HOW TO SWITCH TO CRUELTY FREE COSMETIC IN 7 STEPS
So you are considering switching to cruelty free cosmetics, but you just don’t know how to start? Don’t worry. I have 7 easy steps for you, which will make it super simple! It might seem overwhelming at first to understand which brands are cruelty free and which ones are not. In the beginning, you will find yourself constantly trying to find out if the brands you like are cruelty free or not. You might also think that there aren’t enough awesome cruelty free brands out there, or that it might be too expensive to switch to only cruelty free brands. But, let me tell you – there are so many wonderful choices out there, in literally every price range. And no, it does not have to be expensive to be cruelty free!
Let´s get our 7 steps started:
- Don’t throw anything away!
Scared of how much money you could lose, if you throw everything you have away that isn’t cruelty free? My advice: don’t throw anything away! Instead use up everything you have. It doesn’t help a single bunny, if you throw the stuff away that you already paid for. Keep what you have, use it all up and when you need to replace it, you can start buying cruelty free alternatives! One by one you will slowly transfer to cruelty free products.
- Find cruelty free brands that you already love!
So, what I recommend doing is to check out My Beauty Bunny’s Cruelty Free Brands list and literally read the complete list through. Every time you see a brand in that list that you love, jot it down! If you have a smart phone, create a note with all your favorite cruelty free brands, so that you have it with you while shopping! It also helps to sort them into makeup and body/ hair care or skin care items, so it’s easier for you on the go. If you finished My Beauty Bunny’s list, I recommend checking also out Logical Harmony’s list and Phyrra’s list. Add your favorite brands to your own list!
To get you started with your list, I have a couple cruelty free drugstore makeup brands as recommendations: Elf, Milani, NYX, Physicians Formula and Wet n Wild.
Here are a couple of great cruelty free skin care brands: Derma e, Paula’s choice, Murad, Acure, MyChelle, Yes to.
And here are some cruelty free hair care brands that are awesome: DermOrganic, Hask, Shea Moisture, Paul Mitchell.
I also created an app that will help you find cruelty free brands on the go that you can check out, if you like. It’s called: Go Cruelty Free (only for Apple devices).
- Find new cruelty free blogs and YouTube channels!
You might have to switch the blogs you are reading (although you are already on the right one!) and YouTube channels, as it might be very annoying to hear rave reviews of products that are not cruelty free. If you struggle with this, it´s best to read cruelty free blogs and watch cruelty free YouTubers.
Cruelty Free Blogs that I recommend: My Beauty Bunny, Phyrra, Logical Harmony
Cruelty Free YouTube channels I like: Tashina Combs, Missmai27, Mary Kaale, Jen Mathews, Phyrra Nyx
- Decide if you are going to buy cruelty free and/or vegan!
You will notice that you have to make more choices: cruelty free does not mean that the product is vegan. Cruelty free means simply that the product (or its ingredients) have not been TESTED ON ANIMALS. Vegan on the other hand means, that the product does not contain animal or animal-derived ingredients (like honey, beeswax, lanolin, collagen, albumen, carmine, cholesterol, gelatin). Red lipsticks for example often contain carmine, which is basically a crushed insect. But it is ultimately your choice, if you want to buy cruelty free products that are also vegan, or not. Again: you can be cruelty free without going vegan!
- Decide if you support cruelty free companies that are owned by parent companies that test on animals!
Some companies are owned by a company that isn’t cruelty free such as Urban Decay or The Body Shop. Both are owned by L’Oreal which isn´t a cruelty free brand. However, Urban Decay and The Body Shop are still considered cruelty free by many. It’s your choice if you trust these companies. Jen’s thoughts on this: “We believe that supporting animal-friendly companies goes a long way toward the eventual elimination of animal testing. If the parent companies see the successes of their brands who do not test, it’s a win. It’s also a win for the animal-friendly companies to get larger distribution in mass channels by being involved with huge companies. That’s our personal opinion here at My Beauty Bunny and we invite you to make up your own mind on the matter!”
- Keep calm, it can be confusing!
Keep in mind that you will be confused at times about the cruelty free status of a brand. Unfortunately it is not always black and white. You cannot trust the FAQ section of brands’ websites, when they claim that they are not testing on animals. Many companies claim to be cruelty free, but it is a little more complicated than that. For example, companies that sell their products in retail stores in mainland China are not cruelty free because animal testing in China is mandatory. Often times you will read something like this in the about section of a brand: “We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law.” Did you see it? While this at first sounds promising, they included the phrase “except when required by law”, which simply means, that they are willing to test in countries where it is required by law – such as China. Sneaky, right? Keep in mind that a product can be MADE IN CHINA and still be cruelty free. It just can’t be SOLD in retail stores in mainland China to be cruelty free (Hong Kong is an exception).
There are also many bunny logos out there that are literally “self made” from companies – you can’t trust those either. There are only two official cruelty free logos recognized in the US: The Leaping Bunny Logo and the PETA logo.
While I wish that all cruelty free brands would be certified with the Leaping Bunny Logo – the truth is many companies are not (some brands don’t like the hassle of the process and some don’t want to pay money to use the logo on packaging/websites). You can absolutely always trust a company that is Leaping Bunny certified – but the list of brands is not very long in my opinion.
The other official logo is the PETA logo. Sometimes it happens that PETA lists a brand as cruelty free, but opinions in the cruelty free community are torn on whether the brand really is cruelty free. So don’t be surprised when you see a brand listed as cruelty free on somebody’s blog but on another blog as not cruelty free. This naturally happens sometimes as everybody is doing their own research. You will have to go sometimes with your own gut, who you trust, and so on. If you have any doubt in a brand, simply avoid it.
- Don´t be too strict with yourself!
If you have a non-cruelty free item that you simply can’t find a replacement for, don’t be too strict on yourself. If this is the only one working, keep using it – especially if it is for a skin condition you have such as acne or rosacea. Nobody wants you to suffer! If you over time switch 99% of your products to cruelty free items, you are already way ahead of thousands (probably millions) of others who don’t even consider buying cruelty free.
Hey, YOU are already on the right track, because you are reading this! This is the first step and already shows how awesome you are!
Don´t worry, this might all sound a little overwhelming at first, but you will very quickly know how to find out if a company is cruelty free or not. Most importantly: you will feel good about yourself – that you no longer support companies without morals and I thank you personally for that from the bottom of my heart!
Sissi is a cruelty free beauty blogger at www.beauty4free2u.com, cat lover, mommy of a 12 year old violin-playing boy, and wife of a car crazy man. She moved to Florida 11 years ago because it was too cold for her in Germany! You can follow Sissi on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.