Are your beauty products truly cruelty free?

Do you know how your beauty products are produced? Are they truly cruelty-free? You sure? Better check again.

There are literally hundreds of main stream cosmetic lines being sold in the United States. Did you know that 182 of those brands are owned by seven manufacturers?1 Estée Lauder Companies, L’Oréal, Unilever, Procter and Gamble, Shiseido, Johnson and Johnson, and Coty own the majority of cosmetics lines that most Americans use on a regular basis. They control which beauty products we are buying, how much they cost, and with revenues of $11B a year are responsible for advertising and the way we think about beauty.

Those of us who shop more mindfully take the painstaking effort to research the products we consume on a daily basis. We look at the ingredients, understand how the products are produced and look for natural, organic and cruelty-free alternatives. We may not think we are purchasing from these large-scale beauty manufacturers, but that is not always the case. Take for example, Kiehl’s. They promote their product as being “Naturally Inspired Skin Care, Body, and Haircare”, and they do not test on animals; However, they are owned by L’Oreal, a corporation that continues to test on animals. L’Oreal’s website states that they do not test any of their finished products sold in the United States on animals. There is however a couple of contingencies. This applies to those ingredients used in finished products IF those ingredients have been tested on animals after March 2013 AND IF they have been tested for cosmetic reasons only. What? Are you confused y that statement? Because I am. Second, L’Oreal does fund animal testing of their finished products in China, because the practice is required by law.2   So, if you purchase beauty products from Naturally Inspired Kiehl’s, you are purchasing from L’Oreal.

Here is another example. BareMinerals, a product line from Bare Essentials, is owned by Shiseido. Bare does not test on animals and they do not sell in China because of this reason. However, their parent company does test on animals. So, when you buy from Bare Essentials, you are also buying and supporting Shiseido. Here are a few more examples of this:

  • Aveda is cruelty free, but is owned by Estee Lauder who tests on animals
  • Urban Decay is cruelty-free, but is owned by L’Oreal who tests on animals
  • Pureology hair care is 100% vegan, but is owned by L’Oreal who tests on animals
  • The Body Shop is cruelty-free, but you guessed it, owned by L’Oreal who tests on animals
  • Coty owns OPI. OPI is in practically every, single nail salon in America. We have all received mani-pedis with OPI nail polis. They test on animals and have harmful ingredients in their nail polish.

This graphic shows the full list of companies owned by these 7 conglomerates

Thank you to Skye Gould/INSIDER for creating this image.

Now let’s get back to the other piece – advertising. Because these companies make billions of dollars per year, they are able to control the narrative on what it means to be beautiful. Pushing the ideals of unrealistic beauty standards, how fine lines and wrinkles will magically disappear with their $250 fountain of youth cream. Their spokesperson? A 45-year-old Oscar winning actress with a complexion of a 26-year-old courtesy of years of weekly facials, Botox and plastic surgery. This is the current narrative we are fed when we watch TV, open our browsers, and read magazines. It is inescapable. The good news is that you do not have to listen to this narrative or even believe it. Give yourself permission to run the show. Love yourself as you are and age the way you want to.

Mind-blown? Mine was. I had some beauty cabinet cleaning up to do after writing this blog post. Now, what can you as an individual do? It’s really quite easy. Support authentic, cruelty-free, small batch beauty makers. By purchasing from small beauty companies, you can ensure that you know all of the ingredients going into the products you use and be sure that you are supporting 100% cruelty-free companies. No contingencies. Plus, every time you purchase from a small business owner, you know where the dollars are going and you are supporting businesses with a purpose.

BuddhiBox is proud to support cruelty-free beauty that we often featured in the monthly shipments and are for sale at our on-line store. Here is a list of some of my favorite brands. These brands were founded by women inspired by their own life’s journey. They make their own rules when it comes to beauty. Many of these beauty mavens also support charitable organizations through the production and sales of their products.

AILA Cosmetics developed by Board Certified Pediatric Surgeon Dr. Cary after experiencing the stress of having lived through a rare disease. In addition, her daughter Aila suffers from SPD – Sensory Processing Disorder. Proceeds from nail color Orchid go to the SPD Foundation.
Bear’s Beauty Hemp was founded by Jerra who personally suffer from PCOS, a hormonal disorder. Emerging research is showing a DIRECT link between petro chemicals and hormone-disruptors.
Co-Pur was started by Destiny’s passion for living a natural lifestyle. Discouraged by the majority of the products claiming to be natural but truly weren’t, Co-Pur was created.
Dermadeli was founded in an attempt to help the founder’s daughter improve her complexion and overall skin health.
Elements of Aliel was inspired by Lakeisha’s daughter and her Ghanaian culture.
Erin’s Faces was founded by a makeup artist who saw first hand, the many women overwhelmed by trying to keep up with the magazine’s “must have” products. Erin created her line to help women become a priority and be the gateway to their own self-worth.
Evelyn Iona was created in a women’s shelter, where Brandi lived for some time. Her line gives back to amazing organizations that help improve the laws and support women’s issues surrounding domestic violence.
From Molly with Love was founded as a way to self care after battling addiction and mental illness. Molly now supports charities that support these ailments.
LaRitzy was born out of a desire for more options, more transparency, more positivity and more thought. Animal welfare is something that’s extremely close to co-founder Emily’s heart which is why all products are never tested on animals.
Paavani was created by two BFF’s during their Herbalism Apprenticeship, at the California College of Ayurveda. This line was created to share the wisdom and tradition of Ayurveda with their community.
Real Beauty for a Cause supports Connections to Success, a non-profit dedicated to providing a comprehensive network of services and support to help people living in poverty become economically self-sufficient.

Stay informed, confident, compassionate and Buddhiful!

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1Source: This is Insider
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