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Cruelty-Free Products You Should Be Using

While I'm someone with many interests and passions, one that people may not know of is preventing cruelty to animals by using products that aren't tested on them. Every year, April serves as 'Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month.' So, this time each year, I try to share brands I use regularly to help those seeking to remove animal tested products from their homes.

Back in 2014, I began phasing out animal tested products from my makeup routine and now exclusively use brands that are cruelty free! Back then, it was difficult to shop cruelty free, since few brands had actively adopted this business practice. Now, though, so many brands have chosen to go cruelty free -- and I absolutely love it!

I will advise, however, to shop at your own discretion and decide what you consider to be "cruelty free." For example, some brands make their products in China and also sell them there, but label themselves as "cruelty free;" some people don't buy products from these brands because China requires testing on foreign products. For products that are made in China, though, they're not subjected to this rule. In addition, some brands have "parent brands" that test on animals; some people choose not to buy from these brands because the "parent brand" tests on animals. Some folks will also only use products from or use a brand exclusively if they are vegan friendly. Lastly, some people will immediately purge current or old products they have from a brand if they're no longer considered "cruelty free."

With all that said, here are some products in multiple categories that I recommend!


1) E.L.F. Cosmetics

I absolutely LOVE this brand and will forever. I've been using ELF for a long time and their products have evolved so much over the years, it's unbelievable. They do have skin care products as well, but I think their skin care offerings are "meh." If you're looking to shop on a budget, their makeup ranges from $3-12; super affordable!

2) Colourpop Cosmetics

Another brand that I am in love with. Similar to E.L.F., their products are very affordable. For the most part, I use Colourpop for their eyeshadow pallets. Colourpop regularly puts out new products and it's almost impossible to not buy literally everything they release.

3) Covergirl

Around 3 years ago, Covergirl announced they were going cruelty free! Personally, I felt like it was a huge victory for the cruelty free consumers, because Covergirl was among the first major drug store brands to make this transition. Not only are their products cruelty free, but they've also developed "clean" products that are beneficial for your skin to prevent breakouts! How awesome is that?!

4) NYX Cosmetics

I love NYX for their large variety of products, because they have offerings that suit everyone's personalities. If you love bright, loud colors, NYX has you covered. If you love soft, nude tones, NYX again has you covered. If you want a softer makeup look, guess what? NYX has you covered. Personally, I recommend their lip products, because they are incredible!

5) Essence Beauty

This brand is super cheap, like E.L.F. Don't be afraid that the small price tag could mean that the quality is cheap, because their products shock many people! Initially, I was apprehensive about this brand, because it gave me Claire's tween girl makeup vibes, but their products are legit! Their mascara is around $3 and it's incredible. Also, I highly recommend their baked highlighter, because it gives a beautiful, soft glow! If you're looking for a good makeup look while on a budget, Essence is your brand!

Skin Care*

*Please shop skin care products at your own discretion, because everyone's skin is different

1) Acure

This brand's skincare is so good! I struggle with dull skin and their vitamin C products work really well for me! I love using their vitamin C serum after cleansing my skin, as the serum isn't oily like other serums, which feels great on my skin!

2) Pacifica

Another great skin care brand. Their sea foam cleanser was a long-time repurchase for me, until I switched to Bliss' (another phenomenal brand) cleansers. Currently, I use Pacifica for their facemasks, which are also great!

3) Bliss

As previously mentioned, Bliss is a great brand. They're super affordable and effective! Since I wear a face mask for work often, I use their BHA cleanser and I notice that it clears my skin up nicely! Their moisturizers are great, but a little goes a long way!

4) Burt's Bees

Burt's Bees is a brand that some people refuse to use, because they use beeswax in some of their products. I have used their night cream, face masks and eye creams, and have never had an issue with any of their products. In the Winter time, my skin gets very dry, especially around my eyes, and their Sensitive Eye Cream provides moisture for the dry skin around that area. Currently, I'm using their Truly Glowing Eye Cream, which helps with dark, tired eyes and it works great!

5) Green Estate Goods

Giving a small business a shoutout! Technically, they aren't a "skincare brand," but their reusable makeup remover pads are amazing for your skin. They give you 7 reusable cotton pads for only $14.99, as well as a laundry bag! Since using these pads, I have noticed my makeup comes off much faster than with a makeup wipe. Additionally, my face doesn't feel greasy after using one of these pads, which my skin loves me for. Shop for Green Estate Goods here! (They can also be found on Amazon)

6) YesTo

I've used this brand for a very long time, and they have yet to let me down. Their facemasks are great and I love their skin care products. Currently, I use their spot acne treatment and I love that the smell isn't overpowering.

Body Care

1) Tree Hut

I haven't used this brand for anything besides their body scrubs, which are absolutely to-die-for, because they smell great and make your skin feel amazing after a shower. Their Coconut Lime body scrub used to be a longtime product for me, until I saw it was sold out everywhere.

2) Dove

Just like Covergirl, Dove became cruelty free within the last couple of years, and it was a huge victory for the movement! It had been so long since I used Dove products that I forgot how hydrating they are. Personally, I would continue to stay away from their deodorant, because as far as I know, they still contain aluminum.

3) Method

Disclaimer: this is a brand that's owned by a parent company which tests on animals, so you may want to consider that while you shop their products. Method's body wash smells AMAZING and feels great, too. Another great thing about this brand is that they make products for both men and women! I'm obsessed with this brand because they also make great hand soap and other amazing products.

4) SheaMoisture

There are so many reasons to love this brand: their skincare, hair products and body care products are all fantastic, and they're also inclusive of textured hair.

Hair Care

1) Eva NYC

I haven't used many products from this brand, because my hair is thin and fine, so a lot of products can make my hair look like a hot, oily mess. However, Eva NYC's Mane Magic 10-in-1 Primer works great! I use this product after I shower and right before I blow dry my hair, which makes it feel so soft and smooth!

2) Amika

Similar to Eva NYC, I haven't used Amika products outside of their dry shampoo; their shampoo is phenomenal. For me, certain dry shampoos don't help make my hair feel less greasy, but this brand definitely does! Bonus points for their packaging looking cute as hell.

3) Garnier

Garnier has been around forever, and I'm so happy they finally took the leap to become cruelty free! Their shampoos, hairsprays and their micellar water are all fantastic! Side Note: Use micellar water to remove makeup, instead of wipes!

4) Paul Mitchell

This brand has been cruelty free forever and I love that about them, as they were one of the few brands to take a stand on this matter right from the jump. I have used Paul Mitchell products for years and I haven't found a single one that I disliked. I highly, highly recommend their tea tree shampoo and conditioner.

Cleaning Products

1) Dr. Bronner's

Since quarantine began last year, I've learned about the versatility of castile soap. You can use it for detergent, deodorant, shampoo, baths, face wash, hand soap, an all-purpose cleaner and even on your floors when you mop. If you run out of cleaning products and are unable to re-stock, definitely use Dr. Bronner's castile soap!

2) Mrs. Meyer's

I don't know who Mrs. Meyer is, but she's my girl. Mrs. Meyer's cleaning products are amazing, "flames" or "fire" as the kids call it. Their products are amazing and smell incredible. Not only do they have cleaning products, but they have hand soap and lotions too, which…of course, smell AMAZING! Since Comet tests on animals, Mrs. Meyer's has their own version of their product, which smells better and is just as effective.

3) Method

Another appearance for Method on this list. Just like their body care products, their cleaning products are the bomb dot com. I have used both their multi-surface spray and their bathroom spray, each of which work wonders. Since I'm not a fan of peppermint, the bathroom spray can be overwhelming, but it cleans my bathroom like a boss, so I don't care.

4) Seventh Generation

I know a lot of people who love this brand. I have only used their laundry detergent as of right now, but I'm a big fan. For a while, my skin was sensitive to certain detergents, but this one has always worked like a charm.

5) Love Home & Planet

A lot of people flip-flop on this brand and are uncertain about whether to use them. As far as I know, they're cruelty free, but they are owned by Unilever, who tests on animals. However, their laundry products are great. Cleaning Tip: You can use fabric softener to clean your walls! If you mix fabric softener with water, it can clean your walls effectively and keep your house smelling great!

As previously mentioned, please shop cruelty free at your own discretion, because some people feel differently about what they consider "cruelty free." If you're shopping and are curious about a brand, do a quick google search and determine if it meets your criteria. Shopping cruelty-free has so many benefits besides saving animals, as it's better for your skin and your well-being. Obviously, there are more brands that I could recommend, but I narrowed it down to a handful for the sake of time. If you have been shopping cruelty-free for a while like myself, thank you! If you're new, welcome and thank you for making the change!

- Gabby (@moneybagsgabs)

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