Years before becoming a vegetarian, I took up the cause of animal testing, and for the past five years, have worked towards using only cruelty-free products in my home. The process of converting to non-animal tested products is not an easy one, and I am still constantly finding new information and better cruelty-free products.
Switching to cruelty-free products can be difficult as these items are often harder to find and more expensive and many everyday products are tested on animals. (um, why and how would you test toilet paper on animals?) I’m not suggesting you throw out all of your shampoo and start over, but you can decide to stop supporting businesses that test on animals and buy cruelty-free in the future. Sadly, animal testing is inexpensive and so countless companies still submit innocent animals to cruel and painful tests without any medical care.
For me, this process began with beauty products. The cosmetic and beauty industries are full of companies committed to cruelty-free products.
So without further ado, here are 10 of my favorite cruelty-free health and beauty products.
I personally use all of these products on a regular basis, and they can all be found at stores where you already shop.
1. Lavanila, The Healthy Deodorant
Lavanila is my go-to deodorant for the winter and days where I don’t plan on being too active. The company isn’t Leaping Bunny or PETA certified, but their packaging states it is not tested on animals, and their website claims “a commitment to cruelty free beauty.” This deodorant comes in several scents, the most popular being pure vanilla. My favorite is sport luxe because it smells like deodorant, which makes me trust it more. You can find it at Sephora and some CVS and Target stores.
2. Le Couvent des Minimes, Eau des Minimes Cologne
This product is called a cologne, but it’s actually a roll-on deodorant from a French company that is over 150 years old. I prefer this deodorant to Lavanila, but I can’t find an official cruelty-free statement from the company, and it can be hard to find. Eau des Minimes is made of alum stone and blood orange, lemon, mandarin, and rosemary essential oils, giving it a clean citrus smell that is gender neutral. (My boyfriend has even used it in a pinch.) I normally order it from Amazon, but you can find it in some Ulta stores and on their website.
Pro Tip: This stuff WORKS! I can wear it on a run in the height of summer and still smell good. It works better than most deodorants with aluminum. It rolls on pretty wet, so you have to let it dry before getting dressed, and it can burn a bit if you’ve just shaved. Also, be prepared for strange looks when you go into Ulta asking for a fancy, French deodorant.
3. NARS Cosmetics, Foundations
NARS Cosmetics is always my pick for high-end, cruelty-free cosmetics. The company doesn’t hold any certifications, but as their website states, “NARS does not test on animals, nor do we have any other parties, such as suppliers, conduct any animal testing on our behalf.” While all of their products are great, the stars of the show are the foundations. They carry six varieties of foundation and tinted moisturizer in over thirty shades, meaning you will find a shade and coverage level perfect for you.My favorite is the Velvet Matte Skin Tint. It’s light put gives and airbrushed look. NARS is sold at Ulta and Sephora.
4. NYX, Lipsticks
Despite being purchased by L’Oreal a few years ago, NYX Cosmetics is still a certified cruelty-free company through PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies Program. NYX is my go-to drugstore makeup brand. The products are affordable and in many cases, comparable to higher-end brands. The lipsticks are a favorite of mine. They come in a large variety of fun shades and are super long-lasting. NYX makeup can be found at most drugstores with Ulta stores usually having a very large NYX section.
5. Urban Decay, Eyeshadows and Palettes
Urban Decay’s eyeshadow palettes are pricey but worth it. Who doesn’t swear by their Naked palette? Their eyeshadows have great pigmentation and stay put all day. Urban Decay is certified cruelty-free by both PETA and The Leaping Bunny Program. Some of their products are also vegan and are marked as such on the packaging. Urban Decay products can be found at Sephora and Ulta.
6. EcoTools, Brushes
While makeup tools generally aren’t tested on animals, they are often made from animal hair. EcoTools’ makeup brushes are certified vegan and cruelty-free by PETA and made from recycled materials. These brushes are a fraction of the price of many other brands and just as reliable.i have EcoTools brushes that I’ve been using for several years and look brand new. EcoTools products can be found in most drugstores and Ulta stores.
7. Manic Panic, Hair Color
For some of you, the name Manic Panic will conjure memories of music festivals in high school, when your Mom would let you die your hair pink as long as it would wash out by the time school started. (Or was that just me?) Manic Panic isn’t just for rock stars and teenagers anymore. Their semi-permanent hair color is PETA certified as cruelty-free, which is extremely rare for hair color. It comes mainly in bright, primary colors, but these shades can be mixed to obtain a variety of natural tones. Also, their Virgin Snow toner is one of the best around. Manic Panic is available at Sally’s and online.
Skin and Hair Care
8. Jason, Body Wash
Jason is one of the most popular vegan and cruelty-free brands certified by The Leaping Bunny Program. Their products are affordable and widely available at most drugstores, making them a good place to start in your transition to cruelty-free products. The carry hair and skin care products, my favorite being their body washes which are lightly scented and will leave your skin feeling hydrated. I use their Smoothing Coconut Body Wash.
9. HASK, Shampoos and Conditioners
HASK’s FAQ section address the issue of animal testing in good humor, stating, “We definitely DO NOT test on animals! That’s terrible…I’m hurt that you even think we do – and my puppy Harley is offended too!” They are clearly committed to cruelty-free beauty. Most cruelty-free shampoos that I’ve used dry out my hair, but HASK’s products are made with nourishing oils. They offer a range of shampoos and conditioners with specialized ingredients for certain hair types. Like Jason, HASK products are affordable and widely available at drugstores.
10. Coconut and Grapeseed Oils
You might have noticed that I don’t have any skin care products on this list. As someone with combination skin and severe acne, I’ve tried almost every product out there. The best skin care products I have ever used aren’t found at any high-end beauty store but at your local grocery store’s baking aisle. Coconut oil and grapeseed oil have drastically changed my skin. Using oils cleans your skin without overdrying it, which only makes your skin produce more oil. Coconut oil is naturally anti-bacterial, and I use it for everything from wounds and acne to ingrown hairs and brushing my dog’s teeth. It’s a cure-all in a jar. Primarily, it’s a great makeup remover and cleanser. Grapeseed oil acts as a natural moisturizer, and a little goes a long way. (Olive oil works too, but will leave you smelling like salad).
There you have it. My favorite beauty products brought to you without harming any cute bunnies. What are your favorite cruelty-free products and have any of you had success with finding good vegan replacements for beauty products? Comment below and let me know.
I have not received any compensation for this post. I purchased all of the products mentioned here for personal use and am in no way affiliated with any of the corporations or products listed. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to Indigopaws.com, the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual.