as household cleaners, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, food additives, and much more. Worldwide, it is estimated that over 115 million animals are used in laboratory experiments each year. Even testing and procedures that would be considered “mild” have the potential to cause psychological and physical harm to animals. 

Making the switch to products that are cruelty-free comes with the intention that you are making the choice to steer clear of using, or consuming, products that harm animals. 

What we are about to say may come as a bit of a shock. The terms “not tested on animals” and “cruelty-free” are not legally defined. According to the FDA, this is why companies can use these claims in advertising and labeling and the meaning varies from company to company. 

This is not to say that every company is being intentionally deceptive. It means that you may want to do a little more research on some of the claims made. 

Animal Testing Alternatives

With the steady advancements in research, technology, and testing in the last hundred years, it should come as no surprise that there are alternatives to testing on animals. Not only does testing on animals inflict unnecessary suffering, pain, and sometimes death on these animals, it does not always provide an accurate idea of what would happen in a human. 

When it comes to human risk and safety testing, scientists are able to model and integrate data in real-world scenarios. With the use of computational biology, research, and study in the field of genomics, just to name a few, it is well within reach to move toward these alternatives and away from animal testing. 

Cruelty vs. Vegan, What You Should Know

In order to be considered vegan, a product must not contain byproducts of animals or animals.

Cruelty-free can mean something different to each company. The most important point about seeking products that are cruelty-free is that you want to do your part in preventing animal cruelty and testing. 

Checking labels is a good first step in understanding the manufacturer's stance and intention with their products. Being more aware of how our decisions impact the environment around us can help us make more educated decisions about what we consume and purchase.

Top Reasons To Switch to Cruelty-Free 

Switching to cruelty-free products is something we can all work towards. You don’t have to go throw out all your products, but be intentional about your future purchases. Read labels and take a proactive approach to how you can make a difference with your purchasing power alone. 

Here are our top reasons to make the switch to cruelty-free products. 

  1. Your Purchasing Power Matters - Gone are the days, or at least we hope to move toward this, of mindless consumption. Whether it's the cosmetics you buy, clothes, or the food you eat, you have the power to choose what you purchase. You can make a difference by choosing to support products that are cruelty-free. Little by little, these decisions add up. Just think, if everyone starts buying cruelty-free this will impact companies still choosing to test on animals. 
  2. Safer Cosmetic Ingredient Options Available - One theory of animal testing is that ingredients should be tested on animals before they can be used on humans. Because of organic and natural ingredients, there are thousands of options that are toxin-free and safe for human use. Choosing cruelty-free can mean safe for you and help continue to eliminate the need for animal testing. 
  3. Testing on Animals Is Not Necessary - Support of animal testing should be avoided. Not only is it unethical, but research has also shown that even if a specific ingredient is safe for animals, it still may not be for humans. Testing can be accomplished in much safer ways for everyone thanks to scientific and computer advancements. 
  4. Healthier Alternatives to Harsh Chemicals - With alternative ingredients that you can actually pronounce, why would you want to use their harsh cousins? Vegan and cruelty-free products typically have more natural ingredients that are known to be safe for your skin. We still encourage checking labels, but the main goal is to eliminate harsh chemicals and toxins altogether. 
  5. Support Cruelty-Free Businesses - Support businesses that care about you, the planet, and animals. At Spongellé we are committed to making products that do not harm you, animals, or the planet. It is important to invest in companies that goals and values align with the impact you want to make in the world. 
  6. In Some Countries, Animal Testing Isn’t Legal - You have the option to choose what you bring into your home. If animal testing is unethical enough to be banned in some countries, it is definitely worth considering banning it in your own home. Countries like Switzerland, New Zealand, and Norway have all recognized the harm in animal testing. Follow suit and make it a point to make the switch to cruelty-free products in your home too. 
  7. Promote a Green Planet - Testing animals in laboratories can lead to large amounts of hazardous material to the environment. Making the switch to cruelty-free and vegan products can be safer for the planet and your skin. Many companies that offer cruelty-free products use organic and naturally derived ingredients. These are less hazardous to your delicate skin and the environment around you. 
  8. Budget-Friendly - You may be surprised to find that cruelty-free and vegan brands are more friendly to your budget than the alternatives. Products without added chemicals and harsh ingredients can be less expensive to produce and therefore save you money in the long run. 
  9. Look Good and Feel Better - Not only are vegan and cruelty-free products great for your skin, but you can also feel better about purchasing them. Small steps matter when it comes to changing the world. Knowing you are doing your part to prevent harm to animals can make you feel better too. 

Best Cruelty-Free Products 

If we haven’t already convinced you to make the switch, we are sure this list will help motivate you. At Spongellé we are committed to helping you create a spa-like experience in the comfort of your own home. The added bonus is that our products are made vegan-friendly and cruelty-free. Here is a list of some of our favorite products.

  • Beach Grass Wildflower Soap Sponge - You won’t be able to imagine what life was like before you use one of our sponges. If you don’t have the time for a beach vacation, you can certainly recreate one with this beach-inspired sponge. The smell alone will transport you to your fondest memories of lounging beachside. This all-in-one sponge has the ability to exfoliate, moisturize, and nourish in one. It is also multi-use and can be taken anywhere you go!
  • French Lavender Body Wash - As luxurious as it sounds, this body wash can be used an impressive 70 plus times. Free of harsh solvents, gluten, parabens, and sulfates all you have to worry about is which custom blended fragrance you prefer. 
  • Honey Blossom Body Lotion - With a whopping 100 plus pumps per bottle you will be hard-pressed to find a better bang for your buck. It is vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, and paraben-free. From neck to toe, this lotion offers the perfect hydration for any occasion. 


We weren’t joking around when we said we were committed to making products that are safe for you, animals, and the planet. It is why we have worked so hard to create a variety of products for you to love. 

At Spongellé, we understand what it’s like to search high and low for products that smell great, work for your body and not against it, and keep the entire planet in mind while doing it. The next time you are on the lookout for products that go the extra mile to offer you pampering with a purpose, you’ll know exactly where to find them!


Animal Testing | Humane Society International

"Cruelty-Free"/"Not Tested on Animals" | FDA

Certification | Vegan Action