Cruelty Free Beauty

The world of fashion accommodates many professions, many of which fashion cannot be performed without their input. One such profession is make-up and beauty. It is normalised to have fashion, make-up and haircare go together be it on the runway or on the streets. Fashion is better enhanced by the art that people perform on their faces and hair. The growing prevalence of eco-fashion has also inspired cruelty-free and sometimes vegan beauty, hair and skin care products.

The cruelty free and vegan classification are characterised by products that are not tested on animals and not containing animal by-products. The existence of these products appeal to our consciousness as consumers, ensuring that we are aware that humans are not the only animals who feel pain and abuse. 

My passion for responsible consumption in every aspect of my life is growing because there are more products to choose from in today’s market. This way of living is making us pay more attention to what is most important and how we can preserve the natural resources that have been overused for make-up, hair and skin care products. 

The growing supply of these products is proof that the demand for them is growing as well, which confirms the fact that consumer consciousness is also growing.  The best brands also ensure that all skin tones, hair types and make-up preferences are catered for. These are largely independently owned brands driven by passionate founders whose empathy towards animals matches their  eagerness for healthy skin, hair and glow-y make-up looks. 

I highlight my top five cruelty free and vegan beauty brands below. All these brands are available in South Africa so you can also add them to your shopping list to go along with your eco-fashion. 

African Extracts Rooibos

African skin and hair care products. This brand is best known for its skin care range meant to cleanse, protect and preserve the skin from our heads all the way down to our feet. This brand is inspired by the preservation of naturally beautiful South African skin and the unique skin-care benefits of the indigenous rooibos plant. AER products are made from the natural and organic extracts of the rooibos plant. The ingredients are sustainably sourced and produced in the country resulting in locally made, cruelty free and vegan skin care products that we love and appreciate. The products are also made to tackle different skin problems with classic, purifying, advantage and radiance ranges to choose from. African Extracts Rooibos products can be found at local beauty shops, pharmacies and supermarkets. 

Eco Diva 

Eco Diva natural products are built on the premise of skin’s regeneration & self healing. The Eco Diva range is designed to balance the pH levels of skin regardless of age, nationality, ethnicity or gender. This brand strives for balance, non-toxic living and environmental preservation. Their products are created with the highest quality organic ingredients, offering a high count of antioxidants, vitamins, essential fatty and amino acids and mineral salts. These nutrients provide skin cell health, functionality and the skin’s ability to repair itself.Their products are eco-friendly, organic, non-toxic and unisex. They are chemical, paragon, sulphate and cruelty free. They are also vegan friendly and proudly made in South Africa. Eco Diva is dedicated to the environment, animals protection and most importantly to the positive effects their processes have on their clients’ skin. 

Essence Cosmetics

This is one of the most affordable make-up brands in South Africa. Essence cosmetics strives for the greatest quality and environmentally friendly products, most of their products use natural ingredients with an assortment of 70% vegan products. They are 100% cruelty free and have never tested on animals ever in their production. More than using natural ingredients in their products, they are also committed to reducing CO2 emissions by using sustainable materials to package their products. They are committed to economic, ecological and social matters to reduce waste, create quality make-up products and pay fair wages to their workers. Essence cosmetics range from foundation all the way to nail care, their focus is responsibly produced make-up and a dedication to beauty without cruelty. Essence products can be found at retail stores and pharmacies nationwide. 

Catrice Cosmetics

Catrice cosmetics is another affordable brand of make-up associated with a cruelty free production chain. They require their suppliers to certify that the products they provide them with are not tested on animals, ensuring a cruelty free and vegan production line from beginning to end. Their products are gluten, oil and alcohol free, ingredients that many people have been struggling to expel from their make-up use for years. This brand proves that there is something for everyone, we do not all have to use the same products. Catrice uses sustainable palm oil meaning that they are directly involved in protecting the environment and habitats being destroyed by plantations for unsustainable palm oil. Catrice products can be found at retail stores and online nationwide.

Native Child

This brand is best known for its haircare products for kinky, kurly and koily hair. Native child is 100% vegan and black owned. All their products are responsibly sourced, ethically created. Haircare is very important in the fashion world due to the constant changing of hairstyles that weigh the hair down after a while, particularly African hair. Their holistic approach ensures peace of mind because their clients know and understand that the products are designed to protect the environment while providing health to their human utilisers. Native child also has a range of body care products which cater to every skin type. Their products are available online and they deliver nationwide. 


Like I have said before about conscious consumption, we need to incorporate this thinking into our everyday living and essentially make it our lifestyle. There is a lot of work to be done in order to save the earth fro carbon emissions and resource waste. We are the most wasteful animal on this planet, using more resources than we need. Our solutions to a waste free earth are available to use, we just need to get into the mindset and raise awareness so that other people know as well. Beauty and fashion have been a part of our existence for longer than we can count, if we want to continue these practices we will need to begin conducting ourselves with the utmost consciousness.

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