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The great thing about helping animals is that there is always something you can do to make a positive change. One of the simplest ways you can make a difference is by switching to cruelty-free beauty products. Despite the fact that many of the compounds and chemicals used in everyday beauty products have been proven safe for human use, there are still many companies that continue to perform cruel and painful tests on animals.  In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not require animal testing for cosmetics, and we have seen numerous instances where using animals to test products intent for human use simply fail due to differences in physiology. In addition, many cosmetics contain animal-based ingredients, making it difficult to navigate a cruelty-free lifestyle.

The good news is there are countless companies who have taken a stand against animal testing, and going one step further, have removed animal-based ingredients from their formulation altogether. If more people make the switch to cruelty-free products, there will be more demand for these items and bigger companies will begin to take notice. Best of all, when you purchase cruelty-free products, you will be at peace knowing that your money is not going towards animal testing.

So, where do you start? Finding cruelty-free products that work best for you can be slightly overwhelming. You have to cut out brands that participate in these practices that are harmful to animals and find new brands you like, which takes time and research. To cut down on time and get you connected with cruelty-free products, we’ve rounded up some tips.

1. Always Read the Labels

How to Start Using More Cruelty-Free Beauty ProductsSoultkd/Shutterstock


“Natural” and “organic” are not always as they seem. Many products that have these labels are connected to larger companies, like Unilever and Johnson & Johnson, which perform animal testing for other products. Take time to read the labels on these types of products to make sure they come from a company that does not do animal testing. Labels will also show if a company is cruelty-free, with certifications from PETA and Leaping Bunny appearing as easy-to-find logos on the product. If you can’t find any trace of a cruelty-free logo, try Beagle Freedom Project’s Cruelty Cutter App. This app scans products and tells you if animal testing was involved.

2. Ask Your Friends

If you have friends that have already incorporated cruelty-free products into their regimen, ask them for recommendations. Word-of-mouth is a great way to find a new product you’ll love, because someone has discovered it before you. Asking friends who know you well is also helpful, because they will have a better understanding of your beauty habits and routine, which will help them connect you with products you would like best.

3. Gravitate Toward Independent Retailers

There are plenty of talented people out there who make their own products, using natural and safe ingredients. You can find these artisans locally or on independent-seller websites like Etsy, where you can easily search “cruelty-free” and find thousands of beauty options. Hit up a local craft show, artisans’ market or farmers market to find area sellers. That way, you will be able to ask questions directly to the person who handmade the product. By shopping independent for cruelty-free products, you are also helping small-business owners grow their business. A double win!

4. Do Your Research

There are a ton of resources online for cruelty-free products. These range from vegan beauty bloggers to sites that provide lists of companies that do not test on animals. Do some research to see which products are safe and what other people are saying about different products. PETA has an ever-updating database of cruelty-free companies you can access on their website. Their database  currently has more than 2,000 companies. You can also check out this resource from One Green Planet.

5. Determine What You Are Looking for

How to Start Using More Cruelty-Free Beauty Productsimages72/Shutterstock


Think about the things you love about the beauty products you are currently using. It’s easier to narrow down cruelty-free options when you have a list of what you’re looking for. Certain companies only make bathing and hygiene products, while others focus on the whole spectrum of beauty – not one company is the same. When you start seeking out products that are not tested on animals and don’t contain animal-based ingredients, you will notice all the options that are available, so having certain products in mind will help make the search easier.

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Try Different Brands

Just like all products, you’re not going to love every cruelty-free brand – and that’s OK. When transitioning to cruelty-free products, get a notebook and write down which brands and products you like best. Trying a few different companies and their items will help you find the products you want as staples in your daily beauty routine. Or, just keep trying new things out. Nobody says you have to stick with just one brand!

7. Don’t Be Afraid of the Price

Yes, there are many great cruelty-free products that do cost a little more, but that goes for anything. You will also find great, lower-cost products. It’s all about trying out different options and not making assumptions based on price. ELF cosmetics, Jasön, and Alba Botanical are great cruelty-free lines that are also super affordable. And if you want to spend the extra cash, there are great options to consider, too. Aveda is a salon-quality brand that is vegan and cruelty-free.

8. Ask for These Brands for Holidays and Birthdays

If your friends and family like to get you beauty products as gifts, give them the names of a few brands that you love. This will ensure that you are both getting products you want while contributing less to animal testing. Asking for these products can also help you save money on replenishing your beauty products. By shopping for your cruelty-free wants, your loved ones may even fall in love with a brand that is vegan and doesn’t do animal testing.

If you’re committed to helping animals, buying cruelty-free is an easy lifestyle change to make. It doesn’t have to be all at once, either. You can easily transition to a new cruelty-free product once you are out of something. This will help to reduce product waste and invest money into products over time.

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