In our progressive and constantly-changing world, new social issues are constantly being brought to light. With the ever-growing vegan and vegetarian movements gaining momentum every day, the treatment of animals has become an important issue when it comes to our new, modern ways of living.
For example, the treatment of livestock has led to an outpouring of anger over the ways those animals are treated, with some living their entire lives in small cages. No less important are the lives of the animals exploited for cosmetics such as skincare ointments, makeup removers, and even the conditioners and shampoos we use in our daily routine.
There have been many groundbreaking discoveries in recent years, through which we have uncovered just how much pain animals feel. We’ve also found out that they are fully capable of feeling grief, loss, and other very human emotions.
These uncovered secrets have led many social activists to demand better livelihoods for the animals that our beauty and cosmetic products are tested on. For example, testing products on certain animal species has actually been outlawed, while pain medications have become standard procedure for others. Just like old stigmas against the pain tolerance of people of colour, animals have long been thought to feel little to no pain at all.
Using the most relevant data available to us, as well as the new standards put in place, we have compiled a list of the best cruelty-free products to purchase, which still yield the best results. Continue reading to learn more about how you can help animals live better lives, and become a more conscious consumer.
WHAT DOES CRUELTY-FREE MEAN AND ENTAIL
When you are in your favourite cosmetic store, whether it is a specialised department store or grocery store, you may come across beauty products labelled ‘cruelty-free’.
However, what could this possibly mean, and why should it be so important to you? Well, cruelty-free beauty products are tested without killing, maiming or using animal test subjects. This means that even in the early developmental stages of the product, there are no animals killed to supply materials, or bred to test the cosmetics.
Products that are indeed tested on animals can never be considered cruelty-free. This is because they cause the death, pain and overall suffering of millions upon millions of animals all across the world each year. In test facilities around the globe, animals such as guinea pigs and mice are regularly forced to endure terrible treatment.
This includes having ointments, and other cosmetics rubbed onto their eyes, ears and shaved skin to test for potency, as well as side effects such as allergic reactions. They are also forced to inhale and ingest substances for a prolonged period of time, which causes them to get severely stressed. All of these tests are typically concluded between 28 to 90 days, after which the test subjects are disposed of. However, the injustices don’t end there.
Once dead, the bodies of the poor creatures will be cut open and examined, to study the effects on a deeper level. Dogs (such as the beagle), cats, and primates are also common test subjects for certain cosmetics designed for hair maintenance, such as various conditioners and shampoos.
Companies have developed a wide range of cruelty-free products in response to the overwhelming dismay of their customers. These include makeup removers, skincare products, cosmetics and shampoos.
Choosing the animal-friendly option can make a huge difference by saving the lives of multiple animals. However, there is one thing that you need to be aware of.
Companies may proudly state that they do no testing on animals themselves: however, it is entirely possible for them to outsource this testing to another company, thus getting them to do their dirty work.
Another cause for concern is that companies may be designating their cosmetics as “cruelty-free” or showing the widely-accepted image of a bunny on their labels, but still testing on the ingredient level. Some companies exploit this loophole by carrying out animal tests at all the developmental stages of the product that they’re marketing, except for with the finished product.
SO, HOW CAN YOU BE CERTAIN THAT WHAT YOU ARE BUYING IS ENVIRONMENTALLY-CONSCIOUS AND PROTECTS ANIMALS?
Look for companies that have been given certification from the Leaping Bunny Program, which is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to helping improve the lives of all animals. The strict standards of this program demand that no animal testing is done at any level of the product’s development by the company producing it, or any outsourced ingredient supplier and laboratory.
HOW CRUELTY-FREE PRODUCTS DIFFER FROM VEGAN PRODUCTS
Cruelty-free products and vegan certified products are actually different things entirely. Having a product that is cruelty-free means that there are no stages in which animals are used as test subjects for the product.
On another level, vegan standards require that the products are 100% free from any animal components, such as keratin, which is a popular shampoo ingredient derived from hair, hooves, horns, and other keratinized animal parts. This would mean that any shampoo that contains keratin may be cruelty-free, but the product would still not be classed as a vegan item.
Cruelty-free products are never guaranteed to be appropriate for vegans, just as vegan products, whether purposely or ‘accidentally’, can never be assuredly 100% cruelty-free with no labelling. Just because a product says “cruelty-free”, does not mean that the item always is.
CHECK THE PACKAGING
Checking the packaging, labelling, and other available references, such as emailing the company that is selling the product, will allow you to fully understand exactly what you are buying.
Additionally, vegan and cruelty-free products and packaging do not necessarily mean that the cosmetics you are buying will be good for your wellbeing. Reading the list of ingredients carefully helps you to ensure that you are not putting any dangerous or harmful chemicals on your skin.
One can also argue that plastic packaging, favoured by certain companies for its price and durability, will inevitably harm animals once disposed of. Staying fully conscious of how you are disposing of your waste is key to being an environmentally responsible consumer, today, tomorrow and forever.
One final, surefire way to be confident about what you are buying is to check with trusted, independent sources online. These might include reputable news outlets, such as magazines and blogs which cover vegan and cruelty-free issues.
LEAPING BUNNY PROGRAM
Another great place to look is the websites of the actual not-for-profit organisations involved in protecting animals. These include PETA and the Leaping Bunny Program, among other sites that are just as experienced and honest. The need to avoid company studies and looking for outside information is, sadly, symptomatic of the world we live in today.
Certain countries still do indeed mandate forced animal testing for any product released in their country, such as China, among others. It is certainly true that animal testing is done all over the world, and is widespread, internationally speaking. In fact, new announcements from the Chinese administration have shed light on their opinions on animal testing. China is planning to refuse animal testing on all foreign imported products, says the Humane Society International.
A found that the top three animal testers are China, with 20 million animals being used annually, the United States of America, with 15.6 million, and Japan, rounding out the group with 15 million animals being tested on annually. In contrast, the United Kingdom is only testing 2.6 million animals every year – however, this is still a considerable amount of creatures that are consistently abused and mistreated.
BUY TRUE CRUELTY-FREE PRODUCTS WITH ALYAKA
There is definitely a growing number of cruelty-free products becoming available to consumers, which is a wonderful thing. However, there are certain loopholes, as described above. Sly companies that wish to deceive their customers into feeling good about what they are doing while seeking to gain a larger profit may attempt to deceive the people purchasing their products.
This sometimes includes putting pictures of bunnies on their packaging and labelling which resemble the logo of the Leaping Bunny Program – thus, they con their consumers into wrongly associating the Program with the company.
Of course, as companies can legally put just about anything on their packaging, it is critical that you check the ingredients section, and search for things that may have been derived from animals, such as keratin. This method will help you to avoid being tricked into buying things that you’re attempting to avoid, and with good reason!
However, with this being said, there are absolutely legitimate cruelty-free companies. For example, did you know that plant-sourced keratin is entirely possible and readily available? It’s just a little more expensive than its animal-based counterpart, which means that some companies with lower moral standards opt for that ingredient over saving the lives of countless creatures.
It is the goal of progressive animal-friendly cosmetic brands to one day see a world in which no animals are tested and abused, and with the increasing abilities of modern technology, this dream seems all the more possible! For example, human skin grafts donated from cosmetic surgery can now be used to replace the bunny ‘draize’ test: these skin grafts also produce more accurate results.
This is just one example of how our world is already modernising and moving on from barbaric animal testing, something that has not changed in the last 60 years. While other sciences have made dramatic leaps since the 1960s, animal testing has remained at the same level. We, at Alyaka, wish to change that, carefully selecting the brands represented in our store. Choose Alyaka, and be confident that what you are buying is entirely animal cruelty-free.
WHAT ARE SOME EXCEPTIONAL CRUELTY-FREE SHAMPOOS?
Looking for products from a brand you recognise, and want to see which are guaranteed to be cruelty-free? Continue reading to learn 7 products that you can rest assured were not produced from animals being tested.
There are cruelty-free and environmentally responsible options for people with damaged hair as well. This excellent organic shampoo from John Masters Organics proves this to be true. This expertly devised product is able to fully remove any troublesome tangles in your hair, while still allowing you to flaunt your curls and define your locks.
Created with organic honey and hibiscus for strengthening, you can rest assured that this product will not damage your scalp, as it contains none of the shoddy chemicals often found in lower-grade products. Not only is this product entirely cruelty-free, but it is also well designed and will last for an impressively long time.
Are you looking for something exotic yet sustainable? Unique yet cruelty-free? Well, Rahua’s award-winning Hydration Shampoo is the perfect fit. Containing rare Amazonian oils and sustainably sourced protein-bonding sugars which completely hydrate every last strand of your hair, this shampoo is tough enough for even the driest hair around.
The perfect shampoo for those with voluminous hair, this terrific creation by Yarok will easily surpass any voluminous shampoos you have tried before. The nourishing shampoo is not only amazing for your head, but is also beneficial to the earth since eco-friendliness and policy to never practice or be involved in animal cruelty are the company’s top priorities.
When buying this product, you can be confident that your head and soul will be extremely satisfied with the results, and that you are doing your part to help protect the environment and our planet.
If you are concerned about bleaching or losing the colour of your hair, try Grown Alchemist’s newest cruelty-free product, an outstanding item produced with 8 amino acids derived from Quinoa, which protects the colour in your hair.
Additionally, this marvellous ingredient shields your hair from harmful UV ray degradation, leaving it looking more solid and far healthier than ever before. If you constantly find yourself changing shampoos since they fail to maintain your hair colour, this product will definitely be a keeper!
If you’re looking for something a little more local, be sure to try the improved Grow Strong shampoo from Mauli, which is proudly hand-blended in England. Utilising the botanical power of India’s rarest plants, and developed using little-known trade secrets, this Mauli shampoo is without a doubt a high-quality product.
Switching from chemical shampoos to the coveted Grow Strong shampoo will actually break down the buildup of toxic chemicals in your hair caused by any previous shampoos you might have used, and all in just a few days. For the best results, Mauli recommends taking advantage of their Grow Strong conditioner as well.
If you feel like you’re constantly itching your hair and scalp, the cause may be a dry and irritated head due to poor quality shampoo. NUORI easily solves this issue with their Shield Shampoo, which fully hydrates and nourishes the scalp and every strand of hair, whilst protecting your moisture barrier. On top of all this, it’s even sulfate-free and shields your hair from UV lights and air pollutants.
Gloss Moderne as a whole is a groundbreaking company, with bold standards of quality and a commitment to only the most natural and eco-friendly ingredients. This product specifically will ensure that your over-processed and damaged hair is able to restore any lost moisture.
With this deeply cleansing shampoo, you’ll wonder why you ever used any other brand. As a bonus, this shampoo is infused with mango and guava fruit extract to increase the elasticity of your hair and protect against any future damage.
Of course, on top of all this is the knowledge that you are remaining an environmentally-conscious consumer, as this product, and the company as a whole, are both fully eco-friendly.
In conclusion, if you are looking for the highest quality cosmetic shampoos out there, which respect animals and the environment alike, be sure to check out Alyaka. A fresh alternative to big businesses, we at Alyaka care deeply about our environmental footprint and legacy.