Why go cruelty free?
I've pretty much always been interested in makeup - from when I was a child and we had costume days in school, to my outings as a teenager. Obviously, just like every girl out there (who's into makeup, skincare, haircare, any type of care) - it took a couple of years to figure out what works for me, and me only.
We're all very different from skin types, skin color, eye shape, eye color, etc. so obviously, when you found out what works for you, it's pretty much the same as winning the lottery.
Although I've always had that interest, it actually took awhile for me to get into skincare - and I have my mother and my friends to thank. My mum always gave me the tips to keep your skin young, while my friends managed to open my eyes on what is trendy right now.
My lack for interest in skincare was always due to the fact that as a teenager, and as a college student, I always had a skin that was considered oily and would break out if I ate the slightest unhealthy thing, or if I used a new skincare product. So, for awhile, I used to think this wasn't made for me.
My true calling to skincare happened only back in 2019 when I noticed the biggest shift - my skin went from oily to completely dry. By completely dry, I mean I had to exfoliate my peeling skin on a daily basis. I then knew something had to change (especially that it made me late to work on a daily basis).
Regarding my hair, I can say that I was always obliged to take care of it a lot since I style it almost daily and rarely let it air-dry (unless of course, I'm hibernating for awhile and have nowhere else to go - aka my own self-made quarantine).
After a few of years of exploring, I finally found what works for me - organic & cruelty-free.
It's been a couple of years since I've gone on the organic train for shampoos (2017 to be precise), and almost a year since I've decided to go completely cruelty-free with my makeup and skin choices (something good did come out of 2020 after all).
First of all, I don't know about you, but I'm the type of person who wants to know what goes on my skin and on my scalp - I'm no chemist, but there are many reasons why I think it's best to go on the cruelty-free train. My main philosophy is:
"Why put something on your skin/hair that needed to be tested by animals first? What's actually wrong with it that we can't just apply it directly on a human?"
On the other hand, the thing that I despise the most, is knowing that an animal was hurt in the making of a product. Think of it this way - would you accept for a brand to test their product on you, knowing that you have no idea how or what it's made of? No idea on the damages that it could leave on your skin and on your psyche? That it is just "a test", and it could go wrong as many first tests normally do? My guess would be no. So, why would you accept animals to undergo this way of living?
Finally, the last benefit of choosing organic & cruelty free brands is to give those independent brands a chance to shine. It's all so very easy to go towards the mainstream brands that we see all over social media, the ones that can finance celebrity endorsements (meanwhile they probably don't care how the product has been made), and the ones that are so easily-accessible - they are the big sharks of the industry. Meanwhile, independent brands that actually care about how the product is being made, and as cliche as it sounds are "made with love" are struggling to reach this status because not everyone really knows much about them - but they are the ones that we should explore.
The greatest things about social media in the last few years are awareness and word of mouth - and I really do believe that as the generation that has seen social media explode, it is our job to explore and spread the word on everything that could be good for us.
Now, below are some of the things that have worked for me - maybe it can work for you too:
In terms of makeup, I've tried and committed to so many popular brands (Chanel, Lancome, etc), and they either made my skin super cakey by the end of the day, or I would have the most random breakouts on 1 cheek - obviously I've
become fed up and I decided to research more.
When I found out that Hourglass was finally available in the UAE, although considered super premium, I knew I had to go and try it (especially that it is one of the most popular cruelty free makeup brands out there). That lead me to discover more cruelty brands such as Ilia, Stila, Chantecaille, Charlotte Tilbury, and so on.
They make my skin silky smooth; my eyelashes look natural and long; and overall give me this really nice glow all the while looking natural. It's a win win, because not only are you getting that natural glow, but no one was harmed in the making of these products.
In terms of skin, I can say I have an extremely sensitive one - anything I eat, anything I put on my skin, something would magically pop up the next day that would irritate me so much, and even make me a bit insecure.
Throughout the years, I've undergone major changes in my lifestyle and I can say with full confidence and certainty (without any online research), that the major culprits for bad skin are:
- Hormones (check your hormones regularly ladies!)
- Unhealthy foods: deep fried, desserts, and even an intolerance/allergy to gluten (trust me, it's a thing)
- Lack of sleep
- Phone screen that touches your cheek
- Touching your face on the regular
Some of my favorite brands that have supported me with the bad culprit list include Vintner's Daughter, Herbivore Botanicals, Caudalie, Elemental Herbology, Summer Fridays, and Fenty Skin.
When it came to my hair, I can say it's the first thing in which I've been super conscious about ever since I was 14 and started straightening my hair as if my life depended on it.
Just like my makeup and skincare choices - I choose the organic way. Think of it this way, why care for your skin only and not your hair? It's so easy to overlook our hair, especially with tricks like Keratin, Brazilian blowout, etc. only to later on regret the damage that it's done to our hair.
One of the things that I've been swearing by since I'm a child is Apple Cider Vinegar - it's easily accessible, easily applicable, and leaves a definitely easily love-able effect on your hair. Apple Cider benefits on your hair include: hair growth, shiny hair, natural softener, and anti-breakage.
Also, if you're not a huge fan of the smell of vinegar in general, brands such as A'kin, Rahua, Nashi, Virtue, Oribe and Gisou offer amazing light and natural treatments for your scalp and your hair and leaves it feeling thick, strong, and ready for anything!
At the end of the day, the rules of the industry are slowly changing. Our goal as consumers is to choose wisely on what would be beneficial for the environment, the animals, and finally our own body.