My Cruelty-Free Journey | Update #1

So it's been about three months months since I made my post about the start of my cruelty-free journey, and I figured it was about time I posted an update. To be honest, it's been a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. I never thought the transition would be easy or fast - I mean, I'm calling this series a journey for a reason - but I've discovered that it's going to take me a lot longer than I thought to be completely cruelty-free.

While I was conscious from the beginning that living a cruelty-free lifestyle extended beyond just skincare and makeup products, I didn't take into consideration a lot of other categories of products where I'd have to make a change. Over the last two months, I've come to realize that I also will need to replace:

  • Toothpaste: I use Sensodyne, which is not cruelty-free. I have sensitive teeth, so I'm hoping I'll be able to find a cruelty-free alternative. If not, Tom's of Maine is cruelty-free, and my boyfriend already uses that, so I might just stick to that if I can't find anything better.

  • Nail polish: Sadly, I really didn't think about this category at all, because I really don't paint my nails at all. The last time I can remember painting my nails was last October... Fortunately, this isn't too difficult of a category for me to work on, since most of my newer nail polishes are cruelty-free (mainly Smith & Cult and KL Polish), and most, if not all, of my nail polishes that aren't are old and need to be tossed anyways. I just need to find an opportunity to bring these to a household hazardous waste facility.

  • Fragance: My most loved fragrance, Glossier You (1.7 fl oz, $60), is thankfully cruelty-free. The majority of my fragrances, however, are not, so I'm planning to donate all of my unused deluxe samples, not only because they're almost all not cruelty-free, but I have no need for so many fragrance samples and would like to pass them on to someone who would have use for them. Thankfully, most of my perfumes are actually not full-size products, so this shouldn't be too difficult. The only full-size non-cruelty-free fragrance I have is a Chanel perfume that my mom gave me for my birthday a few years ago. I don't use perfume often, so it'll take me a while to use up my perfumes, but I will not be repurchasing any perfumes that are not cruelty-free, Chanel or otherwise. I'm actually interested in natural perfumes, but I don't really want to fall down that rabbit hole until I actually have space in my collection for new fragrances.

At first, I was really disappointed that it was going to take me longer than I thought to reach a point where I was using only cruelty-free products. Though as time went on, I  realized that there was no reason to be disappointed - I've already made a lot of changes, decluttering my stash and making it a point to only purchase products from cruelty-free brands. I'm proud that I have no issue with letting go of my loved non-cruelty-free products and finding cruelty-free alternatives, even if it means I still need to use up what's still in my inventory.

And if anything, I think the fact that I'm using up what I have first, even if it's not cruelty-free, is better than just replacing everything that I have and starting anew. Being cruelty-free is important and is my ultimate goal, but it's also important to me not to be wasteful. If I'm not giving something away, I should use it up instead of generating more waste. I've been making pretty good progress, and I'm aiming to be completely cruelty-free by the end of next year, though we'll have to see how that goes :)

The good news is that throughout this journey so far, I've really become more conscious of what I'm buying. I'm choosing to be more informed about where my money is going, being more aware of what ingredients are in the products I'm buying, and being more selective about what I buy. I've always been guilty of being too easily sucked into sales and discounts, and this whole process has helped me take a step back from all of that. I'm getting better about not stockpiling a bunch of stuff that I may never end up using anyways... 😅

Hopefully, my documentation of this process can help those of you who are also thinking of transitioning to only cruelty-free products and ensure that, if you plan to do so, you won't feel like you have to get rid of all of your stuff and replace them with cruelty-free products in one fell swoop.

Are any of you also currently in transition to a cruelty-free lifestyle? How is that going for you?