So, you’ve found out about animal testing and want to make a change by going cruelty-free.
But now you’ve come to the realisation that you have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHERE TO BEGIN.
Which brands are cruelty-free? Do I have to get rid of all my make-up? Where do I buy cruelty-free cosmetics from? What’s all this talk about China?
Fear not my little animal lovers for I am here to try and help. Learn about how to go cruelty free with these five super simple tips.
#1 – Start Slow
Once the initial feeling of “where the heck am I supposed to start?” fades, you’ll start to feel all the excitement associate with beginning a cruelty-free life. As tempting as it may be to dump all of your cosmetics in the bin and skip off to your local Superdrug to fill your basket to the brim with yummy new products, it’s best to start off slow.
Don’t overwhelm yourself. First, use up what you already have and then replace it with cruelty-free alternatives when the time comes. As fabulous as going cruelty-free is, you don’t want to be wasteful unnecessarily!
Review what you already own. Are some of your current products already cruelty-free? How can you tell? This brings me on to my next point…
#2 – Make Sure You Do Your Research
Honestly, Google will become your new best friend. When you’re first starting out, you aren’t going to magically know which companies are cruelty-free and which ones aren’t. Frankly it can be quite a headache and is definitely a learning process.
The best way to find out if any products you already own or if your favourite make-up brands are cruelty-free is by doing a Google search.
See what other people are saying about the company. Check out reviews and blog posts, as there is probably already somebody else that has written about the brand or product that can give you an insight into their animal testing policies.
A few of my favourite websites for doing research includes Logical Harmony, which has a very impressive cruelty-free brand list and also lists whether the company uses Vegan ingredients. Another favourite of mine from my early cruelty-free days is Cruelty Free Kitty who also has a handy little guide to cruelty-free brands, as well as regularly updating readers if a company is no longer cruelty-free and often emails companies to ask about their policies.
One piece of advice I would share however, is that I wouldn’t necessarily go onto the company website to find out their animal testing policies. Brands aren’t really going to be screaming from the rooftops about all the tests they do on animals are they? So it’s better to look at a few different sources for the answer while trying to find the most recent articles you can.
#3 – Learn About China and Parent Companies
Now let’s talk about China. You might have seen China being mentioned a lot in various blogs and websites if you’re researching about animal testing and cruelty-free brands. By law, companies that want sell in China have to test their products on animals, even if they don’t anywhere else.
So for example, a company selling their product to the UK might not test on animals BUT if they also sell their product in China, they have to test on animals when selling over there.
HOWEVER as of 2015 this has been changed so that not all products are required to be tested. For more information on this change and what is and isn’t tested, take a look at this blog.
Now this brings us onto parent companies.
Basically this is when a company that’s cruelty-free is owned by another company that isn’t cruelty-free. For example, The Body Shop is a cruelty-free company, but they are owned by L’Oreal which isn’t a cruelty-free company.
This then raises the question as to how far do you want to go? Would you rather completely avoid any brands that are associated with animal testing in any way OR do you view the brand and its parent company as two separate entities? Using the same example again, you could buy products from The Body Shop as they aren’t tested on animals, but ultimately your money is going to the big bosses at L’Oreal, who do test on animals.
Personally, I would rather avoid shopping at these companies altogether and opt for companies that are completely cruelty-free. That way I know that my money and purchases are supporting companies that don’t test on animals.
#4 – Look for the Leaping Bunny
An easy peasy way of identifying a cruelty-free product is to look for the Leaping Bunny logo. For a company or product to have this logo, they have to adhere to strict criteria.
By the way if you’re wondering how this is different to PETA’s criteria then you can read Cruelty Free Kitty’s Leaping Bunny vs. PETA article here.
#5 – Don’t Sweat Mistakes
Let’s be real.
As fabulous as you might be, you’re only human and the time may come when you make a mistake.
So you’ve bought a lipstick that isn’t cruelty-free? It’s not the end of the world.
You have to keep telling yourself that you’re still learning. It is so easy to get disheartened, feel like a failure and want to give up but don’t let one mistake defeat you so easily. Going cruelty-free is a whole new way of life and you aren’t going to be an expert overnight.
The fact that you’re trying to make a change for the better is what matters.