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Cruelty Free Products: 1

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Last week my boyfriend came home to find me balled up in the bed with my laptop 12 tabs and an Excel sheet deep in a personal animal testing investigation. I’d just seen a hideous video documenting the horrors of monkey testing and was in a state of inconsolable human guilt.”I can’t un-see it!” I wailed.

I consider myself fairly with it on the whole hippie animal ethics thing. I’ve been an vegetarian all of my adult life after giving up meat at age 16. I removed all leather from my wardrobe a few years ago and have never worn fur. I hate zoos and Sea World and all those other things that torture animals for our amusement. I have three companion cats that own my soul.

But when it comes to my beauty and cleaning products I have remained blissfully ignorant all this time. Animal testing is one of those things I know is happening, am totally not down with, but am largely lackadaisical about because I just like the smell of Febreze, you know. Until now.

Prior to hitting the adult male jackpot with my current boyfriend, I had gone on a few dates with this real winner who was dead set on convincing me that none of my personal actions would ever impact the world in a positive way. (Don’t know why that one never worked out.) He liked to constantly remind me that the act of one person recycling, not eating animals, boycotting circuses, driving an electric car, not being racist, etc. would never make a dent in the opposing actions of the majority. To which I replied: “You are the problem.”

I don’t disagree that my little corner of the world won’t create any global shifts any time soon, but I do think that every little bit counts and I, myself, can do my best.

I decided to start by phasing out my makeup and toiletries first with cleaning products up next. Here are some tools and tips if you’re interested in the same.

  • Here is a complete list of all companies that DO test on animals. If you don’t see your brand of choice on here, consider who owns them. All the big guys (Proctor & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, etc. DO still test). Chapstick, for example, says they do not test on animals but they’re owned by Pfizer who does.
  • The statement “Not Tested on Animals” or “No Animal Testing” might not mean anything at all. Some companies will print this on a package if they themselves do not test the finished product on animals. They likely, however, request their suppliers to test the ingredients on animals for them. That’s cheating. Instead, look for the logos below to ensure no testing anywhere along the production line.
  • Here is a complete list of all companies that do NOT test on animals (or hire third parties to do so for them).
  • One thing I never considered was the severe abuse of companion pets in the making of companion pet food. Turns out dogs and cats are gruesomely tortured in the making of some of our pets’ food, which all seems super messed up if you ask me. Here is a complete list of companion food manufacturers who do NOT test on animals.

Animal testing isn’t just on rats and monkeys (which is bad enough if you ask me). Beagles are bred for testing because of their friendly and forgiving dispositions. (Ugh.) The Beagle Freedom Project rescues beagles from labs and gives them a second chance. I won’t share any ugly testing videos with you, but this video of 9 research beagles stepping on grass for the first time will MAKE YOUR LIFE.

If you’re looking for cruelty-free products, look for these logos on the package:


leaping bunny

Here are the new beauty products I’m using.


The first photo in this post shows my new face wash and moisturizers. I got Avalon Organics CoQ10 facial cleanser. To moisturize I’m just using vitamin E oil at night and coconut oil for day.

Hair Care

I’ve stopped putting curl product in my hair so all I needed was shampoo and conditioner. I was basically basing my selection on smell alone and went with Jason restorative biotin.

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Body Wash

Again, Jason products here. I went with the rosewater body wash because it smells good.

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Almost forgot about this one. I got the Jason lavender deodorant. What’s cool about Jason products is you can buy them at Target, heeeeeeey.


On the makeup front I’ve mostly just been wearing mascara and concealer this summer so I kept this simple. I got a mascara, tinted BB cream and concealer from Mineral Fusion.

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In the oral department, I got a Tom’s toothpaste and a Jason cinnamon mouthwash.

With the exception of the cinnamon mouthwash (which tastes like garbage), I am super happy with all of these purchases.

I share all of this simply because this was/is a learning experience for me and I though others might also be interested. I’ll keep you posted on the switch to cruelty-free cleaning products and a new food for the cats.


  1. Jen Jen

    Thanks for this post – and the video – nothing like starting the morning off with a cry. So sweet. Those poor babies.

  2. Thanks for this. I recently saw a video on animal cruelty and have been trying my darndest to forget about it or justify it. I want to WANT to make changes to start making a difference, but I totally have the “I’d never make a dent” mentality that that guy has. But these are simple changes I think I could start off with…

    Do you happen to know of any articles/blogs that further explain the whole “wouldn’t make a dent” argument?

  3. Thank you for this!!! So important and necessary. I’ve always wanted to see a compiled this and thanks for sharing what you switched to. Also, keep us posted on what you change the cats food too! I have a kitty too and I’d like to keep it as cruelty free as possible. Thanks for being awesome and showing us all this!!

    • Katie Katie

      Will do!

  4. Jessica Jessica

    Great post. Unfortunately, I see that ALL of my makeup is tested on animals. How do you like the Mineral Fusion products?

    • Katie Katie

      I worked a 13-hour day today and worked out at lunch and still feel moderately put together. I’d say the makeup passed the ultimate test with this day!

  5. Great post, Katie. I’ve been trying out cruelty free products for the past few years and have found some real gems. Zuzu is my favorite. I use their powder/cream foundation and its truly the best that I have ever tried (including all the fancy, expensive NARS, MAC, etc.) in terms of coverage, wear and how it lets the skin breathe. I like their eye shadows and lip glosses as well. If you are local you can snag them at Healthy Home Market or Earthfare. I believe they are also available on Amazon.

    • Katie Katie

      Awesome, thanks!

  6. Deb Deb

    Hi Katie, which documentary was this? I’m researching animal cruelty for my PhD and I’m curious. Thanks!

  7. Pam Pam

    Thank you for the much needed and informative post. I recently switched my facial and body products to a company that is organic, animal testing free, sustainable, and empowers women. Thought you might want to check it out. Pangea Organics. I really like their products and the smell is amazing, plus they work!

    • Katie Katie


  8. Good for you for making the switch! I’ve had this in the back of my mind for years, but it seemed so overwhelming to begin the process of weeding out my own supplies. I’ll take a look at what you listed though and maybe begin to swap out products as I run out. Thanks for the informative post!

    • Katie Katie

      I was overwhelmed too but it’s actually really easy thanks to the cruelty free logos. There are cruelty free options for everything!

  9. Joey Joey

    Thank you for bringing attention to this issue. The Beagle Freedom Project works to end animal testing as well & have an app called Cruelty Cutter. Great for when you’re shopping and need to know quickly if it is a safe product or not.

    • Katie Katie


    • Amanda Bee Amanda Bee

      This is good to know, thanks for sharing! I just checked out Beagle Freedom Project too, what a great org.

  10. I love that you wrote about this! I’ve been trying to switch my personal care products to ones that are more planet and human being friendly (they put some crazy chemicals in that stuff!) and these look like some good brands to check out. Please keep sharing!

  11. Tracey Tracey

    I’m so glad you are bringing up this important issue. In addition to switching your personal products to those which are cruelty-free, I urge everyone to go to the website of the products you use and send them an email by going to their Contact Us link and let them know you will no longer purchase their products until they are certified by CCIS (Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics) Leaping Bunny Program which ensures that the final product and all of the ingredients supplied by other vendors which comprise the product are not tested on animals. I recently sent a letter to Johnson & Johnson among others who assured me they are working on this (I reminded them other companies are already doing it so they should be able to as well), but I let them know that I will not buy their products until they bear the leaping bunny program. You can order a free pocket guide to carry with you which gives the names of all of these products by going to Also, please consider joining Action groups like Peta–they will alert you to things they need your voice for and it is as easy as one click to sign a petition. We can make a difference!

    • Katie Katie

      Great info!

  12. Tracey Tracey

    Make sure to go email the companies of products you no longer buy and let them know they lost your business. Most websites have a Contact Us section on their webpage.

    • Katie Katie

      Great idea!

  13. Hey there! I wanted to say I just found your blog and I love it! I really appreciate informative posts like this and it is definitely pushing me to make some changes in my life as well. Thanks for sharing the information you gathered!

    • Katie Katie


  14. Avery Avery

    About six years ago, my dad adopted a four year old Beagle who had been used by a pharmaceutical company for product testing. He’s our bad ass because of the serial number tattoo on his ear- it always reminds us of where he came from and it’s a good excuse to squeeze him a little tighter and give him as much love as possible.

    • Katie Katie

      Aw so happy he has a good life now. That’s amazing.

  15. Amanda Bee Amanda Bee

    Did you toss all the stuff you had before? If any of it is unopened, you might see if there’s a women’s domestic violence or homeless shelter near you since they can really use soap, shampoo, cosmetics, etc. I understand not wanting to purchase animal-tested things, but if there’s something you’ve already purchased and don’t want to use now it might be really useful to someone who can’t afford their own. I’m trying to make the switch as much as possible, though my finicky skin has freaked out at every not-CeraVe lotion I’ve put on it. Thank goodness my hair DGAF what I put in it, so that switch was easy.

  16. Lyndsay Lyndsay

    Thank you this post! I did not know pet food companies tested their food on animals and can’t even fathom such a thing, so I thank you for educating me.

    I wanted to recommend pet food for your lovely cats. I looked at the information and noticed that Fromm was listed on the Companion Animal food safe list. When I had my boxer, I did extensive research into the nutritional and ingredient content of his food and decided on using Fromm. They are family owned and before the sons of the company took over, they had to sign an agreement stating they would never sell off the company to a larger corporation (ex. Pfizer). The quality is amazing and I HIGHLY recommend it from a nutritional perspective.

    Just a thought~thank you!

  17. Oh dear. That list of companies that do test is so long, and so scary. Most of my favorite products are on it, so I’m going to go home and do some cleaning/crying/recycling. Thank you for this. Very inspiring!

  18. Ooh- also, you said you stopped using hair product and I wonder if you’d consider an update to your curly hair routine post (which changed my life). I’ve adopted the upside down rinse and product application, but in the past couple weeks noticed my hair has been crazy dry regardless of what I do. Wondering if you had the same experience? And if you have any suggestions sans-product? Thank you!!

  19. LJ LJ

    I can’t believe that beauty and cleaning products are still being needlessly tested on animals. However, I did want to point out that beagles are also chosen for certain types of medical research because they are prone to getting certain disease. For example, beagles get Alzheimer’s disease, and are thus a good model in which to study the disease. I did my Master’s work in a lab that used elderly beagles that were donated by breeders. They were treated very well and none of the research involved torture, just different diets and exercise regimes, and they were humanely euthanized in the same manner that you would have an ailing pet euthanized by a vet. We used to cook them a meatball dinner for their last meal and everyone cried on sacrifice day. However, not all research is created equal and not all research animals are treated well or humanely euthanized because the manner in which you “sacrifice” the animal can have a huge impact on the results of your experiment. I am extremely torn on the subject of medical research since I am both an animal lover/former militant vegetarian and a scientist/aspiring physician. I actually went veggie while in graduate school, after seeing my first mouse “sacrifice”. There are a lot of abuses in the research industry, but there are also lots of people who care about the animals they use for research and try to treat them respectfully and inflict as little pain and torment as possible during their short lives. Luckily, all of my current research is conducted on human tissue, but everyone around me works on rats and mice and it kills me to see them get wheeled around all day in their little cages. I guess the bottom line is, too many animals are used for research and we could significantly cut down on this waste of lives if we all agreed that “beauty” is not worth sacrificing the life of any animal, no matter how small.

    • Great comment. I am also a vegetarian scientist who uses mice in arthritis research. Of course I do not enjoy killing mice or causing them pain, but I understand that animal models are an indispensable genetic tool in basic research of human disease. In my mind, this is very different than testing cosmetics on animals. I think Katie should make that clear to uninformed readers especially when mentioning a pharmaceutical company like Pfizer which develops medicine not mascara (no I don’t work for pfizer). 🙂

  20. Samantha Samantha

    Informative post, especially clarifying companies whose manufacturers may test. I have switched almost all of my personal vanity products over to LUSH. They don’t license the PETA logo but let’s just say PETA isn’t always as forthright and innocent as they claim. They do however, provide quality, non animal tested products, in a fresh (read:expiration dates) manner with natural, from the earth ingredients.

  21. Joie Joie

    I really recommend The Honest Company too. Cruelty free and free of a lot of nasty chemicals. I use their cleaning products, dish products, laundry stuff, and their shampoo/conditioner and body lotion. I love it all!

  22. I hope you’re not including Pfizer for basic science research involving animals.

  23. Ange Ange

    Great post! This is something I’ve become more cognizant of lately. You mentioned you bought that Jason shampoo/conditioner based on smell alone (I do that too!) but how are you liking it for your hair? I also have curly hair and I’m always trying to find good products for it… plus my hair has been falling out like crazy lately and it sucks.

    • Katie Katie

      Hi Ange! I’ve been really happy with all the products so far, including the shampoo and conditioner. I feel you on the hair loss, girl. About two years ago I started losing tons of hair to the point that I started seeing several doctors. I had all kinds of tests and no one ever figured anything out but I eventually deduced it was just extreme stress and dehydration. My hair finally started growing again earlier this year.

  24. Hi Katie! – all of Arbonne’s skin and body care, plus all nutritionals-delicious protein powder, plus a healthy energy fizz and all the detox products, are certified Vegan, never tested on animals, only volunteer human panels, i’d be happy to send you a sample of anything you want to try out. by end of year we’ll also have certified Non-Gmo plus no heavy metals in our protein. the color care shampoo/conditioner/serum called pure vibrance lasts me about 6 mos or more washing every other daily —sometimes third day. and makes my hair grow faster!! The Argan oil in it does that I think. & I don’t even color mine. just like the smell and there are no artificial fragrances/colors/sweeteners in anything either…. pm me if you want more info.

  25. […] Now that I’m spreading out in my own bathroom space, I’m clearing out my toiletries and thought it’d be worth revisiting some of my favorite cruelty-free brands. (You can see an old 2014 post about cruelty-free brands I like and why cruelty-free products matter to me here.) […]

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