Buying Cruelty-Free: Everything You Need to Know

Every year, millions of creatures suffer at the hands of animal testing and it’s time for our generation to put an end to this injustice. Most people are aware that animal testing occurs, but it is easy to ignore when action against this cruelty means boycotting your favorite products. However, there are many easy ways to make sure that your hard-earned money helps break the industry of animal testing, while also enjoying products you know and love. 

Big name brands like L’Oreal, Bobbi Brown, Lancome and Johnson & Johnson use animals to test the safety of their products, so why are we still buying their products? This is a simple guide designed not to shame fellow girl bosses for their purchases, but to provide tools to make this difficult topic easier to navigate and encourage a women-led movement demanding that our favorite red lips didn’t shed any bunny blood. 

Educate Yo’ Self:

Animal testing is much more common and unethical than the public believes. An online organization, known as Cruelty Free International, explains why they are so passionate about this cause, and explains that “U.S. regulations do not consider rats, mice, fish, amphibians or birds as animals, and therefore, practices using these creatures go completely unregulated.” How can this be happening right here in the U.S.? 

These realizations are difficult, but should serve as motivation to end this practice. 

C.F.I. also discusses types of experiments where the death of an animal is an expected outcome of the test. This is common in tests for botox, where the chemicals are so strong the animal has no chance of surviving. 

However, animals are not the only ones who get the short end of the stick; animal testing is bad news for consumers too. If chemicals are so dangerous that they are causing burns and death in animals, why are they in makeup formulas in the first place? Brands use a plethora of chemicals that we can’t even pronounce that are dangerous to living creatures, due to a desire to find new and effective materials. According to the Humane Society International, “most of these new ingredients don’t have existing safety data.” If it needs to be tested for safety, it should not go on your face.

Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is:

The facts behind animal testing may be disturbing, but there is also good news! There are plenty of amazing brands that are cruelty-free, and there are tons of resources that help ensure your purchases are good for both animals and your health. 

According to Ethical Elephant, a website that is dedicated to helping make cruelty-free purchasing easier, the number of cruelty-free brands is expansive. Big names such as Bare Minerals, Drunk Elephant, E.L.F., Glossier, Kat Von D and many more do not use animal testing by simply sticking with chemicals that have been used before, and therefore testing is not needed. 

Websites like these can be a great tool to check in and see if your favorite brands align with your values, but this can be an inefficient and tedious way to determine which brands to buy from in your everyday life, so there are even easier indications of cruelty-free. 

The easiest way to know that you’re buying cruelty-free is looking for the Leaping Bunny logo on the side of a product. Having this ceritification is an internationally recognized feat and means that there is a system down the entire supply line of the company that ensures that no animal testing was used at any point in the process. There are some brands that have created their own bunny logo, so be aware of these dupes because their definition of animal cruelty may be different than yours. If you see the official Leaping Bunny logo, you can rest easy knowing you helped save some little critters. 

There are also tons of apps that help girls in their mission to buy cruelty-free, like Cruelty-Free from Leaping Bunny and Bunny Free from PETA. Downloading these apps is a simple and quick way to get live updates on brands that use animal testing and those who do not.. This can be useful when you are buying products online or may not have it in your hands to check the labels.

Makeup doesn’t have to have a dark side that we all feel guilty about. It is easy to buy makeup without sacrificing the lives of animals. Part of being a fierce girl boss is standing up for what's right, and that is by putting pressure on brands that are archaic and use grossly unethical practices. This is our time to create real change, and use our voice to protect the ones who are silently suffering.