Comments 16

Cleaning Up My Act: Cruelty-Free Facial Cleansers

I’ve been slowly eliminating non Cruelty-Free products from my daily routine. I started by targeting my makeup, and I think I’ve been doing pretty well, though I’ve had a few slip-ups since making my pledge (I bought Maybelline Color Whispers).

I realized that animal testing doesn’t stop at makeup. Facial cleansers are also a part of that. When Wiji pointed out that newer packaging of St. Ives neglected to include “Not Tested on Animals” as it always had, I was compelled to check my skin care, too. Apparently, they were acquired by Unilever, which is a company that tests on animals.

I’m currently working through a large bottle of shu uemura’s cleansing oil, which is the best makeup remover I’ve tried, by far. I’m still looking for cruelty-free alternatives, but we have that little bit left from the bottle, as well as a few samples, to tide us over while we look for other makeup removers.

Here are cruelty-free facial cleansers I’ve tried so far.

Korres Milk Proteins Cleansing & Make-Up Remover Wipes I use this before cleansing because the ones I’m about to mention are great, except when it comes to eye makeup. That is the hardest thing to find, but I won’t give up.

Korres Milk Proteins Wipes

Anyway, these wipes from Korres are great at removing makeup and breaking down build-up so the cleansers can effectively clean the face without having to deal with taking off the makeup build-up. Unfortunately, I think I was mistaken with Korres’ cruelty-free status. They are distributed by Johnson & Johnson, which is not cruelty-free.

I bought the Korres Pomegranate Cleansing & Make-Up Remover Wipes For Oily & Combination Skin, pre-ban, to replenish these, but after I get them, I won’t be purchasing from Korres anymore.

LUSH Aqua Marina. I bought this on a whim, when I went into LUSH to get my mom some gifts for Mother’s Day. I asked for a facial cleanser, and they had several. I walked away with this one because it said that it was inspired by mermaids… LOL.

LUSH - Aqua Marina

It’s great, though. I’ve had pretty good skin since using this, and some of my small breakouts have cleared up. You’d think it would be hard to use, but it really isn’t. Just put a small (like pea-sized) amount on your wet hand, warm it up a little, then spread the paste all over your face. Then, you just rinse, and yay. Cruelty-free, natural cleanliness!

This doesn’t remove eye makeup all that well either, however. Just wanted to note that! It also comes in a tub like this, which they make fresh and in small batches, and sell by weight:

LUSH - Aqua Marina Tub

It’s not the most hygienic or ideal, but I can deal with that just fine.

Snoe Beauty It’s Oat-K! It’s Alright! Foaming Cleansing Oil. Since the LUSH soap was great at cleaning but crap at removing eye makeup, I was on the hunt for makeup remover. This is made from several things like pili nut oil, oat extract, goat’s milk, and acerola cherries.

Snoe Beauty - It's Oat-K! It's Alright!

I emailed them re: their cruelty-free status and never got a reply. However, I found this on their Facebook page, so without further evidence that says otherwise, I’ll consider them cruelty-free.

This is OK, and I love the smell, though my sister hates it. It says that it can remove waterproof mascara, but from personal experience, eye makeup removal using this product leaves a lot to be desired.

Anyway, I hope that helps! I’m so surprised at how hard this is proving to be. I saw a makeup remover in PCX a few days ago, and it said that it was cruelty-free. I’ll try to check that out next, after I use up all of these things.

Do you have any suggestions for me?


  1. Lush is one of those places that I like but never buy anything from. It’s so expensive here in the US versus, what I assume to be, cheaper outside the US. I like their animal testing policy and the fact that they are such avid supporters of cruelty free products. It’s such a shame that so many good products that originate from animal testing even non-cosmetic things, like cleaners.

    • I think it’s basically the same price here as anywhere else, though I haven’t really checked. It’s really expensive, but it’s such a pleasure to use their products! You should try some of them one of these days. I’m sure you’d love them. 🙂

      Yeah, even dishwashing liquid is tested. :/

  2. I love Lush’s facial cleansers! Never tried Aqua Marina though. Lush’s Ultrabland removes makeup (especially eye makeup) really well although it’s more of a makeup remover than a facial cleanser. Apparently it’s similar to the Emma Hardie cleansing balm for a fraction of the price.

    • Aw, thanks for the tip! 🙂 I didn’t realize that they had that product. I’ll look for it and try. 🙂

  3. Currently using lush ultra bland. It’s a a balm type makeup remover and so far so good.

    Maybe you can also find something from the bodyshop. They’re owned by L’Oréal but I think they sticked to the cruelty free pledge. Anyhoo, as far as I know, animal testing is done on a per ingredient basis and unless a company innovates they are required by law to test on animals, well at least in the US that is the case. I think that’s how the bodyshop remained cruelty free. As long as they dont introduce any new ingredients and stick with ingredients that were tested in the past and they won’t do the testing themselves currently.

    • Awesome, so it’s sold here? 😀 Thanks!

      I have a love-hate relationship with The Body Shop, and I haven’t really branched out to their skin care range, except for some tea tree items here and there, but I’ll look into it!

      There was an issue with The Body Shop some time ago, though, where they apparently hire third-party companies to test their ingredients on animals, but still told consumers they were CF. I think they’ve changed that now, but a lot of people were outraged and upset.

    • Not yet! As a cleanser? Haha I feel iffy about using that, though. Is that what you use?

      • I don’t, but I have heard of people using it as a makeup remover. It’s apparently pretty effective, and doesn’t kill your skin either!

  4. My favorite LUSH cleanser’s Fresh Farmacy! It smells like calamine lotion, but it worked really well for me!

    Have you tried Simple Cleansing Wipes? I don’t think it’s locally available but I think it’s Missglamorazzi who swears by it! 🙂 (Or ELF’s?)

    • Awesome 🙂 I’m happy with this so far, but maybe I’ll try that next.

      I haven’t tried it! I was interested but someone else I follow on YT said they broke her out. Are they CF? I haven’t tried ELF’s, do they sell those here?

      • “Are Simple products tested on animals?
        Simple products are not tested on animals. We can assure you that it is the policy of Simple Health & Beauty Ltd not to undertake any animal testing during the development of its cosmetic and toiletry products.

        Simple Health & Beauty Ltd has never sponsored either directly or indirectly animal testing of any of our products, nor the ingredients that are used in their manufacture A great deal of research and development is conducted on the formulation of all our products within the SIMPLE range. We do this by only using known ingredients that have an established and satisfactory safety record.

        Do Simple products contain animal derived ingredients?
        The Simple range of products are predominantly free of animal derived ingredients but with the following exceptions. Sodium Tallowate is used in Simple Pure Soap.
        Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey is used in Simple Rich Repair Shampoo and Conditioner.”

        Re: ELF I don’t think they sell it here din 😦

      • Thanks for the info! 🙂 I bought LUSH’s Ultrabland, and it’s working out so well 🙂

  5. BooBooNinja says

    If you don’t mind using a separate eye makeup remover, Milani has a bi-phase remover that is supposed to be excellent.

  6. have you tried lush ultrabland? They demonstrated it for me at a lush store the other day, and it seems like it could remove eye makeup just fine! I got it, but haven’t used it yet. it does seem like it would be quite nice with a hot cloth too 🙂

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