let's chat: cruelty-free beauty


Hi gang! I’m COOKIEHEAD. It feels amazing to collaborate with my favorite web magazine -- I hope you all like this article!

はじめまして!COOKIEHEAD といいます。大好きなhoneyhandsとコラボすることになってすごく嬉しい。みなさんよろしくね。

I’ve been based in NYC since 2013, and I run my own lifestyle blog called “THE LITTLE WHIM”, focusing on sustainable ideas, tips, and inspirations in beauty, fashion, diet, etc. Today, I would like to discuss the concept of “cruelty-free” with you all on honeyhands. I got to know this concept when I moved to the States, which also made me aware of the animal testing that is implemented as a regular procedure for a lot of daily consumer goods. I love makeup in particular, and the more I learned about how much animal cruelty is out there in the beauty industry, the more strongly I felt determined that I do not want to be part of ANY of this wrongful practice.

私は2013年よりニューヨーク在住で、THE LITTLE WHIMというライフスタイルブログを運営している。ビューティ、ファッション、食、様々なエリアで少しずつ始められるサステナビリティに注目していて、その中でも今日は「クルエルティーフリー (cruelty-free)」という言葉とそのコンセプトをhoneyhandsでも広めたくって。私自身、クルエルティーフリーという言葉はアメリカに来てから知った。 そしてこの言葉を通して、毎日使う化粧品などに動物実験が関わっていることも。私は特にメイクアップが大好きなんだけど、自分の楽しみのために動物が犠牲になっている事実を知れば知るほど、こんな間違ったことに加担したくない、と思うようになったよ。

So first of all, what is “cruelty-free”? Literally, it means “no cruelty”, but according to the Oxford Dictionary, it particularly means “(of cosmetics or other commercial products) manufactured or developed by methods which do not involve cruelty to animals.”

クルエルティー(残虐性)がフリー(無い) - この言葉は広義で「動物への残虐性を排除した」ということを意味するのだけど、現代社会では主に「(化粧品や消費財において)製造や開発の過程で動物実験を必要とする手段がとられていない 」ということを指す。(オックスフォード辞書

Cosmetics consist of various ingredients, and the industry tests on animals to prove product safety. For example, let’s say there is a face moisturizer with an innovative skin plumping ingredient. Labs use bunnies or rats and apply the concentrated formula on their shaved skin countless times, and make a record of progress and effectiveness. If it is a mascara, eye contact safety is also on the checklist, and it if is a lipstick, body toxicity has to be determined. During testing, animal objects are restrained, and their skin, eyes, mouths -- all tested areas -- get fatally irritated, and in the end, when the testing is over... you know what awaits them. I am not gonna insert lab images here, but I believe just reading this is heartbreaking and horrifying. Please remember that this is all for our human egos such as ”Go away, my dry patches!”, “I wanna amp up my lashes!”, and “I need a super long-lasting lipstick!” However, none of the animals have such desires, but their organs and lives are sacrificed for our selfish and egoistic greed.


There are some certain industries such as the pharmaceutical industry where required animal testing is widely acknowledged. I personally think, unless there are potential alternative methods involving artificial human tissues and cells, it is difficult to avoid animal testing in medicine in today’s world. However, if you compare cures for cancer or ferocious epidemics versus skin plumping cream, obviously we are talking about two completely different things.


After all this consideration, my cruelty-free journey had begun. Whenever I found something new and exciting at Sephora, I came home and looked up the “About Us” and “FAQ” sections on the brand’s website to learn about their ethical standpoint. I read numerous blogs and watched YouTube videos in order to make sure the product was truly cruelty-free. As a result, the lesson I learned was that it is actually not a black and white issue, and that there are certainly grey areas. Please refer to my article, “Cruelty Free and Animal Testing 101” on THE LITTLE WHIM for details, but I will sum up two major points today for my honeyhands friends to help determine whether product or brand is 100% cruelty-free or not.

そんなぐるぐるした思考を経て、私のクルエルティーフリージャーニーは始まった。お店で欲しいものを見つけても、家に帰ってそのブランドのサイトの 「About Us」とか「FAQ」をくまなくチェックし、ブログを読み漁り、ユーチューブを観まくって、そのブランドがクルエルティーフリーなのかどうか判断するのに時間をかけた。そこで気づいたのが、クルエルティーフリーの基準は実はややこしく、白か黒かだけじゃなくグレーな部分もあるっていうこと。THE LITTLE WHIM の「クルエルティーフリーについて知ってもらいたい4つのこと」という記事でこのことは詳細に書いているので、時間がある時に読んでみて。今日ここでは、白か黒かを見極める上で重要なポイントを2つ、簡単にまとめるね。

The EU and some states in the US have started banning animal testing in beauty produc