In Beauty, My Journal on
January 29, 2013

Cruelty-Free: My Next Steps


So, another cruelty-free update. The last time I made a post dealing entirely with being cruelty-free was my announcement post last June. I’ve been asked a few times how I’ve been doing so I thought I’d let you know my next steps.

First of all, I’d like to emphasize that I am not pushing anyone reading this to be cruelty-free. I’m just sharing what I’m currently doing and in no way do I look down on or judge people that aren’t cruelty-free.

For those of you that aren’t familiar, cruelty-free basically means not using any products that are tested on animals because the tests done are unethical. I started buying only cruelty-free products in May 2012, or at least I thought I was. I believe I messed up about two or three times. I wasn’t able to return the products so I just kept using them. I haven’t gotten rid of all of my non cruelty-free products because I don’t think that would be eco-friendly. As part of my Learning to Live Minimally resolution I’m slowly finishing up products and then recycling them.

To understand what I plan on doing next you need to understand how I view going cruelty-free. There is no real levels for being cruelty-free but this is just how I view it. Feel free to ignore this if you see it differently.

The “levels”

  1. The brand doesn’t test on animals
  2. The brand AND their suppliers don’t test on animals (by looking for Leaping Bunny logos).
  3. The brand, their supplier, and the PARENT COMPANY of the brand don’t tests on animals. See if a parent company tests using this list from My Beauty Bunny.
  4. None of the products in your home test on animals in any capacity and neither does the parent company (including household cleaning supplies and food products, not just beauty products).

Am I the only one that looks at being cruelty-free as different levels? I’m somewhere in between 1 and 2. I try not to use brands that buy ingredients from suppliers that test on animals but I can’t honestly say for sure because not all of the cruelty-free brands I support are Leaping Bunny certified.

As for level 3, it’s something I would like to do but not at the moment. I feel like I’m restricting myself so much already in terms of what I can buy and what I can’t. I was addicted to shopping before this and my Learning to Live Minimally resolution so my transition into thinking more about what I will and won’t buy has been very tough. I think once I phase out all of my makeup and hair products that have been tested (something I’m still faithfully working on with my Empties series) then I’ll try to start phasing out brands that are owned by companies that test. Some examples of cruelty-free brands that have parent companies that test are Urban Decay and Burt’s Bees. My two top favorite brands.

Getting to the point where I’ve phased out all of my tested products and then narrowing from there may take a year or more. I’ve got a long way to go. As for point 4, I plan on using only eco-friendly cleaning products when I move out so that may help minimize how many tested products accidentally end up in my home but I’ll tackle that when I get there. It seems like the majority of necessary household items are owned by P&G, a company that tests.

It’s a journey. It may seem easy for some people but I’m honestly having a hard time with it. As for my fiance, Chris is mostly cruelty-free. As he runs out of products I’ve been having him try substitutes from cruelty-free brands (most of them he has liked and accepted into his routine) but we haven’t found replacements for things like Axe products and his Old Spice deodorant.

Do you have any suggestions?

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  • Samantha

    I know you said it’s something you plan on tackling in the future but as far as eco-friendly cleaning supplies I saw a great series on the blog near the end of last year called “31 Days to Green Clean” which gives a ton of great ideas about household cleaning using basic products like vinegar, baking soda, and castille soap.

    January 29, 2013 at 5:03 pm Reply
    • rebeccakelsey

      Thanks so much! I’ll look that up.

      Kindness is the best accessory,

      January 29, 2013 at 5:32 pm Reply
  • Mary

    We use white vinegar to clean. There are DIY recipes on adding lemon peels to enhance the scent.

    Have you had Chris try Herban Cowboy? They have some great smelling vegan cologne. For deoderant we use the Thai Crystal deodorant. It works best when applied immediately after the shower when your skin is still wet.

    January 29, 2013 at 8:09 pm Reply
  • Shai Smith

    I love watching you on this journey! <3 As an eco-friendly person, I use very little other than baking soda and vinegar for cleaners. And, actually, I use baking soda/vinegar to wash my hair (no poo'ing), and don't use any hair products other than homemade sea salt hairspray and sometimes a touch of coconut oil. All of my body cleansers are homemade as well – sugar scrub, salt scrub, oatmeal face masks, etc.

    Don't ask me about my make-up, though. I haven't even made a dent in eco-friendly/cruelty-free where that's concerned! lol.

    January 29, 2013 at 9:15 pm Reply
    • rebeccakelsey

      That is so cool! It must feel great to make all of those things yourself.

      Kindness is the best accessory,

      January 30, 2013 at 9:04 pm Reply
  • Anh || Feminine 23

    In my life I try to be as eco-friendly as possible (since it’s a trend here in Finland so far so people are encouraged to do that a lot). But concerning buying products that are cruelty-free, I think it’s quite difficult. Information ain’t always available that we can check the product information. So I admire you for acting on it and achieving it on the way. And just one question due to my curiosity, are you a vegetarian? Do you also stop eating meat?

    January 30, 2013 at 2:20 pm Reply
  • Dianne

    But where can you buy white vinegar that isn’t made by a company that does animal testing? I realize that would be level 3 but I cannot find any that is not made by a ‘parent’ company that does animal testing. Bleach is another problem – Doing animal rescues (especially with dogs) requires bleach or something that will kill the potential for parvo virus. Any ideas on that one either?

    February 6, 2013 at 12:39 pm Reply
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