If you are a new cruelty-free shopper, you need to be careful. Some popular brands that test on animals continue to gain the reputation and popularity of being cruelty-free even though they are still conduct testing on animals.
Once a farfetched dream, the clean beauty movement is now mainstream. Today conscious consumerism continues to push the organic, cruelty-free beauty and wellbeing market. The bottom line is that we should educate ourselves on beauty without cruelty and make informed purchasing decisions. It might seem like a tough choice, but actually many brands have fully committed to being kind to animals. By purchasing cruelty-free products, you not only taking a stand to stop animal testing. Until all cosmetics brands stop animal testing lookout for the bunny logo and choose cruelty-free.
What Is Clean Beauty?
Clean beauty simply means mindfully created and manufactured products that don’t contain any suspected or proven toxic ingredients. Generally, clean beauty products should include ethically sourced ingredients extracted from the environment with our bodies’ health in mind. The global wellness industry is consistently growing in value with consumers making considered choices, particularly when it comes to personal care and beauty products. The demand for clean beauty products is rising due to the increasing obsession with detoxification and wellness. Consumers are now keener on possible irritations brought about by synthetic chemicals, aggressive and toxic ingredients by carefully reading the labels.
What is a toxic ingredient?
Over 1300 ingredients are banned from cosmetics in the EU while the US beauty industry is one of the least regulated industry with about 30 banned ingredients. Some of the toxic ingredients include: Parabens – are normally labeled as butyl-, ethyl-, methyl- and propyl-. Parabens are added to the beauty and personal care products as a preservative to extend their shelf life. Parabens are linked to increase in breast cancer, skin irritation, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity, and reproductive toxicity.
What are the benefits of clean beauty?
- It’s free from irritant-causing ingredients.
- It doesn’t contain microbeads which are tiny pieces of plastic. Microbeads washed down may end up in the oceans, therefore, polluting the environment and harming marine life.
- It’s sustainable, ethical, and eco-friendly. Most clean beauty brands packaging and ingredients are ethically sourced, sustainable, recyclable, and organic.
- It doesn’t contain parabens which have been shown to disrupt the way our body works.
Cosmetic Animal Testing
Typically, cosmetics are defined as those products that are intended to be introduced or applied for the purposes of beautification and cleansing, including makeup, hair products, soaps, and nail products. Cosmetics, for the most part, are not required to undergo animal testing, particularly in the US; however, there are exceptions including anti-bacterial soaps, some cleaning products, and hair dyes.
What is animal testing?
Some cosmetics companies are legally responsible for ensuring the safety of the ingredients they use and the finished products they introduce in the market. Consumers are more inclined to trust and regularly use cosmetics and personal care products that are safe for all their family members, including pets. Animal testing is viewed as a form of assessing the toxicity and safety of personal care and cosmetics products and the ingredients used. Often rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, mice, dogs, and other animals are used.
The animal testing debate
Most consumers today prefer purchasing and using personal care and cosmetics products from companies that don’t test on animals, normally referred to as cruelty-free products. Harmful use of animals in cosmetics experiments is not only cruel but also quite often ineffective. Most research on the subject and organizations such as People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have argued that there are numerous innovative alternative methods of cosmetics testing available that are less expensive, faster, more humane and are more accurately able to predict how products will affect people. These alternatives to animal testing include in vitro testing such as studying cell cultures in a petri dish, microdosing in human volunteers, testing on human tissues, and use computer models to predict toxicity.
As scientific tools and methods progress, the idea of using animals to test products for human use is not only being viewed as ineffective and archaic but also cruel, unethical, and unnecessary. Alternatives to animal testing doesn’t mean compromising the safety of consumers. Instead, replacing cosmetic animal testing will improve the quality of products as well as the humaneness of the research and production process. Despite the continuing debate, the practice of cosmetic testing on animals for safety purposes is still prevalent in the US and other parts of the world.
Which leads to the question is animal testing necessary?
As a response to serious injuries suffered for the exposure to unsafe beauty products, the use of animals for cosmetics testing was introduced in the 1940s. While most companies no longer need to test the formularies as they only use ingredients classified as “generally recognized as safe,” some companies continue to conduct animal testing as a form of legal protection against lawsuits when a product harms a consumer. A growing number of countries around the globe have and continue to pass laws banning cosmetics testing on animals. In support of these laws, most companies have diligently been working to develop, validate, and implement innovative alternative methods to replace animal testing for cosmetics. Animal testing might have been necessary for the 1940s, but it is no longer necessary to especially with the alternatives to animal testing being successfully used by cruelty-free companies.
Pros and cons of animal testing
- Animals are used in cases when ethical considerations prohibit the use of human subjects. Human volunteers shouldn’t be exposed to danger unnecessarily, especially when an ingredient of a product being tested is toxic.
- Animal research is highly regulated. Laws, minimum housing standards and guidelines for research are specifically put in place to protect animals from mistreatment. The federal Animal Welfare Act of 1966 stipulates regular inspections by veterinarians.
- Some healthcare products and cosmetics are required by law to be tested on animals to ensure their safety. Testing the viability of a product or ingredient before going to human testing ensures that manufacturers develop a safer product.
- Animal testing is used when there no adequate alternative to testing on a whole-body and living system.
- Cosmetic animal testing is inhumane and cruel. Alternatives to animal testing exist and can replace the need for using animals in cosmetics testing.
- The safety of products measured by animal testing by cosmetics companies are abandoned or never used in many cases.
- As compared to their alternatives, animal testing is more expensive and a waste of resources.
- Results from animal tests don’t reliably predict results in human beings. Ingredients and products that pass animal tests are not necessarily safe for human use.
- Animals make poor test subjects because they are very different from human beings anatomically, metabolically, and their cellular structure is different.
Which Makeup Brands Are Cruelty Free?
Urban Decay is well known for its edgy and bold products, particularly its buttery, super-pigmented, and vibrant eyeshadow. The brand also carries a great eyeshadow primer, primer portion, and all-nighter setting spray both perfect for oily skin. In addition, the brand also features a ton of staples and neutrals.
Is Urban Decay cruelty-free?
Urban Decay is cruelty-free, and Leaping Bunny certified.
MUST-HAVE item: Urban Decay Naked Smoky Eyeshadow Palette
Featuring a wide range line of game-changing, no-smudge lip colors to its goes-with-everything primer, Smashbox is one of favorite brands for sun-kissed and natural glow or high-impact nighttime looks. Smashbox delivers low-fuss, camera-ready beauty.
Is Smashbox cruelty-free?
Smashbox is cruelty-free. As of 2017, Smashbox no longer sells their products in China freeing the brand from legal requirements pertaining to animal testing for international products entering the Chinese market.
MUST-HAVE item: Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
NARS is famous for its rich and pigmented colors that are sometimes shimmery. The brand also carries fantastic and very pigmented blushes, a line of creamy concealers for high coverage and their newest lip products have been widely embraced in the market.
Is NARS cruelty-free?
NARS Cosmetics is, unfortunately, not cruelty-free. As of 2017 NARS Cosmetics started selling in China where cosmetic animal testing is a legal requirement.
As one of the renowned drugstore brands available at local grocery stores, drugstores and hypermarkets, the brand carries affordable, accessible, and inclusive to all skin types and style makeup products. The brand strives to provide its customers with personalized looks sure to make them feel and look their best. Covergirl is famous for its Tru Blend Foundation, which is a great drugstore choice as well as the Professional Waterproof Mascara.
Is Covergirl cruelty-free?
Covergirl is cruelty-free and certified by Leaping Bunny and will be adding the Leaping Bunny logo to its packaging.
MUST-HAVE item: COVERGIRL LashBlast Volume Waterproof Mascara
MAC has earned its reputation as a makeup line with its long-lasting and quality products. The brand’s lipstick is the iconic product that has elevated it to its standards. Mac lipstick line features hundreds of hues and high fashion textures formulated to define, shade, and showcase lips. Mac lipsticks all-day wear colors are always up-to-date with the trends. For a natural look use MAC foundation.
Is MAC cruelty-free?
MAC is not cruelty-free. MAC products are sold in China where it’s a legal requirement for animal testing to occur on cosmetics finished products to be sold.
Bare Minerals boasts about creating mineral makeup that you could actually sleep in. While it’s not right to sleep in your makeup, it’s amazing to have fewer to no chemicals on your face. Bare Minerals is known for its mineral foundation, and it has branched out to now offer mineral-based products like eyeshadows, brushes, lipsticks, and skincare products.
Is Bare Minerals cruelty-free?
The Bare Minerals makeup brand is cruelty-free and is PETA certified.
MUST-HAVE item: BareMinerals Gen Nude Buttercream Lip-Gloss
The CeraVe brand lineup offers a wide variety of products specifically for moisturizing and cleansing most notably the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream. A group of dermatologists founded this brand and determined to create skin cleansing and moisturizing products without interfering with the skins natural barrier. The products benefit those with normal, dry, and oily skin. CeraVe other products include sun care items and various types of facial washes for people of all ages. They keep it gentle with fragrance-free formulas.
Is CeraVe cruelty-free?
CeraVe is not cruelty-free as it sells its products in China where the law requires carrying out animal testing on international products sold in their market.
e.l.f products are a perfect choice for inexpensive makeup products in sleek packaging that looks, feels, and provides the same results as high-end brands. Elf is a hit or miss brand; the prices paid for the products reflect on their quality. This means that often their makeup products may not measure up to most of the high-end brands, but when they do their products are amazing products and great dupes. Elf’s affordable products make it a great brand if you are just starting out with makeup or buying makeup on a budget.
Is Elf cruelty-free?
ELF is cruelty-free and is certified by PETA.
MUST-HAVE item: E.l.f. Studio Intense Ink Eyeliner in Blackest Black
Most cosmetics, beauty, or personal care companies and brands spread themselves too thin by focusing on manufacturing a wide variety of products, L’Oréal continues to beat these odds. L’Oréal has been continually expanding its catalog with high-quality products. To date, L’Oréal has successfully penetrated the makeup, skincare, cosmetics, haircare and personal care lines and so much more. L’Oréal may offer less than stellar skincare products, but its makeup line excels.
Is L’Oréal cruelty-free?
L’Oreal is not cruelty-free. Its products and ingredients are tested on animals where it’s required by law.
Newly-launched skincare and makeup brand Glossier is focused on creating easy, fresh, minimalistic makeup. Glossier has generated so much buzz, and it’s a great choice for those who are into natural, dewy looks.
Is Glossier cruelty-free?
Glossier is cruelty-free.
MUST-HAVE item: Glossier Play Glitter Gelée
This brand is generally a solid and great quality drugstore brand. Milani has an amazing product line of eyeshadow, eyeshadow primer, baked blushes, pencil, and liquid eyeliner. Their lip products are very pigmented and long-lasting. Overall Milani provides a great selection of bold and natural colors as well as great makeup staples that are wallet-friendly beauty picks.
Is Milani cruelty-free?
Milani is cruelty-free and has been Leaping Bunny certified since 2014.
MUST-HAVE item: Milani Everyday Eyes Eyeshadow Palette
Stila makes it a breeze for everyone to find high-quality makeup brushes, foundation and lip products. This brand provides amazing eye makeup for sexy eye, smoky or even the understated shimmery toned-down look. Its lipsticks are available in a variety of gorgeous hues that beautifully stay on lips for long without smudging. No matter what you are looking for Stila is a great makeup choice.
Is Stila cruelty-free?
Stila is cruelty-free, and they are now PETA-approved and certified.
MUST-HAVE item: Stila Convertible Color Dual Lip and Cheek Cream
Makeup For Ever
Celebrated by fashionistas across the globe, Makeup For Ever is a premier makeup company offering a wide product range of lip wear, creams, potions, nail care and gels in a lustrous and matte finish. Makeup For Ever is sure to equip you with everything you need to blossom to a looker. Enriched with nourishing natural ingredients, their skincare and makeup products feel and look amazing on the face.
Is Makeup For Ever cruelty-free?
Makeup For Ever is not cruelty-free. Make For Ever sells its products in China where it’s mandatory for animal testing on foreign cosmetics.
Largely known for producing skincare and hair care products, Garnier is a mass-market cosmetics brand. Their specific product lines target different cultures and skin types variations customized for specific beauty needs. Garnier makes various kinds of pampering personal care products such as scrubs, masks, cleansers, conditioner, shampoo, hair-styling products, and moisturizers.
Is Garnier cruelty-free?
Garnier is not cruelty-free. It sells in countries where testing on animals is required by the law.
Burt’s Bees catalog carries several categories of lip care, skincare, hair care, body care, makeup, and baby products. The brand markets itself as being an “earth-friendly” brand backed with sustainable practices. Some of the company’s signature and world-famous products include the argan coconut facial cleansing oil, peach willow pore scrub, beeswax lip balm and hibiscus apple night cream.
Is Burt’s Bees cruelty-free?
Burt’s Bees is cruelty-free. Burt’s Bees pulled its products from stores China and are still considered cruelty free by Leaping Bunny and PETA.
MUST-HAVE item: Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream
The affordable and ever-trendy makeup brand, Colourpop is popular for their colorful range of lipsticks and unique crème-powder. It also carries highly pigmented eyeshadows available in different finishes.
Is Colourpop cruelty-free?
Colourpop is cruelty free and holds the PETA Cruelty Free Badge of honor Beauty Without Bunnies.
MUST-HAVE item: ColourPop Ultra Satin Lip
Origins has not only been paving the way but also leading when it comes to the ever-expanding green beauty space. Over the years, the Origins Skin Care brand has broken barriers when it comes to natural, minimal beauty. The brand is now well-known for constantly delivering natural skincare products that work alright, looks, and feels good and at the same time is good for the environment.
Is Origins cruelty-free?
Unfortunately, Origins is not cruelty-free because its products are available in China where animal testing is required by law for foreign cosmetics.
With decades of experience in the cosmetic industry, Makeup Revolution is an affordable, and high-quality makeup brand and company creating skincare, cosmetics and hair care products on a global level. Their makeup products are created to excite everyone despite their location, budget, ethnicity, sex, or age. Makeup Revolution also prides in the fact that the majority of the products they produce and sell is vegan
Is Makeup Revolution cruelty-free?
Makeup Revolution is cruelty-free.
MUST-HAVE item: Makeup Revolution PRO-FIX Oil Control Makeup Fixing Spray
Aveeno is popular for its affordable natural skincare products. As a company, Aveeno has been vocal about being committed to pioneering the science of natural ingredients hence delivering high-quality standards when it comes to formulating skincare solutions.
Is Aveeno cruelty-free?
Aveeno is unfortunately, not cruelty-free. They conduct animal testing in countries where its required by law.
Kiehl’s stands out with its no-nonsense packaging and commitment to produce natural solutions, particularly the brand’s skincare line. If you have a skin issue, don’t worry Kiehl’s skincare solutions come highly recommended.
Is Kiehl’s cruelty-free?
Unfortunately, Kiehl’s is not cruelty-free as it sells in China, therefore, consenting to have their products tested by the Chinese authority.
Laura Mercier’s “flawless face’ makeup artist line and part of its flagship brand set the company apart. With excellent products perfect for all skin tones, Laura Mercier focuses on providing a naturally flawless complexion for all skin types and women of all ages. Its infamous tinted moisturizer and everyone’s favorite setting powder are a perfect choice and are bound to become a staple in your makeup kit. Other amazing products by Laura Mercier includes their creamy fragrance-free lipsticks with a matte finish.
Is Laura Mercier cruelty-free?
Laura Mercier is cruelty-free.
MUST-HAVE item: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder
After watching her clients suffer from breakouts and skin irritations, Carol Shaw, a pro makeup artist and Hollywood beauty legend develop Lorac. Lorac features professional formulas infused with soothing and gentle ingredients that offer professional performance without compromising on the health of the skin. For high quality and pigment-packed formulas that are not only wearable but create flawless and beautiful looks every single time.
Is Lorac cruelty-free?
Lorac is cruelty-free.
MUST-HAVE item: LORAC Behind The Scenes Eye Shadow Primer
Recommended Cruelty-Free Products
To ease your cruelty free journey here as some of the recommended cruelty free products for your skincare, cosmetics, and makeup needs:
Cruelty-free nail polish
There is an overwhelmingly large number of cruelty-free nail bands to choose from but you can never go wrong with the following brands:
Orly Nail Polish
It carries a variety of nostalgic LA-themed collections. The Orly Nail Lacquer polish is packed with pigment promising and delivering two coat coverage every single time. It also features a patented gripper cap, and the brand’s iconic bottles gives you a 20% more product making it a value purchase.
Zoya nail polish
It is ranked as of the most popular vegan and cruelty-free nail polish brand available in the market. Zoya offers their nail polishes in almost every color you can possibly need in toxin free and long-wearing formula perfect for natural nails.
There are so many high quality, cruelty-free mascara available but these two choices gives your eyes a perfect look every time
Too faced better than sex mascara
You are bound to fall in love with this cruelty-free mascara. The Too faced better than sex mascara features a collagen-fueled and carbon black, thick formula and an iconic hourglass-shaped brush with stiff bristles that effortlessly coats your lashes. The mascara promises and delivers an intense, deep black with volume and curl separation.
e.l.f. Mineral Infused Mascara
The Elf mineral infused mascara is a perfect find if you are looking for an affordable cruelty-free mascara. The mascara contains all-natural mineral wax infused formula infused with zinc oxide and kaolin to give you full and healthy-looking lashes. The mascara comes with a silicone brush that eliminates clump.
Smell fresh all day every time you use either of the following cruelty-free deodorants.
With no toxins, harsh chemicals or gimmicks, Crystal deodorants are effective and will leave you smelling fresh for up to 24 hours. Substitute your antiperspirants, with Crystal deodorants as they don’t block the pores and instead allows the body to continue functioning naturally. The deodorant eliminates and control odor using natural minerals and botanically-derived ingredients.
Lavanilla vegan and cruelty-free deodorants are free of paraben propylene glycol, aluminum and other harsh chemicals common in most deodorants. The deodorants are made with the highest quality of organic and natural ingredients, and it comes with a combination of vanilla and other scents. The best part it works keeping you feeling fresh all day, you don’t have to worry about odor after an intensive workout. For those with super sensitive pits, there are fragrance-free options.
Protecting yourself and loved ones from harmful rays is not only essential in preventing sun spots but also premature aging. You can do exactly that with these cruelty-free sunscreen choices
Juice Beauty Sunscreen
Juice beauty sunscreen is made just for the outdoor life. The water-resistant, chemical-free, sunscreen is jam-packed with organic and antioxidant-rich vitamins. With ingredients such as aloe, organic coconut, Vitamin C& E and jojoba, which keeps your skin moisturized and hydrated your skin is more than protected.
Badger sunscreen is a great option for everyday sunscreen application. The sunscreen lotion is unscented, great for sensitive skin, and is guaranteed not to clog pores. While most formula only focuses on everyday wear sunscreen, badger works on providing solutions for specific needs like sunscreen for kids and babies, sport sunscreens, water-resistant sunscreens, and facial sunscreens.
The two cruelty-free drug store brands comes highly recommend when it comes to delivering flawless looks.
NYX Total Control Drop Foundation
NYX formulates a beautifully blended medium foundation that comes with a dropper applicator. The foundation is buildable; you can use a many drops as you like, the more drops you use, the more coverage it provides. The highly customizable liquid foundation with a velvety matte finish comes in a wide variety of shades that perfectly matches every undertone. The NYX total control drop foundation is perfect for oily skin if you have dry skin moisturize first before applying the foundation.
E.l.f Acne Fighting Foundation
This liquid foundation containing aloe, camphor, tea tree, salicylic acid, and witch-hazel sooth, treat and prevents breakouts making it perfect for acne-prone skin. It’s a medium to full coverage foundation with a semi-matte finish which comes with 40 shades to choose from. The ELF Acne Fighting Foundation is quite unique as it does not cake when applied on oily skin, which is rare for matte foundations with a higher pigment load. This is a great option for a budget-friendly and ethical cruelty-free foundation
>>> Continue to The Ultimate Guide for Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands – Part 2
>>>Read More: Mario Badescu: The Cruelty-Free Skincare Line