Cruelty-Free Beauty Products

When you pick up a tube of mascara or find some colorful eye shadow on sale, do you think about its connection to animals? I’ll admit, the thought didn’t always cross my mind. I saw purple eyeshadows with sparkles or a tube of raspberry lipstick and was excited to experiment. I hardly ever wear make-up, but I found it something I could entertain my imagination with. After learning some of the truths behind my beauty products, I was discouraged to learn that my seemingly harmless purchases may cause more harm than I would like to admit. Researching ingredients like palm oil made it only more problematic and then I was introduced to the complexities of cruelty-free. Why is it complex? Let’s take a look at the cosmetic industry and animal testing . . .

According to Cruelty-Free Kitty, animal testing began decades ago with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act that mandates testing of drugs, cosmetics, and more on animals. These animals include cats, rats, bunnies, and my beloved favorite, the Beagle. Cruel-Free Kitty points out that there are many safe ingredients (over 7,000 to be exact) that companies can use instead and technological advancements are available to eliminate animal testing. Where the situation gets more complicated is products or companies claim on their labels that their final products were not tested on animals, but unfortunately, their individual ingredients may have been tested on animals. Sometimes these ingredients are not tested by the company in question but by a third party. Where it gets even worse is if a company does not test on animals but their parent company does. Some are very suspicious that this may not stop a company from testing on animals if their parent company does.

So, what can be done? Purchasing cruelty-free products in the future is one step. Both The Good Trade and Cruelty-Free Kitty have extensive lists to get started. But, we can always take one step further. Next, you can sign the Petition to Pass the Humane Cosmetics Act, familiarize yourself with websites like Humane Society International, and join campaigns. For this month’s affirmation and future beauty product purchases, I’m beginning to see what I buy is only one part of the picture, advocacy is just as important.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

What cruelty-free products do you use? What cruelty-free companies do you prefer?


  1. Agy

    I do wonder sometimes if there is such a thing as cruelty free makeup. I wonder whether the ingredients used now were tested before and now no longer need testing.

    • brooklyntvlasich

      You’ve brought up a good point. I think when it comes to beauty product ingredients, everything gets very complicated. I still advocate for cruelty-free practices, but I do realize that there may be no perfect beauty product mix or company.

Give us your thoughts, comments, and opinions here!