How to Buy Cruelty-Free

Many people don’t know this, but some of the products we buy in stores like makeup, soaps, toothpaste, laundry soap, cleaners, and more are still gruesomely tested on animals.

In fact, The Humane Society estimates that close to 200,000 rabbits, mice, hamsters and guinea pigs die for cosmetic testing around the world every year (1).

But with consumers becoming more aware about buying cruelty-free, more and more companies are dropping the outdated animal testing for kinder, more up-to-date methods.

Below I show you what to look for, how to shop shop cruelty free, plus brands to keep an eye out for.

Does This Really Make a Difference?

As consumers, we have a lot of power. We vote with our wallets and tell companies what WE want & what we want them to produce.

According to Grand View Research consumer report, cruelty-free/vegan buying is on a steady up & up, and is expected to keep growing (2).

This means quickly we’ll be seeing more companies ditching animal testing, to target their new audience.

We are already seeing this happen!

Covergirl, who payed for animal tests in China, recently stopped and is now certified cruelty-free by Cruelty Free International after years of pressure. Now they are the largest cruelty-free make-up brand on the market! (3)

Dove also became PETA certified cruelty-free this year, and their parent company, Unilever is trying to become certified too (4).

The state of California passed a law earlier this year that will ban cosmetic animal testing in the state by 2020! (5)

If these aren’t signs of the changing times, then I don’t know what is. 🐰❤️

But many brands like Mac, Revlon, Clorox, maybelline and more still have blood on their hands…

The most common experiments:

-Skin and eye irritation tests, substances are rubbed onto shaved skin of mice or dripped into the eyes of rabbits without any pain relief, often while restrained.

-Lethal dose tests, where animals are forced to swallow large amounts of a substance to determine the lethal dose.

-Inhalation tests, where rats are put into a full-body restraint tube, and forced to breathe in the test substance. (For example, hairspray).

More on common animal tests here:

What To Look For:

Thankfully many brands recognize that animal testing is bad science, and rarely translates into human trials.

Below I show you what to look for when buying cruelty-free, plus some of my favorite brands.

These are the logos to look for on products, this means they’ve been certified cruelty-free by an animal rights organization.

The leaping bunny symbol above is the symbol for Cruelty Free International. Being certified by this group is often considered the most credible. Not only do their guidelines require that companies not test products nor their ingredients on animals, but the supplier of each ingredient may not test on animals either. Also, companies are not allowed to sell their products where cosmetic animal testing is mandated (China).

Look for this label on the back of bottles and products!

If you see the above logo on a bottle, that means it’s been certified cruelty-free by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). They have looser guidelines for what they consider to be “cruelty-free”.

For example, a company that sells to China may be considered cruelty-free by PETA’s standards, even though it is required by law in China that all cosmetics being shipped across their borders must be tested on animals.

By most standards, if a cosmetic company sells to China, it’s not cruelty-free.

Brands to Look For:

Companies To Try and Avoid:

*This photo is slightly out of date, Covergirl is now certified cruelty-free.

Where To Find Cruelty-Free Products:

Almost every store will carry cruelty-free products, but where you’ll find them might depend on the store and what you’re looking for. Some stores sell the cruelty-free brands right next to their alternative, & some stores separate them, labeling cruelty-free products as “natural”.

These are ranked from widest selection of cruelty-free products to smallest (in my experience)

Fred Meyers/ Kroger’s has a “natural” section, which is where most of the cruelty-free brands from shampoo to toothpaste to deodorant can be found. However their CF laundry soaps and cleaners can be found where you’d normally find them.

Target stores sells their makeup separately in a naturals section too. Their CF deodorants, toothpastes, laundry soaps, etc can be found where you’d normally find them though.

TJ Maxx, Ross, Marshals, and Homegoods all sell tons of cruelty-free products at lower prices. Soaps, makeup, and haircare particularly.

Walgreens sells a few cruelty-free products too, they don’t have their own “naturals” section though, so their cruelty-free products are found where everything else is.

Safeway carries cruelty free shampoos, cleaners, etc. they don’t often have a wide variety, but they have a few options. CF shampoo and hair care will be the easiest to find.

Walmart usually has a very small selection of cruelty-free products. They usually only carry a few big name CF shampoo & conditioners.

Still have questions?

-Don’t see a logo on your favorite shampoo? It might still be cruelty free! Here’s a link to where you can search all your favorite brands:

-Frequently asked questions about cosmetic animal testing:

My Favorite Brands:


Buying cruelty free makeup is so easy! I don’t often wear makeup anymore, but I love NYX, Tarte, ELF, Soap and Glory, Wet n Wild and Urban Decay. Cruelty-free makeup can be found in all price ranges, from drug store makeup to high-end.

Personal care:

My fav haircare brands are Not Your Mothers, Yes to, and Shea Moisture. I also like using Dr. Bronners as a shampoo & body wash.

Toms of Maine, Schmidt’s, and Hello are all super common CF brands, they’re my go-to for toothpaste, deodorant, and other personal care products.


Mrs. Meyer’s cleaner works amazing and smells great! I love that it’s all natural, many brands of all-purpose cleaners are really harsh on my skin and lungs. Dr. Bronners soaps are also a classic, they are 18-in-one, so they pretty much eliminate the need for any other cleaner!

You could also go the zero waste route, mixing 50-50 white vinegar and water into a spray bottle. It’s a great all-purpose cleaner & works wonderfully for streak-free windows and mirrors.








Cosmetic testing Photos from:

❤️ Autumn

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