July 29, 2020

Favorite Products for a Cruelty-Free Lifestyle


Top choices for Cruelty-Free Living

I love using clean, effective, cruelty-free products! Beginning the day with the right products that enhance your look gets you off to a good start.

So I created this cruelty-free lifestyle product list (head to toes!) of my best recommendations with you.

*AFFILIATES DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links. I only link to products that I have personally used or use and endorse. You can review my full policy here.

Beauty products can be an important part of your self care ritual in today’s busy, complex world. But it can be daunting to create a new routine, whether it’s based on a desire to go cruelty free, start a healthier lifestyle, or both.

All of the products on this page are ones I love and use regularly. They range from budget to moderate in price. I like to offer a range, since I don’t believe you should have to spend a fortune for clear skin, shiny hair or a fantastic body scrub.  

All products here are cruelty-free and feature clean, natural ingredients. I will cover the following:

  • Hair (including gray hair)
  • Skin
  • Body Care (including an amazing foot peel!)
  • Oral Care
  • Eye Care
  • Essential oils
  • Books

If you have sensitivities, concerns or just want to learn more about what goes into consumer products, you might want to visit EWG.org. You can learn a lot about how common ingredients can potentially affect your health.

While not every ingredient in every product here is 100% “natural,” I use and recommend products that do not include potentially toxic ingredients such as:

  • Parabens
  • Synthetic perfumes & fragrances
  • Mineral Oil
  • Sulfates (SLS)
  • Phthalates
  • PEG

If you want to cultivate a cruelty-free lifestyle, hope this guide will help you switch to products that are good for you, animals and our planet!

My favorite cruelty-free products...


Daily Care

Since I committed to a cruelty-free lifestyle around the same time I stopped coloring my hair, hair products are a minor obsession.

I like to rotate hair products, so I'm sharing a few favorites here.

ODACITE 552M Shampoo Bar - $29 full size, $18 travel size

Did you know that 552 MILLION plastic shampoo bottles end up in landfills every year? Odacite is working to improve on this number. Bar cleansing is new to me, but this one really lathers well! Hair is left shiny and full, with improved texture whether thin, straight, curly, frizzy, thick, or color-treated.

Zatik Healthy & Shiny Shampoo, Healthy & Shiny Conditioner - $10

Zatik is a local Los Angeles based brand to LA that offers clean, natural formulations made in small batches. They also have some nice skincare options.

This particular duo has an earthy scent (contains Black Seed or cumin), so it may not be for everyone. However, the scent quickly fades. I notice that my hair looks full and healthy after using these and they work really well as my everyday shampoo and conditioner.


Weleda Rosemary Hair Oil, $18

I adore this oil for shinier, healthier hair.  Rosemary is said to encourage new growth. This is a heavier, thicker oil. It feels luxurious on dry or damaged strands! I use it about once a week and leave it in to condition my hair for at least an hour before shampooing.

Options for Gray, White or Silver Hair

TIP: If you have gray, white or silver hair, remember to choose clear or white formulations. Colored products can dull or subtly change your hair color.

Acure Clarifying Shampoo, $10

This has a fresh lemongrass scent and is a great option for gentle, thorough cleansing. If you are blond, white, grey or silver, you should see brighter hair after use, since lighter hair can sometimes show environmental debris, dust or dirt.

I normally use a clarifying shampoo at least once a month and more in the summertime.

Temporary Haircolor

Common Panda hair wax - $18

cruelty-free hair color

While I love my natural hair color, sometimes I get a little bored and want a different look. This hair wax is safe, bright and best of all washes out 100% when you shampoo.  

I find it works best if you just add thin streaks, as the wax can feel heavy (dirty) if you over do it. But in small amounts it works well!  Also in pink, blue, green and other colors.


Favorite Make-up remover: Desert Essence Jojoba Oil, $14

While 302 Skincare makes a creamy make-up remover, I find jojoba oil works just as well. It does a fantastic job of removing eye make-up and is gentle and fragrance free. This size lasts forever!


Clean, smooth, soften and nourish your skin with these exceptional choices.

Babo Botanicals Bubble Bath & Wash - $15

The scent is an inviting blend of essential oils and is incredibly soft and soothing; it reminds me of being a little girl and baths at my grandmother’s house. I use this at least once a week to relax before bedtime.

Pacha Whipped Soap & Scrub, Vanilla Almond with honey - $12, 10 oz.

Pacha does an amazing job creating products that are clean, budget friendly, and good for animals and the environment. This scrub is my current absolute favorite!  It’s a simple, affordable product that does what it says it will - cleans and smoothes. It is pure pleasure to use thanks to the creamy yet scrubby texture and delicious scent! Pumice and sugar provide a gentle exfoliation.

In addition to Vanilla Almond, I also love the Lavender, Honeysuckle Rose and Citrus scrubs.

Pacha Vanilla Almond Whipped Hand & Body Butter - $12, 5.8 oz

I have tried MANY body butters, from budget to luxury, and this one really delivers softer legs, elbows and feet. Your skin will feel softer after the first use. I highly recommend it! You don't need to spend $50 or more on a body cream. I buy full size but like that Pacha also offer travel sizes.

Baby Foot Original Foot Peel - $25

This well known foot peel with natural ingredients does an excellent job of getting rid of rough, dry skin on your feet.  It reduced the dry, cracked skin on my heels by at least 50%. 

It DOES have down time - you start to peel after about a week after application. The peeling can last 7-14 days.  But it’s painless, affordable and can be repeated a few times a year to keep feet smooth.

Baby Foot’s scientifically formulated product contains 16 types of natural extracts which exfoliate and moisturize.

Eye Care

I recently found a great source for cruelty free contact lens solutions (and eye drops, which I've not yet tried) called Clear Conscience. This solutions works just as well as any drugstore brand.

Dental care

Dental health is so important! I like to avoid the artificial colors and sweeteners in most traditional oral care brands. Try these instead:

Himalaya Botanique Neem & Pomegranate toothpaste - $11, 2 tubes

This is a clean, non toxic toothpaste that tastes great and is fluoride and triclosan free.

Dr. Tung’s Smart Floss - $12, 3 rolls

Smart Floss is clinically proven to remove up to 55% more plaque than regular floss. I find this works really well for tight teeth and wide spaces (I have both) and the website recommends for braces, too.

Dr. Tung’s Tongue scraper - $14 for 2 unit package

In Ayurveda, it is recommended to scrape your tongue daily to remove debris for a cleaner mouth and fresh breath. My first scraper was plastic but it didn't clean nearly as well as this one from Dr. Tung's. This stainless steel cleaner is easy to use and clean. It's the leading tongue cleaner in the health industry.

Essential Oils

Snow Lotus Calm Spirit ($22, 0.10 ml.) 

This is a wonderful company I discovered 20 years ago as a massage therapist. 

Calm Spirit is deeply soothing and grounding and features wild crafted blue tansy, geranium, Roman camomile in jojoba oil.  It’s my favorite, but there are many other beautiful blends available that address different health concerns or conditions.

Company owner, Peter Holmes, L.Ac., personally sources and selects the oils directly from small producers worldwide. These suppliers ethically wild harvest or sustainably cultivate the plants and distill the oils in small batches.

It's easy to be cruelty-free!

I hope this favorites help you find some of your own core products for daily self care and beauty.

If you have questions,  please let me know in the comments below!

If you found this information useful, share this post with friends or on your social media, as it allows me to grow my audience and help more women with their beauty needs.

For more tips, please subscribe to my InstagramFacebookYouTube & Pinterest

Please note: I only share products I’ve used personally and wholeheartedly recommend.  All products are Cruelty-Free.

Michelle’s background includes 13 years in medical aesthetics sales, product development & marketing. She is also a former yoga teacher/massage therapist and lifelong beauty product junkie. 

Michelle consults for beauty brands, models and operates the Smart Beauty Rituals store.

*Please note prices are approximate and subject to change

4 comments on “Favorite Products for a Cruelty-Free Lifestyle”

  1. i'm so thrilled to find your blog! Buying cruelty free products is important to me but can be overwhelming to research. Thank you for taking care of that for me! I will try some of your recommendations and post again after I use them.

    I wish EVERYONE would buy cruelty free products. There is NO REASON for animals to suffer. It's just terrible and unnecessary. I don't want to be a part of that!

    1. I agree! Thank you for your support. I want to make it easy and "no brainer" for people to buy cruelty free. There are SO MANY excellent options in every price range these days. Yes! Let me know how you like the products. I love to get feedback.


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