Make-up and skin care products are meant to make us feel our best. As consumers of these products, we want to feel good about what we are putting into and onto our bodies. It’s important to know that these products are safely tested and approved for our usage before we purchase them. And while every product we see on the shelves undergo testing, the unfortunate truth is that not all products are tested humanely. A staggering number of companies still rely on animal testing, a brutal and outdated practice, to determine the safety of their products. It’s hard to feel good about what we are putting into our bodies once we know the truth about the testing process.
Thankfully, some companies are embracing cruelty-free skin care testing policies, ensuring that no animals are used or harmed in any part of their testing, from individual ingredients to the final product. These companies can be identified through some basic research, or in some cases by logos on the product that denote it as cruelty-free. To support these companies is to make the ethical choice – not only are the products safe, they are humane as well.
Realities of Animal Testing
The unfortunate truth is, there is simply no humane way to conduct animal testing. Testing on animals leads to excessive harm, and often death, under the guise of ensuring products are safe for human consumption. Often, these tests will subject animals to things such as paralysis, ulcers, seizures, and lethal dosages of a variety of chemicals.
Despite the fact that the FDA does not require animal testing, and despite the rising availability of cruelty-free alternatives, many companies still heavily rely on it. Because of this, many consumers are unknowingly supporting these practices by purchasing makeup and skincare products from these companies. Thankfully, many countries (including India, Israel, Norway, and the European Union, to name a few) have banned Animal Testing. Hopefully, the United States will soon follow this trend and put an official end to this practice.
Identifying Cruelty-Free Skin Care
The label “Cruelty-Free” means that neither the final product nor any of the individual ingredients were tested on animals, and that no animals were harmed or killed in the testing process. The quickest and easiest way to tell if a product is cruelty-free is to buy from vegan brands. While it might seem like “cruelty-free” and “vegan” are synonymous, they are distinctive terms: vegan means that no animal products are used, while cruelty-free denotes that while no animals were tested on, there may be animal byproducts used.
Another fast way to tell is to look for the Leaping Bunny logo, created by a team of eight national animal protection groups committed to making “shopping for animal-friendly products easier and more trustworthy”. They have an extensive (and ever growing) list of certified Cruelty-Free brands.
While the Leaping Bunny list is thorough, those listed aren’t the only Cruelty-Free companies out there. Other ways to determine if a product is Cruelty-Free is to go right to the source. Check and see if the company has a statement about their stance on animal testing on their website – chances are, if they’re a Cruelty-Free company, they will proudly offer that information. If you have any doubts, it’s a good idea to email the company directly to get a better idea about what goes into their products. This is also a good way to demonstrate the demand for Cruelty-Free practices.
Always remember to look closer! Don’t be deceived by copycat logos, or by a company simply listing that their product was not tested on animals. Often times, a company will state that their final product has not been tested on animals, when in reality individual ingredients were tested on animals along the way. These loopholes make it easier for companies to continuing this practice while marketing themselves as Cruelty-Free to appeal to a wider audience.
Benefits of Going Cruelty-Free
When it comes to going cruelty-free, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain! When you make the decision to invest in cruelty-free products, not only are you taking a stand for a cause you believe in, but you can also be sure that your money is going right back towards an ethical, humane product.
By choosing to be kinder to animals, you’re being kinder to yourself – and your wallet. A common misconception is that cruelty-free makeup and skincare products will break the bank, but there are plenty of companies who offer affordable alternatives.
Another misconception is that cruelty-free products aren’t as safe – if they aren’t being tested on animals, how do we know they’re safe for us? The fact is, cruelty-free products are still tested to ensure our safety, they’re just tested in a much more humane way. This can be done through a variety of processes, with “in vitro” testing, which employs the use of human cells and tissues, at the forefront. In addition to being cruelty free, these in vitro tests are actually far more effective than testing on animals. According to the National Center for Biotechnical Information, there is “an increasing curiosity employing in vitro methods because they are less time consuming, more cost-effective, and give additional information”.
Shopping Cruelty-Free: How and Where to Buy
Cruelty-Free products are everywhere – you just have to know where to look. Many can be found in stores, but shopping online offers the convenience of being able to research your products as you’re shopping, making it easy to compare companies and determine what’s the best cruelty-free skin care for you. Listed below are some budget friendly companies that are Cruelty-Free. Companies with a star beside them are also vegan.
- Shaklee’s line of natural beauty products* are some of the best and Shaklee YOUTH® include serums, BB creams, moisturizers, skin toners, night creams, and more
- ColourPop* offers makeup products such as lipsticks, eye shadows, concealers, and more
- E.L.F. offers makeup products such as lipsticks and eye shadows, as well as skincare products like face masks, exfoliants, and primers
- Lush offers skincare products such as skin cleansers, lip scrubs, toners, and more
- Burt’s Bees offers eye creams, moisturizers, foundation, blush, and more
- Kiss My Face offers sunscreen, face masks, exfoliants, and more
It’s fair to say that Cruelty-Free skincare and makeup products are the way of the future. With so many countries banning animal testing, it seems only a matter of time until we’ve completely moved away from this harmful practice. One of the most effective ways to put a stop to companies who test on animals is to stop supporting them. As consumers, we can make a difference by choosing to shop Cruelty-Free – it’s a decision we can all feel good about in both mind and body!
Our Cruelty-Free Skin Care Recommendation
We recommend the Shaklee YOUTH® skin care line as it is “100% vegan, cruelty-free, gluten free and is FREE OF more than 2,500 harmful chemicals and questionable ingredients” according to Shaklee.