Every year, more than 115 million animals are used in laboratory experiments around the world, according to Humane Society International. Products such as cosmetics, household cleaners and pharmaceuticals are force-fed or injected into mice, rats and guinea pigs, as well as cats, dogs and monkeys. All of these tests have the potential to cause intense physical and psychological harm.
That’s why beauty blogger Suzi Scheler created crueltyfreekitty.com, a resource for fellow animal lovers “who don’t want to compromise their ethics for an eyeshadow palette,” she writes on the site’s About page. “No animal should suffer for our vanity,” says Scheler.
By supporting cruelty-free brands, she says, we can help put an end to animal testing.
“As consumers, our voices matter and we have the power to change practices we don’t agree with, such as animal testing,” she says. “Animals, on the other hand, don’t have a voice, which makes it even more important for us to try to help.”
Here are some of her favorite brands, as well as a few others that have been designated as cruelty free by PETA:
What started as a nut stall in a Sierra Leone village market has evolved into a body, skin and hair care line that’s all natural, organic and completely cruelty free.
“I especially love their body moisturizers, which are made with shea butter and other rich butters and oils,” says Scheler.
The Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie hair treatment also gets credit for making thick curls bouncy and soft.
Available at: sheamoisture.com
Scheler says 100% PURE uses ingredients like fruit pigments in their makeup instead of artificial or animal-based dyes. The brand uses no artificial colors or fragrances in their skin, hair and baby products and cosmetics and they don’t test on animals.
“We do all that we can to end the hurting and exploitation of animals,” says Susie Wang, co-founder of 100% PURE, including using their platform to help raise awareness about the plight of lab animals and help support nonprofits that fight animal cruelty.
Available at: 100percentpure.com
wet n wild
Cruelty-free brands aren’t necessarily expensive, says Scheler. There are options at every price point.
“If you’re on a budget and you’re looking for drugstore makeup, wet n wild is 100 percent cruelty free and they offer very affordable makeup,” she says.
Their Photo Focus Concealer comes in at only $3.99 and the Wild Shine Nail Color is a mere $0.99.
Available at: wetnwildbeauty.com
Another budget-friendly brand on Scheler’s cruelty-free list is E.L.F. Cosmetics, whose makeup, body washes and facial care are all mostly under $10.
Their Intense Ink eyeliner gets rave reviews for its easy application, smooth coverage and staying power, while the two-panel eyebrow kit is a popular way to fill in your brows without any cakiness.
Available at: elfcosmetics.com
Kat Von D Beauty
One of the most popular makeup brands, Kat Von D Beauty makes cosmetics and perfumes that do not contain any animal products or byproducts and are never tested on animals.
“Their products are great quality and they offer a huge range of products and colors, with options for every skin tone,” says Scheler.
The Kat Von D Tattoo Liner and Shade & Light Face Contour Palette are among her favorite products of 2017.
Available at: Kat Von D Beauty
Designed for a natural, minimalistic look, W3LL PEOPLE is one of Scheler’s favorite non-toxic makeup brands. Their Narcissist Foundation + Concealer Stick is good for moderate under eye circles, she says, and she also likes their Nudist Lip Butter.
Available at: w3llpeople.com
Josie Maran Cosmetics
Made with fair-trade Argan oil that’s grown and harvested in Morocco by women-run co ops, Josie Maran’s skin, hair care products and makeup are good for people and animals, Scheler says. Their Argan Daily Moisturizer with SPF 47 is one of Scheler’s favorite cruelty-free sunscreens and the brand’s Whipped Argan Oil Face Butter is also a crowd favorite for its ability to soften lines without being overly oily.
Available at: josiemarancosmetics.com
Another of Scheler’s favorite drugstore beauty brands, Milani Cosmetics’ makeup and nail care is cruelty free and budget friendly. Their Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation Concealer comes in at less than $10 and provides natural looking coverage for hours on end.
Available at: milanicosmetics.com
For cruelty-free hair care, Scheler counts on Alba Botanica. Their Natural Hawaiian Shampoo in So Smooth Gardenia is one of the best cruelty-free shampoos for taming frizzy hair, she says. She’s also a fan of their Island Citrus Very Emollient Bath & Shower Gel.
Available at: albabotanica.com
Obsessive Compulsive is another brand Scheler recommends on her blog. Their makeup and nail color are cruelty free and vegan.
“From our inception, we pledged never to use animal-derived or animal-tested ingredients,” says Jack Hargreaves, art director at Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. “You need not necessarily be aligned with animal rights issues to reap the benefits of a vegan cosmetic line: animal ingredients can be amongst the most allergenic and prevent makeup from being considered Kosher, Halal or otherwise compliant with various regulations.”
Available at: occmakeup.com
Pacifica’s Coconut Damage Mask is one of Scheler’s favorite cruelty-free hair care products. She also likes their Dream Big Volumizing Mascara.
Compassion is one of the brand’s core values, says Pacifica founder Brook Harvey-Taylor.
“We believe that animals are sentient beings,” she says. “They should not be tortured for any reason.”
Available at: pacificabeauty.com
Find more cruelty-free cosmetics and personal-care products through PETA’s online directory.
Helen Anne Travis is a freelance writer based in Tampa, FL. She also writes for CNN, The Guardian and The Globe and Mail.