Mother Earth Living

Alternatives to Animal Testing: More Cruelty-Free Recipes

The current market offers thousands of cosmetics companies to choose from, but there’s more than simple utility and comfort to consider as you determine which organizations’ products you’ll purchase. Some products contain toxic bispheonl-A (BPA), some are made of entirely synthetic ingredients or contain compounds that may unbalance the chemical composition of your skin, resulting in irritation and breakouts. Some companies test on animals, subjecting rabbits, rats and dogs to painful and sometimes deadly Lethal Dosage and Draize tests.

We’re urging our readers to avoid companies that continue to use these toxic materials or that test on animals. If you want to see whether a product you regularly buy is cruelty-free, check the Leaping Bunny, AAVS or Humane Society websites (and be sure to check out any larger company that owns the product too). If neither the original company nor its affiliates appear on the Leaping Bunny list or any of the others that maintain lists of the “good guys,” it’s likely that the company does test on animals. Companies that continue to test on animals (as of this blog’s writing) include many that I, at least, never realized were so wide-spread: Unilever (Dove, Lever, Axe, Suave); Colgate-Palmolive (SoftSoap, Hills Pet Nuitrition); Proctor and Gamble (about half the toiletry products in my house seem to be part of P&G through subsidiary companies); Church and Dwight (includes Arm and Hammer); Clorox; L’Oreal (Garnier, Giorgio Armani, Maybelline, Lancome); S.C. Johnson (Glade, OFF!, Ziploc, Windex); and Johnson and Johnson (Clean & Clear, Listerine, Aveeno).

One option for avoiding these issues altogether is to make your own products, and we have many recipes to get you started. For a list of refreshing scrubs and cleansers, see this post. Today I’ll round out this series with lotions, lip gloss recipes and other useful homemade products.

Make your own lotion and lip balm with these simple recipes.
Photo by Angela Mabray/Courtesy

Lotions: Restore moisture to your dry hands this winter with lotions that hint of your favorite summer herbs.
• Rose Geranium Lotion
• Smooth-Skin Treatment
• Hand Mask

For Your Lips: Keep your lips moist, soft and healthy through the dry winter and hot summer with these homemade stains and balms.
• Beet Root Stain
• Orange Mint Lip Balm
• Beeswax Lip Balm
• Honey Lip Balm
• Sun Lip Balm

Others: A few more recipes you may find useful when caring for your skin.
• Pore Tightener
• Comfrey-Rose Toner
• Muscle-Saver Bath Bag
• Tea Toner for Oily Skin
• Sunny-Day Cream

Now you may be wondering where the recipes for foundation, mascara, eyeliner, all those make-up staples are, and the truth is that those are a bit more difficult to produce in an entirely natural form at home. Mascara, for example can be made with either activated charcoal or eye-shadow pigments, or if you already have dark lashes you can simply use castor oil. You do have to be careful with these methods though, because your eyes may react differently to these homemade products than the cosmetics you’re used to. Similarly, there are recipes for making your own foundation or mineral make-up, but they generally require that you purchase some form of base from a cosmetics company. Fortunately, there are companies that don’t test their products on animals from whom you can purchase whatever further beauty products you use.

All companies listed below have pledged to be cruelty-free, and many use organic or vegan ingredients. Please visit The Leaping Bunny for more products and information.

If you want to learn more about what the scientific community is doing to eliminate animal testing, visit

Cruelty-Free Companies:

• Crazy Rumours features a range of fun-flavored, all-natural and vegan-friendly lip balms and colors.
• Hard Candy has glamorous vegan-friendly products for your face, lips, eyes, nails and skin.
• Badger Balm is a family-run business that deals in natural skin and lip care of the highest quality.
• Alima Pure Natural Cosmetics has BDIH natural cosmetics certification (a German certification with stricter guidelines for natural products and US standards) and offers a wide range of cosmetics products and tools.
• Afterglow Cosmetics brings high-fashion, high-color pigments and pure mineral make-up infused with certified organic bioactive botanicals.
• Suki specializes in hand-made skin care products for sensitive skin, with focus on a variety of skin conditions and allergies. 

  • Published on Jan 18, 2011
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