What exactly is cruelty-free, why does it matter and what products and brands can you count on to be cruelty-free? We share all about it in this post with our top 25 picks for cruelty free products like makeup, skincare, haircare, sunscreens, bug sprays and more! All products can be found at Sprouts Farmers Market.
This post is sponsored by Sprouts Farmers Market. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make it possible for Root + Revel to provide free content and healthy living inspiration.
Have you heard the term “cruelty-free” tossed around in conversation, on websites or labels, but aren't really sure what it means, or why it's important?
In today's post, we're talking all about the importance of opting for cruelty-free products, getting down with the dirty truth about animal testing and sharing what brands you can count on to be cruelty-free.
First, we have to touch on the sobering facts about what cruelty-free is NOT.
Why Go Cruelty-Free? The Truth About Animal Testing
Sadly, animal testing is still commonplace, where live animals are forced to undergo something that is most likely going cause them pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm.
I don't want to get into the nitty-gritty here of what labs do to these animals as it's quite sickening and you can research that on your own if so inclined, but I still think it's important for us all to be educated on this topic, so let's play one of our favorite games here at R+R called Did You Know?
Fair warning: these facts are staggering and utterly heartbreaking. It's easy to feel deeply saddened by all of this, but the point of sharing all this isn't to get you depressed or to use scare tactics to get you to do something.
Just like with investigating food, medicine and other modern day industries, the point is to understand what's really going on, so that we're empowered to make different decisions that can, little by little, product by product, purchase by purchase, make our world a better place.
So, onward! Did you know…
- In the USA, rats, mice, fish, amphibians and birds are not defined as animals under animal experiments regulations, meaning that no legal permission to experiment on these creatures is needed, and they are not included in any statistics? (source)
- Cruelty Free International estimates that the top 9 animal testing countries in the world are the USA, Japan, China, Australia, France, Canada, the UK, Germany and Brazil–in that order? (source)
- Animals used in experiments are usually bred for this purpose by the laboratory or in breeding facilities? In fact, it's a multi-million dollar industry. Research by Cruelty Free International and the Dr. Hadwen Trust suggests that at least 115 million animals may be used in experiments worldwide each year. (source)
- Horses and other animals such as cows, sheep and pigs are often supplied by dealers and may originate from racing stables or farms for use in animal experiments. The rules preventing the use of stray companion animals like dogs and cats vary from country to country. (source)
- Some experiments require the animal to die as part of the test. For example, regulatory tests for botox, vaccines and some tests for chemical safety are essentially variations of the cruel Lethal Dose 50 test in which 50% of the animals die or are killed very close to death. (source)
- A large proportion of animal experiments in the EU are reported to cause ‘moderate’ or ‘severe suffering’ to the animals, according to the researchers who carry them out. In the UK in 2016, 35% of animal experiments involved moderate or severe suffering. (source)
Remember though: In a consumer-based world, each decision you make about what brands to support has an impact.
We vote with our wallets. In order to make a profit, companies must follow demand to stay afloat. This means that where you choose to spend your dollars (euros/pesos/pounds, whatever!) really make a difference!
For example, if the whole world started buying only cruelty-free cosmetics tomorrow, this industry would be forced to completely shift. While that won't happen overnight, it's something to strive for, right?
What is Cruelty-Free?
With that in mind, “cruelty-free” simply means that a product and its ingredients weren’t tested on animals.
Here's the longer definition from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals):
“These [cruelty-free] businesses have verified that neither they nor their ingredient suppliers conduct, commission, or pay for any tests on animals for their ingredients, formulations, or finished products anywhere in the world and won’t do so in the future.”
This term can be applied to a range of industries like cosmetics, personal-care products, household-cleaning products and other common household items like office supplies and candles.
In short: if you want to support companies that don't test on animals, ensure that the brand is cruelty-free.
Things to look for:
- The Leaping Bunny icon: You've likely seen this symbol on bottles and packaging. It indicates that the product is cruelty-free.
- Deception: Some companies will say that they don’t conduct animal tests unless required by law, which is a way to get around saying that they do in fact pay for animal testing so that they can sell products in China (where the law often requires that products are tested on animals).
Top 25 Cruelty-Free Brands at Sprouts
All of the following brands are certified cruelty-free, and all of them are available at my favorite grocery store–Sprouts! In fact, all of Sprouts' brand cosmetics, personal care and household products are certified cruelty-free, plus are eco-friendly and environmentally safe. How amazing is that?
To be able to go into a store and know that anything you pick up supports animal welfare is pretty amazing, right?!
Sprouts products are also way affordable, so you don't have to worry about spending extra money to go cruelty-free. Yay!
Here are my 25 top picks for cruelty-free brands and products you can pick up at Sprouts:
- Andalou Naturals: Andalou Naturals was the first beauty brand to achieve Non-GMO Project Verified status. They use a unique ‘Fruit Stem Cell Science®' in every product, which is essentially a super antioxidant defense system. I love their skincare lines!
- Mineral Fusion: Mineral Fusion is not only a super clean cosmetic and beauty line free of parabens, gluten, artificial colors, phthalates and other harsh ingredients, but they're now the leading EWG VERIFIED™ brand with 131 licensed products! For makeup, I love their lipsticks, BB Cream and eye shadows.
- Mineral Fusion: Outside of just makeup, Mineral Fusion also makes a great dry shampoo–perfect for going longer between washes–and an amazing sunless tanneras it nourishes the skin while giving you an illuminating, healthy glow!
- Acure Organics: This 100% vegan line made simply from plants is also free of parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, petrolatum and silicone. I particularly like their affordable face washes and body oil spray.
- Sprouts Brand: As I mentioned above, Sprouts brand personal care products are awesome and won't break the bank. Some of my favorites include their epsom salts, salt deodorant stick and bath bombs.
- Badger Balm: Badger Balm only uses ingredients that fit rigorous natural standards for healthy agriculture, minimal processing, sustainable supply chain and health giving properties. They make certified organic body care, lip balms and a greatbug balm–a must in the summer!
- Badger Balm: I've also gotta give it to Badger Balm for their natural mineral sunscreen. Mineral sunscreens sit on top of the skin, instead of penetrating, making them safer, more effective and better for you and the environment.
- Alba Botanica: Alba Botanica has been offering 100% vegetarian personal care products for 39 years! They make a full range of products packed with potent, botanical ingredients that are formulated to nourish the individualized needs of your skin and hair. A couple faves include their Hawaiian Detox Sheet Mask and After Sun Gel.
- Dr. Bronner's: One of my most favorite natural brands out there, Dr. Bronner's is my go-to for allthethings related to cleaning, beauty and personal care! They use only the purest organic and fair trade ingredients, making their castile soaps an all-in-one dream.
- Dr. Bronner's: In addition to their all purpose castile soap, I also really enjoy their toothpaste and magic balm, which I use as an alternative to neosporin.
- EO: This luxurious feeling yet gentle and effective line of body and skin care products is made from botanical extracts. Certified organic or non-GMO, EO is also synthetic fragrance free as their products are scented with pure essential oils. I particularly like their hand soaps and hand sanitizer sprays.
- Everyone: A sub-brand of EO, Everyone products are super affordable and always made with plant extracts and scented with pure essential oils, plus are GMO-free and synthetic fragrance free. Don't miss their essential oil blends and body wash (they have some great masculine scents too!).
- Alaffia Everyday Shea: All of Alaffia's brand products are 100% certified fair trade, plus all sales contribute to empowerment projects to help break the cycle of poverty in Togo, Africa. I really love their body wash!
- Desert Essence: A sustainable and ecologically-responsible company, Desert Essence has super clean ingredients and products ranging from bath and body to skin care to oils, with many organic options. My top pick of theirs is the tea tree floss, which is naturally waxed with pure Australian Tea Tree Oil.
- natracare: natracare is an organic, natural line of feminine care products. Their tampons are chlorine-free, plastic-free and biodegradable. In fact, the entire range is vegan certified and compostable.
- Motherlove: Motherlove not only has amazing organic herbal remedies, but they adhere to sustainable and good manufacturing practices and give 10% back to mothers in need around the world. Their award-winning nipple cream is a life saver for breastfeeding mamas!
- Heritage Store: For 41 years Heritage Store has been offering a range of pure beauty and wellness products, with their most popular being their rosewater spray. I'm obsessed with their rosewater + glycerin toner, which I spritz on my face a few times a day for a pick me up. Use it to add shine to your hair, soothe your skin, manage pH levels, and more.
- Sustain Natural: A line of organic, vegan, fair trade and sustainably made sexual health products like condoms, wipes, tampons and more. You may not think about things like condoms being toxic, but a lot of mainstream condoms have a carcinogen called nitrosomine, which by all means should not be going in your you-know-where.
- NOW Foods: This trusted brand is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, offering a huge variety of products like supplements, natural foods, sports nutrition, beauty and health, and–one of my faves–100% pure essential oils.
- Aura Cacia: Another great maker of 100% pure essential oils, Aura Cacia is part of the Frontier Co-op family and supports sustainable sourcing initiatives.
- Seaweed Bath Co.: Their natural products are made with organic, sustainably hand-harvested Maine seaweed as base, as seaweed is known for it's detoxing, moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties. I love their Hydrating Seaweed Bath, which you scoop into your tub for extra hydrating magic.
- Essential Oxygen: If you use hydrogen peroxide in your home, this is THE brand to buy! It's food grade, with none of the toxic stabilizers found in non-food grade, standard brown bottle varieties. They also make organic oral care products.
- The Honest Company: With a ‘No List'–a list of over 3,000 chemicals/materials that they'll never use in their products–The Honest Company is a truly transparent and reliable brand. You've gotta try their organic, hypoallergenic All Purpose Balm that you can use to hydrate skin, hair and cuticles, and is even safe enough for baby. Great for cuts and scrapes, too!
- All Terrain: A must for outdoor enthusiasts, these natural products work whether you're in the backcountry, backwoods or backyard. Be sure to grab their Herbal Armor Natural Insect Repellant for all your outdoorsy needs!
- All Terrain: Along with amazing bug sprays, All Terrain has a natural Antibiotic Gel that is a must in your first aid kit.
What are your favorite cruelty free brands and products? Let us know in the comments below!
Photo Credit: Heidi Geldhauser
Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.