Favorites | Cruelty Free Products

I was inspired by a friend of mine who is in the process of becoming vegetarian/vegan, and has been asking me a lot of questions about the lifestyle. So, I decided to make a list of my favourite cruelty free brands to help anyone else who might be looking for suggestions. These are all personal care products that I use everyday.

First of all, all of the products below are certified cruelty free. Which means they all have either the Leaping Bunny  or PETA symbols.

Image result for leaping bunny logo                                     Image result for leaping bunny logo

My list will consist of general brands that I like, and then a specific product(s) I use by them. One asterisk denotes that the product is also vegetarian, two denotes that the product is also vegan.

  • Alba Botanica
    • Acne Wash*
  • Avalon Organics
    • Balancing toner**
    • Lavender shampoo**
  • Burt’s Bees
    • Acne spot treatment
    • Light BB Cream
    • Lipstick
  • Hello
    • Toothpaste**
  • IT Cosmetics
    • Mascara**
  • Kirk’s Castile
    • Original Coco Castile soap bar**
  • Tom’s of Maine
    • Mouthwash**
    • Toothpaste**
    • Deodorant**

These are all my beauty products! Sparse, I know. I use many different brands for different things. Clearly, Burt’s Bees is the one I use the most products from. All of Burt’s Bees products are Leaping Bunny certified, but not vegan because they do use animal by-products such  as beeswax and buttermilk. Not in all of their products though, and if you’re curious as to which are vegan I’m sure they’d be more than happy to tell you if you asked! I’m working on that. I just love every product I’ve ever used by them.

Also, if you’re curious about something you already use or want to use, but aren’t sure if they are cruelty free, this list on the Leaping Bunny website and these lists on PETA’s website are very helpful.

#4 | cruelty free


I am not an expert. The only purpose for this post is to inform, I’m not here to tell you how to live. Although, I do hope you take some of what I say into consideration. This is a judgement-free zone.

Once again, we will venture down the heavily shadowed road of cosmetic companies. Whereas in my last post I talked about how the cosmetics you use contain ugly chemicals that are bad for you (and often the environment), today I’m going to talk about how the cosmetics you use could be bad for animals.

This is something I started caring about only recently, since we brought home a baby rabbit several months ago. I knew that lots of companies tested on animals before that, but I hadn’t done any research or tried to find ways to avoid it. Like with pretty much anything, once I read an article or started some research I couldn’t let it go. It doesn’t stop bothering me until I do something about it (I suppose that’s the reason I’m writing this series in the first place), and my friends and family are in the corner groaning and wishing I would stop reading things.

Now. Let’s talk facts.

  • rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice and rats are most commonly used in animal testing
  • they are burned, blinded and killed while testing our cosmetics
  • they are forced to ingest harmful and painful chemicals
  • in most tests, about half of the animals will not survive, and those who do will be killed after
  • animal testing is legal requirement for companies selling products in China
  • cosmetic animal testing is illegal in EU and UK
  • animal testing isn’t always accurate

So cruelty free companies…

  • don’t test their products on animals
  • don’t test the product’s ingredients on animals
  • use only ingredients that are already established as safe
  • test their products other ways, such as using artificial tissue grown in the lab
  • don’t sell their products in places where animal testing is required, like China

(credit to the humane society and NEAVS.)

Ask questions and look for the Leaping Bunny 

Finding cruelty free products isn’t difficult, but it is often confusing. Companies will beat around the bush, publish misleading information, and lie about not testing on animals. Just because it says “not tested on animals” on the label doesn’t always mean it isn’t. The finished product may not be tested on animals, but the individual ingredients may have been. Do some research online first, or even email the company and ask them. Also, look for the Leaping Bunny.


If this logo is printed on the label, it’s a good sign. This means that the company is a part of the Leaping Bunny Program and the product is certified cruelty free. The Leaping Bunny was designed to “work with companies to help make shopping for animal-friendly products easier and more trustworthy”. Leaping Bunny is partnered with organizations all over the world, including the Humane Society of the United States and the Animal Alliance of Canada. There is also PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals), which is excellent, but Leaping Bunny’s requirements and restrictions are more specific and there is less room for loopholes. To learn more: visit PETA’s website here, and Leaping Bunny’s website here.

Being cruelty free

Like I said earlier, once I knew it was impossible to go back. It kept bothering me until I  decided to make the change in my own life. I’m still working on it too. Most of the products I use I can say proudly are cruelty free, but there are some (especially cosmetic) products I don’t use as much that I still have from before my switch. I decided that I would use up what I had, because throwing it away would be a waste, and replace them with ethical and cruelty free products as needed. I’m working to 100% cruelty free products, and my favourite- vegan. I mentioned this in my last post: I didn’t even know vegan beauty products were a thing until then, but I quickly fell in love: no GMOs, preservatives, synthetic colours or fragrances, animal testing, and made of biodegradable materials (finally). It takes a bit of looking, but it is possible. Vegan products are my favourite because they don’t test on animals and they use natural ingredients that are good for you and the environment- turns out you can have your cake and eat it too.

Some of my  favourite cruelty free brands are


Again I will invite you to read this wonderful quote from Anna Lappé:

“Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for what kind of world you want.”

Thanks for reading.

#3 | skin deep


Once again, I am not an expert. The only purpose for this post is to inform, I’m not here to tell you how to live. Although, I do hope you take some of what I say into consideration. This is a judgement-free zone.

My research on the chemicals in my cosmetics began with my research on the chemicals in my foods. It started when we were in Europe and my brother wanted to know why  their M&Ms were coloured differently than ours. I did some research and found out that most artificial dyes, such as E110[Yellow #6], E104, E122, E129[Red# 40], and E102[Yellow # 5], are illegal in the EU and UK. Of course I wondered why, and came to find out that they pose a number of risks and are made from petroleum. Did I really want to be eating that? This was a big part of my decision to stop eating processed foods, more on that later. I took a closer look and found the same synthetic dyes were in my shampoo, face wash, and other cosmetics. Did I really want my skin absorbing that?

Let’s talk about beauty products.

These days, it’s hard to find a product that isn’t full of chemicals and other artificials. They may be stated right on the bottle or they may be cleverly disguised, but they are there more often than not. Quite frankly they aren’t great for your skin or general health either. The laws about what can and can’t be put in cosmetics are minimal at best. Heavy metalscoal tar, and even known carcinogens are common ingredients in cosmetics in the US (most are illegal in other countries).

Consequently, ingredients such as palm oil are taking a toll on our environment. Palm oil is a versatile ingredient made from the pulp of palms that can only be grown in a thin strip near the equator. Its high demand leads to deforestation and animal endangerment. Palm oil is in a number of things, not just cosmetics. It isn’t always called palm oil either- it is sometimes written as vegetable oil on labels. Read more about palm oil here.

Being “clean”

I made the decision that I would stop using cosmetics with synthetic dyes, fragrances, and palm oil. This is both difficult and not so.

After I made this decision I stood in the cosmetic section of Walmart for a good half hour reading the backs of beauty products. If they didn’t have one ingredient, then they had another. I was really frustrated by this. I was going to have to break the promise I just made to myself, and I  had barely begun. Then I found it- the very narrow section near the beauty aisle containing natural and vegan beauty products. I didn’t even know vegan beauty products were a thing until then, but I quickly fell in love: no GMOs, preservatives, synthetic colours or fragrances, animal testing (which I will talk about next time), and made of biodegradable materials (finally). It takes a bit of looking, but it is possible.


I encourage you to look at the beauty products you use- take a good, hard look. Read the labels and all the ingredients and do your own research, I’ve barely scratched the surface myself. Thanks for reading.

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”

-Helen Keller


#1 | intro

I’ve always been pretty environmentally conscious, living in Canada (one of the most admirably environmentally conscious places I’ve encountered) has planted that seed in my brain. Reduce, reuse, recycle guys.

For the longest time I’ve read all the labels on the backs of the food I buy and been generally pretty conscious and actively made decisions about what to put into my body. Trying really hard to stay away from artificial colours and flavours and sweeteners, and other chemicals because it’s bad for me. But then of course, I read an article… and things went down hill fast. I started realizing that even the bottle of shampoo I buy has an effect on the environment, and the chemicals in the food that I eat don’t just affect me. What other seemingly small things in life do I take for granted that put other’s lives in danger?The clothes I buy were made by someone- are they payed a living wage and work in healthy conditions?

But recently I was made very aware that what I decide to buy and where I buy it from has an impact, and even the smallest of my decisions can make a difference. I’m in no way an expert, but through a lot of research I’ve decided what things I value and what kind of things I want to support with my money- after all money makes the world go ’round. So now I’m going to write some blog posts about it, because waging war against ignorance is something of a personal mission of mine.

I’ll talk about some potentially challenging stuff. I’ll talk about what’s wrong with the food, clothing and beauty industries; and their affects on the environment. I’ll talk about our personal affects on the environment. I’ll talk about my experience with these thing and how I am working to make a difference.

I’ll leave you with a quote by Anna Lappé (sustainable food advocate) that perfectly encompasses this post series and my general thoughts on consumerism:

“Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for what kind of world you want.”