It’s a topic that’s dear to me for ethical and other reasons, and here’s the thing:
I understand that animal testing in the human health department is ultimately beneficial to mankind.
However, I don’t believe that cosmetics & grooming products for either species should be tested on animals. I’ll elaborate on my reasons here in a bit in the section Benefits of Cruelty-Free Products.
For that reason, I’ve become more aware of what I reach for when I fill my physical or virtual shopping cart with beauty and grooming products for myself or my family, including my dogs.
That said, I do my best to make a conscientious effort of supporting ethical brands.
Those brands used to be considerably more expensive than brands that test on animals, but that’s not necessarily the case anymore!
While there’s also higher priced cruelty-free beauty products, there’s starting to be quite a few cruelty-free products that are priced similarly to generic ones.
All that said, here’s what you’ll find in this blog post:
- Benefits of cruelty-free products
- How can you identify a cruelty-free product?
- My favorite cruelty-free dog grooming products
- Cruelty-free beauty products for women (hair, bath, deodorant, cosmetics)
- Cruelty-free cleaning products
- Brands that test on animals
Disclaimer: This blog post was originally published in 2017 and has been updated in 2023. It contains affiliate links I may earn compensation through at no additional cost to you.
Benefits of Cruelty-Free Products
(1) They’re not tested on animals which helps prevent animal abuse
I don’t like the idea of caged animals who have to serve as guinea pigs for lotions and potions, only to ultimately be killed and discarded like trash.
That’s why I’m doing my best to avoid products that have been tested on animals.
(2) They’re made with ingredients that aren’t harmful to your or your pet’s skin
The skin is the biggest organ for us humans and for our pets. If we continuously treat it with harmful chemicals, it’s going to suffer and cause internal damage.
That’s particularly true for people AND dogs with sensitive skin.
After all, harsh chemicals can cause inflammation within the body that may result in rashes, breakouts, allergies and possibly even cancer.
That said, chemicals to best avoid are parabens, sulfates, silicones, mineral oil and synthetic dyes.
(3) Cruelty-free products reduce your environmental footprint
Harmful chemicals aren’t just bad for your and your pet’s skin, they’re also bad for the environment once you throw them out.
I like the idea of indirectly contributing to a healthier world!
How Can You Identify A Cruelty-Free Product?
Cruelty-free products either feature a leaping bunny on the packaging or say “cruelty-free”.
Good to know: Just because a product claims to be natural or all-natural, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s cruelty-free!
Which brings me to the next section.
Cruelty-Free Shopping App
Before I dive into my personal favorite cruelty-free products, I wanted to share a cool find: the Bunny Free App!
It’s an app provided by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) that lets you search more than 4000 companies and brands in their database. The results show if a company tests or doesn’t test their products on animals.
I like it because it makes it easy to navigate the “natural” marketing jargon that brands like to use quite freely these days.
It also lets you find cruelty-free products in the following categories:
- Baby care
- Bathing supply
- Bathroom care
- Body care
- Companion animal care
- Dental hygiene
- General household care
- Hair care
- Kitchen care
- Laundry care
- Nail care
- Office supplies
- Personal care
- Shaving supply
- Skin care
- Sun care
- Vitamins and supplements
Brands that do test on animals are marked with an exclamation point in a black triangle shape.
Brands that don’t test on animals have the happy bunny symbol on their left.
My Favorite Cruelty-Free Dog Grooming Products
I’ve been using dog shampoos like the ones from Anicura since 2015, ever since Missy was diagnosed with/kicked cancer’s nasty butt.
After her cancer diagnosis, I’ve become more aware of the ingredients in a large variety of products, including her dog food.
It was actually one of the reasons why I switched her and her brother from kibble to raw dog food, but that’s just a side note.
The shampoos by Anicura at not only cruelty-free products, they also come with the positive side effect of no harsh chemicals. That means no inflammation within the body and no allergies.
Cruelty-Free Beauty Products For Women
I’ve also started replacing my beauty products with those that are against animal testing and more gentle on my skin.
Back in 2017, I used the following…
Cruelty-Free Hair Products:
- Nature’s Gate Shampoo & Conditioner
I’ve since then added the following cruelty-free hair products to my life:
Cruelty-Free Bath Products & Cruelty-Free Deodorant:
- Shea Moisture Body Wash & Body Lotion
- Alba Hawaiian Oil Free Moisturizer
- Palmer’s Cocoa Butter
- Nubian African Black Soap Deodorant
- Healthy Accents Cleansing Hand Wash (Update 2023: currently not available)
- Pacifica Eyeliner (Black)
- Pure Ziva Mermaid Eyeliner (Deep Green)
- Essence Lash Princess Mascara (Black)
- Pacifica Glowing Makeup Remover Wipes
- Paula’s Choice Gentle Touch Oil-Free Waterproof Makeup Remover
- Paula’s Choice RESIST Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser
- Paula’s Choice Omega+ Complex Moisturizer
- Kelp Dog Lip Balm
Update 2023: Unfortunately, Kelp Dog went out of business. I loved their lip balm AND their kelp.
Cruelty-Free Cleaning Products:
- Mrs. Meyer’s Hand Soap
- Mrs. Meyer’s All-Purpose Cleaner Spray
- Mrs. Meyer’s Liquid Dish Soap
- Mrs. Meyer’s Liquid Laundry Detergent
Brands That Test On Animals
I was also going to mention several beauty and skincare products of the following brands, but I learned that they expanded their market to China where animal testing is the law.
Consequently, they DO test their products on animals:
- OGX. I used their body washes, shampoos & conditioners.
- Burt’s Bees. I used their Firming Day Lotion & tinted lip balm.
- La Roche-Posay. I used their face wash, eczema cream, night moisturizer, sunscreen and mascara.
- Neutrogena. I used their Hydro Boost Face Moisturizer.
- Clinique. I’ve used some of their lotions and fragrances before.
- göt2b. I’ve used some of their hair styling products before.
- Laneige. I’ve used their eye gel.
- Mary Kay. I’ve used several of their makeup products.
- Schwarzkopf. I’ve used several of their shampoos and conditioners.
I will use up the leftover products I have from these brands, but no longer purchase from them.
Cruelty-Free Products & Cosmetics: Bottom Line
Missy’s cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery back in 2015 prompted me to make several lifestyle changes, both for the pups and for myself.
I’ve become more aware of harmful ingredients that I now avoid.
I’m also no longer blinded by shiny packaging and top dollar marketing of generic grooming & beauty products from brands that feel the need to test on animals.
Do you have any favorite cruelty-free grooming and/or beauty products? As always, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below this blog post!
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