Going Cruelty Free: Cheryl’s reviews

Posted by: Kathy Powelson Tags: There is no tags | Categories: News


The process of transforming your household into a cruelty free one takes times, but with more and more available certified cruelty free products, it is achievable. Recently, we asked Cheryl, our Volunteer Coordinator, to share some of her favourite products with us.


I was always aware that a lot of beauty products were tested on animals, but I never gave it much thought when making my purchases. I assumed that some of the products I purchased were cruelty free, either from what I saw in advertisements, or because the product was labeled cruelty free. When I started volunteering with Paws for Hope, I learned that the labeling requirement in North America make it difficult to know if you are purchasing a product that is genuinely cruelty free, because the only requirement is that the final product not be tested on animals. As a result, many products labeled cruelty free have ingredients in them that have been tested on animals. The one way to be sure your products, and their ingredients are truly cruelty free is to make sure they are certified by a third party organization. The two most prominent certifying organizations are Leaping Bunny and PETA.

Recently I made the decision to replace each of my personal care items with cruelty free products. There is no reason to purchase a product that is tested on animals when comparable, and often better quality cruelty free products are available.

Beagle Freedom Project’s Cruelty Cutter app is very helpful for this endeavour. Using its barcode scanning feature, you can look up a product quickly to find out if its certified cruelty free. Unfortunately, when you are looking for more than one product that is cruelty free it can be time consuming to use the app. This becomes apparent pretty quickly when shopping in big chain stores since most of the products are not cruelty free.

Finding the right product takes time. When switching your household products to 100% cruelty free ones do not expect it to happen over night. Give yourself the time to find replacement products that you are truly happy with. As I mentioned, you will likely find products that are even better quality than the animal tested products you were accustomed to.

Below are personal reviews of products I have tried. I hope you find them helpful!

Dermologica is expensive but some of their products are worth it. The Essential Cleansing Solution is mositurizing, so much so you almost feel like you could skip applying moisturizer. The Precleanse is great for removing make-up, especially mascara. The Skin Perfect Primer is fantastic. It’s nice and provides light coverage (no need for foundation). The Skin Hydrating Masque leaves your face feeling soft and the rice exfoliant makes it feel smooth. One of the products that did not work for me was the Daily Gel Cleanser. It left my skin feeling too dry afterwards.

Marc Anthony hair products and lotions are reasonably priced. I like all of the hair products I’ve tried so far. For me personally, the volumizing line worked well, whereas the moisturizing line was a bit too heavy for my fine hair. The Hydrating Coconut Oil & Shea Butter Volume hairspray smells great, but unfortunately the hairsprays only seem to come in aerosol. The Hydrating Coconut Oil & Shea Butter and Moisturizing Shea Butter & Marula Oil have nice scents, although I prefer something that moisturizes a little better. These might be good lotions for summer time.

Burt’s Bees facial products are a good economical option. I like the Radiance eye cream and Brightening face cream, but wasn’t impressed with the Deep Pore Scrub. When it comes to exfoliators, I prefer one with smaller “beads.” I am not fond of the scent in the Coco & Cupuacu Butters body lotion, but it did work well for dry skin. The Lip Shine gloss is nice and lightweight.

Kevin Murphy hair products are expensive but I love them. The Angel Wash shampoo for coloured hair doesn’t lather much (like most expensive shampoos I’ve tried), but your hair feels clean. The Anti Gravity Spray weightless hairspray lives up to its name. Both of these products have lovely scent. I found the scent in the purse-sized Session Spray Strong Hold Finishing Spray hairspray to be a bit too strong, and it only comes in aerosol.

Another great thing about Kevin Murphy is the environmental packaging. Having rectangular bottles means no bubble wrap!

European Soaps’ bar soap is not dehydrating and it lasts a long time. So far, I like the coconut scented one the best. There is an exfoliating bar but I found it to be a little too much for my liking (ouch!).

I prefer the Method nourishing hand wash over the regular. Method products are reasonably priced and they offer large refills of the regular liquid soap.

Tarte mascara: Lights, Camera, Flashes is good. It lengthens, and thickens and even curls lashes a bit. It is a good choice for a more natural look. I also find Tarte’s mascaras don’t tend to flake. The Skinny smolder eyes eyeliner, includes a smudging sponge and stays put after application. But it only seems to go on thick.

Too Faced make-up line had a fantastic mascara called Lashgasm. It didn’t smudge, wasn’t flaky and provided a natural look. But I can no longer find it at Sephora. I tried their Better Than Sex mascara but found it too thick/clumpy and it flakes quite a bit.

Tom’s of Maine antiperspirant worked well, but… it was supposed to be unscented, but whatever replaced the usual scents was not a scent I liked. I’m still looking for a good cruelty free option for this item.

Body Fantasies vanilla body spray’s scent is a little too strong. I still like it, but just use it sparingly.

My skin is very dry right now and George’s Special Dry Skin Cream is doing the trick. It’s a bit greasy when you apply it, and takes some extra time to soak in, but it works really well.

Lastly, Salt Spring Soapworks’ sparkling rhubarb bubble bath smells absolutely wonderful!

I hope you find this helpful and enjoy some of these cruelty free products if you decide to give them a try! If you would like to share with us some of your favourite products, join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Cheryl B

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