Tuesday 15 September 2015

What You Should Know About Cruelty Free Beauty

Today I want to talk about an issue that is important to me: animal testing and cruelty free makeup.
I’ve seen cruelty free discussions on twitter receiving overwhelmingly positive reactions but the general consensus seems to me to be that a lot of fellow FBL bloggers just don’t seem to know much about it. 

And that's where I come in. (Don't worry, I have zero intention of scaring you into this lifestyle with horror pictures of animals. That's not my style- I would rather educate than traumatise you)

I was a vegetarian for nine years up until the Summer when I was encouraged to start eating small amounts of meat by my doctor for my health. I was absolutely gutted and I’m working on getting my consumption back down to nil at the moment. Since then my commitment to cruelty free life has increased. It’s really not as difficult or scary as people think so I’m mostly aiming to help people know the facts and arguments of various debates and to help them build their own opinion. I am also planning a mini series of CF make up dupes so keep an eye out for those. There are some good ones!! There is really no need for your make up and beauty to suffer just because you ditch the likes of MAC and Rimmel!

So here is what I think you need to know:
  • Animal testing on cosmetics has been banned in Europe but is still very present in other countries around the world such as China, Russia & the US to name a few
  • Over 100 million animals are tested on in the US each year (dosomething.org)
  •  Some brands are CF because neither their products nor ingredients are tested on animal
  • Other brands do not test their finished products on animals but some ingredients may be
  • There are cases of brands not testing themselves but hiring third party agencies to test
  •  Some brands that claim to be CF do not test but buy and use ingredients that are recently tested on animals
  •  Some brands state that they do not test on animals except in “exceptional circumstances” or “when required by law” which is more often than not for them to be able to sell in China which require imported cosmetic products to be tested on animals by law
  •  Some brands that were previously CF have begun testing on animals again so that is so that is something to watch out for
  • The term “cruelty free” is seen by some (both brands and consumers) as somewhat ambiguous as many of the ingredients used in these CF products were previously tested on animals
  • To counter this, some brands choose to only use ingredients that haven’t been tested on animals after a set date
  • CF doesn't always equate to vegan so be aware of the difference
  • Many CF brands are owned by parent companies that test on animals and this can be the source of debate and controversy
I want to delve a bit further into the last point as, if you are someone looking to begin a change to CF beauty but are worried about losing too many brands this may be something to consider so that you can change gradually. Some of the biggest parent companies such as Estee Lauder, Proctor and Gamble and L’Oreal are notorious for testing on animals. Does this mean that you should entirely boycott these brands and not buy Urban Decay (owned by L’Oreal) or Clinique (owned by Estee Lauder) or can you continue to support these brands that don’t test, regardless of their parent companies? One way I have looked at this is, as I mentioned earlier, I was a vegetarian who didn’t wear leather or CF makeup for a long time but my parents and family and everyone I associated with did. Does that take away from my efforts to save animals and live CF? I don’t think so. But obviously this is a far more complex issue than that. By buying brands such as NYX (owned by L'Oreal) or Bobbi Brown (owned by Estee Lauder) you are indirectly supporting and funding these larger, unethical parent companies. The money you are spending on these products could ultimately end up funding animal testing which is kind of defeating the point of buying CF cosmetics. I personally think that if you are considering going CF or just don’t want to be fully “devout”, as it were, this may be a good place to start. I would much rather see people buy from CF brands owned by non CF companies than MAC or Benefit. (But buying from entirely CF brands that are actually really good like GOSH or Revolution is even better!)

Another point worth noting if you are looking to enjoy more, ethical CF beauty is that simply reading the animal testing declarations on the brand’s website is not enough to decide whether they are in fact CF. It is a very murky pool where many brands know how to word these declarations to appear CF and tiptoe around the truth. So read between the lines, pay attention to detail check and double check and if you are in doubt I would be more than happy to offer any assistance or knowledge that I can!
I hope this has helped some of you if you are starting a journey to CF or even just made you more aware of this area of the beauty industry. Living CF (or even mostly CF!) is not as hard as you may think, and no one will judge you for trying and changing gradually. Even baby steps help to make a difference. This little guy thanks you.

I hope, if nothing else, you feel like you've learned something new and are a bit more enlightened as to what actually goes on in the beauty industry!
Please feel free contact me if you would like to know more or would like help in finding some cruelty free dupes for some of your favourite products :-).

Teri-May x



  1. THIS!
    I've been a Vegetarian for nearly a year now, but i'm still learning.
    I can't say I miss meat at all, but a lot of people I know who were vegetarian/vegan always wind up needing to reintroduce meat into their life and that scares me. After being so opposed for a year and getting to a stage where I can eat pretty much everything I previously ate, the idea of going back bothers me. So many people have told me that I can't be an 'animal enthusiast' or care about animals if I still eat them. This makes me sad, because I feel like I can be.
    This blog post is so inspiring as far as realising that there's more you can do to support the cruelty free cause, even if you are eating small portions of it. That's not to say I'm going to go have a steak right now, but it's refreshing to know that if there is a day in time where I have to go back to meat, however big or small, there is so much more I can do x

    1. I actually stopped eating meat again shortly after this post so don't be too worried! Do NOT let others dictate how you live your life and feel about yourself and your choices. I would definitely recommend having a look into tying to incorporate more cruelty free choices into your beauty routine, hopefully it'll make you feel really good about your choices! Xx

  2. I'm a vegetarian! I've been thinking about going CF for a while now, but I know nothing about what brands are good, and living in Japan it's hard to get many CF brands without spending half my pay check! Do you have any recommendations for good CF brands??




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