Beauty, Life

Going cruelty-free

Going cruelty free

At the end of last year, I made a decision; 2017 would be the year I put my money where my mouth is and made the switch to cruelty-free.

I wanted to do a blog post with a bit of background on my motivation for the change as well as how I am going about it. Sophar So Good isn’t a blog about cruelty-free shopping, but the topic is important to me, and it is the make-or-break factor when I make beauty purchase decisions. I’d also love to do more beauty posts in the future, so I thought this would be a useful post to link people back to rather than having to explain each time.

Deciding to go cruelty-free

Let’s start at the beginning. Since I’ve been buying beauty products, so I guess in my teen years, it never crossed my mind that any of them could have been tested on animals. I knew it had been made illegal here, so in my mind that meant that it didn’t happen anymore and somewhat naively I presumed that that was that. For years and years I blithely continued buying all the L’Oreal and Rimmel and lusting after Mac lipsticks like a lot of other gals.

Fast forward to the last couple of years, and I was still pretty much in the dark. A friend started mentioning the topic in conversation, and I’m ashamed to say that I still didn’t pay too much attention. I probably thought ‘Oh, how horrible that it still happens in some places’ (can’t believe I’m admitting that now). Which seems strange, because I have always been an animal lover; if anything, this just demonstrates the depth of the problem and how well it’s hidden from us, as I’m sure many people would also describe themselves that way.

I don’t remember when or why I made the connection and researched the subject for myself (so this isn’t really a good story, you don’t even get some dramatic epiphany), but at some point towards the end of last year I looked into it a bit and researched what was actually going on. I would advise anyone to do the same, although it is quite horrific to read about. It really hit home for me then that disagreeing with something happening was fairly useless if I wasn’t doing anything about it, and in continuing to pay for brands to treat animals in this way, I was condoning and even funding what is basically torture.

A rabbit does not care about how much length and volume its eyelashes have, a mouse does not care if it has a dewy glow and funnily enough, I’ve never seen a guinea pig painting its little claws.

Disclaimer, because I’m going kind of heavy on this now: no judgement here. If there’s anything that I have realised through writing this out, it’s that making this decision came from making a connection between what is happening and my actions, and that connection is surprisingly easy not to make – so I completely understand how people avoid this subject matter. We all have to come to our own decisions in our own time.

How I’m making the change

People go about making this change in different ways, but the way I decided to do it is this; once a product ran out, I would replace it with a cruelty-free alternative. Simple! I have read that some people get rid of everything and replace it immediately, and if that works for you that’s great, but it wasn’t for me. I have this thing about waste, and I wouldn’t have the money to repurchase every item in my hair/beauty/household routine all at once.

For this reason, I don’t tend to blog about make up (soon to change I hope). Items like eyeshadow, blush or lipstick are ones I usually have for a pretty long time, so at the moment I’m still working my way through lots of my old make up. I decided when starting Sophar So Good that I wouldn’t feature any product that wasn’t cruelty-free, so I won’t be talking about the items that I’m using that haven’t run out yet – as I won’t be repurchasing them no matter how good they are.

When I’m searching for cruelty-free alternatives of products I need to replace, I do so by checking PETA’s cruelty-free searchable database or reading up on my absolute favourite cf blog Cruelty-Free Kitty. If I haven’t done too much research, I just hit the high street and check for the leaping bunny logo. Superdrug, Marks & Spencer and Sainsburys own brand cosmetics are all certified cruelty free and Co-op are great for household cleaning products.

How it’s going

So far, so good (GEDDIT?!) – it’s actually been fun. It’s brought loads of brands I would never have found before to my attention and there are a lot of things I am excited about trying.  I have a new shower routine and a new favourite haircare brand. I was delighted to discover that the majority of my nail polish collection was cruelty-free anyway because so much of it was Barry M.

It can be frustrating and it can be confusing, because there is a distinct lack of clarity surrounding the whole topic and brands who are not cruelty-free will absolutely try to hide that from you. Still, I feel a whole lot more informed than I was and can’t wait to show you my discoveries as I make them.

Is this an issue which you’ve thought about much? Would you consider switching to all cruelty-free products? If anyone has any cruelty-free recommendations I would LOVE to hear them in the comments!

I’m a sociable gal, so go ahead and hit me up on Instagram | Twitter | Bloglovin

42 thoughts on “Going cruelty-free”

  1. I found this really enjoyable to read, thank you for sharing. Good luck in your journey, this was originally the mission of my blog and it was so hard to find appropriate products because you have to draw a line, do you use products that are cruelty free but are owned by a testing parent company (such as body shop, urban decay) etc etc. In the end I found it quite difficult in this country to find good quality cruelty free products that didn’t cost the earth. I were to recommend some of the gems I came across it would have to be Collection makeup they have upped their game considering their small price!

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    1. Thanks so much, this was a great comment to read. I know exactly what you mean about drawing the line, its a really difficult topic and also not particularly clear! At the moment I am looking at cruelty-free brands rather than companies, as in brands that are BUAV approved or listed as cruelty-free by PETA – so I am still buying Body Shop and Nyx, who have a non cruelty-free parent company. I haven’t quite decided where I stand on this yet, as I’m not sure whether its better to boycott them altogether or demonstrate to the big companies that consumers want cruelty-free products by supporting only their cruelty-free brands. You’re right, it can be hard to find ones which don’t cost the earth, so that’s something I’m working on and will hopefully bring to the blog! 🙂 xxx

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      1. I’m so glad you liked my comment and we can engage on this topic. That’s actually a really good way to move forward actually, something you could do is have your own page on your blog as a dedicated list of cruelty free products in your country and rank them by cost? I’m really sorry if I’m wrong but I believe that Body Shop is in fact owned by L’Oréal now who do conduct animal testing unfortunately. Yeh that’s the issue I had as well, because if you’re funding the cruelty free brand of a parent company, there is a percentage that goes back to the parent company so it kind of is like you’re condoning their actions. It’s such a tricky one to navigate unfortunately, but you will find what feels right for you and the blog 😊xxx

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      2. That’s a great idea, thank you – hopefully in time I will be in a position to do something like that! Yes that’s right, The Body Shop is owned by L’Oreal – so The Body Shop is a a cruelty-free brand (they are BUAV approved) who are owned by a non cruelty-free parent company. As I said I still haven’t decided how I feel about this and where I draw the line, because like you say it’s a very tricky one to navigate! Thanks so much – I’m sure I will 🙂 xxx

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  2. Oh I bloody love this decision. I’m always trying to incorporate cruelty free products in my beauty regimen and I find LUSH to be so helpful. They always supply, don’t they? Good luck on your journey babe x

    Love, kerstin
    http://www.missgetaway.com/

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    1. Thanks so much Kerstin 🙂 YES you are so right, lush have been a godsend so far, if I’m looking to replace a certain skincare product with a cruelty-free alternative it’s such a great place to head xxx

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  3. Yay congratulations! Great choice for both you and the animals. I will add you to my list of cruelty-free bloggers on my site very soon.
    Logical Harmony is my go to blogger for finding out whether something is friendly or not 🙂

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    1. Thank you! That would be fab. Oooh, I haven’t checked out Logical Harmony yet, I’ll make sure I do! Thanks for the recommendation 🙂 x

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  4. Yay this is great for both you and the animals. I will add you to the cruelty free bloggers list on my site soon.
    Logical Harmony is my go to blogger for finding out whether something is cruelty free or not 🙂

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    1. Thanks Diana – and fab to hear that you are doing the same! That’s so true, there are plenty of great cruelty-free brands out there that are just as good as ones that aren’t…we get to have fun discovering them 🙂 xxx

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  5. I’m so glad it’s not just me who was naively going along assuming that brands no longer tested on animals just because it’s illegal in the UK because I definitely did think that until recently! I have so many products I need to use up and I also hate waste so I’m going to do the same as you and just replace as I run out! My only exception is going to be if people who don’t know buy me things – I’d feel too rude to not use them! I also need to get myself properly clued up on what is and what’s not cruelty free.
    Amy xx

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    1. It’s crazy isn’t it – it’s so so easy not to realise what’s going on! For the longest time I didn’t have a clue. Yay, you’ll have to share any good replacements you find because I am always looking for recommendations haha 🙂 Oh that’s a good point, I hadn’t thought about what I will do if people who don’t know buy me anything…probably use it up and then a couple of months later try to throw it casually into conversation that I’m only using cruelty-free products now. Hopefully that wouldn’t be too awkward – that’s a hard one! Cruelty-free Kitty has been my go-to blog for getting more clued up, as well as Cruelty Free International’s Leaping Bunny product search 🙂 Thanks for reading chick xxx

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  6. Well done for doing this! I have many friends that are cruelty-free. It’s fab, hopefully more brands will offer cruelty free products, it seems to be the way forward!

    Corinne x

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    1. Thanks Corinne – I really hope so! There certainly does seem to be more awareness and emphasis on it at the moment so as that grows hopefully brands will take note xx

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  7. This is definitely an issue I’ve been thinking about a lot more recently and with more brands than ever to choose from that are cruelty free it seems like a perfect time to make the change!
    I love how you’re doing it as a product runs out, that’s so much better than having any waste. I’d love to know what hair products you’re using!

    Rachel Coffee & Avocados

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    1. You’re right – there is more choice and also more awareness now, so there’s definitely never been a better time to make the change! You may also find that things you currently use are cruelty-free already and that’s always good. For shampoo and conditioner I’m using Avalon Organics (I wrote my second ever blog post on them haha, here) and in terms of treatments/serums/sprays or anything like that I’m still finishing old stuff – although I will need to find some soon as they will probably be the next things to run out. I will probably start by looking in Lush and Superdrug 🙂 xxx

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  8. I was totally in the same boat, I naively thought that it didn’t happen anymore but after making the switch to veganism i became so aware of all the unfortunate cruelty that goes on. It’s awesome youve made the connection to going cruelty free and that you are sharing it for others to make the connection too.

    http://www.thewhimsicalwildling.com/

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  9. I was totally in the same boat, I naively thought that it didn’t happen anymore but after making the switch to veganism i became so aware of all the unfortunate cruelty that goes on. It’s awesome youve made the connection to going cruelty free and that you are sharing it for others to make the connection too.

    http://www.thewhimsicalwildling.com/

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    1. Exactly the same, I also switched to veganism this year and it is amazing how much I just was not aware of! Thanks so much lovely xxx

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    1. Oh god tell me about it, it is so infuriating how little clarity there is surrounding this subject and how brands can just avoid the subject or cleverly word it to sound like they are cruelty-free when they aren’t! Thanks so much lovely 🙂 your insta is beautiful, just followed you! xxx

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  10. Beauty and cruelty-free brands are so hard to navigate because every brand seems to belong to another brand which then does testing and I’m just forever confused! Korean companies usually don’t do animal testing, but I’m still never sure which products I can trust, and which ones are associated with animal cruelty – but I still think every step in the right direction is better than nothing.
    I’ve gone consciously cruelty-free over a year ago but I’m still using up old products, so I’m kind of in the same limbo as you 🙂

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    1. It is so difficult to know the truth of the situation for some brands isn’t it, which can be so frustrating when you’re trying to do what you think is right! Love what you said there though, it’s so true – every step in the right direction is better than nothing 🙂 Let’s just keep doing our best xxx

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    1. I think that’s great! You may find that some things you already use are cruelty-free anyway which is always nice to find out. I’m pretty new to it myself at the moment but I have discovered some nice bath and body products which are cruelty free which I wrote about in this post: Easy and affordable cruelty-free shower swaps. Avalon Organics are absolutely great for haircare so I would really recommend them, they also do skincare but I haven’t tried that yet. In terms of make up, I’ve picked up some lovely bits from Barry M and will be trying some of the MUA products soon 🙂 Thank you for reading! xxx

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  11. I love this post! I can totally relate, as I am trying to make the switch one thing at a time. For me it started with a vegan diet and now I’m replacing my cosmetic and beauty products with cruelty free choices. I personally love Tarte cosmetics 😊

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    1. Yay, well done you! I’m also eating a vegan diet and have been for the last few months so it’s quite a big change but something I feel strongly about. Oooh I’ve never tried anything from Tarte, I’ll have to at some point – thanks for the recommendation! x

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  12. I also made the same decision a little while ago and it’s nice to know that there are a lot of other people who think the same. I love your way of writing by the way 🙂

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