Today I’m sharing how I shop online for beauty products, more specially cruelty free beauty products. I’m sure most of these are obvious but seeing how I buy most of my cosmetics online I thought it would be fun to share my tips. So lets get to it!
When coming across a new brand the first thing I do is Google ‘X animal testing’. I came across this tip a few months ago as this way of asking rather than ‘does x test on animals’ brings a more definite yes/no answer. Sites I use for reference that pop upfrequently are leapingbunny.com peta.org, bustle.com and ekara.org (English versions here and here!) for Korean brands and crueltyfreekitty.com. I’m always coming across new Korean brands I want to try so am forever grateful for blogs who take time to contact companies directly. crueltyfreekitty.com has I find has a lot more indie listed than Leaping Bunny and PETA which is great for any iherb.com new find! After a while you know the bad guys and the good guys.
The next Google search I do is ‘X sell in China’. If the answer is yes, they physically sell in shops in China, Bye Felicia. If they sell online only in China, it’s a yes. In China all non domestic cosmetic brands are subjected to 3rd party animal testing. So a brand can say they don’t test on animals but if sell physically in China, the brand has does. If only sold online, no animal testing. I believe the Chinese are working to ban animal testing but until I hear the Humane Society International or PETA announce China has banned animal testing, those companies aren’t getting my money. When does ban cosmetic animal testing, I still won’t be support those brands who did sell physically in China previously. With Korean brands however this can get tricky and requires going through several reviews, blogs until I find the answer.
Next up ingredients. Get to know what the ingredients are made from. I personally prefer natural products or as natural as can be. With make up I get what I can get, rather not tested on animals and not containing petroleum/mineral oil and palm oil like with skin care. I don’t want to put petroleum on and I prefer orang-utans, tigers, the rainforest more than I do palm oil. Knowing their many aliases is a must. HOWEVER as I’ve recently found out it’s not that simple. I recently purchased a travel sized toner essence (yay 1 bottle not 2, less waste!) that felt amazing and smoothed out my skin made it all dewy. I was going to purchase the full size bottle but something made me stop. It only had 6 ingredients, didn’t sell in China, was cruelty free, listed low on the ewg.org but something said check the ingredients. Some were derived from petroleum, others their ‘parents’ were and some were derived or mixed with palm oil! I didn’t do my homework properly. So get to know ingredients, their aliases, check reviews, blogs (one comment said no thanks to the said toner as it had 2 silicones in something I didn’t know as I didn’t do my research!) as you’re putting it on your skin. Maybe the 4th or 5th generation derived petroleum I’ll probably take an exception to but 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation, nope. Do you really want to put an ingredient derived from coal tar on? Turns out I have and am until I finish the products.
Check EWG ewg.org the ingredient safety level. Products with low toxic/hazardous ingredients or safe ingredients will be listed 1-3 on a scale of 1-10. Products with high toxicity or high hazard ingredients will be 7-10 orange to red. Not all products are listed, but you can check individual ingredients which are listed. The reason’s why are explained below the levels.
Read/Google reviews especially those with the similar or same skin type and skin concerns! This is usually involves reading a mix of blogs and online beauty store reviews. When I’ve gone against the reviews I’ve generally been disappointed with the product and wished I had taken note of the reviews. Sometimes I even Google a product after I’ve purchased it and used it for a while (usually Sephora buys) when I’m undecided if I like a product. Many times reviews have confirmed what’s making me unsure about it.
Shop around! Just because one site’s cheaper, take into account shipping costs. It can sometimes work out more than say shipping with a bulk order or the other site has cheaper shipping costs. Sometimes I spilt my orders from one site to try a lessen the chance of being stuck or from being tagged in customs. Know your country’s import tax limits! Some online sellers will put the import charges on the airway bill around US$1 – $10 and this helps no end as sometimes I’ve ended up paying double to release parcels from customs. I find also the larger and heavier the parcel the more likely it’s to be stopped in customs which is another reason why I spilt them up. Spain doesn’t allow the import of make up and it’s always a guessing and fingers crossed game if they’re going to get randomly pulled up!
This is another tip I picked up from somewhere. Leave the items in the basket for a few hours, overnight, 24hrs, a day or 2. This lessens impulse buys while you think if you really want the item! And check your drawers, beauty cupboards when for shopping repeat buys. From experience stocking piling doesn’t always work as you suddenly want to change products and you still have a bottle or 2 to go. Not using them is a waste of money. You can always donate, give to family members or if it’s a cream use as an expensive overnight hand and foot lotion, but it’s still a waste of money as you’re not using them!
Cute rabbits Barcelona Zoo. This type of rabbit is usually what products, ingredients are tested on. I understand at some point most ingredients have been and prefer it when a company states that none of their ingredients have been tested on animals. I’m more likely to go for that brand over others.
What are your online beauty/cosmetic shopping tips? Please share in the comments below!