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Ten reasons to buy Cruelty-Free cosmetics

Published 31 May 2013

When you were applying your skin care products and putting on your make-up this morning, were you thinking about what was behind the products you were using?
Many people don’t give it a single thought.

Personally I began my journey simply looking for more natural / organic cosmetics and not giving particular attention to cruelty-free aspects. I didn’t think about the fact that the “all natural” claim can be confusing: animals do derive from nature and even if they are used in an unnatural way, this does not affect the “all natural” declaration.

Only more recently I realized the upsetting truth: many corporations producing consumer goods test their products on innocent and defenseless animals causing them needless continued agony and pain that eventually, sometimes after being 'used' more than once, always results in their death.  
Animals used in laboratory tests for developing cosmetics and toiletries are mainly rabbits, mice, guinea pigs and rats.
These animals are not relaxing while getting an aromatherapy shampoo: they have harsh chemicals rubbed into their shaved skin, they are forced to breathe poisonous fumes or have lethal chemicals poured into their eyes without any pain control and the reality is that after all this animal cruelty, we may still have reactions to our lipstick or mascara.

After learning about the secret horrors behind some cosmetics, most of us are left confused and asking ourselves the question: what can I do?

Here are the 10 answers that I came up with, but each of you will probably be able to think of 10 different and equally valid ones.

  1.  Do everything you can to be a conscientious shopper
  2. Research products so you know exactly what you are buying.
  3. Simply looking at labels isn't enough as many statements made are extremely misleading.
  4. General declarations like “all natural” and "against animal testing", tell you absolutely nothing about the particular product you are thinking of buying.
  5. Take the time to check on a company's cruelty-free status before you buy and don't forget that if the company is a subsidiary you need to be looking at the animal testing policy of the parent company.  For example, The Body Shop and Urban Decay both have good animal testing policies but they are owned by L'Oreal, one of the biggest animal testers in the world.  Therefore, buying products from The Body Shop and Urban Decay boosts the profits of its parent company, L'Oreal!
  6. Take the time to find brands you can trust and use your money to vote for cruelty-free products when you purchase.
  7. Talk about the reasons for your new conscious behavior with your family and your friends: they may be not aware of the information you are aware of
  8. Take a more active stance, opportunities are all around you: sign online petitions or write your own letters to companies or to the powers able to change the situation in your country.
  9. Consider making donations to organizations around you fighting against animal cruelty: it doesn’t matter how much you give as every penny/cent will gratefully received and put to good use.
  10. Going cruelty free is a process that requires time to get right so the sooner you start on the road, the sooner you will reach your destination!  The fact that you've made the choice to start going down the cruelty free road is what's important!

You can buy cruelty-free cosmetics to save an animal, to save your skin or to save your conscience… ultimately, it doesn't matter what your reasons are, just do the right thing!

And finally, you can start by simply sharing this article with your friends and family. In just few seconds you can help spread a compassionate message.


by Daniela Ferrari

Chief Editor of the Italian blog Going Natural