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If time allowed, I could spend hours in the “Whole Body” section of Whole Foods, my favorite store, smelling the scents, testing new lotions and make-up, and basking in its organic glory.

Whoa is me, I have other things to do and the staff might kind of start looking at me funny.

But how wonderful are all those different lotions, face washes, lipsticks, soaps, shampoos, hair styling products, eye liners, exfoliates, eye creams, sun screens, and more?

And in all the different scents – lavender, vanilla chai, mango, coconut lime….

OK, snapping out of my “Whole Body” day dream now. Sorry.

Can you tell I kind of love smell-good personal care products, though? I bet I’m not the only one.

I don’t love cruelty-free, vegan personal care items for what’s in them – I love them for what’s NOT in them (namely animal products and nasty chemicals) and for who they were NOT tested on.

It’s a misconception that animal testing (also called vivisection) is a thing of the past. A few years ago I asked a girl at a salon if their products were tested on animals, and she replied, “no, they haven’t done that since, like, the 70s.” She was shocked when I shared that vivisection is unfortunately still happening.

It is shocking.

Not only are these tests extremely cruel to the animals (which is bad enough), they are totally unnecessary. There are far more accurate and effective ways to test cosmetics and personal care products now that don’t involve pouring toxic chemicals into bunnies’ eyes to see what happens.

There are so many chemicals in things these days. You’d be appalled at some of the carcinogens (yes, known cancer causing agents) that are found in the products we rub on our skin (which gulps it right up), and even in our baby products (yikes!)!

There are a HUGE number of personal care products of every different variety that are vegan, not tested on animals, not full of nasty chemicals, luxurious, effective, and fragrant (yay!) out there.

So, let’s shop cruelty-free, shall we?

The very easiest way to do this is by shopping at Whole Foods if you have one in your area because they don’t carry any products that were tested on animals to begin with. Then all you have to do is look to make sure there are no animal ingredients in the product. (Here’s a convenient list of animal ingredients!)

Not everywhere has a heaven, I mean a Whole Foods, though. So, to shop at any store, I recommend doing the following:

Look for the Leaping Bunny!

…or any other symbol that indicates cruelty free and vegan. Many of them are shown below.

Even if a product says “Not tested on animals,” check the label to make sure there are no animal ingredients. And just because a product is vegan doesn’t mean it’s not tested on animals – tricky, tricky. Just read carefully.

Sometimes it will just say “Not tested on animals. No animal ingredients,” without any symbol. However it is stated, it’s a beautiful thing to see!

Curious about the personal care items you already have? Check them against this handy database of companies/products that test on animals.

You might find that you already use some cruelty-free items (hooray!), and for the ones that aren’t? Recycle the containers when they’ve been used up and go shopping for a cruelty-free alternative that you’ll love. How much fun is this!?

So what do I vegan in personal care products? A LOT. Let’s start with hair care for today:

I adore my “Kiss My Face” brand shampoo that, as promised, leaves my hair soft, shiny, and wonderfully manageable! *Tossing hair now*

And here’s my shampoo’s label. “No animal ingredients or animal testing” – hip hip hooray!

Here’s the conditioner I use every day. My hair is fine, so I like this because it “strengthens thin, fragile hair,” detangles, and adds volume! Va va voom!

I use Giovanni Sunset Styling Lotion to straighten (by blowing it dry) OR curl my hair (by scrunching it in). I love that it’s versatile and protects my hair from heat styling.

Here’s how that Giovanni label looks – no leaping bunny symbol, but it does say clearly, “No Animal By-Products and Cruelty Free.”

If I want a little extra lift and volume, I use Pureology’s Root Lift, and to set my hair style, I spray on Beauty Without Cruelty’s Natural Hold Hairspray.

Here’s the hair spray’s label. See the good news?

Last but not least, guys don’t have to be left out! My hubby likes this Giovanni styling glue for his hair. (And I like that it smells good!)

I’ll post more about other personal care and even household items (cleaning supplies and more that are tested on animals – boo!) in the future, but this gives you an idea of what to look for to start out!

Your assignment this week:

Check to see if any of your personal care items are already cruelty-free and vegan. If not, choose one to replace with a fabulous alternative, and get shopping! 🙂

To making bunnies leap with joy!


P.S. If you find that any of your current products are vegan and cruelty-free, let us know in the comments below – and give yourself a big high five!