3 Local Brands are Falsely Claiming to be “Cruelty-free”

False Local Cruelty-free Brands

The Maltese cruelty-free market is in danger! I love supporting small local businesses. However, I don’t blindly support any small local business, only the ones that make sense to me. Recently, I have discovered some small local beauty brands selling smuggled China wholesale beauty products as “cruelty-free”.

What I mean by smuggled?

These products are entering the EU market through Malta without the EU authorities checking them. Since the EU has different requirements from China, the US, etc, traders need to get their products checked. This should be done to ensure they are safe and that they don’t contain any ingredients banned by the EU. We have already seen cases of products in the EU that turned out to be hazardous. These same products were supposedly checked also by the EU authorities. Imagine how worse it is when products have been only checked by the supplier’s country and not also by the seller’s country.

Many of us buy China wholesale products from Chinese suppliers on AliExpress, etc. Unless these products skip a certain order total, customs does not pick them up. So authorities are not checking them, at least in Malta. It seems that Germany still checks, one of the few things I like about Germany. Keep in mind that, buying for personal use and buying to resell it is completely different. When for example I buy for personal use, whatever health issues the product could cause me, it is my fault. However, when a makeup artist buys such products to use on her customer or to resell under her brand name, it is bad. She could be putting her customer’s life in danger.

What does this have to do with cruelty-free?

These last 10 years I have seen it often from some makeup artists buying cheap unbranded makeup from China to use on their customers. On one hand, I wasn’t aware of the possible danger and on the other hand, they weren’t claiming to be cruelty-free. So I closed one eye and avoided getting services from such make up artists. However, now I have found 3 local brands some of whom are makeup artists selling white label China wholesale products as cruelty-free and I could not stay quiet.

I have two reasons why. The first reason is that these brands are stating that their products are cruelty-free only because the supplier said so. What they did not know is that unlike elsewhere in the world, in the EU it is illegal to claim to be cruelty-free unless you are at least certified by PETA, Leaping Bunny, etc. These brands happened to be not certified by such organisations. Also, there is nothing in detail about what they mean by cruelty-free. It could be they just did not test the final product on animals. However, they were tested on animals during the process. It could also be for Chinese the term “cruelty-free” means something different from what we Europeans understand. I contacted some suppliers to know more but I received no clarification. So, I would consider such products as grey area. Meaning better to stay away if you are opting for products without animal testing.

The second reason is let’s imagine, for example, someone has decided to start buying products from cruelty-free brands. The first “cruelty-free” brand s/he encountered in Malta is one of these brands I will be listing and s/he buys one of the products. S/he starts using this product and gets skin or eye irritation. This person is thinking already that cruelty-free is not safe. Since it hasn’t been tested on animals, it hasn’t been well tested, s/he might think. When it is not true. The truth is that s/he trusted a brand that mislead her or him into believing that the products are cruelty-free.

So my reason is that these products not only are falsely labelled cruelty-free but also are hurting the cruelty-free market.

Which local brands are falsely claiming to be cruelty-free?

There might be more. However, these are the local brands I have found up until now:

Before 2021, I was listing any brand that claims to be cruelty-free and was no source claiming the opposite. However, due to the above local brands that I have listed, I started being more careful and stricter on which brand I consider as cruelty-free and not.

DISCLAIMER: This is not a pr, affiliate or sponsored post.


(a.k.a. Fiona Henschel) Malta-born blogger. I have been blogging during these last 6 years on my cruelty-free lifestyle including recipes, beauty and makeup products that I discover, receive, buy and try.