Free Beauty Products: Your Guide to Glam Without the Cost

free beauty products

Our buying habits have the power to encourage change, particularly when it comes to what we’re purchasing for our top shelf. Making sure a beauty brand is cruelty-free and vegan, besides being able to tend to our skin concerns, can help change the narrative. In simple terms, this means choosing products that were not tested on animals in any step of the way (cruelty-free) and have zero animal-derived ingredients (vegan). It means not supporting companies that “force substances into animals’ stomachs, or apply products and formulations to a rabbit’s sensitive eyes and raw skin for every time they formulate a new cosmetic or personal care product,” says Sachin Bangera, director of Public Relations at PETA India. He adds, “however, such tests for cosmetics are today banned in many countries in favour of modern methods.”

India happens to be the first country in Asia to have banned the testing of cosmetics and their ingredients on animals, but banning the creation of these products doesn’t mean they don’t exist, or can’t find their way into your vanity—thus leaving it up to the consumers to cut their supply by putting their money where the planet and its living beings’ safety lies.

Many decades ago, for the cosmetics industry to sustain and rise, it needed its consumers to trust in them—to believe that the products they consume and apply won’t harm them in any way. This led to chemists testing their products on rats, rabbits, mice and other animals in their labs, to determine the toxicity, irritancy and allergic reactions of their blends.

But this isn’t to say that things haven’t changed. Today, with the increasing spotlight, the consumers’ conscious steps towards self-education and the brands’ efforts to find effective alternatives to age-old methods, a new tone has been set for what safe beauty really means. “The world’s most forward-thinking scientists are developing and using animal-free methods that are relevant to human health for studying diseases and testing products,” says Bangera, who sheds light on some of these alternative techniques that include using human cells and tissues (also known as vitro methods), advanced computer-modelling techniques (often referred to as in silico models), and studies with human volunteers.

Does vegan mean cruelty-free and vice versa?

No, and no. “Cruelty-free means that the product was develop without any tests on animals while being vegan means that the product does not include any animal-derive ingredients,” says Bangera. Your product could be vegan, but still tested on animals. Or. It could be free of any animal testing. But still have ingredients that come from animals. Which may or may not have been ethically source. Did you know that the moisturising agent—lanolin in your lipstick, lip balm and lip gloss—could have been derive from sheep wool? Or the squalene in your anti-ageing serum might have come from shark liver oil? The collagen that boosts your skin’s elasticity and the keratin that strengthens your hair could be coming from animal protein. But know this—vegan and plant-base alternatives exist for most animal-derived ingredients.

How to make the right decision

“A brand can be listed by PETA US or carry the Animal Test-Free or PETA Approved Global Animal Test Policy, by committing never to ‘conduct, commission, pay for, or allow tests on animals at any phase of development, for both ingredients and final products,’” says Bangera.

Yet, finding cleaner replacements and navigating through the minefield of products and ingredients list can be confusing. And how do you really, truly know that no living being was harmed during the making of your moisturiser? The answer is simple: do your homework, research, read and self-educate. Look for the official cruelty-free bunny logos and read through the brand’s website carefully to understand the practices they follow and the transparency in their communication—write to them if you have any doubts. You can also double-check through official websites that list information about brands, products and companies that are cruelty-free, like PETA US’s Global Beauty Without Bunny database. Here are some beauty brands that are walking the talk now.

1) Daughter Earth

Besides being reef-safe and earth-friendly (they don’t contain microbeads, nanoparticles or chemicals like octinoxate and oxybenzone), Daughter Earth’s formulas are also vegan and not tested on animals. The wild-harvest ingredients that are responsibly source from different parts of India find their way into potent blends bottle in white opaque and dark amber glass or aluminium packaging. Following a no-plastic policy.

Try: Their Eternal Youth Rejuvenating Serum that is power-pack with 21 plant actives like wild sea buckthorn, marigold and sandalwood.

2) FAE Beauty

This millennial and Gen Z-focused brand is all about speaking your truth out loud, being self-aware and taking responsibility for your actions. It boasts two essentials—buildable matte lipsticks and a multipurpose brow and lash gel that are both cruelty-free and vegan.

Try: The Fae Beauty Brash, which can fill in your brows, accentuate your lashes and act as a beard filler too.

3) Earth Rhythm

Earth Rhythm’s effort to make sustainability a practice in every step of the way makes it a good pick for those trying to make better choices. They have biodegradable ingredients and recyclable packaging and are being certified as organic and non-toxic. Plus, they also claim that their product life-cycle is plastic-free. And when it comes to testing. While clinically test and verifie by research, no animals are involve at any stage of their product development.

Try: The Murumuru Butter Shampoo Bar, which contains a plant-derived surfactant derived from coconut oil, which improves hydration, moisture and texture while preventing dryness and irritation.

4) Disguise Cosmetics

This homegrown indie beauty brand is all about celebrating your truest self, while having fun with makeup. And it lets you do so guilt-free. With products that are not test on animals. Come without any animal-deriv ingredients. And the empties can be return for store credit.

Try: The Multisticks, which work as an eyeshadow, eyeliner as a highlighter.

5) The Mom’s Co

If it claims to be safe for the mum, the baby, the planet and all the animals that live on it—you can trust it won’t harm your skin, hair or body. The products are safely test in the labs, so they are efficient and safe.

Try: The Mom’s Co Age Control Night Cream is a super-emollient product that includes bakuchiol, a natural, plant-based alternative to synthetic retinol.

6) Plum

With a wide range of clean products for your face, hair and body, along with makeup, Plum can become your one-stop-shop for toxic-free, cruelty-free beauty. They take back your empties too.

Try: The Plum All-Day-Wear Kohl, which is smooth and gel-based, and can help you create the best possible cat-eye.

7) Neemli Naturals

With natural derivatives for potent ingredients like hyaluronic acid and squalane. Neemli ensures all your skincare needs are met through plants. Not animals. And pack in reusable and recyclable packaging.

Try: Their Hyaluronic and Vitamin C Serum, which brightens and evens skin tone to restore healthy glow and radiance.

8) asa beauty

Refillable and recyclable packaging. Multipurpose do-it-all products. And shades blend to suit the Indian skin tone. Asa’s mindful makeup in minimalistic packaging will be your new favourite. All the products are refillable and reusable. Which helps put the focus on reducing plastic waste.

Try: The asa Easy-Blend Concealer. Which is designe to help you cover discolouration and uneven skin tone. It is infuse with argan oil and Vitamin E. Which moisturises the area.

9) Conscious Chemist

A robust list of ingredients to educate you on what goes inside your serum. Zero-plastic packaging. And devoid of no-nasties. Conscious Chemist brings the power and potency of plants into your skincare routine.

Try: The Conscious Chemist Reboot Night Treatment Serum is built with bakuchiol. Which has all the benefits of retinol minus retinization or allergic reaction.

Also Read : Amazon Easy Store: Simplifying Your Online Shopping Experience

10) Kiro

Besides their cool packaging and delicious shades. You’d blindly pick Kiro products for their paraben-free. Cruelty-free and toxin-free makeup that comes with loads of skin-loving benefits.

Try: Kiro Non-Stop Airy Matte Liquid Lipstick has a velvety texture that is light and comfortable to wear. It is super hydrating and has an intense payoff.

The brands mentioned in this list are certified cruelty-free, vegan or both. To check their other certifications and other clean practices, read up on their websites and other certified portals for clarity.


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