Fall 2017

Cruelty Free Beauty Products: How to Make the Switch

By Tessa Huston

I’m a firm believer in voting with your dollar. As often as you can, you should give your money to companies that have practices that align with your moral and ethical beliefs.

I started to make this switch to all cruelty free products about a year ago. When I talk to people about this, I often find that people are under the impression that making the switch to cruelty free is extremely difficult. It’s really not! That’s why I chose to write my Trendsetter blog post about this topic!

Let’s Start by De-Bunking Some Myths About Cruelty Free Beauty

  1. Myth: Cruelty free products are always more expensive.
    • Truth: Cruelty free products are often associated with organic, natural, etc., products and yes, these can be more expensive. However, not all cruelty free brands are fancy-shmancy, gluten-free, all-natural, non-GMO, organic brands. (Some of them are though, if you’re into that.) Many super affordable brands are cruelty free (Thanks, e.l.f. Cosmetics).
  2. Myth: Cruelty free products are hard to find.
    • Truth: You can find cruelty free in many of the same places you’re already shopping. One of the best places to buy cruelty free products, I’ve found, is actually Target.
  3. Myth: It’s hard to know if products are cruelty free or not!
    • Truth: Do you have a smart phone? If you do, you can Google a brand’s cruelty free status right there in the store aisle.
  4. Myth: Anyone can say they’re cruelty free, that doesn’t mean that they are!
    • Truth: Okay, it’s true, lot’s of companies put “we do not test on animals” or “this product is not tested on animals” when they actually test other products on animals, or buy ingredients that test on animals. However, the Leaping Bunny logo, the Choose Cruelty-Free logo and PETA’s cruelty-free logo can’t be put on a product unless they are certified cruelty free by these cruelty-free organizations.

Getting Started:

Going cruelty-free doesn’t mean that you need to throw out all of your old beauty products. You’ve already paid the money to those companies, and the ingredients or products have already been tested on animals, so the harm has already been done. No point in throwing out that brand new bottle of perfectly good shampoo!

What I did when I made the switch is, I continued to use all my old products, and as they ran out, I replaced them with cruelty-free products. This way is much easier on your wallet, which I am all about.

When you’re in a store and you’re wondering if a product is cruelty free, first check for a cruelty-free certification logo. The three reputable logos I look for are shown below. If there is no logo, try Googling the product and seeing what their website says about their cruelty free status. Anything certified by the below organization is a good bet, but they aren’t the only organizations out there, so do a bit of research! My personal rule is that if I can’t figure out if it’s cruelty free from Google on my phone while standing in the aisle at the grocery store, holding the product, then it’s probably not cruelty free and I should put it back.

Cruelty Free Logos You Can Trust:

PETA Cruelty Free Logo

PETA Cruelty Free Logo

Leaping Bunny Logo

Leaping Bunny Logo

Choose Cruelty Free Logo

Choose Cruelty Free Logo









Note: Not all products certified by these companies use their logos on their packaging, so if you don’t see it, try Googling the product’s cruelty-free status and seeing if they’re certified!

Some of My Favorite Cruelty Free Items


I personally use the Alaffia Everyday Shea Lavender Shampoo and Conditioner. I love the smell of lavender and it is super affordable (I paid for $12.99 for a 32 fl oz bottle), but like many shampoos that contain few ingredients, it gives your hair a kind of “squeaky clean” feeling which can turn off some people.Alaffia shampoo bottle

If you’re not into the Aliffia shampoo, you could try something from Soapbox (I love their Coconut Oil and Argan Oil varieties), something from DevaCurl if you’ve got curly hair, or maybe something from Paul Mitchell, Acure or Shea Moisture.

I rarely use other hair products besides shampoo and conditioner but all the companies mentioned above plus Pureology, It’s a 10 and Alba Botanica have tons of hair care products that will meet all your hair needs!


I use Raw Sugar Raw Coconut + Mango Body Wash. It’s super affordable (25 fl oz for $6.99) and smells amazing. It’s also really moisturizing which is great for my dry skin.

Raw Sugar Body Wash bottle

To moisturize, I use Alba Botanica Very Emollient™ Body Lotion in maximum strength (for severely dry skin). This stuff is AWESOME for dry skin, and the moisture lasts all day. I got a giant bottle (32 fl oz) for $9.99 too, so it is very affordable!

alba botanica lotion bottle

Some other brands that I trust for body wash, soap and lotion are Yes To and LUSH. You can also moisturize with just plain ol’ coconut oil, too!


I use Acure Organics Sensitive Facial Cleanser to wash my face twice a day. This stuff is really good for my dry, sensitive skin. To exfoliate, I just use an exfoliating face sponge that I bought for like $3 at Target with this cleanser.

Acure cleanser bottle

For toner, I use Thayers’ Rose Petal Witch Hazel toner. This stuff makes my skin glow and isn’t drying at all!

Thayers bottle

For moisturizer, I use Yes To Carrots Fragrance Free Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 and Yes To Carrots Fragrance Free Intense Hydration Night Cream. I love both of these products, but my favorite thing about Yes To is that they carry a variety of products for all different skin types. They have several different collections of skincare, each targeting a skin care need. Like these, for example. These are from the Yes to Carrots collection which is focused on nourishing the skin. Seriously, check out their site. No matter your skin troubles (dry, oily, sensitive, aging, etc) there is a Yes To collection for you. (I love their Yes To Coconuts Lip Balm)

Yes to daily moisturizer

Yes To Night Cream


I don’t wear a lot of makeup, so this section isn’t going to be as detailed as the previous ones. But I will give you a list of some of my favorite brands of makeup (and some very popular brands that I’ve never tried) that just happen to be cruelty free.


Basically, long story short, making the switch to cruelty free makeup is not as hard as you think it’s going to be. It just takes a bit of mindfulness at the store. And, to make things a bit easier on you, I’ll even include Cruelty Free Kitty’s List of Cruelty Free Brands.

You can do it.



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