7 Tips For Switching To Cruelty-Free Products (Permanently!)

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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!

Cruelty-Free Products

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.

The Beginner’s Introduction To Cruelty-Free Cosmetics

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Getting into cruelty-free cosmetics can be challenging when you have no idea where to start. Let me break it down so that you can better understand the cruelty-free basics and start introducing cruelty-free brands into your lifestyle today!

What Does “Cruelty-Free” Mean?

The term “cruelty-free” refers first and foremost to animal testing. A cruelty-free brand is a brand that doesn’t test on animals at any point during the product of its cosmetics. This means that neither the ingredients used in the products nor the finished products were tested on animals, either by the company itself or anyone else. Some cruelty-free shoppers also extend this definition to vegan products.

Cruelty-Free Vs. Vegan

So what’s the difference between cruelty-free and vegan cosmetics? It’s really simple: vegan products contain no animal ingredients whatsoever, while cruelty-free products aren’t tested on animals, yet might contain animal ingredients.

What I mean by “animal ingredients” is anything that comes from an animal or is made by an animal, like honey, beeswax, lactic acid (from milk), or animal fats. There are also some less obvious animal ingredients that are commonly used in cosmetics, such as Carmine, which is a red pigment extracted from crushed insects. Animal ingredients can also be found in makeup brushes, since the majority of them are made from goat, boar, horse, or even squirrel hair.

What’s important to keep in mind is that “vegan” refers to the ingredients, while “cruelty-free” refers to the lack of animal testing. A product that’s both vegan and cruelty-free is therefore what’s least harmful to animals.

The Benefits of Choosing Cruelty-Free Brands

There are dozens of benefits to switching to cruelty-free beauty products! Most notably, by supporting cruelty-free companies, you’re voting with your money. Purchasing cruelty-free means doing your part to help convince companies to end their animal testing practices, and refusing to contribute to animal harm. Each year, more than 100 million animals are poisoned, maimed, and tortured in American labs. For cosmetics testing, a standard skin irritation test involves dripping chemicals into rabbits’ eyes, causing severe and permanent damage. With the available alternative testing methods as well as the thousands of already safe chemicals skincare and makeup companies can formulate their products with, there’s no reason not to choose cruelty-free cosmetics!

But switching to cruelty-free beauty products will have advantages for your health too! Many cruelty-free brands use ingredients that have a proven safety record, meaning they’re considered safe. You’re therefore less likely to be using potentially harmful ingredients that have only recently been approved by the FDA. In addition to this, you’ll find many “green” cruelty-free brands that are 100% natural and free from chemicals, and this is huge for your health! There are green makeup, skincare, body care, and even cleaning product companies, and they’ll help you live a healthier lifestyle free from carcinogens, parabens, and way too many other nasty ingredients found in traditional products.

How To Find Cruelty-Free Brands

There are several criteria to consider in order to determine whether or not a brand is cruelty-free. Luckily, you don’t have to dig out all this information yourself if you don’t want to, as there are several resources to point you in the right direction!

If you want simple and reliable information on which brands are cruelty-free, a curated list is your best option. My list of cruelty-free brands at Cruelty Free Kitty is constantly updated to give you the low-down on what is and isn’t cruelty-free!

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There are also logos you can look for on a company’s website or products. One of the logos to look for is the Leaping Bunny, which is awarded by the Leaping Bunny program. This internationally-recognized program certifies companies as cruelty-free and assures that every brand on its list and bearing the logo does not test its cosmetics on animals at any point during production. They require the necessary paperwork from the company as well as its ingredient suppliers. Another logo to look for is PETA’s Caring Consumer bunny logo. PETA also keeps a list of cruelty-free brands, which is a good place for any new cruelty-free shopper to start! Curious to know which companies DO test on animals? PETA has a list for this as well.

In Conclusion

I hope that after reading this basic introduction, you’re better equipped to start your cruelty-free journey! All you need as a starting point is a reliable list of cruelty-free brands, and you’re well on your way to choosing animal-friendly products! Why do you want to go cruelty-free? Share it with me in the comments!

5 Surprising Reasons To Switch To Cruelty-Free Cosmetics

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Going cruelty-free might be obvious for ethical reasons, but do you know what dirty little secrets hide behind animal cruelty? I’ve pinpointed some of the best, less-obvious reasons to ditch your cruel cosmetics and make room for animal-friendly alternatives!

1. Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Are Less Toxic

This is absolutely true on average. Because the ingredients used by cruelty-free brands have a proven safety record, you’re way less likely to use a product that’s going to cause you harm and negative side effects.

In addition to this, many cruelty-free brands offer green products free from potentially harmful chemicals. This means that the ingredients you’re putting on your body and absorbing into your skin are all-natural, and don’t contain a gazillion chemicals you can’t pronounce and don’t know the origins of.

2. Cruelty-Free Brushes Are Way Cleaner

Do you use any makeup brushes that are made from animal hair? The fact is, those brushes are harboring a ton of bacteria because of the structure of the hairs. Those hairs trap oil and dead skin and breed bacteria. They’re also harder to thoroughly clean. In other words, they’re dirty no matter how often you clean them.

Makeup brushes made from synthetic hair, on the other hand, are more hygienic. They’re also easier to properly clean. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, it’s especially important to make sure that your brushes are totally clean and not aggravating any skin issues.

3. You Can Support Indie Brands or Local Businesses

It’s pretty cool to be able to support local businesses and independent brands! There are so many hand-made, hand-crafted, quality cosmetics companies out there! Instead of buying your soaps and shower gels mass-produced, give those indie brands a try and you might be pleasantly surprised by their pure ingredients, skin benefits, and personal touch.

4. Animal Testing Isn’t Even Necessary

Surprisingly, companies that test on animals in the U.S, Europe, and Australia do so because they choose to. Not because they have to. Animal testing for cosmetics is not required by law in the vast majority of the world.

Why do these companies test on animals, then? Because they have to prove that their products meet safety standards. But here’s the thing: there are multiple alternatives to animal testing that these companies can choose from, such as in-vitro tests (done on cells) or artificial tissue. This means that all these companies that aren’t cruelty-free only test on animals not out of necessity, but because they want to. Why support that?

5. The Tests are Painful and Even Affect Bunnies, Dogs, and Cats

If you think that lab rats are the only animals being tested on, think again. Mice, guinea-pigs, bunnies, dogs, cats, and even primates are commonly used in animal tests — some of them for cosmetics testing.

And if you believe that these tests are as painless as a needle prick, you’re definitely wrong. Animal tests cause pain and distress to the animals, and there’s no such thing as painless animal testing. Think of the standard irritation test which consists of dripping irritant chemicals into a bunny’s eyes, sometimes resulting in blindness. Of course it hurts!

The Bottom Line

The truth is that animal testing is painful and unnecessary. By supporting brands that don’t test on animals, you’re able to encourage the companies that are making a real difference. It’s better for you and better for the animals! There’s no reason not to switch. What’s your favourite part about switching to cruelty-free cosmetics?