I've been following a cruelty free beauty routine for about two years now. Since then, cruelty free has permeated into my lifestyle, and I now do my best to make sure that my house is as cruelty free as it can be. Keep reading to find out more about why and how I made the switch to cruelty free, and how you can too!
HOW AND WHY I MADE THE SWITCH TO CRUELTY FREE
I had known about cruelty free makeup for a few years before I formally made the switch. I had a few guides saved on my phone that listed cruelty free brands, and I mostly stuck to purchasing from them (e.l.f. products ruled supreme on my college student budget). Aside from a few Maybelline, Sephora and Mac products, my collection was mostly cruelty free already.
In June 2014, I went through allergy patch testing with my dermatologist. We discovered that I suffer from allergic contact dermatitis, and am allergic to 4 different ingredients, all commonly found in beauty and personal care products: methylisothiazolinone, lanolin, disperse orange-3, and ylang ylang oil.
Many of my beauty products contained one or more of those ingredients, so I was forced to toss a good chunk of my collection. I took the opportunity to clear out products that I was no longer using as well. When I took a trip to Ulta to replace all my everyday basics (and a few new treats!) I committed to only purchasing cruelty free. It was that simple! I just decided that it was time to actually commit, and to start being accountable. I haven't looked back since!
SIMPLE TIPS FOR TRANSITIONING YOUR BEAUTY STASH TO CRUELTY FREE
Step one is to research as much as you can and want about cruelty free. There is so much to know--I am still learning new things about being cruelty free every day. Learn about what brands and companies are cruelty free, and which are not. You might be surprised!
Here are a few resources that I personally love and recommend:
*I trust the lists of cruelty free brands on Logical Harmony and Leaping Bunny most!
2. JUST TRY IT
Challenge yourself. Try to use only the cruelty free products that you have for one day. One week. One month. You won't know if it's possible if you don't ever try. You may have more cruelty free items in your collection than you think. Challenge yourself to go cruelty free for a set period of time and see how it works out for you. Chances are, you may realize it's not as hard as you thought it might be!
3. DON'T FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO THROW EVERYTHING AWAY
I'm never going to be one to promote wasteful practices. When I decided to switch to cruelty free, I had to get rid of many products because of my allergies. Still, there were a few Mac lipsticks that I wasn't allergic to that I didn't get rid of. I made the resolution to no longer purchase makeup from companies that test on animals. I didn't feel like I needed to throw away a full tube of lipstick that my mom got for me as a Christmas gift. To me, that would have been wasteful and wasn't going to change the fact that I already had the product.
There are benefits to keeping your favorite non cruelty free products as well. Want to find the perfect cruelty free dupe for your favorite lipstick? How will you know how the cruelty free alternatives stack up without the original to compare? It can be useful to have the product so that once you have the cruelty free alternative, you know if it totally lives up or not.
4. WHEN YOU RUN OUT OF A PRODUCT, REPLACE IT WITH A CRUELTY FREE ITEM
This is the easiest and most efficient way to weed out all the non cruelty free products from your collection. Make the commitment to only purchase cruelty free from now on. Like I said above, you don't have to throw everything in the trash, but commit to finding cruelty free alternatives so that once you run out of something, you can replace it with a cruelty free version.
5. UN FOLLOW AND UNSUBSCRIBE FROM NON CRUELTY FREE BRANDS IN YOUR EMAIL AND ON SOCIAL MEDIA
While some people might be able to resist, temptation, sometimes it can be easier to resist if you just don't know what's going on at all. It's pretty simple: you can't be tempted by what you don't know. Removing non cruelty free brands from your email inbox and Instagram feed can help fight off the temptation to buy their products--especially when there is something new and pretty released just about every day.
6. CONTACT NON CRUELTY FREE COMPANIES
Have you found out that your favorite beauty company tests on animals? Write to them! Send them an email and let them know that you are transitioning to cruelty free. Tell them how much you love their products, but wish that they would stop testing on animals. Consumer voices do matter, and if companies don't know that consumers care about whether they animal test, they won't feel the pressure to change their practices. Wouldn't it be great if all cosmetic companies were cruelty free?
7. STAY IN THE LOOP AND KEEP LEARNING
There's always more to know, and since the world moves fast--things in the beauty industry are always changing.
Companies change their stance on animal testing. Sometimes that means a victory for the cruelty free community when a company commits to end testing. And sometimes it's a loss--big companies like L'Oreal and Estee Lauder (both who test on animals) buy out smaller, cruelty free companies. Some companies decide to sell products in China, where animal testing is still required by law.
Find new bloggers to follow that promote cruelty free lifestyles. There is a great community of cruelty free bloggers and beauty lovers who share lots of information with one another.
8. DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP
I think this is the most important tip of all.
Did you get a birthday gift that isn't cruelty free? Buy something from a company you swear was on a cruelty free list only to find out you were wrong?
We all make mistakes. Going cruelty free won't be a perfect journey, so you shouldn't go into it expecting perfection. It isn't easy to make this this switch, so don't be hard on yourself when you buy something and find out it wasn't actually cruelty free. Be kind to yourself. Remind yourself that you are taking the right steps. Try not to get bogged down in concepts of "perfection."
Have I made mistakes? Absolutely! Have I knowingly bought from companies that aren't cruelty free? Totally. There have been times where I am in need of something (like cotton balls or razors) and I feel like I don't have the time or energy to keep looking for a cruelty free alternative. It's okay not to be perfect--and the occasional mistake is going to happen. It's how we move forward and keep trying that matters. No one should be shamed for trying to do better in life. None of us are perfect, and we are all doing the best that we can. Be proud of every little step that you take. Celebrate the small victories as well as the big ones!
Have you been thinking about making the switch to cruelty free but don't think it's for you? Are you thinking about trying out one or more of these tips?
Are you cruelty free? What are your tips for making the switch?
Let me know in the comments below!
lipstick & solidarity,