Showing posts from 2010

A Cruelty-Free Body Wash for Men

I'm always excited to see new personal care products for men, and darn near ecstatic when I find one that isn't tested on animals. So, you can imagine my enthusiasm when I came across a new cruelty-free body wash for men, Every Man Jack. Not that I mind the other body washes I've tried, as they aren't necessarily for women only, though I wouldn't describe the scents as all that manly. And many of the scents, as I've described in previous posts, I really enjoy, however feminine they may be. So, I smell like a Midnight Tuberose. So what?! A guy can't small all flowery and sweet? But I digress.

There is something nice about being catered to, as a guy, when it comes to things like body washes. Other than this new one, the only other cruelty-free company that I can think of that had a men's personal care product line was the Body Shop. And it's not very convenient to find a Body Shop store whenever I need new shampoo, shaving cream or body wash. So, goo…

Cruelty-Free Dandruff Shampoo

My dermatologist tells me I have Seborrheic dermatitis, which is a condition that's essentially the same as dandruff, except that it causes flaking and redness on other parts of the body. For me, it's on my face, which I effectively treat with a combination of a couple different prescription creams. For the scalp, she (my dermatologist) explained that people can sometimes have success with over-the-counter dandruff shampoos, though she suggested I try this prescription foam (I believe she said it was a foam). So, I went to pick up the prescription, only to find out at the pharmacy that it would set me back $280! I politely declined, so I'm now on a quest to find not only a dandruff shampoo that works for me, but one that does not test on animals. And that is going to be no small challenge. I've found that, as you move into the more medicated side of things, it's far more difficult to find cruelty-free products. I've found and tried two different shampoos thus f…

Tom's toothpaste

I wrote in an earlier blog post that while I'd been spending all this time obsessing about buying body washes, shampoos, and other shower supplies that aren't tested on animals, I completely overlooked the fact that I'd been using Crest toothpaste for years which is made by Procter & Gamble, who happens to be one of the biggest offenders when it comes to animal testing. So, I figured I'd give Tom's a try even though I hadn't really enjoyed it all that much when I tried it many years ago. But that was many years ago, so maybe it would be better now, or perhaps my taste buds have matured so that I will now appreciate the subtle flavor nuances that an all-natural toothpaste has to offer.

Well, I was wrong. I still don't like it. Blame it on being used to the artificial flavors and sweeteners and whatever else you might find in a tube of Crest toothpaste, if you'd like. After all, Tom's really does taste all-natural. I can almost imagine the Tom&#…

Ohh, coconut

Finally, I finished off the JASON body wash, which taught me a good lesson. When testing out a new product, I really shouldn't opt for the large, family size bottle because it's a better value. Because it really takes far too long to empty it. But empty it I did, and eagerly purchased a new body wash. It's really remarkable (and encouraging) to see how many companies are now making body wash and other personal care products that aren't tested on animals. So, I scanned the shelf of body wash choices and one immediately caught my eye. A body wash (shower gel, technically) by Shikai, a company whose products I'd seen on the shelves at Whole Foods, but never purchased. There were a number of different scents available, which made the selection process a little tougher, until I saw that they had a coconut scent. Mmmm, coconut. There's something about the coconut scent that just feels like vacation. Maybe it's reminiscent of those suntan lotions that have the sam…

It's important to do your research

I was recently made aware of Melaleuca, a company that's been around for a while, but not one that I knew anything about. Apparently, from what I understand, they're a Mary Kay/Shaklee type of business where people can be individual reps to sell their products. And I guess Melaleuca's thing is that their products are environmentally friendly and - I was told - animal friendly. Frequently, these 'green' companies are as concerned about protecting animals as they are about protecting the environment. But for some reason, I was suspicious that Melaleuca may not be as animal friendly as one might assume. Off to the internets!

My first stop, as always, when I have doubts about a company's animal testing policies, is to go to PETA's list of companies that do, and don't, test on animals. Sadly, Melaleuca lives on the 'do test' list. But there wasn't any information about what kind of testing they do, so my curious nature led me to dig a little deep…

A different brand

It was time to check out a new body wash. So, in the interest of trying out the offerings from multiple companies that are committed to producing products that don't test on animals, I decided to take a break from Alba, particularly since I think I've tried every body wash they make. So, looking through the shelves, I noticed the multiple bottles of JASON body wash, which I'd seen many times, but never tried. There were about 3 or 4 different scents available, so I decided to give the Tea Tree body wash a go. I gave each a little preview sniff, and that one appealed to me the most...and I like the cute little koala bear on the label.

Having almost gone through the bottle now, I still like it, though not quite as much as the Alba. But the scent is a nice change of pace from Alba's floral and fruit scents. The tea tree smell is nice, and not overpowering. I must admit, though, I am tiring of it. Not because there's anything that I dislike about the JASON body wash, …

A little strong

I decided to try a new body wash (from Alba, of course). I don't have a complete handle on all of their different lines - there's the body wash with the solid colored labels, the Alba 'Rainforest' line with the green label and the rainforest-y scene on it, and then this line with the yellow label and a more Hawaiian looking thing going on. The previous body washes I'd tried from Alba were all the solid colored label ones, which I've liked a lot. So, when I saw that this 'new' one (turns out, it's not a new scent, but a new 24oz. bottle. It used to be available in 7oz. tubes), I had to give it a shot. It's passion fruit, I guess. That's what it says it is on the bottle. I'll have to take their word for it; I'm not exactly an expert on identifying and verifying the exact aroma emitted by the fruit family. To be perfectly honest, the smell wasn't bad, it was just strong. If it was milder, I may not have minded so much, though I do…

A great face wash

Admittedly, I don't know jack about personal hygiene products. I'm just an average guy who cleans myself on a pretty regular basis, who doesn't want a bathroom full of products that have been exhaustively tested on helpless caged animals. So, I've always equated bubbles with getting clean. Soap makes bubbles, body wash makes bubbles, toothpaste even kinda makes bubbles. So it's a bit of a mystery to me how some creamy, lotion-like substance that produces nary a bubble can actually successfully clean my face. But apparently it does. After all, my face looks clean, it feels clean, and it smells clean, so I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt. The face wash that I'm talking about is the Alba (of course - and I swear I'm not a company shill. I just happen to really like their products, so I'm inclined to stick with the brand) Coconut Milk Facial Wash. I actually tried this after trying the Sea Mineral Cleansing Gel, which was great but it felt l…

Not quite as good as the testers

Pro: It smells great. I actually like the smell of the Mango Vanilla more, but I decided to give the Coconut Lime a try, because I was curious what it was like, and I like singing that "Put the lime in the coconut, drink 'em both up..." song while I'm in the shower.

Con: It's not really giving me the smoothest shave. Most areas are fine, but I think I must have sandpaper for a mustache, because the Alba shave gel doesn't feel like it's doing a thing. I may as well be yanking the hairs out with tweezers. It's been a while since I've used the other shave gels from Gillette or the other companies that test on animals, but to be perfectly honest, I remember the shave being pretty damn smooth when I did use those products.

Sadly, that con is kind of a deal-breaker. I don't know if there are other companies that don't test on animals that make a shave cream, but I think I need to see what else is out there.

Alba Botanica Sea Mineral Cleansing Gel

I'm just about finished with this, and I'm really impressed with it. As with all Alba products, there is no animal testing involved. But one of the main things that I've really appreciated about Alba, and a lot of these organic/natural cleansers is, well, how natural and clean they feel. Compared to a lot of the other body and facial washes that I've tried, which seem very chemical- and scent-heavy, Alba's seem to just go on, and wash off, much cleaner. This Sea Mineral Cleansing Gel is no exception. In fact, it's probably less scented than any of the other Alba products I've tried thus far. It foams up nicely which, I assume, means it's washing away all the impurities on my face. My skin does tend to dry out pretty easily, though, and facial cleansers usually contribute to that. This cleansing gel hasn't been as bad (in terms of drying out my skin) as some others I've tried, like Nivea and Neutrogena. But it still did seem to dry me out a littl…


As I'm standing in the bathroom, considering which cruelty-free product I should write about next, I saw it. A wave of guilt washed over me as I stared at it. OK, well maybe "wave" is a bit of an overstatement. It's not like I'm this huge evangelist of only supporting companies that hold a 'no animal testing' policy. It's something in which I strongly believe, and I certainly aspire to have a house completely free of products that test on animals. Though that aspiration isn't entirely realistic either. After all, I don't know that it would be possible to ever have prescription medicine produced by a company that doesn't test on animals. But it's certainly possible to eliminate household products, and bath and beauty supplies that have been tested on animals. So that, really, is my goal. And I thought I was doing pretty well, particularly when it came to bathroom products. That is until I saw the tube of Crest staring back at me. Crest …

Alba Botanica Rainforest Copaiba Shampoo

I recently finished off a bottle of Alba Botanica Rainforest Copaiba Shampoo. As with all Alba products, the smell is good, light, fresh and clean. And given the fairly medical smell of a lot of scalp treatment shampoos, that seems to be a pretty significant accomplishment. As for the results, I'd say they're no better or worse than other brands. By that, I mean that I noticed a slight difference (less itch, fewer flakes, etc.), but I wouldn't call it a cure. I'm not implying that I've got 'Ally Sheedy in the Breakfast Club' levels of dandruff or anything. So, I'm not requiring miracles. I've just never found dandruff shampoo in general to be very effective.

All in all, I liked it and may use it again. Though considering all of the other great choices that Alba offers, I'll likely choose something else.

Alba Body Wash

Alba has quickly become my favorite company for skin care products. I use their products whenever I can, simply because they work well, they smell great and, most importantly, they don't test on animals. Here are a few of the Alba products that I've used.

Alba Botanica Bath and Shower Gel, Midnight Tuberose, 32-Ounce Bottle

I'm a huge fan of this. I like all the scents, but the Midnight Tuberose is amazing.  Leaves you feeling clean and refreshed, and smelling like a bed of roses. Well, tuberoses, I guess. I don't even know what tuberoses are, but they must smell freakin' fantastic. I've tried the other scents, as well (Island Citrus, French Lavender, Honey Mango, and Sparkling Mint), but the Tuberose is where it's at.

Choosing Cruelty-Free Products

I've never really liked the idea of animal testing, particularly when it came to beauty products. It just seemed so unnecessary and, well, cruel to me to torture animals for the sake of making a nice sudsy, perfumy shampoo. So, I made occasional efforts at seeking out products that didn't test on animals and was happy to find that Paul Mitchell shampoo didn't test on animals. But I didn't like having to go into hair salons or beauty supply stores (this was pre-Amazon) to seek out my shampoo, and the local grocery stores never carried it, of course. So, for a long while, I just purchased various types of shampoos and body washes at the grocery store for the sake of convenience.

Finally, I was at Whole Foods one day, and took a look at their bath and beauty aisles (or however they're labeled there) and found a whole host of products that weren't tested on animals. Whole Foods being Whole Foods, of course, some were pretty expensive and not very practical for tha…