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The Best Cruelty-Free Beauty Brands

Updated on July 8, 2014

Is My Favorite Beauty Brand Cruelty-Free?

We all have our favorite beauty brands. But how do we know for sure if they are cruelty-free? One way to find out is by looking on the company's website. In their "About Us" section, companies will often share the fact that their products are not tested on animals. If there's no mention, that's usually a bad sign. Check out PETA's website for an extensive list of Companies That Do Not Test on Animals (they also have a list that shares the opposite). Another great online resource is Paula's Choice. An important note is that some beauty brands that are cruelty-free may be owned by a larger brand that is not cruelty-free (referred to as a "parent company"). Ultimately, the choice is yours as to what you think is fair or not.

A Little Background on Animal Testing

Animal testing on cosmetics is not required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in order to demonstrate that products are safe. There are many ways to ensure that a cosmetic is safe to use that do not involve harming animals. Companies can use the countless ingredients out there that are already known to be safe, use valid non-animal tests, and invest in new state-of-the-art testing methods that science has to offer. However, some still rely on animal testing of their products. In 2014, China made it a requirement to have all cosmetics produced outside of their country to be tested on animals. And the term "cruelty" isn't being thrown around lightly. Eye and nose irritation tests, force-feeding, and lethal doses are common animal tests, and if the creature hasn't already died due to these acts, they are disposed of in the end. With the countless choices we have as consumers, we have the freedom to choose cosmetics that do not support these inhumane acts all in the name of selling beauty products.

Creatures of Comfort Spring 2014
Creatures of Comfort Spring 2014

Cruelty-Free Drugstore Brands

You don't have to spend mega-bucks to be a responsible cosmetic connoisseur. Your local drugstore has lots of cruelty-free products to choose from. Alba Botanica has tropical-scented bath and body products that will instantly take you to Tahiti. Bioré is all about pores. A popular product is their pore strips which remove pesky blackheads from the nose, chin, and forehead. Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps come in bar and liquid form and have ultra-natural scents such as rose, almond, and peppermint. Jane Cosmetics has been around for a long time as an animal-friendly brand and will cover your makeup needs. Paul Mitchell has a huge fan following thanks to their awesome hair products. And for rock-hard nails, Sally Hansen is the tried-and-true brand for you.

Other cruelty-free brands include:


Cruelty-Free Department Store Brands

Department stores carry beauty brands that are totally friendly towards our furry friends. Bare Escentuals does amazing mineral-based foundations that cover up blemishes in a blink. For gorgeous nail polish colors, check out what Deborah Lippmann has to offer. NARS is known for their vibrant shades of lipstick, blush, and gloss. Take "botanical" to another level with Philip B hair products. Ren Skincare tackles issues like skin aging and sensitivity. For more brands, check out PETA and Paula's Choice listed above.


EU Bans Animal Testing

In April 2013, The European Union made an official ban on selling animal-tested products within EU countries. LUSH, a company that has long been cruelty-free and has fought hard against animal testing, is still fighting in the U.S. Support their cause, and check out their video on the right.

More Animal-Friendly Products for Face and Body

Herbivore Botanicals
JASÖN Natural
Mario Badescu
Ole Henriksen
Tata Harper

Hit the Mall

Specialty stores that are found all around the country support humane practices towards animals by pledging to be cruelty-free. Bath and Body Works, H&M, The Body Shop, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and Topshop are a few of the places you can shop for cosmetics that are not tested on animals. From antibacterial hand soap and lip gloss to toothpaste and eyeliner, your cosmetic needs will be met after hitting up these hot spots.

Cruelty-Free Fragrances

Is it hard smell nice and be kind to animals all at once? Not at all. There are lots of lovely fragrance brands that are cruelty-free. Here are a few:


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    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great hub. Well-researched. I'm all for animal rights and against animal testing. Voted up!