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  • Monumental Magazine

A Guide to Cruelty-Free Beauty

By Simran Khanna

We’ve all faced skin problems at one point or another, whether it be acne or dry/oily skin. Skin flare ups can be very unpredictable and hard to manage. What are the best types of products to solve these issues?

We live in a society where social cause and practice are of more importance, and beauty brands are starting to pay more attention by offering cruelty-free and clean products. It makes perfect sense that we should care not only about what we are putting into our bodies, but also what we are using on our skin, a concept most people overlook. I spoke with Aveena Patel, a student at Rutgers University who is passionate about clean and cruelty-free beauty, for a list of products that are free of sulfates and harsh chemicals, as well as anti-animal testing.

Here are her top picks:

Pixi Rose Cream Cleanser

This face wash is sold for $18 at local convenience stores like Target. The consistency is super creamy so you do not feel like the oils are completely dried out of your face, but still clears the excess. You can tell this cleaner washes everything out because your toner will have nothing on it after! You will notice this cleanser does not make your skin feel tight, meaning it does not strip your face of the good oils that balance elasticity. This product is cruelty and paraben free, and is suitable for both combination and dry skin.

Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Serum

This treatment exfoliates your face and can be found at Sephora for around $158. This exfoliant is great for your skin because it is made of nourishing ingredients such as licorice, lemongrass and aloe. It brightens dark spots, improves dullness and hyperpigmentation, and takes away dead skin without irritating your skin. Though this product ranges on the more expensive range, the reviews and clean ingredients prove it is worth it. This treatment can be used in a variety of ways - as a daily serum or worn for 5 - 10 minutes to achieve instant radiance.

NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Concealer

This everyday, vegan concealer sells for about $9 at a variety of retailers including Ulta Beauty, Target and Amazon. This product offers a wide range of shades to accommodate all different types of skin. This formula concealer is waterproof and has a matte finish, as well as a corresponding foundation in the collection.

Physicians Formula: Murumuru Butter Lip Cream

No one likes having chapped lips, especially in the winter when our skin tends to get drier with the drop in temperature. This cruelty-free, oil free product is great for making your lips feel plump and moisturized year round! It gives your lips the perfect tint, based on your preference of their 12 shades, and even has SPF, which is something we often overlook applying to our lips. This buttery and creamy lip cream can be found online or in drug stores for around $9. 

Supergoop Translucent Powder SPF

Yes--you need to wear sunscreen even when it’s not sunny outside! Over time, sun damage will accumulate, even in the winter months, and it is extremely important to shield your skin every single day. UV rays will continually reach exposed areas of your skin when you’re outside, or even when driving in your car. This $30 Goop product is a fan favorite for daily protection. When choosing sun protection products, it is important to know the difference between mineral SPF, which deflects UV rays off of your face and chemical SPF, which dissipates UV rays. This translucent powder has mineral spf and is especially useful for oily skin. 

Brand names, like L’Oreal, often manufacture their products outside of the United States and, therefore, test their products on animals, whereas up-and-coming brands including Kylie Cosmetics and Jeffree Star do not. It is hard to decipher which products are clean or cruelty-free, especially when you are overwhelmed by all the products featured in beauty stores like Sephora or Ulta Beauty. 

Here are a few websites for you to do research before purchasing your beauty products:

For more information about clean and cruelty free beauty, be sure to follow @aveenapatel on Instagram! 

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