Look Good While Saving Lives: Cruelty Free Beauty
Despite every attempt to hide it behind closed doors and outsource it to third-party companies, the reality that animal testing not only still exists but is very common for cosmetics is easy to find for anyone who takes the time to look. However, what comes next is not so clear: how does one switch to only using cruelty free beauty products?
One reason this question is not immediately and easily answerable is because “cruelty free” is not a legal term. It has different meanings to different people, and brands can use it however they want, meaning they can outsource animal testing to a third party and still say they are cruelty free. Before switching any products, someone needs to settle on what “cruelty free” means to them. For example, some people will not use brands that have parent companies that test on animals even though the brand does not. Other people feel that using these brands shows the parent companies that being cruelty free is important to customers and will help convince them to stop testing on animals. No right answer exists, but this is an important decision to make before trying to find new brands.
Next, research and choose a trusted resource to consult in order to find new brands and check the cruelty-free status of the ones you already use. PETA has a database that anyone can search, but many people do not agree with PETA’s ethics and feel they are not rigid in checking to make sure a brand is truly cruelty free. That is another question for each individual person to answer. However, a great alternative resource is the brand list by Logical Harmony, which also has lists of brands that do test on animals and that are not clear, a youtube channel, and many other resources on the website to make the cruelty-free journey easier.
Switch one product at a time as your current version becomes empty. Trying to do a complete overhaul of every beauty product is overwhelming and very time consuming. Instead, find a new brand for each product when you would normally need to repurchase from your current brand. This will become easier as you become more familiar with brands and can purchase new products from brands you have already found you like. At the beginning, start small. This is a significant life change to adopt, and no one is perfect at it. Even trying to stop participating in the commonplace cruelty of animal testing is a huge step in the right direction; and as you keep going, the steps become easier, quicker, and less uncomfortable. The most important part is to just keep trying and keep educating yourself.