Once upon a time, ethical (that is, cruelty free) beauty was a rather hippyish concept… today however, it’s frankly archaic if your favourite lippy, cleanser or body balm is tested on animals or contains ingredients which are. Happily, finding great high-performance beauty products isn’t the arduous mission it once was (except fragrance, that one is still a bit of a task).
For me, no beauty product is worth horrific living conditions for anyone – human or otherwise, so I put a lot of hours into researching brands to know if they’re truly ethical or whether they’re hiding behind terms like ‘product not tested on animals’ (well, duh… I didn’t actually think you were giving bunnies wash and blow-dries).
Here are a handful of my ethical beauty go-tos (left to right).
Batiste Dry Shampoo. I’m a fan of the original scent – it makes your hair smell clean and fresh, not like you’re trying to cover up the fact you were smoking behind the bike shed at lunch as some others do. $7.95 AUD / 200ml from your nearest pharmacy.
This Works No Wrinkles Tired Eyes serum. I looked long and hard for one I could wear both day and night which was hydrating enough yet didn’t make my eye makeup fall into creases or slide off. This is, and it’s sibling (No Wrinkles Eye Repair) are it. £42.00 / $84.00 AUD at Mecca Cosmetica.
Frank body scrub. I’ve tried every flavour and I haven’t found one I don’t like. Frank is no-nonsense and it really does help with cellulite and stretch marks. Amazing. $14.95 AUD / 200g.
Hourglass 1.5mm mechanical gel liner. A solid gel liner that applies like a superfine pencil, yet stays like a gel. The future is here and it comes in packs of three. $22.00 AUD each or $45.00 AUD / pack of three at Mecca Cosmetica.
Now in case you’ve been wondering, there are a few grey areas when it comes to ethical beauty.
The primary one is brands that have historically, not tested final products nor ingredients on animals, yet selling in China requires them to do so by law. Personally, I choose to not support these brands, as I feel they have the opportunity to take a stand and lobby for a change in law. With a growing Chinese market, this is a tough one to keep a handle on.
The second area is brands which do not test on animals, yet have been purchased by businesses which do. For example, the Body Shop never has and to this day does not test on animals. It is however, now owned by the L’Oreal group which is arguably one of the largest supporters of animal testing. In this case I have chosen to adopt PETAs line and support the brands within the group which do not conduct animal testing (or hire anyone to do so on their behalf – loophole alert). Other than being PETAs approach, this strikes me as good economics; businesses which are suffering financially due to a downturn in sales will likely seek to cut costs in their supply chain and the alternatives to animals testing, whilst extremely viable are also expensive.
At any rate, regular readers can know that any beauty I feature here has passed an investigation beyond a cursory glance at the back of the packaging.