Going Cruelty-Free #3: Feminine Hygiene (Warning: NO BOYS!)

It may seem that my posts are aimed at women mostly, but my previous entries apply to men also, as each product/store I’ve listed are gender neutral, but also have products aimed at men specifically. This post, however, is aimed at women exclusively (for good reason!).

For me, the biggest challenge was finding cruelty-free tampons, sanitary towels and pantyliners. I spent hours Googling options that seemed primarily based in America. I couldn’t help but imagine a package arriving for me filled with feminine hygiene products! Was online shopping my only option?

Superdrug

Once I discovered that Superdrug’s own brand products were cruelty-free, I figured this was my best option. However, when I took the products I needed, I couldn’t help but notice that there was no Leaping Bunny symbol on them, on any of the feminine hygiene products. Rather than hope for the best, I decided to contact Customer Care through email. They assured me that any Superdrug product with the Silver Star symbol on it has not been tested on animals. This didn’t reassure me. If they took the time to put the Leaping Bunny symbol on their other own-brand products, why omit it on their feminine hygiene products? So if you decide to invest in this product, just be aware that it is not certain whether or not it’s been tested on animals. An enquiry to Leaping Bunny might be worth the effort.Superdrug01

Natracare

Natracare is a Leaping Bunny approved product, one of which I figured would not be available in Ireland, but this was not the case. Their website has the most accurate Store Locator section I have come across. Usually Store Locators focus on their mother countries but Natracare gave me a comprehensive map of where I can purchase Natracare products in Ireland, and it turns out, there is a LOT of retailers selling their products, one of which is in my home town.

You can find Natracare in most health food stores, selected pharmacies and almost all eco-friendly oriented stores. Natracare’s sanitary towels and pantyliners are reasonably priced, however, the tampons can be pricey, depending on whether you want applicator or non-applicator. Unfortunately, my local health store does not currently sell the applicator tampons, so I am forced to go further afield, but for the reassurance that no animals suffered to produce this product, it’s worth it.

Tesco

Tesco is not listed on Leaping Bunny’s website, but I have heard snippets from different sources that their products are not tested on animals. They were my first choice when I went cruelty-free. Their tampons are the exact same shape and material as Natracare and Superdrug, so this could suggest that all three brands are in fact cruelty-free.

Feel free to do your own investigation and if you come across concrete evidence on whether or not Superdrug and Tesco are cruelty-free, please let me know in the comments!

Sources

http://www.natracare.com/

http://www.leapingbunny.org/

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Going Cruelty Free #2 Skincare

You could fill up a book with the different types of skincare available today. I’m guilty of using quite a bit myself. My products include:

  • Cleanser
  • Moisturiser
  • Toner (now and again)
  • Body Lotion
  • Hand Cream
  • Sun Cream (in the summer)
  • Shaving Gel
  • Body Wash
  • Lip Balm
  • Deodorant

Lush

My first choice for cleansers and moisturisers was Lush once again, and for the same reason (natural ingredients). I have terribly dry and sensitive skin, especially around my nose. Unfortunately, the moisturiser I have chosen, Celestial, does not help my skin condition. My nose is still itchy and dry. It was one of the three moisturisers recommended to me, so I will keep trying because it’s foolish to think that you’ll find the perfect skincare product on your first purchase.

The cleanser I chose was Ultrabland, bland being the operative word. It has no particular smell off of it. I found it to be quite a change from my previous cleansers, which allowed me to simply squirt what I needed onto a cotton pad and wipe my face with it. However, with Lush cleansers, they come in pots and they require you to spread the cream onto your face and then wipe off with a cotton pad. Freaky!

Before I ever stepped into Lush, I devoured the reviews on their website. It was these reviews that put me off buying shaving cream there. Unfortunately, with Lush you can’t simply try it for yourself due to the high prices, unless you have money to burn of course. While the shaving products were commended for their enticing smells, on the shaving side, they weren’t effective.

It wasn’t reviews that put me off their sun protection products, it was simply that they didn’t have a high enough SPF for my ridiculously sunburn-prone skin!Lush Logo

I did indulge in their hand cream, Love and Light, which smells very strongly of oranges. Orange is not my favourite smell, but you get used to it real quick. I sampled other hand creams in Lush, but this was the one I chose because it wasn’t heavy, hene the name!

And finally, body lotion, I bought Sympathy for the Skin, which I’m convinced smells like ice cream (no one else agrees with me), and I love it. It comes in a large pot and is really lasting.

Other Options

Superdrug

Superdrug have their own limited range of skincare, even for sensitive skin. I was weary of trying them only because I have had such bad luck in finding a moisturiser that doesn’t irritate my skin. I did, however, indulge in their shower wash range. I bought three different scents of body wash, Coconut, Bubblegum and Shea Butter, for €2,25! Bargain!

I have also invested in their deodorant range, with a Buy One Get One Free offer.

They stock all of the above, as well as Masks, Night Creams, Serums, Body Butters, etc. Their ranges include treatments for dry skin, which is my next choice after Lush.

JASON

The JASON range stocks most of the above, including Cremes, Gluten Free products, Body Wash, Hand Soap, Hand & Body Lotions, etc. I have indulged in their Sun Care range, as their highest SPF is 45. They also sell an insect repellant spray, which is always handy!

The Body Shop

In their skincare range, The Body Shop stock most of the above, including Cleansers, Exfoliators, Eye Care, Facial Oils, Lip Care, Toners, Treatments, etc.

burtsbees logoBurts Bees*

Skincare range includes Washes & Soaps, Body Lotions, Bath Oils/Crystals, Hand/Foot/Sun Care, Cleaners, Moisturisers, Eye Creams, etc.

*Burt’s Bees range is also available in Marks & Spencer

Eucerin

Eucerin’s skincare range is based on your skin type (dry, sensitive, uneven, etc). Their range includes Cleaners/Toners, Eye Care, Lip Care, Hand & Foot Care and Sun Care (highest SPF is 50).

Products that need more investigation:

I haven’t mentioned Marks & Spencer above because I haven’t concluded my research into what skincare products they stock, not because they test them on animals.

Yes to Carrots

Same as previous entry.

Again, if you feel I have left anything out, please feel free to mention so in the comments below. I hope you found this entry helpful!

Sources

http://www.leapingbunny.org/

http://www.burtsbees.co.uk/

http://www.peta.org/

http://www.superdrug.com/

http://www.jason-personalcare.com/

http://www.eucerin.co.uk/

http://www.thebodyshop.ie/

Going Cruelty Free #1: Haircare

Haircare can range from shampoo and conditioner to hairspray and hair oils/cream/serums, depending on your preference. For me, I have quite a big range of hair care products, as mentioned in my previous entry.

For years, the only shampoo I could use was Head & Shoulders, for the simple reason that it didn’t make my head itchy. Other shampoos would irritate my sensitive scalps and create excess dryness. When I decided to go cruelty-free, discovering immediately that H&S are far from animal-friendly, I looked to Lush. This wasn’t just because they definitely don’t test on animals, but also because their products contain purely natural ingredients. I figured what better way to treat my scalp than by avoiding chemicals altogether?

Lush (my first choice)

The shampoo I chose was ‘I Love Juicy’. When I say chose, however, I mean the ridiculously charismatic salesperson talked me into it. I had listed out my issues: sensitive scalp and oily hair. It seemed almost contradictory and I feared confusing the poor girl, but she chose this shampoo and so far, I can’t say I’ve had any issues. In fact, it’s actually better than H&S, which always retained a small percentage of my dryness. Not this!

Now I know what you’re thinking, Lush isn’t exactly affordable. As much as I love that store, buying just three products can amount to well over €50. I’m simply labelling this as an option. The stores have testers for you try before committing to the high prices, so make sure you’re happy with the product, especially when it comes to the smell. Just walking by a Lush store will give you an idea how pungent their products can be, but many smell heavenly.

NOTE: When I said Lush was my first choice, it did not mean that I have tried the other options listed below, but rather it was my first purchase of a cruelty-free shampoo. I have not yet sampled the brands listed below, it is simply a list of what’s available in Irish stores.

Other Options

Superdrug

Superdrug do not test their own brand products on animals and bear the infamous Leaping Bunny logo on the back of their products. However, there is some moral conflict. Superdrug donate a percentage of their income to cancer research, a practice that involves animal testing. It is up to the cruelty-free consumer to decide whether they feel they can bring themselves to shop here, or not.

JASON

We’re back to the pricey haircare products. This particular brand, JASON, you can only buy in health food shops (at least in Ireland), JASON also bear the Leaping Bunny logo. In the haircare range, they provide shampoos and conditioners.

Marks & Spencers

Though not as cheap as Superdrug, M&S own brand haircare products are affordable and, like, Superdrug, they bear the Leaping Bunny logo. Plus, they have a broader range when it comes to haircare.leapingbunny

The Body Shop

While The Body Shop’s products do not bear the Leaping Bunny logo, you will find that their products are recommended by most cruelty-free lists. However, they have recently been taken over by L’Oreal, a known animal-testing company, and while The Body Shop’s products remain cruelty-free, once again the shopper is left to decide whether or not they would feel ethical buying their products.

Burt’s Bees

Burt’s Bees products can be found in most health stores in Ireland. Their haircare products contain natural ingredients but can be pricey for the budget shopper. Their haircare products ranges include More Moisture, Supershiny, Very Volumizing, etc. They also offer hair treatments.

Batiste

Dry shampoo, in my opinion, is one of the greatest inventions since sliced bread! Due to my oily hair, dry shampoo is a life-saver when I have no time to wash my hair in the mornings before work. While they do not bear the Leaping Bunny logo, Batiste are cruelty-free. However, for those with sensitive scalps, overuse of this product can lead to itchiness and excessive dry scalp.

Eucerin

Eucerin is recommended to people who suffer with dandruff, sensitive and itchy scalps, and thinning hair. They can be found in most pharmacies and health stores. Though pricey, this brand is highly recommended by professionals.

Products that need more investigation:

L’Oreal

A majority of L’Oreal products are tested on animals, however, their Ever Pure line is rumoured to be cruelty-free but I have yet to find concrete reassurance from my favourite cruelty-free sources.

Yes to Carrots

This is listed on the Leaping Bunny website, however, when I investigated the products personally, I could not locate the Leaping Bunny logo on the packaging.

Herbal Essences

While rumoured to be cruelty-free, their parent company, Clairol, does test on animals.

If anyone knows any more about the products I’ve listed, please comment below. I will also do a follow-up entry at the end of this series about products that try to fool you into believing that they’re cruelty, when in fact they’re not.

Sources

http://www.leapingbunny.org/

http://www.burtsbees.co.uk/

http://www.peta.org/

Going Cruelty-free in a Small Country (Like Ireland)

The Cosmetics Directive’s ban on animal testing in the European Union came into play in 2013. According to the legislation, no finished cosmetic products will be sold in the European Union if it has been tested on animals. It also applies to the marketing of animal tested products.

For a majority of Europe, that might be seen as done and dusted, but how can such laws be enforced? Certain companies continue to test their products on animals outside of the EU. Surely if they’ve found a way to test their products without the use of animals, they wouldn’t need to do this, right? China is the only exception, as it legally requires cosmetics to be tested on animals.

I hold my hand up as someone who doesn’t trust that the new legislation has been completely enforced. That does not mean to say that the purpose of this article is to discourage others from distrusting it too, I am simply exploring my journey to becoming cruelty-free cosmetically in such a small country in comparison to the likes of America, where most cruelty-free products are made (I assume!).

So where do you start?

Google may seem like the obvious first choice, and it’s certainly a good resource, but I figured it would be best to go through my hoards of cosmetics to discover which, if any, are definitely not tested on animals. And it turns out, I have a LOT of cosmetics!

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Toiletries PicMoisturiser
  • Cleanser
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Mouthwash
  • Body Lotion
  • Hairspray
  • Dry Shampoo
  • Shaving Gel
  • Sun Cream
  • Frizz Serum
  • Hair Smoothing Cream
  • Hand Cream
  • Deodorant
  • Perfume
  • Nail Hardener

Which of these products that I owned when beginning this journey were cruelty-free?

One!

My Batiste Dry Shampoo.

I suddenly realised I possibly had an expensive shopping trip on the horizon, and this bothered me. Was it extortion to charge more for cruelty-free products. This thought was influenced by a store that I knew was operating in Ireland and its marketing campaign was purely based on their No Animal Testing policy: Lush. In the beginning I felt that this was my only non-Internet option of buying cruelty-free products. But then I explored my options some more.

Each week I will be posting my cruelty-free cosmetic finds based on the list above. Feel free to comment with recommendations, whether in Ireland or anywhere else in the world, whether they need to be purchased online or not. Sharing resources is probably the best way to finding the right products for you.

Sources

https://www.cosmeticseurope.eu/safety-and-science-cosmetics-europe/alternative-methods/the-cosmetics-directive-ban-on-animals-in-testing.html