Is 'Cruelty-Free Makeup' Really Cruelty-Free?

Monday, February 20, 2017
N.B. - I am not trying to throw shade in this post or take away from those who use cruelty free makeup, I am purely trying to raise awareness of child labour in the makeup industry as it's not talked about often

Cruelty free makeup has been in the media a lot recently but how cruelty free actually is it? Everyone can tell you about how animals are treated in the manufacturing of makeup but what about people? If you look up whether one of your pieces of makeup and you find that the company and the parent company don''t test on animals then it's an ethically sound piece of makeup right? Maybe not; we need to look at the production of that item, especially the sourcing of raw materials.
Image result for children mica mine

In the Indian states of Bihar and Jharkand, thousands of children as young as 5 are hammering flakes of rock off the mountainside. Others carry baskets of rock to the top of the mines to separate the glittering fragments from the rock debris.
Mica is a glittery mineral found in many beauty products to give a shimmer effect and 25% of the world's supply comes from regions that use child labour. Even Lush, a company which prides itself on it's ethics, hasn't been able to eradicate it from its supply chain.

Some companies like Estee Lauder and L'Oreal are funding "child-friendly villages" to help children into education instead of mining. Some companies have also pledged to source mica from legal mines.

And it's not just makeup companies. A recent study has found that Apple, Samsung, Sony and Volkswagen were allowing cobalt mined by children into their products. Child labour, slavery, trafficking and forced labour are all rife around the world.

What can you do to help?
Please share this post and talk about child labour on social media.
Read a few of the resources that I've linked below.

Emily x



  1. Wow! I had no idea how common child labor and slavery is. Thanks for sharing such an important topic xx

    Edye |

  2. I had no idea about this, it's great you shared the other side of makeup manufacturing!
    Grace xx


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