What are cruelty-free cosmetics?
Cruelty-free cosmetics are created without having been testing on animals. Additionally, no animal testing should be done on the company's behalf and materials suppliers for cruelty-free brands must also not test on animals.
Why aren't all cosmetics cruelty-free?
Some countries, such as China, require that cosmetics products sold in brick-and-mortar stores on the Mainland be tested on animals. Because of that, brands such as L'oreal and Estee Lauder (which are sold on the ground in mainland China) are, by requirement, not cruelty-free.
So how do cruelty-free brands ensure their products are safe?
Cosmetics have been produced basically forever and there are thousands of compounds and materials that have already been proven to be safe for cosmetics. Cruelty-free companies either formulate their products using these compounds and materials or use modern testing methods that do not include experimentation on animals.
What about cruelty-free brands that are owned by brands that are not cruelty-free?
In recent years large umbrella brands that are not cruelty-free, such as L'oreal and Estee Lauder, have acquired quite a few cruelty-free brands. Although these smaller brands, such as Becca, Too Faced, and Urban Decay are not currently sold in China and do not test on animals, their profits will ultimately roll up to the umbrella brand. It is up to the consumer to decide whether he/she still wants to support these cruelty-free brands. I chose to continue to support them with the hope that my patronage will send a message to the larger brands about my preferences.
What's the difference between cruelty-free, vegan, and vegetarian?
Cruelty-free products can still contain animal products. Vegetarian products do not contain any actual animal/insect parts. Vegan products takes it a step further and also do not contain any animal bi-products such as honey or beeswax.
Can brushes made from animal hair be cruelty-free?
Technically cruelty-free simply means that the product is not tested on animals, so brushes made from animal hair can technically be cruelty free. However, I find it difficult to believe that the hair is collected in a humane matter, no matter what the company says, and I am choosing to only purchase synthetic hair makeup brushes going forward.
Ok, so I want to go cruelty-free, should I just throw away all my cruel makeup?
Fuck no. At least not in my opinion. I still have heaps of makeup I purchased before I made the switch that isn’t cruelty free. I still use my old makeup, I just don’t feature it on my site because I do not want to promote those brands. Throwing all that away would be incredibly wasteful. Consider using up what you can or donating to friends and family. Some shelters also accept donations.
Ok great, I’ve decided to be a conscious shopper and I’m going cruelty-free! I’m on my way to Target/Sephora/online shops to purchase a brand new set of makeup! Aren’t you proud?
Stop. Breathe. Take a moment. That’s great that you’re going cruelty-free and I love the enthusiasm. But remember what I said about being wasteful? I have a depressing thought for you to consider. Nothing is truly conscious or cruelty-free. The truck that delivers that cruelty-free makeup will run on air-polluting gas. The packaging of the products you’ll never finish may not have come from recycled materials. Some components of the computer or phone you’re reading this on were probably mined by a child. Know this - no one is perfect and that’s ok. Do your best. Don’t be wasteful. Try to buy what you need. If you want to switch to cruelty-free, do it responsibly.
What are my favorite cruelty resources?