In the past few months, I have made the decision to switch to cruelty free skincare and beauty (to the best of my abilities).
It has always nagged at me, but I always thought I was such a small drop in the ocean, how could I really make a difference. But after reading up a lot more on what goes on behind the scenes with animal testing, and seeing some horrible videos via PETA, and also finding websites like Cruelty Free Kitty and She Lives Cruelty Free, I really wanted to start trying to make a difference, however small.
Before this year, I had also been try to make the switch to more natural products, containing organic and safer ingredients. This was a huge shift and one I was glad I was making, but suddenly it seemed skin deep. What was the point in having all these ‘natural’ ‘pure’ ‘mineral’ ingredients, if the company still tested on animals. I realised I had to do more, and knowing that I could do more, by making the switch, was really empowering.
I live with my partner, who is an avid carnivore and your traditional ‘meat, vege, and mash’ sorta guy. We also earn a humble wage, and are both paying off student loans. So going full vegan/vegetarian/organic right at this particular moment is a bit hard (but something I will be looking at in the future), both financially and for our lifestyle. So I had always felt like I there wasn’t much I could do in terms of saving animals from the meat works and horrible living conditions and cruelty.
Until one day I woke up and realised some of my skincare had run out and I needed to replace it. Curiosity overtook me and I googled what companies were cruelty free, and was happily surprised that a lot of my favs were Leaping Bunny approved, and also a lot of the brands I had wanted to try out for AGES were also not testing on animals.
Another surprise was the affordability of the ranges I looked at. If money has always been the barrier for you going totally cruelty free, then do some research like I have and you will amazed at some of the reasonably prices dupes you can get! My favourite switches so far has been moving on from expensive Revlon foundations to Natio makeup, and Nivea and Garnier skincare to budget-friendly Skinfood products. It’s actually a blast being able to make the changes, even if they have been slow.
So far, I have managed to switch my: moisturiser, exfoliator, body scrub, cleanser, eye cream, shower gel, highlighter and bronzer, soap, eyebrow powder, handcream, body frangrance, lipbalms, and face toner.
* I found out that Simple is made by Unilever who are big on animal testing, won’t be buying their products again! And also Burt’s Bees has started selling in mainland China, where animal testing is mandatory for US cosmetics. They might NO LONGER be a cruelty-free company! Thanks Cruelty Free Kitty for the update xx
* As for Dettol, I also found out… “As a fundamental part of our ethical approach we are committed to not conducting animal testing unless we are legally required to. If the safety of the product is in question or there is a requirement to provide pre-human clinical trial information for our health portfolio, we will undergo testing.” This just isn’t a good enough excuse for me, and I won’t be buying the product again.
Next up, I will be switching my deodorant, hair products, foundation, nail polish, mascara, sunscreen, face powder, and lipsticks.
At the end of the day, just being mindful of the fact that animal testing and cruelty is happening, and making small changes in your own lifestyle, can drastically change theirs in the long run, and if we all start making those changes, eventually the companies will have to stand up and take notice. I think that cosmetic testing on animals is unnecessary, cruel, outdated, and wrong. I’ll be putting a lot of effort into researching the brands I use daily, and hopefully help you make cruelty free choices too.
There are a few challenges to deal with, such ‘cruelty-free’ vs ‘vegan’ vs ‘not tested on animals’ vs terms like ‘Leaping Bunny’ or ‘PETA approved’. It comes down to doing your research, finding sites and experts who know what they’re talking about, and making note. I think some of the brands I use right now are cruelty-free, but perhaps their parent company tests on animals etc, so am trying to make the changes, but baby steps! It’s all worth it 🙂
Check out Nanshy’s Beginners Guide to Cruelty Free cosmetics as a starting point, and definitely have a look at all of She Lives Cruelty Free’s 101 blogs blog posts on the subject, they are written from the heart with passion and knowledge.
Some cruelty free brands I love using:
- The Body Shop
- Nude by Nature
- Anastasia Beverly Hills
- Only Good
- Tailor Skincare
And also some really handy Cruelty Free websites if you live in New Zealand:
Do you use only cruelty free products? Have you found it hard or easy to make the switch?