A couple of years ago, in 2016, when I was fresh out of grad school, jobless and seeking some way to make an impact, I stumbled across a viral video depicting a rabbit in a guillotine-like contraption with eye drops being forcibly put into it’s eyes. Maybe I was naive, but I had never realized that cosmetics that I used everyday were being tested on animals. This video and revelation blew my mind and I went down a rabbit hole of research. (Pun intended.) As I sat on my bed beside my beautiful, rescue hound, Honey Bee, I couldn’t imagine someone putting her in a choke hold to see if the chapstick I wore would give her a rash. I was sold.

My sweet Honey Bee – photo taken by
Captured by Casey Photography.

This video made by Lush is not the original video I saw, but it’s a good place to start if you are curious about the #becrueltyfree movement.

The first thing I did was go through my current collection of cosmetics and throw away the products that were not cruelty free which proved to be a good idea for two reasons: 1) Almost all of my products were expired. 2) Almost all of my products were not cruelty free. I want to mention that I now understand that it was wasteful to throw away products that were not expired just because they were not cruelty free. Today, I would use the rest of that product and then not repurchase it.

As I was going through my cosmetics and googling whether or not a certain company was cruelty free, I noticed that certified cruelty free products are marked with a rabbit on the back. There are a couple versions of this rabbit logo and they can often be faked. Products can be certified cruelty free by PETA or by Cruelty Free International; checkout the bunny logos at the websites listed.

If I’m not sure if something is cruelty free, I will do more research before I purchase it. I also end up sticking to the same brands that I know are cruelty free, so I usually don’t have to worry about it. And to be clear, products can be cruelty free without a bunny logo on the back, but may require some more research, as I said previously, or some reading of the fine print.

Being cruelty free has not been easy, but I’m trying to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, and use my dollar for good. Below is a list of my favorite cruelty free brands. I also included a men’s section because Logan has gone on this cruelty free journey with me.

Hair Products

Household Cleaners (Yes, even these are tested on animals.)

Skincare/Body Wash or Soap/Hygiene

Men’s Products

And remember don’t be cruel!