A Quick Guide to Cruelty Free Activated Charcoal Skin Care Products

What does “cruelty free activated charcoal” actually mean?

In the animal rights movement, cruelty free is a label for products or activities that do not harm or kill animals. Products tested on animals are not considered cruelty free, due to these tests often causing pain and suffering of animals.

For a product to be cruelty free, there should be no form of animal testing at any point in the creation of a brand’s products.

Here’s the catch

Sometimes activated charcoal skin or body care products aren’t truly animal friendly.  They may contain ingredients that require the death of an animal to produce, hence it is difficult to justify this is indeed cruelty free.

It’s common for companies not to test the final product on animals, rather they may test it along the way or use ingredients that have been tested on animals by a third-party.

“Required by law” animal testing is also common. This means that the finished products are tested on animals by a third-party. To ignore that direction would mean a failure to comply with various regional laws around the world. These products, no matter what the packaging says, are not cruelty free.

Companies had begun designing their own bunny logos, implementing their own definition of ‘cruelty free’ or ‘animal friendly’. In addition, they will have done this without the participation of animal protection groups.

Do all accredited companies use the cruelty free logo?

To become an accredited cruelty free company with Choose Cruelty Free (CCF), brands must fill in a questionnaire and an application for accreditation (Q&A). They must also sign a legally binding contract. Once accredited, companies may opt to take out a License to use the CCF Rabbit Logo for an annual fee.
The CCF Rabbit Logo is a registered trade mark. Some companies may be accredited as cruelty free, yet they don’t opt to take out an annual licence to use the CCF Rabbit logo. As a result, this can make navigating accredited products a bit tricky.

It is illegal to use CCF Rabbit Logo without permission.

Some companies may use the logo illegally, while others design their own bunny logo! Others will define ‘cruelty free” or “animal friendly” without the participation of any animal protection groups. Such groups include such or the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC). The CCIC “promotes a single comprehensive standard and an internationally recognized Leaping Bunny Logo.”

Which logos should I look for on activated charcoal body and skin care products?

Here are four cruelty free logos that are officially recognised in various parts of the world.
Cruelty Free Australian logo 1
Cruelty Free International Leaping Bunny logo 1
Peta Cruelty Free logo 2
New Peta Cruelty Free logo 1

How can I find out more?

  • Download the free Bunny FREE app that lets you search for companies by name and tells you whether or not they test on animals. Download it today on your phone from Appstore or Google Play
  • Go to peta.org where you will find a searchable database of companies that do and that don’t test their products on animals
  • If you still are not sure about a product, contact the company and ask if they test on animals in any way during the creation of the process. If you do not receive a reply, or if the reply seems unclear, decide if you would still like to purchase and support products from that company
  • Reach out to others on relevant skin and body care or cruelty free forums to discuss specific brands or products


Here are three websites worth exploring if you want to know more. This is by no means a comprehensive list of resources, but it will get you started.


Have you got some favourite activated charcoal skin and body care cruelty free brands? Share the cruelty free love in the Comments section below. 


  1. I love your post. It deals with the ongoing debate of using animals for experiments for the benefit of humans. I just wonder, how do large laboratories handle animals when they want to try their invented products. I think high mortality in animals is common during experiment phase. I don’t know if how can we stop something like this. I think the tips you put in the lower part of the article are good ways in preventing animal cruelty. By the way, are you a member of PETA?

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