Today's tidbit of information will be how to go cruelty-free without going broke. I mentioned in yesterday's blog that an unwritten rule-of-thumb is that many cruelty-free brands are found at the department stores, whereas most of the drugstore brands are still tested. But that doesn't mean you have to go to the poorhouse to shop ethically (also, for future reference, let's abbreviate "cruelty-free" to "CF" to save my poor typing fingers).
Before I go into that, here are two great sites to give you tons of CF information - big chunk of who tests, who doesn't. They are:
http://www.caringconsumer.com/index.asp - Caring Consumer, linked through PETA. Yup, I know some anti-testing folks have issues with some of PETA's practices, and I don't blame you. But they've recently cleaned up their lists, updated and expanded on them. As far as information goes, they have a ton of it now.
http://www.leapingbunny.org/ - The Leaping Bunny. Again, lots of great information on who does and who doesn't.
Now, what to actually look for when you hit your local Rite Aid. Here are some inexpensive brands that you can find at any drugstore:
1. Revlon - really, the mac-daddy of all non-animal tested drugstore brands. Great quality, a ton of products, been around forever, and one of the first companies to go CF.
2. Queen Helene - great skincare and haircare. Not only dirt cheap, but all natural, and found at both drugstores and healthfood stores.
3. Almay - Revlon's kid sister (owned by the same company). Hypoallergenic, fragrance-free.
4. Physician's Formula.
5. NYC (New York Color).
6. Wet & Wild - non-animal tested, and about as cheap as you're gonna get.
7. Avon - great, great stuff, and cheap. Worth the wait for having to order it.
8. Bonne Bell.
9. Yes To Carrots.
10. Bath & Body Works.
So that's a fairly basic drugstore Top 10 (or online, as in the case of Avon, or specialty store as in the case of B&BW).
Now, who to stay away from? You may not like this list, because it's going to contain many drugstore staples and favorites, but here we go - the Top 10 Drugstore "baddies":
1. Covergirl - owned by Procter & Gamble, one of the worst and most dishonest companies who still engage in animal testing.
2. L'Oreal - This one is a tough call, because their website keeps changing. On some searches, it says they don't test. Search on a different day, and they don't address the question at all. Other searches on another day say that they're "committed to eliminating animal testing", which means they still test on some products. Do a random Google search, and you might find a link claiming they don't test. But when you click on it, and it will take you to an outdated source on their website, with that same information gone when you click on the main link for an updated version. Here's my rule of thumb - when in doubt, just don't buy it. There are plenty of other brands out there that absolutely don't test and are willing to say so without all the cloak and dagger stuff. Plus, L'Oreal is still on PETA's list, which has been updated.
3. Maybelline - owned by L'Oreal.
5. Max Factor.
6. Unilever, owners of Dove and Suave. Their website also states that they're "Committed to the elimination of animal testing", but they don't say that they don't. My guess is also that they still test on some of their products, which earns them a big fat NO in my book.
7. Neutrogena - a shame, too, because I believe at one time they were listed as a non-animal testing company, back around 1989 or so. But since then, they've been acquired by Johnson & Johnson, who do test.
8. Olay - owned by Procter & Gamble.
9. Pantene - owned by Procter & Gamble.
10. Secret deodorant - owned by Procter & Gamble.
There is some good news, however. One thing is, as I mentioned, that many companies are getting on board with going CF. PETA's list of companies that still test is pages shorter than it was 10 years ago. There's some out there who are still in the dark ages, but others have really gotten onto the CF bandwagon.
The other good news is healthfood stores. Anytime you're purchasing beauty, hair and body care at a healthfood store or a Whole Foods, you're buying CF products, no argument. Those stores only carry CF brands, which also have the bonus of being either all natural or organic - and many of them fall onto the cheaper side of the fence. Some can be pricier, but most are either comparably priced with drugstore brands or a tiny bit more. They're certainly WAY cheaper than department store brands. Plus, as all natural and organic items go more mainstream, the prices drop. They're being carried in more and more drugstores, and the big stores like Whole Foods are coming down in price in their Whole Body sections, too. The one place to watch your wallet are the little Mom & Pop healthfood stores - many of them still have much higher prices in order to stay afloat in the sea of Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and Vitamin Shoppes.
So that's all for today - hope this was informative for you, and see you tomorrow!