How Easy Is It To Go Cruelty Free?

Ok, ok - so I realise the title of this article makes it sound like I'm about to make a whole load of excuses - but hear me out!

What I want to discuss is how easy it is or isn't to go fully cruelty free. For the average consumer it’s a minefield and many of the messages from brands on their position on this topic can be confusing...

”Brand X” might be cruelty-free but the parent company isn’t, whilst “Brand Y” was cruelty-free a few months ago, but is now selling in China… usually, on the quiet.

So many of us are time poor. Take for example the weekly grocery shop; it's generally about about get in, get what's needed, get out. I would bet that few of us consistently enter the supermarket and check online to see which brands are cruelty free before adding to our trolly. And this is where I think more needs to be done, it may not be popular with brands, but creating a cruelty free area in-store would have huge impact and I'm sure would make us more mindful of our buying choices.

Social media has been brilliant at raising awareness of this issue and it's certainly changed some buying habits. But it's also been pretty quick to make us feel inadequate, or ashamed if we fall into the "I've bought something that isn't cruelty free" trap.

The fact is that right now, the selection of truly cruelty-free brands is sadly very limited. Big brands who sell in China are reliant on consumers who value a product over thoughts of animal testing. I am myself guilty of this in that my go-to foundation from NARS, the one I've been wearing since 2010, is now no longer cruelty free, as of June 2017. My frustration is huge and yet I wonder how many others, angry about the company's new direction, will continue buying the product based on the fact it works for them?

So I thought I’d take a moment to showcase a few cruelty-free skincare brands that I’ve been really enjoying of late. Two are in fact from entrepreneurial businesses and are not only affective, but are masterminded by people passionate about skincare from a more ethical standpoint.

The first is Qualerex Beauty, a homegrown brand currently sold on Etsy. Qualerex Beauty produce a handmade quality line of skin treatments – from serums and anti-ageing facial oils, to primers and (my favourite) Argan body butters.

Cruelty Free Premium Skincare Review

Qualerex Beauty and Skincare

If like me you suffer with eczema or are sensitive to fragrance but the medical-smelling lotions aren’t doing it for you – try their body butters. My favourites are Heavenly Vanilla, Pink Sugar & Pecan.

Paula’s Choice are a brand well known for their products based around proven scientific research & a cruelty-free stance.

If you’re looking for no nonsense skincare, this is a good place to start.

Paulas Choice Niacinamide Booster Review

Cruelty Free Anti Ageing for Enlarged Pores

I’ve been hearing great things about the use of Niacinamide for pores, so I thought I’d try this serum, which is mixed with your day or night cream.  I find that if used in the day, the effect can feel quite tight – almost like my skin is dry. As such, I prefer to use this at night with a slightly richer night cream.

So far, after 1 week of nighttime use, the results are subtle, but there are results beginning to show!

Along with this I’ve been trying the Radiance Renewal Mask, which is said to brighten and hydrate. I like the quality of the packaging and the fact that the product is in a sealed pump bottle, not exposed to the air.

Habibi Body is a proudly vegan beauty brand, creating skincare with an almost holistic approach. Their products smell gloriously of rich aromatic oils that are a pleasure to use.

I first heard of the brand when they sent me a sample of their premium Seven Veils Facial Serum in December 2016. One pump is mixed with your day or night cream and the results are said to combat loss of hydration, fine lines and uneven skin tone. One bottle used daily lasted me around 5 months, after which I continued with my regular day cream alone.

Habibi Body Handmade Cruelty Free Beauty

Approximately 2 weeks after stopping the face serum, I noticed that my skin tone and texture wasn’t looking so good. Close-up my skin looked less plumped, and dull, pores appeared more visible and my skin looked slightly dehydrated. When I thought about it, the only thing I could think was that I wasn’t using the serum anymore.  

I started using it again after 1 month and once again, I began to notice the benefits slowly return.

It’s honestly not often you find a product that delivers such noticeable results!

Crystal Clear are a professional beauty brand typically found in selected salons in the UK and Europe. Popular with some bloggers and celebrities, I was drawn-in initially by the reviews and secondly the packaging.

Though the packaging means nothing in terms of results, I do like to have pretty looking cosmetics and creams on my vanity table!

Crystal Clear No Shine Serum

Paulas Choice Raidience Renewal Mask Review

I’ve been using the No Shine Serum for several weeks now. I have combination/oily skin and tend to find that my makeup wants to slide off my face come midday. At the same time, I don’t tend to like products that claim to combat oil, as it normally means uncomfortably tight skin with oil controlled by copious amounts of alcohol.

This product claims to manage oil whilst hydrating and keeping you matte all at once. It can be used alone as a facial serum, or as a primer under makeup.


If you're wanting to move to a cruelty-free lifestyle my advice is to regularly check websites such as PETA. They keep an active list of cruelty-free brands, which are modified if their status changes. Brands don't tend to shout about it when their position on this topic moves to one less favourable - and so it's up to us as the consumer to do our checks before making any purchases.

Have you tried going cruelty-free and if so, how have you found it?

Have you been frustrated by a limited list of companies to choose from, or do you find the list to be extensive and thus easy to migrate to?
Has going cruelty-free had an impact to you financially? Either costing you more, or saving you money?

Do you have any tips or advice for others on moving to a cruelty-free beauty & cosmetics lifestyle?

Have you tried any of the above mentioned cruelty-free brands and if so, how did you find them?




  • 13 May 2018
  • Natalie

Thank you for this article, it’s interesting to read! I stopped using Animal tested products a while ago: I have researched heavily into what brands are available and there are actually a good few, charlotte Tillbury, Fenty Beauty, Anastasia BH, hourglass is another brand, there are many more and there are a few you tubers who update lists with CF brands and review items! For household products Sainsbury’s and Co-op own branded products are cruelty free too! I have had great fun trying out new products. If people are happy to buy animal tested products, that is fine! I just can’t help feel disappointed when people state they hate animal cruelty but still find a way to justify buying products from brands who allow this to happen. The more people take a stand against this, the sooner beauty brands will be forced to listen!

Sophie Shohet

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and also these CF brands Natalie, the more we can all share the better.

I just don't understand why in this day and age we are still using animals to test upon, and EQUALLY I am the first to put my hand-up and say that pretty much all of the time, I will grab cleaning and household products off the supermarket shelf without even thinking about anything other than getting the shopping done and getting home.

When it comes to CF we all think immediately of cosmetics, but the issue is so widespread. I'd love it if there were a dedicated CF section in supermarkets - I bet they'd get everyone shopping a little differently. xx

  • 03 Jan 2018
  • Estella Radivojevic

You are so right about cf beauté products ! I have Gone cruelty free several months ago and been quite struggelling on here in France . Dont know thé products you showed have to inquiere if possible to get them over here. Thanks for all your suggestions you are giving us. Bye Estella xxx

Sophie Shohet

Thank you for sharing your thoughts Estella. I entirely agree with you, it's not at all easy and in reality, the brands that are CF are limited, Plus a lot are lesser heard of brands with an inferior product (compared to big brands with budget to spend on nice packaging, colour range, quality etc). It's hard when you see lots of cool new cosmetics on the likes of Instagram and very few are CF! Most of the products shown here are from the US and they were fine to ship to me in the UK, so you shouldn't have an issue in France. Have a great day :) xx

  • 14 Nov 2017
  • Julie

I agree with everything youre saying here! I'm a working mum and I hate the idea of animal cruelty in any form. The problem is that there aren't many CF makeup brands and I don't have the time to check Peta every time I do the weekly shop! At the moment, most of the CF beauty brands are for hippies and stink of herbs and god knows what else. Not to mention household cleaning products, you get shamed for buying a Mac lipstick but no one thinks twice about buying their Persil washing tablets!! Julie xxx

Sophie Shohet

Thanks for reading and commenting Julie! All valid points, and yes - cleaning products are a very overlooked area when it comes to CF xx

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