For months, I've been telling myself it's time to investigate cruelty-free alternatives to beauty and health-care items. When I realized that these products are tested not just on bunnies (awful enough!) but on Beagles, for Heaven's sake, I could no longer deny the truth:
I need to change the way I shop.
So I finally went to my local alternative grocery store, Whole Foods, to see what I could find, and Wow! did I find stuff. They have everything--bar soaps for hands and body, cleansers for face and body, lotions, potions, fragrances, sunscreens, scrubs, and an entire range of makeup. On this first trip, I bought just a few things I needed. As my old (non-cruelty-free) products wear out/get used up, I'll go back for more products that don't rely on animal testing:
On this first trip into the happy land of cruelty-free products, here's what I got. First off, premoistened towelettes (not particularly great for the environment, perhaps, but SO invigorating when you're hiking or picnicking--or anywhere away from a water source):
The citrus/cucumber scent is light and refreshing. Speaking of refreshing, I love this old-fashioned number:
Witch hazel astringent has been around forever. I remember my dad using it when I was just a kid. But I don't think Dad ever had the pleasure of using this lemon/aloe vera version. It is light, crisp, and absolutely a beast at removing grime, oil, and sweat from skin:
I apply a little on a cotton ball, zip it around arms, chest, neck, and face, and it is like heaven.
Instead of the overpriced-but-beautifully-packaged skin cleanser I had been using (not naming names, but it sort of sounds like "Empty Larder"), I found this:
The helpful guy at Whole Foods said "Pycnogenol" is great for aging skin. Whatever. I bought it because it is light, scent-free, and does a great job at cleansing my face:
And it costs a fraction of what that EL product used to cost.
(Eeeuw! Remind me not to photograph my hands close up ever again. Creepy lines!)
Lastly, I bought this fabulous liquid eyeliner by Zuzu:
Zuzu offers a half-dozen shades of eyeliner, including a jet black and a beautiful teal. But for me, their "Black Pearl" is perfect. It's a sort of soft, charcoal-y black. The tiny brush allows me to make a line as fat or as thin as I want:
(Umm, pardon the chipped nail polish. See self-deprecating hand comment, above.)
If you want to dip a toe into the lovely world of cruelty-free products, start by locating your local crunchy-granola, tree-hugging, green-alternative grocery or health-food store. Almost every community has one, so poke around; you'll find it! And read your product labels:
If you are confused about all the various labels, just look for the leaping bunny logo:
or the pink-eared PETA bunny logo:
These absolutely guarantee that the product is NOT tested on laboratory animals, nor is any ingredient that goes into the product likewise tested this way.
Unfortunately, phrases like "Not tested on laboratory animals" can be misleading, because they are not regulated. So look for the bunny logos and you'll be fine.
If you want, here's a website that explains it all a little more,