The ugly truth about cosmetics (but there's hope) - Beauties Lab

The ugly truth about cosmetics (but there's hope)

According to Cruelty-Free International, there are still 115 million animals being used worldwide. I decided to write an article that explains the differences between vegan and cruelty-free products.

(This blog post is not sponsored.)

The Ugly Truth

You would think that nowadays there would be little to no more companies experimenting with animals to test their products. Wrong. According to Cruelty-Free International, there are still 115 million animals being used worldwide for these matters. Many self-care and beauty products are still being tested on animals: lotions, perfumes, makeup, hair products, etc. In China, for example, you cannot produce and sell cosmetics if they have not been tested on animals first. If we want to stop this, there’s still a lot that needs to be done. With this in mind, I decided it was a good idea to write an article that explains the differences between vegan and cruelty-free products.

Latest in the news: Canada is banning animal testing! 

The bill to prohibit animal testing has been passed by the Senate, and now it moves forward to the House of Commons for it to become a law. 

The federal Bill S-214, called the Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, amends the Food and Drugs Act to prohibit cosmetic animal testing and the sale of cosmetics developed or manufactured using animal testing.

Vegan vs. Cruelty-free

A product that is branded as cruelty-free, does not necessarily mean it's also vegan. For example, if a company does not test its products on animals, the product is cruelty-free. Simple as that. But if this same company uses animal-derived ingredients to make their products, it can still be cruelty-free but it's NOT VEGAN. The same goes the other way. A vegan product might not necessarily be cruelty-free. There are some products that are vegan because there are no animal components in their ingredients list, but they are being tested on animals. This would mean the products are vegan but NOT CRUELTY-FREE.

Not everything is lost.

Luckily, I've noticed that most companies that are vegan, are also cruelty-free. Here are some of my favorites:

Feel Good Etc. 

The new eco-luxury hair care brand, made in Canada, that promotes natural beauty and self-empowerment. All their products are vegan and cruelty-free, not to mention they're also free of sulfates and artificial components, which makes them one of the most natural hair care brands out there. Their formulas are made with a very exclusive selection of premium essential oils that make your hair feel like aprés le salón after every wash. They have a Balancing Bundle (Shampoo & Conditioner) that was specially designed for every type of hair, with a simple yet luxurious list of ingredients, that does not include any animal derivative or any toxic chemicals that can harm our health or the environment. 

Photo credit:  Feel Good Etc.


Clove + Hallow

This brand has a range of natural and affordable cosmetics with the performance and pigmentation of conventional cosmetics brands, all without the long list of toxic ingredients we always find in other lines. They replace cheap chemicals with a simplified list of 15 ingredients that are safe and offer incredible performance. In addition to being manufactured in the United States and with formulas according to stricter European standards, all products are certified PETA cruelty-free and vegan. My favorite product from this brand is the Makeup Melt, an ultra-gentle balm-to-oil cleanser that melts away makeup.

Photo credit:  Instagram @cloveandhallow


Glo Skin Beauty

Clinically proven, a mineral makeup that helps correct and protects. The best way to wear makeup that not only covers and conceals, but it also protects your skin from UV-rays and treats it with pharmaceutical-grade ingredients. You can try Glo Skin Beauty's products at Etiket, downtown Montreal.

Every product in the mineral makeup line is talc-free, paraben-free and cruelty-free. 
Photo credit:  Instagram @glowskinbeauty


The brand has vowed never to test their products on animals, and makes sure that none of the ingredients have been tested as well. Knowing where all the ingredients come from and making sure they are ethically sourced and of the best quality is not always easy, but it's greatly appreciated. 

HUNA Apothecary

A skin-care brand that combines elements of botanical science with those of a conscious sustainable lifestyle and delivers luxurious self-care products. Each product is carefully handcrafted with ethically sourced ingredients that are natural, organic, and full of vitamins, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. It is no surprise that all of their products are: biodegradable, eco-friendly (ingredients + packaging), human-safe and cruelty-free. I met with the creator of the brand, Heather Urquhart, who explained the role and importance of each of the ingredients used in all of the products in the new line. She has put all her efforts and energy into researching best sourcing practices and best sustainable ingredients. In fact, many of the botanical plants she uses, are grown in the Huna farm outside of Winnipeg. This brand makes me so tremendously happy! You can try Huna's products at Etiket, downtown Montreal.


Real talk now. I am by no means an expert on the subject, but I made a lot of researching and I found some shocking information about animal testing. For example, testing on animals isn't always 100% reliable! Howcome? Well, it is pretty simple.  Animals and humans are physically and biologically different, therefore they react differently to each substance. But most importantly, animal testing is cruel and not sustainable. Just imagine how many animals are needed to test all the products we find in the beauty aisle at the supermarket? 

From now on I will be more conscious about the products I use and the brands I want to support. Maybe I won't save the world on my own, but I don't want to give my dollars to companies that don't invest them in different alternatives. I believe small actions make the difference.


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