You’re aware of how cruel and unnecessary animal testing is, and you want to put your foot down and make a change. Where do you begin? With all the beauty brands currently available on the market, switching to cruelty-free cosmetics can be confusing. Here are 7 tips to follow for a smooth — and permanent! — transition to cruelty-free products!
1. Make it a gradual change.
You might be tempted to overhaul your complete makeup collection, skincare arsenal, bath products, and home cleaning supplies. For most people, this is too much to take on at once! Start by evaluating your products, but don’t feel pressured to make changes right away. Instead, gradually replace your products as you run out.
2. Don’t throw anything away.
Instead of trashing half-used products because they’re made by a brand that tests on animals, please don’t waste anything and please respect the environment! We all know that chemicals should not be poured down the sink, and that plastic containers should always go in the recycle bin. If you don’t want to finish up your old cosmetics, consider donating them to a friend or offering them to a fellow makeup or skincare lover.
3. Know which brands are cruelty-free.
This is crucial when making the switch to cruelty-free products. The easiest way to keep up is to bookmark or print out cruelty-free brands list from a trusted source. For beginners, I recommend the Leaping Bunny’s list of certified brands. You can also check out my own list of cruelty-free brands which includes correspondence from companies.
4. Know your bunnies.
On some packaging, you’ll find a little bunny logo. These logos try to tell you that the brand in question is cruelty-free, but not all bunny logos are created equal. There are only 3 specific bunnies that you can trust: the Leaping Bunny logo, PETA’s Caring Consumer bunny, and the Choose Cruelty-Free rabbit (see below). Any other bunny logo is not an official logo and does not indicate that the company is cruelty-free. Proceed with caution, and verify by looking at cruelty-free brands lists!
5. Don’t forget your essentials.
Toothpaste, dental floss, and mouthwash are also mostly tested on animals. I suggest brands like Tom’s of Maine*, Desert Essence, and Jason for all your oral care needs. Deodorant is another product you might take for granted, although a large portion of the deodorants you’ll find in drugstore are tested on animals. I highly recommend ditching those and making the switch to an aluminum-free, natural deodorant. There’s also laundry detergent and cleaning supplies. Some brands to look into are Attitude, Seventh Generation, Method, and Dr. Bronner.
6. Don’t rely on dupes.
Makeup dupes, that is. A dupe is normally considered to be a more affordable alternative to a high-end product. Let’s say you’re swooning over your new high-end designer lipstick, but you discovered that the brand unfortunately tests on animals. You’re looking for an alternative. The $3 dupe you’ve found might be an approximate color match, but you might not be in love with its performance. The result? You’re going back to your tested-on-animals lipstick and you curse the cruelty-free alternative. The real solution? Look into mid-range and high-end brands. You might be surprised to know that Chantecaille, Ellis Faas, and Nars* are all cruelty-free.
7. Discover new brands and have fun!
One of the great things about switching to cruelty-free products is being able to discover new brands that are kind to animals, to the environment, and to your health. During my quest for products that aren’t tested on animals, I’ve discovered a ton of wonderful brands I love that aren’t necessarily found in drugstore aisles and retail stores. I’m positive you will too! I wish you the best of luck, and don’t shy away from smaller companies, hand-crafted cosmetics, and green beauty brands!
*Brands with an asterisk are cruelty-free, although their parent company is not.