A list of cruelty-free beauty brands available in South Africa

The fashion and beauty industries are becoming more aware of their impact on the environment and society. And as more people call for better ethical practices from beauty giants, many companies started to go the cruelty-free and vegan-friendly way. If you are trying to be more conscious of the beauty products you buy, here are 13 cruelty-free beauty brands available in South Africa.

Let us know if there are any other cruelty-free beauty brands in South Africa that we should check out.

What does cruelty-free mean in the beauty world?

For the most part, cruelty-free beauty brands won’t use animals for the testing of their products. While the vegan or vegetarian-friendly marker means that no animal products are included in the goods either. Organisations like PETALeaping Bunny, or local Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC) evaluate and endorse cruelty-free beauty brands. Sometimes you can spot these certified products by looking for a bunny-like logo on the packaging – make sure that the logo belongs to a reputable organisation and not a just brand trying to pass off as cruelty free.

However, it is important to note that organisations have different requirements for endorsements. For example, some only require that a brand doesn’t use animal testing in their production process, while others require no testing on animals as well as no inclusion of animal products in the merchandise (aka vegan and vegetarian-friendly). Here’s a breakdown of the above-mentioned organisations and their requirements (including their logos):

Breakdown supplied by Beauty Without Cruelty South Africa

The brands we’ve listed below all confirm that their products are not animal tested, and a few have taken their commitment further by not using animal products or practices that negatively disturb the environment and wildlife.

Physicians Formula

This innovative brand is not only cruelty free, but it’s also fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, and free from harsh ingredients. Physicians Formula creates its innovative products by human use-trials which are supervised by a board of certified dermatologist(s). It all began in 1974 when Dr Crandall, a Los Angeles-based allergist, wanted to create a range of products his wife could use, who had sensitive skin. Now it is a trusted make-up brand for many people with sensitive skin.

Best for: Those with sensitive skin looking for make-up products that are pigmented and long-lasting.
Get it at: Selected Dis-Chem stores

Wet n Wild

This affordable brand has introduced many young women to the world of make-up, and they also happen to be cruelty free (and have always been). Besides the budget-friendly prices, Wet n Wild also offer lots and LOTS of variety – in fact, they’re known as trendsetters in colour with over 400 shades.

Best for: Make-up newbies and women looking for cheap and cheerful options
Get it at: Clicks stores or shop online.

Anastasia Beverley Hills

Beauty entrepreneur Anastasia Soare and her namesake brand are popular mostly because of our brow obsession. Anastasia Beverley Hills released brow products that followed Anastasia’s Golden Ratio Eyebrow Shaping Method (which is patented, by the way) and completely revolutionized how we style our eyebrows.

Best for: Women who are obsessed with good brow products and liquid lipsticks
Get it at: Nordstrom’s online shop (which now ships to SA)

Urban Decay

Urban Decay is probably the most recognizable brand on this cruelty-free list – you can’t read a blog or watch a blog from international beauty influencers without seeing their products. Last year, many South African make-up lovers were really excited that this blogger-endorsed brand would be opening stores in Gauteng and the Western Cape as well as launching an online shop the whole country could enjoy.

Best for: Palettes – eyeshadows, blush and highlight, contour kits
Get it at: Urban Decay’s online shop or check out the stores in Sandton City, Eastgate Shopping Centre, Menlyn Park or the V&A Waterfront.

Read more: 5 of the best make-up palettes to buy


Another affordable make-up brand that has gone cruelty free, NYX is for women who want to play with their make-up. They also have a list of products that use a vegan formula and make sure that those products are still fun and full of colour.

Best for: To add vibrant colours to your make-up bag
Get it at: Clicks stores or shop online

Noughty Haircare

Not only is this haircare brand cruelty free but it also makes sure to only use natural ingredients in the products. Noughty Haircare‘s ethos is to be kind to your hair AND the environment – find out more below:

Best for: If you want to buy free-from haircare products or have a sensitive scalp. Great for curly heads and frizz fighters too.
Get it at: Clicks stores or shop online


Dermalogica is all about healthy skin without the unnecessary frills and fuss – for them, skincare is more a health issue than it is a cosmetic indulgence. Not only does this trusted skincare brand not test on animals or include animal products in their formulas, but they also make sure that the palm oil that’s used has not been sourced in a way that may harm the environment or surrounding wildlife.

Best for: Products that will specifically address your skincare issues as they perform a  Face Mapping® skin analysis unique to Dermalogica.
Get it at: Dermalogica’s online shop


This budget-friendly brand is dedicated to creating new, on-trend make-up products every year – in fact, they have a division that develops 14 different limited edition collections each year, most of which make their way to South Africa. So when you buy a Catrice product, you know you’ll be getting a trendy colour or formula.

Best for: Make-up junkies who love to try out new trends
Get it at: Dis-chem stores or shop online

The Body Shop

Most South Africans recognise The Body Shop as a safe, natural and cruelty-free brand. The Body Shop believes their brand should produce enriched products while also enriching the people and environment around them. And by 2020, The Body Shop commits to having a 100% of their natural ingredients sustainably sourced. Currently, they are driving a campaign to ban animal testing across the beauty industry, click below to find out more and see where you can sign the petition.

Best for: Luxury skincare products that are a bit more affordable than the high-end brands
Get it at: The Body Shop stores around the country or at Click stores nationwide


This Brazilian hair brand has become a favourite in the South African market. And last year, Inoar released a vegan hair care range – while none of Inoar’s products are tested on animals, the vegan range also doesn’t include any animal products in the formulas.

Best for: If you need specialised, intensive hair care products
Get it at: Inoar’s online shop

Too Faced

Too Faced is a really popular international brand known mainly for two things – its fun, over-the-top packaging AND creating innovative, cruelty-free make-up products… their product names are pretty awesome too, so maybe we should say three things. Just look at how fun this glitter face mask Glow Job looks:

Best for: As a gift to yourself or to your quirkiest friends
Get it at: Nordstrom’s online shop (which now ships to SA)


The brand was founded in 1990 by Dr Des Fernandes, who pioneered research into the use of vitamin A in high doses to combat the harmful effects of environmental stressors, like pollution, on the skin to reveal a more radiant complexion. Since then, vitamin A has been the cornerstone ingredient of each Environ product, along with ingredients like antioxidants, peptides, sunscreen as well as Alpha & Beta Hydroxy acids.

Best for: Everyone – Environ is suitable for men and women of all ages who are looking to guard their skin against environmental damage and pollutants while maintaining healthy, nourished skin.
Get it at: Sorbet stores, and selected spas and wellness centres.


For anyone who adores taking selfies. Named after the legendary Smashbox studios in Los Angeles, its founders, Dean and Davis Factor, are actually the great-grandsons of another cosmetic brand founder, Max Factor Sr. Their offering covers everything from primer to setting spray. And yes, as you might have guessed, photography is a central theme as their products have been designed to withstand a harsh studio environment.

Best for: Vibrant shades and fuss-free formulations designed for long-lasting wear as well as comfort.
Get it atEdgars and Woolworths nationwide

Woolworths private label, WBeauty

In addition to their Good Business Journey, Woolworths has embarked on a Good Beauty Journey. Private label WBeauty is on a mission to use only the finest quality ingredients, obtained in the most sustainable and environmentally-friendly way. And in an effort to make you feel as good as you look, WBeauty guarantees that neither their ingredients nor final products are tested on animals.

Best For: High-quality products that you expect from Woolworths, dermatologically tested and suitable for sensitive skin.
Get it atWoolworths stores countrywide

Carol’s Daughter

Lisa Price, Carol’s daughter, turned her love of mixing batches of hair and skincare products in her Brooklyn home into a natural beauty empire. Carol’s Daughter has been a pioneer in natural hair care for 25 years and a quick look at their ingredient list will tell you why – products are free from sulphates, parabens, petrolatum, mineral oil and artificial colours.

Best for: Tackling specific hair needs according to texture and problem areas, such as breakage, over-processing or extreme dryness.
Get it atDis-Chem stores and Clicks stores countrywide


Europe’s no.1 selling cosmetic brand, according to their website, essence likes to keep things simple – good quality products at affordable prices. With trend editions as well as an ever-expanding range of regular beauty products, there is a colour, texture and fragrance to suit everyone.

Best for: If you need to find something fast or want to try your hand at something new, essence is the brand for you.
Get it hereClicks stores and Dis-Chem stores

MUD Make-Up Designory

Privately owned both here and in USA, MUD cosmetics is all about the three basics when it comes to make-up application: correct, cover, conceal.  This is why education is a fundamental part of the business. With highly regarded make-up academies in New York and Los Angeles, MUD strives to bring consumers products that have been tested throughout the development process, as well as teach consumers and make-up artists how to get the most from their kits. MUD has committed to cruelty-free testing and are currently well on their way to becoming vegan-friendly as well.

Best for: Professionals and make-up fanatics who know a thing or two about mixing and matching for a perfectly customised look.
Get it atmudsa.co.za

LA Girl

Much like an old friend you can rely on time and time again, LA Girl is the gift that keeps on giving. ‘Affordable luxury’ is how the brand chooses to market themselves and we agree. Constantly on a quest for bringing innovative cosmetics to beauty junkies everywhere, you are guaranteed to fall in love with and keep going back to at least one of their products.

Best for: Stocking up on the everyday essentials without breaking the bank.
Get it hereDis-Chem stores

To find local cruelty-free brands, check out the BWCSA’s humane guide.

Disclaimer: Our team does take care to research brands mentioned in round-ups; however, readers are still responsible to check the credentials of e-commerce websites before purchasing products. Caxton only offers suggestions and we cannot be held responsible for any damages, losses or misleading claims.



Kubumedia Magazine | South Africa | International News online magazine

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