A Quick Recommendation: Acne.org

I made a post about essential oils a little while back – yes, it is true. Using too many oils, too much at a time, can really eff with that sweet face and bod of yours. It is important to figure out what works and what doesn’t work for your skin type! Unfortunately, that means we have to experiment, and breakouts are inevitable. It can be extremely perplexing for those of us who prefer to stick to cruelty-free brands when we shop. After a recent breakout (and I rarely break out beyond one zit here and there), I found myself at a loss at the drug store. I wanted to find a benzoyl peroxide treatment that was from a cruelty-free source, and failed miserably!

Upon doing some research, I stumbled onto a community called Acne.org. The founder, Dan Kern, offers acne sufferers a community in which to gather. There are how-to videos, advice, product reviews; it is essentially a one-stop shop for everything healthy skin! The site is supported solely by the profits of The Regimen, which is a 3-step acne treatment program formulated by Dan himself. It includes a gentle cleanser, benzoyl peroxide acne treatment, and a moisturizer. Extras include alpha hydroxy Acid (an exfoliant), and jojoba oil (he is as into jojoba oil, as I am into coconut oil!).

While many of the product reviews include products that aren’t cruelty-free, I was pleased when I heard back from Brandy at Acne.org, who confirmed with me that the products sold in the Acne.org store are in fact 100% vegan and cruelty-free. Not only this – they are affordable!

Check ’em out!

Cruelty-free: What is your standard?

The majority of feedback I receive on this site is in relation to what is or isn’t cruelty-free. I do my best to report on what I know is cruelty-free, and if you think I may be wrong, or misinformed, please let me know! The last thing I want to do is to be promoting a product from a company I think is fantastic, when they actually stink major trucker balls.

There are two variations of cruelty-free that I have noticed. First of all, there is the concept that a product can be considered cruelty-free or animal-friendly if that sole product or that entire product line is not tested, yet the parent company does test (or at least doesn’t claim they don’t test) on their other lines. We see this with L’Oreal’s EverSleek / EverCreme / EverStrong lines, who claim their products to be “100% Vegan – Formula not tested on animals. Contains no animal byproducts.” – as it states on these product lines. But within the animal welfare community, L’Oreal is in no way considered a crusader for ending animal testing on cosmetics.

Secondly,  there are companies whose products are 100% cruelty-free; none of their products contain animal ingredients, nor do their ingredients come from tested sources, and the final product is also not tested on animals.

Of course we also have standards set by organizations like Leaping Bunny, or PETA. Companies can apply to be certified by these animal welfare organizations, and it often involves a signed commitment to being cruelty-free (according to the standard set by the particular organization), and even detailed disclosure of testing practices. These organizations serve as a helpful shopping guide, though they are not the be-all-end-all of cruelty-free possibilities.

What is your standard of cruelty-free?

I’d love to hear from you on this issue. Will you support companies like L’Oreal who have product lines that are not tested on animals, but who do not, in any way, ensure their other products are cruelty-free? Or will you only purchase from companies who are 100% cruelty-free in their practices and ingredient sources? Does a company have to have a PETA, LB, or similar certification in order for you to purchase it?

Let’s get the conversation going, everyone! Like this post and comment below if you want to discuss!

I love Market Organics (a mini haul)!

I hit up my favourite health food store here in Ottawa, and these are the goodies I picked up today.

Newco Toothpaste in Spearmint, Kiss My Face Active Life Deodorant in Peaceful Patchouli, NOW Stevia Liquid extract, and Organic Traditions Triphala Powder!

After hearing from some mindful readers that Tom’s of Maine is no longer 100% cruelty-free (as they’ve been bought by a company that does test), I decided to take a look at other natural toothpastes. Newco‘s toothpaste is cruelty-free, gluten, fluoride, and sulphate free (and also made in Canada)! I’m going to try it before I sleep tonight, and I have never been so crazy excited to brush my teeth before. Ooh, the tea tree oil! I look forward to trying more of their goodies.

And I don’t give two shits if you call me a hippie for buying patchouli scented deodorant. Not only was this stuff on sale, but it claims to be aluminum, paraben, artificial fragrance, cruelty, and gluten-free! Patchouli is an extremely relaxing scent, and this deodorant goes on so smoothly and smells like a dream.

The stevia was something I picked up because I’ve been curious about it for a long time. I’m not a low-carber, but I’m always looking for different sweeteners that aren’t artifical and shite like aspartame. 4 drops of this in my green tea, and that is all I need!

As for the triphala, it is a very common tonic / cleanse used in Ayurvedic medicine (for the moms: Dr Oz spoke about it, so go buy it already). It helps with digestion, and can be added to smoothies, juice, etc. I wouldn’t advise drinking it with water, unless you’re ready to have a “damn, that was nasty” look on your face for a few hours. It’s often sold in capsules, but it is more expensive that way.

Expect feedback on the toothpaste and deodorant! Let’s hope I never stink again.

Arbonne’s RE9 Collection

I wrote about Arbonne’s FC5 collection awhile back, as well as my experience hosting a party for myself and my mother. I had a sweet Arbonne representative named Denise (whose information I will post below, in case any of you are interested in placing Arbonne orders, and you have questions) come by, and pamper my mother and I on a lovely spring afternoon.

Let me please say, that while I do not think the entire FC5 collection was good for my skin type / preferences, there were a few items I did really enjoy. On top of that, their cruelty-free message and uncompromising ingredient standard far surpasses that of many cosmetic companies, and I have to commend them for that.

With that said, I bring you my thoughts and experience with their RE9 Collection! Here are the goodies I sampled:

  • Smoothing Facial Cleanser
  • Restorative Day Creme with SPF 20
  • Corrective Eye Creme
  • Regenerating Toner
  • Night Repair Creme
  • Intensive Renewal Serum

The entire line has a delightfully light and calming seabuckthorn-ish organge-creamsicle scent. I preferred this scent to the intense fruity pizzazz from the FC5 line. One of my favourite scents is lavender; I’m a grandmother at heart.

My favourite product from this collection has to be the Intensive Renewal Serum. This was a delightfully creamy serum that didn’t dry out my skin, and gave my skin such a soft texture. I am 29 (as of today – Happy Birthday to me!), so I’ve been told that I need to start looking at a line of skin care catering to anti-aging, but I find that most of these lines lack the intense hydration and attention to sensitive skin that my skin needs! I’m not quite sure if it was a coincidence or not, but I also broke out (and I don’t break out often), while testing out this line. I think lack of hydration was a major culprit.

I also enjoyed the Night Repair Creme, which did hydrate, but it was the least level of hydration that I’d prefer (I actually needed to use that during the day, because the Day Creme was not at all moisturizing enough).

The least favourite in this collection was the Smoothing Facial Cleanser. It wasn’t hydrating enough, and didn’t impress me (especially for the price!).

If your skin isn’t as extremely in need of hydration like mine, and you are interested in investing in an anti-aging line, I would definitely suggest RE9. This line is quite expensive, but if you’ve got the money to invest – go for it!

If you have any questions about Arbonne, their products, or want help placing an order, send the wonderful Arbonne representative Denise Wreford an email, at denisewreford@gmail.com. Her Sponsor ID is 115484888!

Birthday weekend, and NYX is 20% off at Rexall!


Picked up these two lovely jumbo eye pencils from NYX yesterday! They are only $5.99, but were 20% off! I’m heading out to a roller derby game this evening, and a lady’s got to look her best! I must say, these pencils are extremely creamy and soft going on. The two colours I got were Dark Brown and Purple.

A Facebook friend informed me that NYX products are gluten-free. I’ve confirmed this with a Google search; I found a blogger who contacted them regarding this manner, and posted NYX’s response. How fabulous is that?! To have a brand that is cruelty-free, and gluten-free! On top of this, I’ve enjoyed their products for quite some time. I’ve yet to try their nail polish – but it won’t be long before I do.

Mayhaps I will take some photos of the look I do for this evening and show you all! I love having a beauty blog – the perfect excuse to look ridiculously glamourous at any given time.

Check out the swatches for these goodies!

Ending Animal Testing: Who DOES and DOESN’T test?

Unilever is the mother-company of these brands, and not only are these brands of crap quality ingredient-wise, they are also a part of the animal-testing crisis we see today.

Part of the major reason why I began this blog, was because of my close connection with animals, and my disgust that these precious creatures were being abused, and tested on for something as superficial as cosmetics, or household supplies. I oppose animal testing of all forms, and whether it is through my animal sitting services, this blog, or how I care for any animal I meet, it is the passion that drives me!

/end sentimental portion

I was in the drug store earlier today, and that’s what sparked my desire to write this entry for you all. I needed to buy mouthwash, and unfortunately the shelves were dominated by the likes of Colgate and Crest. I picked the Tom’s  of Maine baking soda mouthwash. Love this stuff!

I’m always trying to reform the choices I make, and to keep up with what is and isn’t cruelty-free. I wanted to buy some tea, and I reached for some Lipton black tea with lemon, then realized it was Unilever (duh, Alyson!). This is NOT a cruelty-free brand. The product may just be tea, but on some level it is funding the company’s continued abuse of animals.

I think it’s high time, and extremely useful, to be able to provide my readers with a collection of reliable animal welfare organizations, who all compile their own shopping guides aka lists of brands that DO test, and that DO NOT test. For the longest time, PETA was the most common organization to do this.  Unfortunately, their reputation has been compromised, and they no longer seem to be a commonly considered reliable source for cruelty-free consumers.

And here are the organizations I will recommend you take a look at! Click on their logos to visit their websites and begin browsing for cruelty-free brands!

_____________________

_______________________

____________________________________________________

There are more of these organizations out there, so I would appreciate it if people commented below with links to more. Each of these organizations have their own unique standards, but overall, they are quite consistent with their anti-testing policies.

There are many little things people can do, whether it is switching their brand of toothpaste, or choosing not to consume meat from factory farms. All of these efforts work to limit, and hopefully eventually bring an end to needless suffering.

My darling Stella (pictured above) thanks you for reading, and hopes you will consider to make cruelty-free choices in your future.

One Voice Responds; Re: Yves Yocher’s Status

As promised, here is the response I received from the French animal welfare organization, One Voice. Keep in mind, their response (which is italicized) is in European French, so I’ll do my best to translate for you all. Parts of the message that are highlighted are of particular importance, and I’ll jump in mid-response to explain what is meant. The gist of it: Yves Rocher no longer maintains the requirements of the One Voice label.

“Bonjour,

Merci pour votre message.

Notre label est plus complet dorénavant car il s’étend à d’autres produits que d’hygiène et cosmétiques.

Nos nouveaux critères : aucun ingrédient testé, pas de matière animale et bio, sont plus exigeants et en lien avec notre éthique ; mais ils correspondent également aux modes de consommation émergents.”

  • One Voice has newer standards than they used to, and this now includes: all ingredients that make up a product must NOT have been tested on animals, and must be organic
  • These principles, though more stringent, are more in line with One Voice’s ethics. One Voice sees this reflected in consumer trends

“Nous communiquons par produits et non plus par gammes et entreprises comme avant. Yves Rocher avait notre ancien label.”

  • Yves Rocher was certified under the previous standards of One Voice

Nous contactons les entreprises qui avaient notre ancien label pour leur présenter le nouveau et puis analyser leurs produits pouvant correspondre à nos nouveaux critères. Bien évidemment, la condition sine qua non d’obtention du label, comme pour notre ancien label, est ce qu’aucun ingrédient n’ait été testé.

  • One Voice reached out to the companies who met their old standards, to see if their products qualified for One Voice certification under new standards
  • Of course, the mandatory condition to qualify was that not one ingredient in any of their products (not the final products themselves) had been tested

“Quand les entreprises communiquent, elles parlent en termes de produits finis ; n’ayant pas le droit de faire mention des ingrédients. Il n’ y a également aucune obligation de mettre un logo sur les emballages.”

  • Many companies often speak only of the final product, when they make cruelty-free claims; neglecting the individual ingredients

“La liste actuelle n’est pas exhaustive car nous avons de nombreux dossiers en cours.

http://label.one-voice.fr/produits/

Merci pour l’intérêt que vous portez à nos actions et la défense animale.

Bien cordialement,

Michèle
Responsable des relations
02 51 83 18 10
12 rue Gustave Eiffel   44810 HÉRIC
Tél. 02 51 83 18 10 / fax 02 51 83 18 18
www.one-voice.fr

  • This last part mentions a link that I’d been searching for, where a consumer can search for a product to see if it meets One Voice standards
  • The list is obviously constantly being updated / changing because of situations such as this, and they’ve always got several open cases under investigation

So there you have it. I’ll gladly contact more organizations, if people like. But at this point, I’m quite certain we can file Yves Rocher into the cruelty category.

Thank you for reading!

Leaping Bunny’s Response Re: Yves Rocher’s Status

I promptly received a response from Kim at Leaping Bunny, and suspicions about Yves Rocher have been confirmed! Here’s the response below (with my own emphasis):

“Hi Alyson,

Thanks for your email. Our European partner, the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments removed Yves Rocher from our list after it became clear some of their products/ingredients were being tested on animals in accordance with Chinese law in order to legally sell their products in this country. Because we keep the same list of cruelty-free companies, we removed them from our list as well. I hope this information is helpful!

Best,

Kim
Communications Manager
Leaping Bunny Program

Here it is, folks! From Leaping Bunny themselves. Yves Rocher is NOT cruelty-free, because they’ve decided to allow for testing on some products/ingredients, in order to sell in China. And who is to say the products they sell outside of China are still guaranteed cruelty-free? Without having a cruelty-free certification, what is their incentive to keep any of their products cruelty-free? They’ve clearly been deceiving the public.

Here are 6 Reasons to choose the Yves Rocher brand, as they claim on their website. Number 4 is “Respect for Nature & Safety”. They continue to claim their products are never tested on animals.

Lies, Yves Rocher, all lies!

Feel free to extend your thanks to Leaping Bunny for continuing to maintain their standards, and ensuring we have a reliable source of cruelty-free consumer information!

Please await my entry where I post the response I received from One Voice.