Going Cruelty Free: Need To Knows

Updated: Jun 10

A Beginners Guide to Cruelty Free Beauty Brands


The truth is; It is easier to accept a system for what it is rather than question how or why that system no longer works, especially when it's all we've ever known. This makes us human, but just because something is done a certain way for years doesn't really make it right.


So what does this have to do with going Cruelty Free? Let's dig a little deeper.


We've all seen the leaping bunny symbol, but what does it mean?


If a product is leaping bunny certified, that means that the company that produced the product did not test the formula on animals before allowing it to be sold to the public. To find these products in stores, look for a printed image of a bunny somewhere on the packaging. Someone who is cruelty free, does not purchase any products that have been tested on animals. Simple enough, right? A few companies test their products on their human staff. Shea Moisture for example, claims that they have tested their formulas on their own family for generations.


O P I N I O N: Given the above information, it is safe to say that testing on animals is not a necessity. If a formula is truly toxic in the first place, then it should not exist for human use. To end the tolerance of animal abuse and the use of toxic ingredients in products, we must inform ourselves of what is really going on behind the scenes.


If you are like me, as I talk about animal testing, you're picturing a bunch of rats in a lab. That is always what I assumed, and it is correct, but far from the whole truth. Can you imagine your pet being trapped in a cage for its entire life and being tortured to death? How about a wild animal?


I t ' s n o t j u s t r a t s:


Its dogs, cats, mini pigs, bunnies, monkeys and many more innocent animals that feel pain as we do;115 million animals each year to be exact. It's heartbreaking to watch and even more heartbreaking to hear 'animal lovers' express to the world how much they love animals only seconds after they support a brand that tests on them.


Visit HERE to read more animal testing facts and statistics.


If something is cruelty free does that mean it is all natural and vegan?


No. If something is cruelty free, it does not have to be vegan, but if something is vegan it is cruelty free by default. In general, brands that do not test on animals tend to use more natural ingredients, but it is not a guarantee.

For example, If you see carmine present in a list of ingredients, you wouldn't think twice. I never did at least. A product promises to smooth my frizzy hair... what more could I ask for? Carmine is crushed up bugs and it is present in many popular beauty brands; specifically shampoo products. Some do not consider this 'abuse' since it is an insect and not a mammal. On the same note, gelatin; a common ingredient in many skin, hair and beauty brands is made from the boiling of animal bones and tendons.


O P I N I O N: Crushed bugs in your hair and boiled tendons all over your face, is not cute no matter what the product 'promises'.


It really comes down to looking at the ingredients on the side of the product and researching. The less ingredients, the better.


To learn what products are cruelty free visit Ethicalelephant.com and Crueltyfreekitty.com.


Does Cruelty Free mean more expensive?


No. There are many drug store brand products that do not test on animals and they are very affordable. Some brands that I prefer are Nyx, Pacifica, The Ordinary and Maui Moisture to name a few. Just last year, a couple of large companies took the pledge and went cruelty free, including Covergirl Cosmetics and Dove.


O P I N I O N: If you want to treat yourself a little, I suggest giving Lush products a try as well as the line of serums at Mad Hippie.


Companies like these tend to be a little more expensive than drugstore brands. It is always worth it in the long run though, because the products last a long time and are environmentally conscious in terms of production, ingredients and packaging.


So... how do I find the products that work best for me?


A tool that I have found very helpful is The Skin Deep Database. If you type this in your browser it will take you to a website that informs you of the toxicity levels of a product. Simply type the product name in the search bar and it will give it a toxicity rating and then break down each ingredient in a product and its purpose. This can also be very helpful for those who have sensitive skin and have ever experienced negative side effects due to an ingredient.


Other than that, finding the products that are right for you take time. It's fun to try various cruelty free products until you discover a match.


Visit HERE to learn about which brands not to support.


And finally, why should I care?


You are more than just a number in a world of 7 billion consumers. You alone can end animal testing and the use of toxic ingredients by simply making a change.


Your body is a temple. Use it to make conscious choices that benefit not only you, but the world around you. Taking care of what goes in and on your body is a long term investment, and you owe it to yourself.


But don't take it from me; take it from you! We're all in this together. There are many educational resources linked in this article that you can look into and decide for yourself.


***It doesn't end with the beauty industry. The products that we use to clean our spaces and our clothes are also commonly tested on animals and contain harmful toxins. Visit HERE to become more informed about cruelty free detergents, dish soaps and household cleaners.

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