Going Cruelty-Free: Facial Moisturiser – Skindrink by Lush

I’m still searching for the perfect cruelty-free facial moisturiser that doesn’t make me want to tear my skin off. As I mentioned in my Cruelty-Free series, my first choice (and recommendation) was Celestial by Lush. For the first few weeks, I didn’t have a problem with it, though it didn’t achieve the softness I was hoping for for my extremely dry skin. After around two months, I found Celestial started to make me itch terribly. It got so bad that I was forced to give the remainder of the moisturiser to my sister-in-law who has less sensitive skin than I do, and is a Lush fan!

Back to the drawing board

I returned to Lush and spoke with one of the sales staff. When I told her of my dry skin and my previous recommendation of Celestial, she quickly informed me that Celestial was not great for dry skin. Conflicting reports! She recommended three moisturisers to me, each one increasing in price as high as €50. I decided to give myself time to think about it, though what I should’ve done was request samples of each. I couldn’t tell there and then that the creams wouldn’t irritate my face.Lush Skindrink

Trial and error

Upon my return to Lush the following week, I tried a sample of the cheapest recommendation given to me: Skindrink. Knowing I was taking a risk, I simply wandered the store until I could tell if the cream might irritate me. I couldn’t believe how soft my skin felt after using it. Of course I was going to buy it! Perhaps I would get away with not paying a fortune for the right moisturiser.

Three weeks later, I’m sad to say that Skindrink does not suit my skin. It makes me itchy every time I use it. I still have a tonne left and I’m a bit reluctant to simply give this one away also so I keep using. A masochist, I seem to be. Or perhaps I’m hopeful that the itching will stop and it will miraculously be the moisturiser I’ve been searching for my whole life!


Going Cruelty-Free: Don’t Be Fooled!

When I decided to go cruelty-free, I had to acknowledge that there are products who claim to be cruelty-free that in fact are not. My first step was consult PETA’s cruelty-free list but, as I stated at the beginning of this blog series, most of the products on that list are not available in Ireland. I also explored the Leaping Bunny list and downloaded the app onto my phone, but again, many of the products I would have to order online and pay delivery charges. Lush was my safe option in the beginning because I could be certain that their products are indeed cruelty-free. Unfortunately they’re also quite expensive, which is why I explored.

A Google search on what products were trying to fool their consumers didn’t turn up much. I was advised that there are only THREE labels to trust when it comes to buying cruelty-free products:

  1. Leaping Bunny
  2. Caring ConsumerLabels
  3. CCF Rabbit

How could I believe that, though? I had seen other labels that were genuine too, such as Batiste. Even Lush don’t sport any of the three labels. Some approved cruelty-free brands sport labels such as ‘Approved by the Vegan Society’ or ‘Fight Animal Testing’. This makes my situation a little more difficult, as it came be frustrating to come across a cruelty-free label and then having to research it before you purchase.

One such product I was nearly fooled by was Original Source. They claimed to be cruelty-free on the back of their products, but when I did my research, I discovered that this was not the case at all. It’s absolutely sickening that companies would try to fool their consumers like that. Perhaps I have to believe it due to the new EU regulations prohibiting products to be sold containing animal tested ingredients, but I know that they are in the minority who test their products on animals outside the EU, and so I refuse to purchase it.

From what I’ve seen, The Body Shop does not bear any cruelty-free labels, yet I have found them on several cruelty-free lists. It could be due to the fact that their parent company, L’Oreal, promotes animal testing, though this is not always the case, e.g. Burt’s Bees.

I encourage anyone going cruelty-free to research the label on the products they wish to buy. While it is important not to trust every label that claims to be cruelty-free, don’t assume that it isn’t cruelty-free just because it’s not one of the three labels listed above.

Thank you for reading this series, I hope you enjoyed it! Happy shopping!

Going Cruelty Free #5: Nail Care

I rarely wear nail varnish because I just can’t coat my nails properly, plus I find it starts chipping almost immediately. What I’ll be talking about in this entry is nail care, rather than nail colour. My nails are always breaking, the slightest impact on them and they’re chipping. I expressed this concern to a former colleague of mine and she suggested I use Sally Hansen nail hardener. At the time, of course, I didn’t know whether or not Sally Hansen tested on animals. So I bought a bottle. I was delighted with the results, my nails were much more solid and didn’t break as easily. Problem solved!

Now that I’m going cruelty-free, however, I must look for an alternative because Sally Hansen is certainly not cruelty-free. The stories I’ve heard about them are horrific and I won’t repeat them here. I first tried health food stores and I would like to list the products they stock, which doesn’t include nail hardener, but which do look after your nails and possibly strengthen them in the long run.

  • Dr. Hauschka
  • Tisserand
  • Solo
  • NHP
  • Phyto
  • Solgar
  • Thursday Plantation
  • AHA Nail Clear

All of these brands are available in Irish health stores and/or on Evergreen.ie. But back to my nail hardener solution. Unfortunately Lush didn’t have anything of the sort, on their website at least, so I went with, you guessed it, Superdrug!

While Superdrug’s own brand nail care is limited, they do stock nail hardener, which does not use the same horrific methods that Sally Hansen does to ensure that it works. So if you’re like me and your nails are breaking easily and constantly, your cruelty-free options are plentiful.




Going Cruelty Free #4: Dental Hygiene

For me, dental hygiene is more important than anything else when it comes to looking after my body. I have had periodontal treatment, as well as orthodontic treatment, so keeping my gums and teeth healthy is a priority. What worried me about going cruelty free in dental products is finding out that my prescribed mouthwash was tested on animals. I want to take the word of professionals so I don’t end up in that periodontist’s ridiculously comfortable, but greatly expensive, chair. I decided to start small and changed my toothpaste. I had been using Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief, so first I went looking for a cruelty-free toothpaste, and naturally, I first tried Superdrug.

I’m still using Oral B dental floss because I’m a waste not, want not kind of person. And mouthwash, my prescribed mouthwash, is Corsodyl Daily, which unfortunately does test on animals. What are my alternatives?


Superdrug have their own dental range, complete with Leaping Bunny logo, and my first dental purchase from them was their own brand sensitive toothpaste. So far, I have no complaints, I guess I’ll learn on my next dental visit if my gums are still healthy. They also stock their own brand, cruelty-free mouthwash and dental floss (including sensitive floss), which will be worth a try once my Corsodyl and Oral B floss runs out.


Lush aren’t big on dental hygiene, but they do stock tooth tabs and tooth powder. I couldn’t imagine how tooth tabs worked, but apparently you bite down on them and they create a foam you can brush into your teeth and gums. Knowing my luck, I’d accidentally swallow them before biting them! Their tooth powder is only available in their Oxford Street store in London, so it doesn’t apply to this blog.

Available in [most] Health Stores

It’s safe to say that most cruelty-free dental products will be found in health stores, such as Holland & Barrett and The Health Store. You can also find them on Evergreen.ie, an Irish website. These products include:

  • Jack N’Jill Kids
  • Desert Essence
  • Weleda
  • Lavera
  • Kingfisher
  • Optima
  • Aloe Dent
  • Dr. Organic

All of these brands stock toothpastes and mouthwashes, but be sure to check about dental floss. While pricy, they are guaranteed not to be tested on animals. Also check their ingredients to ensure that your teeth and gums are getting the appropriate treatment.

As always, if anyone knows of other brands, especially those available in Ireland, that are cruelty-free, please let me know in the comments below.



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?


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 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 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!




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


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 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.


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’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!









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?


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.