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Be kind. Be beautiful.

Creating a cruelty-free cosmetics bag is easier than you think

All Animals magazine, September/October 2016

by Tracy L. Scott

GlobalStock/iStock Photo

Beauty products should do more than just help you look good—they should help you feel good, too. That comes from knowing your products and their ingredients haven’t been tested on animals.

It’s never been easier to find animal-friendly products, with more than 600 cruelty-free cosmetics companies in North America, says Vicki Katrinak of the HSUS Be Cruelty-Free campaign. You’ll find them at a variety of different price points and on the shelves of your favorite retailers, as well as online at places such as Amazon and drugstore.com.

“Ending the use of animals to test cosmetic products like shampoo and lotion ultimately rests with consumers,” Katrinak says. “By only purchasing from companies that are committed to no animal testing, you are sending a message to companies about what is important to you.”

While it might take some extra effort, Lisa Bronner, of Dr. Bronner’s cosmetics, which her grandfather founded, says it’s worth it to do what’s best for animals. As part of the Leaping Bunny certification program, Dr. Bronner’s does not test its products, formulas or ingredients on animals; refuses to sell in China, where animal testing is required; and welcomes independent audits to ensure it sticks to its word. Katrinak says these rigorous standards are why the Leaping Bunny logo is repeatedly rated the most meaningful cruelty-free logo.

Big business is slowly realizing that the humane model attracts consumers, and Bronner is proud to be among those leading the way. “There are other ways to do things,” she says. “It’s really not the way it has to be. There’s always a good way to do things. We hope to set a trend and blaze a trail that other companies can follow behind us.”

Because, after all, no one should have to suffer for beauty.

To help you feel beautiful both inside and out, here are just a few of the Leaping Bunny-approved products on the market. Wonder if your favorites are cruelty-free? Look them up at LeapingBunny.org.

Amie Chou/The HSUS

Acure Organics eye cream
$16.99, Target or acureorganics.com
This super-light cream is designed to help wipe out puffiness and dark circles, as well as reduce the signs of aging, with edelweiss stem cell and chlorella.

Dr. Bronner’s hand sanitizer
$4.99, Target, Rite Aid, Whole Foods Market and drbronner.com
Whether you’ve been pumping gas or cleaning up after your pets, Dr. Bronner’s organic hand sanitizer will help keep the germs at bay with none of the harsh chemicals in other sanitizers.

Prai Ageless Face Forward Crème
The vitamins packed into this formula target signs of aging, while aloe vera and shea butter are intended to hydrate and soften your skin. A small amount goes a long way toward protecting your skin —and animals.

Black Dahlia Lacquer
A mother/daughter team from Texas handcrafts these vegan polishes without the potentially cancer-causing ingredients found in other lacquers. With dozens of colors, you’ll have trouble picking just one.

Zuzu Luxe Dual Powder Foundation
$23, Whole Foods Market and other natural food stores, or gabrielcosmeticsinc.com
Eliminate a step in your morning routine with this two-in-one product that comes in seven different skin tones. It covers like foundation with the finish of a powder and helps protect against sun damage.

Amie Chou/The HSUS

Milani Bella Eyes eye shadow
$4.99, CVS and milanicosmetics.com
This shadow, available in 31 different shades, glides on as a gel and changes to a multidimensional powder. Use it dry for a subtle stroke of color or wet for a bolder look.

Urban Decay 24/7 eye pencil
$20, Sephora, Ulta, Macy’s and urbandecay.com
Smoke in the eye is a no-no, but a smoky eye is a definite “yes.” Urban Decay offers more than 40 colors of its vegan product. 

Juice Beauty mascara
$22, Ulta and juicebeauty.com
Part of the company’s new Phyto-Pigment collection, this mascara gets its dark hues from plan-tbased materials such as rose powder and purple carrots. It goes on light to volumize lashes, and its slim, spiral brush helps coat without clumps.

Amie Chou/The HSUS

The Elixery lipstick
Made by hand and with kindness toward animals, Elixery’s lipsticks come in more than a dozen shades and a “from scratch” formula that promises to flatter and moisturize.

Burt’s Bees lipstick
$9, Target, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Whole Foods Market, Kroger, Ulta or burtsbees.com
This moisture-rich lipstick is made with raspberry seed oil and vitamin E, comes in 14 vibrant shades and is formulated to keep lips hydrated.

Crazy Rumors lip balm
$3.49, Whole Foods Market or crazyrumors.com
Coffee. Ice Cream. Banana Split. Try not to lick off the yummy flavors—the organic shea butter products work better on your lips than in your tummy.


Five ways you can help animals

  • Click the image for tips on how to read a cosmetics label. Illustration by Jennifer Laumann/The HSUS.

1. Don’t buy products from companies that test their products or ingredients on animals, including companies selling in China, where animal testing is required. Find cruelty-free companies with the leapingbunny.org shopping guide, or download the app on Apple or Android devices.

2. Ask your legislators to endorse the Humane Cosmetics Act, which would end cosmetics testing on animals in the United States and the sale of cosmetics tested on animals in other countries. 

3. Contact your favorite cosmetics company and ask them to support the Humane Cosmetics Act.

4. Stay up to date on our Be Cruelty-Free campaign by following us on Facebook.

5. Support our work to end animal testing for cosmetics in the U.S.

Looking for luxurious cruelty-free skin and hair treatments? Try these easy DIY recipes

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