The Be Well Blog

Cruelty-Free Skin Care - The Truth Behind the Big Brands

Cruelty-Free Skin Care - The Truth Behind the Big Brands

You’d think that most major companies would have started making cruelty-free skin care and cosmetics, but unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Some of today's biggest beauty brands, including M.A.C., Maybelline, L’Oreal, Aveeno, Kiehls, Dove, and Estee Lauder, still test on animals.

An estimated 100,000 to 200,000 bunnies, guinea pigs, mice, and rats are used for testing every year around the world, all in the name of cosmetics. They go through painful and torturous experiments (imagine getting chemicals rubbed onto shaved skin or dripped into eyes without any pain relief) and many die in the process.

Animal testing for drugs and cosmetics exist because of the need to establish the safety of a product or ingredient for public health before allowing it on the market. But here's the thing - animal testing for cosmetics isn't even required by law. In fact, results from animal testing do not directly prove safety for humans,, and there are alternative testing methods such as testing on microorganisms, cells, tissues, and even volunteering humans, that are more humane and literally safer for humans.

Buy cruelty-free organic skin care and cosmetics

Cruelty-free products are manufactured or developed using methods that do not involve experimentation on animals. This means everything - including the ingredients and the finished product - did not harm an animal.

Organic skin care products are almost always cruelty-free because they are made out of ingredients that are derived from plants or that are naturally occurring. More importantly, these organic ingredients are grown without the use of harmful chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Because organic skin care products do not contain these chemicals, and because organic skin care products are derived from natural, organic ingredients, their contents are easily recognized and can almost always be deemed as safe for humans. And because they are safe for humans, there is really no need for animal testing at all.

The reason we’re not stating that organic products are always cruelty-free is because there is no way to guarantee that as a fact. There may be companies that produce organic products but still put its ingredients or the finished product through animal testing for a variety of reasons, including “as required by law” to be imported into specific countries such as China. Therefore it’s always safe to check the product label and check the company website to find more information about whether or not the product is truly 100% cruelty-free.

What we can guarantee you at Be Well is that all our products are organic, natural, and 100% cruelty-free. All of the ingredients that we use are chemical-free, toxic-free, paraben-free, and fragrance-free, and all of the finished products that we create have never ever been used in animal testing. You can read what We Believe here.

As consumers, we can make a difference by paying attention to what we purchase. Be conscious about what you buy, and support cruelty-free skin care and cosmetics to take a stand against unnecessary and inhumane animal testing.

7 Reasons Why Organic Skin Care Products are Better for You

7 Reasons Why Organic Skin Care Products are Better for You

Your skin is the largest living, breathing organ on your body. Up to 60% of what you apply on your skin gets absorbed into your bloodstream, which then gets circulated around your whole body. But if you knew what toxins non-organic skin care products contained, you would think twice before you use it. So it's no surprise to see more and more people switching to organic skin care products.

If you're still using non-organic products, it's time to reconsider. Read on to learn the 7 benefits of organic skin care products to see how they can be better for you.

7 benefits of using organic skincare products

1. Non-organic skin care products contain harmful ingredients

Pick up a bottle of any non-organic skin care product and read its ingredients label. How many ingredients can you actually recognize? Chances are, if you don't recognize them neither will your body.

Non-organic skin care products contain synthetic, man-made chemicals such as sodium laurel, mineral oils, laureth sulphate, and toxins that could be residues of pesticides. Studies have also found that they can contain mineral oil, petroleum, parabens, and other chemicals that, with long term use, can cause skin irritation, hormone imbalance, organ toxicity, and even cancer. 


2. Organic skin care products are made of natural ingredients

Now read the ingredients label of any organic skin care product. You'd probably recognize most, if not all of the items there.

Certified organic products are derived from plants and other naturally occurring ingredients. More importantly, those organic ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and other additives or chemicals. With that, you can be sure your skin and body absorb only real, natural ingredients that aren't harmful.


3. Organic products are non-allergenic

Without harsh chemicals, organic skin care products are less likely to cause allergic reactions, inflammations or irritations. If an allergic reaction does occur with the use of organic products, it would most likely be due to a natural ingredient (such as peanuts or strawberries), which would be easier to identify.


4. Organic skin care products work better

Plants grown organically are found to contain a higher level of vital antioxidant vitamins than non-organic plants. Because they are grown without herbicides and pesticides, their organic ingredients are also free from that contamination, which means the same for your skin and body.

Moreover, up to 95% of an organic skin care product's contents are active ingredients. In synthetic skin care products, on the other hand, active ingredients only make up 5 to 10% of its contents.


5. Going organic is better for your skin

The synthetic ingredients found in non-organic products may be fast acting, but they are also invasive, causing harm that cannot be seen. Their chemical ingredients may provide instant gratification and visible results, but most of these only help you aesthetically by smoothening out wrinkles, removing sunspots, and diminishing blemishes. 

With prolonged use, these chemicals may damage and weaken your skin as your body tries to cope with these foreign substances. As a result, oxygen exchange to the skin is reduced, causing premature aging and increased risk of developing sunspots.

Using natural, organic skin care products, though, ensure that you get the real nutritional benefits from its ingredients. Natural organic ingredients such as coconut oil, honey, aloe vera, and shea butter, for example, are known to soothe, nourish, moisturize and promote smooth skin. Even though the results may be slower, organic skin care products are gentle on your skin and won’t harm you in the long run.


6. You're supporting cruelty-free skin care products

The beauty industry has received backlash for conducting animal testing for their products to ensure that they are safe for human use. Organic products don't need to, because, with natural ingredients, they're safe and harmless!

When you buy organic skin care products, you are buying cruelty-free skin care products and also supporting the move towards abolishing animal testing in the industry.


7. You're helping to preserve the environment

Because organic products use naturally grown ingredients that are free from toxic pesticides and fertilizers, they don't leave a harmful footprint on the planet, particularly the soil, water, and air. 

Organic farming is also better for wildlife, causes lower pollution from pesticide and fertilizer sprays, and produces less carbon dioxide and less dangerous wastes. By using organic skin care products, you're helping to minimize your environmental impact and support the sustainability of our environment.

I hope this has helped you understand the benefits of organic skin care products and how they're better for your skin and health. Better yet, going organic is sustainable and better for the environment, too. So invest in your health today and make the change to organic skin care products if you haven't already done so.


Top 10 Toxins in Non Organic Skin Care Products - Buyer Beware!

Top 10 Toxins in Non Organic Skin Care Products - Buyer Beware!

If you aren't using organic skin care products, then it's about time to make the switch because these top 10 toxins should definitely be avoided!


In recent years, the beauty industry has come under greater scrutiny mainly due to the use of harmful chemicals and animals testing. While animal testing is understandably done to ensure proper quality control of these skin care products and that they are hypoallergenic - it is incredibly cruel and considered inhumane by many. 


That is why people are gravitating towards organic skin care products and cruelty free skin care products. Without these harmful chemicals and toxins, there's no need for animal testing to ensure that they’re safe for humans.  


Here are the top 10 toxins found in non-organic skin care products - are they in yours?

1. Preservatives

All products have an expiry date and in order to make sure they stay "fresh", preservatives are used. If you ask anyone, the largest culprit to look out for in any skin care product would be Parabens, Formaldehyde or Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives (FRPs).

These preservatives have had many studies linking their harmful effects on hormonal or endocrine activity, meaning this should definitely be avoided if a woman is pregnant or nursing.

Many countries have in fact banned these preservatives as excessive use can give rise to cancer, and/or cause allergic skin reactions.


2. Fragrances

It's no secret that when a beauty product smells good, it probably has a lot of unwanted and potentially toxic chemicals in it.

Some of these have been simply disguised as "Fragrance" or "Parfum" extracts, while the more scientific term "Phthalates" is what we should be wary of.

Studies have shown these synthetic compounds can cause dizziness, headache, asthma, allergies, reproductive defects and hormonal imbalances.


3. Synthetic Colors

You might want to think twice about putting on colorful lipstick or eyeshadow again, as synthetic colors have been widely linked to cancer and ADHD in children.

What you should be looking out for would be anything with FD&C or D&C labels, which stands for “Food, Drug and Cosmetics”. While many have already been banned, it's still good to stay away from these artificial dyes.


4. Petroleum


"This can't be in my skincare product!"

But it is, and it is usually stealthily disguised as either:

  • Mineral oil,
  • Toluene,
  • Liquid paraffin, or
  • Xylene

All these are carcinogenic.


5. Antibacterial Agents

The most common antibacterial ingredient out there is Triclosan, which ironically harms human health as a thyroid and hormone disruptor.

It's also been recently reviewed and prohibited in September 2016 by the FDA due to its lack of effectiveness in actually killing bacteria.


6. Foaming Agents

Do we really need our shampoo or soap to foam up?

The chemical names are Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), which have been known to cause kidney and respiratory issues.


7. Sunscreen Agents


One common agent, Oxybenzone, is used in sunscreen to absorb ultraviolet light, but while it’s supposed to protect us from the sun - it can damage our endocrine systems at a cellular level.

As such, it's better to use sunscreen in moderation and not stay out in the scorching sun for too long if possible.


8. Skin Whitening Agents


In contrast to sunscreen, the chemical Hydroquinone is used for "bleaching" our skin.

While you may appear fairer on the outside, you're actually altering your skin pigmentation on the inside while also weakening your natural collagen and elastin - essentials to keeping your skin firm and youthful!


9. Anti-Acne Chemicals

Benzoyl Peroxide is actually used for treating moderate acne by killing bacteria.

However, it's been linked to tumor growth and can produce toxic effects just by breathing it in.


10. Alcohol


Not the drinking kind, but the one that allows your skin care liquids to dry up fast so you can get on with life more quickly.

Regular skin exposure to alcohol means greater vulnerability to molds, viruses and bacteria, as well as dermatitis.

Luckily it's easy to identify alcoholic ingredients in skin care products as most of their chemical names end with the suffix "-ol".


Takeaway for Organic Skin Care Products

Regardless of whether you use organic skin care products or cruelty free skin care products  - do check the bottle to make sure the ingredients or fine print match up.

Even if it's advertised as "made with certified organic products", it's still possible to have 70% organic ingredients while the remaining 30% synthetic ingredients are potentially harmful.

So do keep a look out for the top 10 toxins found in non organic skin care products listed above, and ensure you're buying organic skin care products that will protect your skin, not damage it!