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A-Z of Cruelty-free Cosmetics

this post was originally published November, 2016, but updated for re-publication ]

Animal Testing. It’s still happening.

In our fast-paced world, because of our constant demand for new things, better things, cheaper things, these sort of issues fade into the background. They don’t receive much media attention, so a lot of people aren’t aware of them. It was actually only a few months ago that I realised a lot of the brands I used to buy and use test on animals.

What is animal testing? The practice of testing cosmetics on animals to ensure they’re safe for human use. Animals are tortured just so our faces and bodies can ‘look nicer’. Chemicals are shoved down their throat, rubbed onto their shaved skin and dripped into their eyes. AND these animals either die during these tests, or are killed afterwards.

What is an ethical, and unethical, brand? Brands deemed unethical brands, when it comes to animal testing, are usually just brands that sell in China. China’s law still requires cosmetic brands to test their products on animals, so for a brand to be ethical (and abstain from animal testing) it has to refuse to sell in China. Which, we think is a step they all should be taking.

There’s so many different brands out there that don’t test on animals, it’s hard to believe it’s still happening. To help you out (because it’s not easy sometimes to figure out what to buy!), I’ve compiled a list of brands to steer cleer of and brands to rejoice over, plus a few tips on where to find them.

TO AVOID:

Chanel, Dermablend, EOS, Garnier, L’oreal, MAC, Max Factor, Maybelline, Neutrogena, Nivea, Olay, Revlon, Rimmel London

Notably, most (if not all) of the ‘avoid’ brands will look familiar to you; that’s because they’re the big ones, the ones found in supermarkets and chemists with huge shelves stocked to the ceiling. In order to actually avoid them, you have to look elsewhere, which deters a lot of people. But it’s easier than you think!

WHERE TO FIND ETHICAL BRANDS:

Lush and The Body Shop are chain stores, and can be found at most large shopping complexes. Sukin, an all natural/organic skincare company (and my personal go-to brand), can be found in most big brand chemists and pharmacies. Grown Alchemist, Chi Chi, Wet ‘n’ wild, Urban Decay, Nars, e.l.f., NYX, Burt’s Bees, Smashbox – these are around as well (if you’re Australian, think Target, Myer, Kmart, Priceline, Glossier, etc. If you’re American or elsewhere, think your standard chain department stores and chemists.)

Online shopping is another option. Spend a little time in brick-and-mortar stores, try a few products, get a feel for the different colours and types that work best for you, and then find them online. There’s nearly always an ethical alternative to your setting powder by L’oreal, or waterproof mascara by Maybelline. For skincare, online reviews are invaluable to help you find the best products. (But honestly, just head straight for Sukin. Unbeatable).

And finally, if you’re stranded in the middle of a department store, in desperate need of that lipstick you just ran out of, or that blush you simply can’t find anywhere else – look for products with the little bunny sticker:

bunny-sticker-small

BRANDS AGAINST ANIMAL TESTING:

Please note: some of these brands may not be vegan.
** – brands with two asterix’s do not test on animals, but their parent companies do. )

A

Aesop
Ardell
Australis
A’kin and Al’chemy

B

Bare Minerals**
Bali Body
Beauty by nature
Beauty without cruelty
Bondi Sands
Butter London
Burts Bees**

C

Chi chi

D

Dermalogica
Designer Brands

E

e.l.f cosmetics
ecoTools
Essence
Eyeko

F

Face of Australia
furless

G

Grown Alchemist

H

Hourglass

L

Limecrime
Lush

N

Natio**
Nars**
NYX**

O

Oh Deer Sugar

R

Real Techniques

S

Soap and Glory
Sugarpill
Sukin
Smashbox

T

Too faced
theBalm
The Body Shop**

U

Urban Decay**

W

Wet ‘n’ wild
Willa

15 Comments

  1. It is crazy that animal testing is still so common. I am glad there is some people aware of this problem. This was very insightful and useful. Thank you.

  2. Pingback: March Edit | Seafoam

    • Really? Are you sure? I knew they’d been bought by L’oreal – a company supporting animal testing – but everything I read assured me they were still cruelty-free. I know they were selling duty-free in China for a little while, but stopped back in 2014. However, on their website they now have a dedicated ‘vegan, cruelty-free’ line, and there’s no mention of cruelty free anywhere in their manifesto or commitment. So now I’m not so sure. Can you confirm they actually test on animals? It’d be great if you could, and I’d take them off the list immediately x

        • Thanks so much for bringing it up, but what she means is The Body Shop was bought by L’oreal, a company that does test on animals. However, The Body Shop has still pledged to remain cruelty free. People do have mixed opinions on this – the products are cruelty-free, but you are funding a company that isn’t. There are several brands on the list like this – they’re the ones with two asterix by their name, and I have explained this down the bottom. But thank you for wanting to make sure I knew!! x

  3. A very useful post indeed and a good reminder to look beyond all the pretty packaging and marketing put before us in shops and magazine – thank you!

  4. Great to have a list like this. The only real way to stop this cruelty is to stop buying the brands that do it (plus a few well aimed petitions so they know why sales are down) the pocket book nerve! Thanks for compiling!

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