Going cruelty free

Just recently I’ve noticed more people talking about cruelty free toiletries and cosmetics (i.e. from brands who don’t test on animals), and some of the Youtubers I watch have been discussing it – some in fact now only feature cruelty free products. I’m ashamed to say that until recently I naively thought animal testing was a thing of the past. I decided to do a bit of research and was shocked to discover that many of the brands I expected to be cruelty free do in fact test on animals, or are owned by a parent company who do (more on that later). This really shocked and disappointed me. In many case, it’s because they sell in China (who require products have been tested on animals). Some brands therefore, including some who used to be cruelty free, no longer are cruelty free as they wanted to sell to the growing market in China. 

After a bit more research (OK, a lot – but I’m a researcher in my day job so I take these things seriously!) I’ve decided to go cruelty free as much as I can. There are some grey areas and differences of opinions in what this means, but for me I’m aiming to not purchase any toiletries, skincare or cosmetics from brands who test on animals, or brands who are owned by parent companies who test on animals. 

Brands I’ll no longer be buying from

For me, going cruelty free will mean quite a change to my skincare routine (which frustratingly I’d recently seemed to get sorted with products my skin seems to love!) and my make up. 

Here’s some of the brands I currently use which I’ll no longer be purchasing:

  • L’Oreal – skincare, haircare, and make up (I use a lot of L’Oreal products at the moment, many of which I love)
  • Origins – skincare (I’ve recently got into Origins after treating myself to a gift set in the Christmas sale)
  • Clinique – skincare and make up (I’ve had a long term relationship with Clinique for many years and love their Moisture Surge range and their Almost Powder Makeup compact)
  • The Body Shop (owned by L’Oreal) – skincare (I use their cleansing balm every day – it’s one of my favourite products and I’ll definitely be on the look out for a similar product)
  • Dove – deodorant (not so attached to this one)
  • Benefit – make up (I don’t own a lot of Benefit but really like their new They’re Real tinted primer as a natural mascara so will be looking out for a replacement for that)
  • Maybelline – make up (I have quite a few Maybelline products but nothing I’ll miss that much)
  • Revlon – make up and nail polish (again nothing I’ll miss much)
  • Rimmel – make up (again nothing I’ll miss much)
  • Nars – make up (I do love Orgasm blush, but there are many similar products I could get instead)
  • Mac – make up (I don’t have much Mac)
  • Tarte – make up (I really like their Amazonian Clay Blush in Captivating so will be looking for a replacement when I use that up)
  • Essie – nail polish (I have some polishes and like their base coats so will be switching for another brand)
  • OPI – nail polish (I haven’t bought any of these for a while)

As I have already bought these products, the damage has been done so I will continue to use the products I like, but I have got rid of some I don’t love (some will hopefully be donated) and I’ll be looking for alternatives to replace those I’ve kept  when they’re used up. There are some things I may struggle to find alternatives for initially, but my goal is to be completely cruelty free. 

Brands I’ll be buying from in future

I’ve done some research into brands I can get hold of that are cruelty free, so here’s some I’ll be checking out:

  • Superdrug – I’m really impressed that all their own brand products are cruelty free and I’ve heard good things about some of their skincare. They also now have a 100% happiness guarantee so I know that if something doesn’t suit my skin I can take it back. 
  • B – a Superdrug owned brand so cruelty free. I think I’m going to try some of the B skincare and make up.   
  • GOSH – a cruelty free make up brand in Superdrug. I’ve never really checked this brand out but will be doing so in future. 
  • Lush – I visited recently and was fortunate enough to meet a fantastic member of staff who was really helpful in talking to me about my needs and gave me some samples to try so I’m sure I’ll be back. 
  • Pixi – a fairly recent discovery for me and I’m really enjoying the skincare so far (I have the Glow Tonic and the Glow Mud Cleanser). 
  • Oskia – I’ve been wanting to try the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel for a while so when I discovered Oskia are cruelty free I got a sample from SpaceNK and think I might have to save up and get some when my current gel cleanser runs out. 
  • Soap and Glory – I’m so glad Soap and Glory are cruelty free (at least they seem to be from my research). I love their Breakfast Scrub and Rich and Foamous Shower Gel, and really like some of their make up. I may also try some of their facial skincare, though I didn’t get on with their Sunshield Superfluid. 
  • Too Faced – I’ve never tried anything from Too Faced but am interested in their Born This Way foundation which has good ingredients and has received some great reviews. I think I’ll see if I can try this next time I’m in Debenhams. I’m also interested in their Better Than Sex mascara, the Hangover Primer and their blushes. 
  • China Glaze – some of my all time favourite polishes are China Glaze so I’m glad I’ll be able to keep buying them. 
  • Zoya – I love this brand but don’t often buy from them as they’re expensive in the UK. They are great though and have some lovely shades so I may try more. 
  • Barry M – I’m glad Barry M are cruelty free as I like their nail polishes too. 
  • Mooncup – I may finally bite the bullet and get one of these. Eco friendly, cruelty free and much more cost effective than tampons and towels. 

I’m looking into other brands to see if there are other products I should try so please let me know if so. I’m happy to spend a little more for ethical, quality products but my budget isn’t huge so I want to make sure I choose the right things. I’d love to hear any recommendations (brands or products) – please let me know in the comments. Tips for transitioning to cruelty free greatly appreciated too! 🙂

Allergies, stupid allergies

For a few years now I’ve been occasionally getting a rash and dry skin around my nose, mouth, and eyes. Just when it gets to the stage that I’m going to do something about it (i.e. go to doctor, get allergy tested), it seems to stop. I thought I’d tied it down to a moisturiser, though the moisturiser was supposed to be hypoallergenic and I continued to get the reaction once I’d stopped using it. I have coeliac disease so wondered if it was linked to that as some get these type of symptoms, though it didn’t tie in with other symptoms and I was pretty sure I couldn’t have eaten any gluten (which is what triggers a reaction for coeliacs).

The most recent time it happened I joked with a friend that the only thing I thought it could have been was my nail polish as I’d recently painted my nails. Then I discovered nail blogs, many of which refer to “three free” polishes. What’s that all about I thought? So I did some research and lo and behold, it turns out my allergy could well be to nail polish. I don’t know the details and this blog post from Goddess Huntress explains it far better than I could, but essentially some nail polishes have chemicals in that can cause a reaction. Many manufacturers no longer use these (they sometimes say on the bottle ‘three free’ or ‘five free’), but some do. Models Own is one who isn’t ‘three free’, and I think it’s a Models Own polish that causes my reaction.

On the one hand, this is brilliant as I think I may have finally cracked the cause of my allergy, but on the other hand this now means I’m restricted in which nail polishes I can use, and some of my favourites I will have to get rid of. This makes me very sad.

I’m particular gutted about the Models Own Mystic Mauve (see below), a glittery pink/purple, so if anyone knows any similar polishes which are three free please let me know.

Models Own Mystic Mauve
Models Own Mystic Mauve

Now I’ve got to sort through my polishes to work out which ones have to go 😦