Don’t Be Cruel…

I’m starting this post on a light note, because this is about to get HEAVY, y’all.

The lovely Jenn from Peas & Crayons did a vlog giveaway last week of Beauty Without Cruelty products. Jenn talked about a moment when she discovered all the crap that was in her beauty products. She chucked everything and went on a shopping spree at Whole Foods. Like Jenn, I had a moment when I discovered how dangerous some of my beauty products were. Since then, I always check the Environmental Working Group’s cosmetics database when I try something new. I have even looked things up on the EWG’s cosmetic database from my iPhone, standing in the middle of the drugstore!

I spend a lot of time making sure my and my children’s products aren’t filled with harmful chemicals, carcinogens, hormone disrupters, etc.  We use environmentally friendly cleaners, laundry detergent, and dish soap. But to be honest, I don’t think too much about animal testing. Most of the products that I use are marked as cruelty-free, and it’s become something that I take for granted. After watching Jenn’s vlog, I decided to look through all of my beauty products and make sure they were all cruelty-free.

Aubrey Organics: “We have never tested on animals, and we never will.”
Aveda: “We do not conduct animal testing, and do not ask others to do so on our behalf, except if required by law.”
Burt’s Bees: “We also pledge to never test our ingredients or products on animals.”
California Baby: “California Baby does NOT conduct product or ingredient tests of any kind on animals.”
Origins: “We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor do we ask others to test on our behalf, unless required by law.”




There I stood in my bathroom looking at my Aveeno moisturizer. Nothing on the bottle about animal testing. So I go to the website. Nothing on the website about animal testing. So I go to the PETA website and do a company search for Aveeno. They are listed under companies that DO test products on animals. Aveeno is part of Johnson & Johnson, a company that is not cruelty-free and does test products on animals. A quick Google search tells me that Aveeno tests its own products on animals as well.


People… I use a LOT of Aveeno products. Off the top of my head, I know I use their shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, hair styling foam, lotion, eye cream, shaving cream, make-up, baby wash, and baby lotion. I love Aveeno. Their products work really well on my very sensitive skin and my babies’ skin. Everything is fragrance-free, safe, and gentle. (Well, safe and gentle for me, but not for the poor animals they abuse in the process.) I have to admit, I’m broken-hearted. It took years to find the one brand that wouldn’t cause me to break out into a rash. I’m angry and embarrassed that I fell for their clever marketing of their “active naturals.”  Seriously, look at the Aveeno website.

“Beautiful change starts with a single step.” I agree, Aveeno, I agree.

And my single step will be to never buy your products again.

Coincidentally, just the day before, I had used a coupon code at ULTA to stock up on some Aveeno products. They hadn’t even arrived yet when I made this gruesome animal testing discovery. I went right back to the ULTA website and placed a new order for Burt’s Bees products. My Aveeno loot showed up on my doorstep today, and I’ll be bringing it all back to ULTA tomorrow for a full refund.

Want to check your own beauty stash?

One thing I find very encouraging is that the list of companies that does not test on animals is 26 pages long, while the list of companies that does test on animals is only 7 pages long. Things are headed in the right direction!

From those documents, here is a list of some brands that are owned by companies who test on animals. (To be clear, I don’t know whether these individual brands/products are tested on animals. Proctor & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oreal, etc. test on animals, therefore purchasing any of these products supports a company that is not cruelty-free. Plus, how would you know that your product wasn’t?)

See any of your favorites on this list?

  • Proctor & Gamble:
    • Covergirl
    • Head & Shoulders
    • Pantene
    • Tampax
    • Crest
    • Herbal Essences
    • Always
    • Olay
    • Secret
    • DDF
    • Bounce
    • Cascade
    • Tide
    • Iams
    • Swiffer
    • Pampers
    • Charmin
    • Downy
    • Eukanuba
  • Johnson & Johnson:
    • Desitin
    • Clean & Clear
    • Neutrogena
    • Aveeno
    • Band-Aid
    • Purell
    • Listerine
    • Stayfree
    • Carefree
    • Visine
  • L’Oreal:
    • Garnier
    • Lancome
    • Maybelline
  • Church & Dwight:
    • Nair
    • Arm & Hammer
    • Oxiclean

So what now? I’m feeling rather shell-shocked, to be honest. I’ve made huge changes in our household over the last few years due to concerns about the environment, my children, and long-term health, and I had no idea there was still so much to be done.

I just took the PETA pledge to be cruelty-free. Won’t you?

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39 Responses to Don’t Be Cruel…

  1. i’ve been using mostly arbonne health & beauty products for about 2 years because of their awesome stance on animal testing and use of animal byproducts in their lines. i’m totally with you on this though. it’s SHOCKING to see who tests on animals. not cool at all.

  2. Hannah says:

    You know now, and that’s the important thing. Your heart was in the right place, and now your skin is too – hurrah! I use hardly any products or cosmetics (I should, I know), but tend to use Lush products, which I’m 99% sure don’t test on animals. Plus they look and smell good 🙂

    • Christine says:

      Just THINKING about Lush gives me contact dermatitis!!!

      • Ugh…I hate the smell of LUSH. It’s so strong. I used to walk past a store everyday during my Master’s degree when I lived away – and it was so overwhelming!

        WOW – Christine – I had no idea! I use Aveeno moisturizer. Crazy…

  3. SWIFFER tests on animals?? for…?

    eek, sorry this happened, but glad you now know. there are plenty of alternatives out there! I LOVE burts bees!

    • Christine says:

      Kristina, I updated my post to be more clear. Swiffer is a P&G product. P&G tests on animals. So you can’t know for sure that Swiffer isn’t tested on animals.

      Swiffer has that wet jet stuff. Wouldn’t surprise me if they tested that on animals.

      • sorry if that sounded “challenging” with the multiple ?? – I definitely didn’t mean that. you’re right, it probably happens 😦

        a big eye opener, that list is! (now I’m channeling Yoda, at 6:30 in the morning!) 😀

  4. lindsay says:

    eek! I didn’t know those companies tested on animals!! Thank you for sharing this.

  5. Ugh, I had no idea that Aveeno was on that list. How disappointing!

  6. Shocking! 😯 I love that you’re so conscientious about your beauty products!

    I don’t use a lot of beauty products – just mascara, rouge for the cheeks, and eye shadow when I go out. Cream, of course. That’s it. I buy most of it from an organic brand, so I hope they don’t do animal testing! I’ll check it out now, though.

  7. Very interesting! I’ve apparently also completely fallen for Aveeno’s marketing. I love their shampoo/conditioner/lotion and use them all the time! This is really surprising.

  8. I had no idea! I couldn’t be more shocked that Aveeno is not cruelty-free! Don’t they promote themselves as being “natural”??? I guess I just assumed based on their marketing that they were cruelty-free! Thank you so much for this post – I am a HUGE animal activist and this kind of stuff really ticks me off. In this day and age we should not be testing our FREAKIN’ beauty products on innocent animals!

  9. I wrote a post about this kind of thing for my work blog once and was shocked not only about how many products test on animals, but also how many of our products are filled with dangerous ingredients that AREN’T regulated by our government. How is it that companies can sell us products without some higher regulation. I wish I could just afford to toss out all my products and start fresh, but maybe little by little. I really your posts – their always so informative!

    • Christine says:

      Thanks for the compliment, Allison. 🙂 When I first started looking into the safety of my products, I looked everything up in the cosmetics database. I was mostly looking for carcinogens and hormone disrupters. I replaced most items by attrition. When I’d run out of something, I’d replace it with a higher-quality, healthier alternative. There were some products whose scores were so low that I chucked them straight away. Many perfumes fell into this category. These days, I look everything up before I buy it. I miss some of my old products, but I don’t want to use things that could be detrimental to my long-term health.

  10. Meri says:

    Wow, I’m surprised too. It’s funny how some products are marketed in a way to appear more “natural” and “green” and “cruelty free” than they are. I wonder what it is about Aveeno? I use their face wash. And I use olay moisturizer. Urgh.

  11. Rach says:

    So I saw Iams listed on your list of products that test on animals, but we buy their dog food… for our dog. So in my head it seems humane to feed it to other dogs as well. So I started doing some research and found that there is a whole movement about this ( Thanks for bringing awareness to this issue!

  12. LauraJayne says:

    I’ve been slowly transitioning my beauty products into ones that use “good” ingredients and that are cruelty-free. Since I can’t afford to throw everything away at once, I’ve been replacing my current products with better ones, and learning what works with my sensitive-skin and residual teenage acne. I’m at a point where I think I only have one bodywash that doesn’t meet the standards – and it feels really good!

    Since I am iPhone-less, I stand in my favorite stores on the phone with my mom as she reads off of the website for me – lol! I think your way is WAY less intrusive to the other shoppers!

  13. Wow. A lot of our stuff is on that list. That sucks. I thought I was pretty animal testing minded. I know my makeup is – ELF. We’ve been trying to slowly change over to a more environmentally friendly household and hopefully now animal testing free too. We can’t afford to do it all at once.

    PS – I love Aveeno products too. What a letdown.

  14. Kelsey says:

    LOVE this post. Well, it’s love/hate really, because I’m super bummed that a lot of my fave products are tested on animals. I so need a product overhaul and I’m going to refer to this info to do it! Aveeno?? Really??? UGH.

  15. wow, I am sad to see that neutragina is on that list!!! it is the only face wash and moisterizer I have tried that doesn’t break me out or dry up my skin! And I feel like I have tried a million products!! 😦 but I definitely don’t want to condone testing on animals!!!

  16. Aveeno does? really? I’m so surprised! And sort of disappointed in them… 😦

  17. It’s such a long list and I never realized until now! Thank you for bringing it to my attention 🙂 I will have to be a more proactive shopper and it will give me the perfect excuse to splurge on Aveda products.

  18. Wow, this was really an eye opener, I had no idea all of those companies tested on animals. And I’m sure we could all use a beauty product detox, there is no telling how many chemicals are in most of that stuff.

    I have actually been trying to find things that I can make at home for skin care here recently, like brown sugar scrubs, etc. and I have been finding some really amazing natural skin care products at Trader Joe’s, love that place!

  19. Aveeno?!? They come off as so wholesome. It is so dissapointing to see so many popular brands on that list. I think this is an issue that needs more and more awareness in order to really put an end to it.

  20. Great Post! I use secret & neturogena, booo! I guess I will have to switch 🙂

  21. Way to go Aveeno JERKS! ugh! I’m glad they lost another customer! I’ll help you find better products that won’t make your skin freak! prooomise! ❤ message me anytime dahhling!

    I heart this post. thank you so much for the shoutout and im so glad I was able to somewhat inspire this amazingness. you said everything I was too lazy to say and I adore you for that!!!!! ❤ A++++++ for you! and a gold star too!

    ooh! also gave you an award on my post today! ❤ cause your rock

  22. AH! I am definitely going be checking out that website for all of the products that I use!

  23. Allie says:

    I had no idea! Oh me oh my. I am going to check out the PETA pledge right now 🙂 Thank you!

  24. I saw a commercial for that Aveeno Active Naturals line – totally got me!
    This was super informative, and it’s prompted me to look at my own beauty products. Should all natural stuff be better for our skin/hair anyway?! Thanks!!

  25. Clearly, I meant *Shouldn’t all natural stuff be better for us anyway?! Of course it is!

  26. I’ve known for quite a while that I need to be diligent about transitioning the “bad” products out of our house and the “good” ones in. Now I just need to DO it. Thanks for such an informative post!

  27. This post was sadly very informative 😦 I never thought to check on parent companies! Thanks so much for this list- looks like I have some shopping to do!

  28. I’m so sorry that you made this awful discovery. I was surprised to read what you wrote…I also thought that Aveeno was one of the “good ones”. The whole “greenwashing” that’s going on in marketing right now is very frustrating. It just seems wrong that brands can market themselves as green and kind when they are ANYTHING but. Anyway, thanks for sharing.

  29. Wow, what a great post! I’m off to check all of my products on the website, too. I’m slightly worried that I’ll have to throw 98% of my things in the trash. I buy a lot of Aveeno stuff, too…mostly for my son. That makes me angry!!

  30. Missy says:

    I’ve got some spring cleaning to do.
    I should be pretty safe (mostly because I don’t use alot of products) YET that made me casually overlook the cruel factor.
    What a great post! Thanks (I also love getting rid of crap)

  31. Thanks for that helpful article. I was about to buy an Aveeno product and tried to check if it is vegan and free of animal testing. With your provided information I changed my mind and have to look further.

  32. Derinda says:

    Have you found a good substitute for Aveeno moisturizers and cleansers? I, too, have just begun to look at the products I use and if they are cruelty free. Aveeno works so well for my sensitive skin – I am so sad to hear they test on animals. Thank you!

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