It should be illegal for just any product to print “not tested on animals” on its label but products most often wrongly state this. Aside from the cruelty to animals, cruel products are also often cruel to the planet. Organisations make themselves available to certify products that want to be labelled as cruelty-free (and verifying their suppliers do not test either), with independent audits and they do it free of charge. Animal-testing. on the other hand, is a business with vested interest that goes hand-in-hand with the development of new useless (e.g. fragrances, or fragrance-masking chemicals) and often harmful products. If you’re looking at products not listed here check the label for official bunny logos, not just any bunny; and the brand names would be listed on the sites too such as if you search by country of origin of the product here. If it is a local product, not that I’ve seen any, the suppliers can’t be local and either way certification is easily obtained from overseas.
Update: I mentioned soapnuts/ reetha before, it’s also called quassia and here, shikakai and perhaps siaka (verlan? :D) is the same. It’s a plant whose fruit/nut sold as dandruff remedy. I’m going to get a tree and find a spot for it in someone else’s yard and find out eventually. I’ve seen branded shikakai products (Are their other ingredients tested on animals? They’re often strongly scented). The powder can easily be dissolved for shampoo and personal care, or as is in laundry – very little is needed e.g. 2 nuts for a load can be reused.
Some DIY recipes call for the following ingredients or products that can be used as is:
Bicarbonate of soda (1 TBs can be used to replace fabric softener, can be used to make toothpaste) and vinegar (1/2 a cup can replace fabric softener) is available at any shop, the smallest street corner shop will stock vinegar and sugarcane (90%) alcohol too – both locally made. The advantage of cleaning your kitchen surfaces with vinegar is it repels ants, it helps kill mould and it smells kitcheny for a short while, the smell dissipates after a coupla hours.
Gram flour/Besan can be used as a cleanser, in India traditionally it is used for all over cleansing but I’m not ready to try that, maybe when can’t I use available soaps anymore.
Coconut oil is available at Quartier Gourmet (Sodnac) and Health Solutions Organic Market.
Carrot seed oil and red raspberry seed oil (less effective) can be used as sunscreen, even brands use vitamin A in their products as sunscreen.
Sweet almond oil is used to remove make up but another idea is to try go without make up. Here’s a tip (also fragrance-free though too late for some of us): the best facial skin I’ve seen in decades are on women who said they use nothing but water. Once you started using stuff (for most of us usually too early in our lives) it’s probably impossible to sport good skin without using products, there’s always dryness after a shower in some climates (not in Mauritius) or after taking a swim I guess. I quit using sunscreen (I have a big tube of vegan sunscreen but I want vitamin D, have some in-built sunscreen, I also crave wrinkles)
Here are some products I’ve come across:
Earth Choice detergents from your supermarkets (let me know which ones, mine was defo not bought at a hypermarket, in Curepipe maybe) are kind and also say ‘vegan’, it’s Aussie-made.
La Vie Claire in Tamarin stocks a range of Melvita products, such as Jojoba oil – a liquid wax and chemically very much like skin sebum. A news article where I read the latter said it’s suitable for oily/combo skin. A very knowledgeable friend uses it on dry skin instead of a day cream. Her skin looks great at 50 something. I have combination skin, I’m yet to try use products again, jojoba oil was better than any cream I’ve tried on normal parts… and it’s fragrance-free!
I forgot to browse their sunscreen options but if they don’t have something, they welcome suggestions as long as it’s not supplements.
In case you need it, non-tested make-up is available, I forget which brands aside from M.A.C (I found a rep/store in Mauritus on FB, I can no longer access my post after I was banned from a certain group I was modrating) but make-up is the only info about cruelty-free I ever found for the Vegan Society Mauritius (on facebook) aside from this Gaia.
In 3 places on the island, including Ébène,
Health Solutions Market’s Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps. This is the only brand of cleaning product (it also has soap-sud) I’ve found on the island that is not tested on animals, and it’s not cheap (*nor are the imported animal tested soaps about everyone buys) but there are bulk quantities available and I realised the pure castille soap gets diluted so it goes a long way. Also claims 18 uses including tooth cleaning (eww but yes, google it). They have Phyto-choice, listed as international brand here but I can’t find any other listing. Vicco toothpaste is listed as cruelty-free in India, and we all recall the brand but can’t find this product thus far.
There are Green Brands sales reps in Mauritius selling low-budget Original Source shower gel(women’s 2 types, no Tea-tree and mint for men), this be the only Vegan Society approved product I spotted among their range and they also have Marks&Spencer shower gels which are BUAV-approved, but on the list of brands-to-boycott in support of Palestine.
Someone must check if they still sell Esse in Port-Louis. I can no longer access any shops, so I’m asking you, I asked other people in vain. Would you like to try face scrub that smells and probably tastes quite like chocolate spread? I’m allergic to sugar in my mouth so never tasted it to confirm. Or you can read the ingredients and try make your own with sugar and fairtrade cocoa. Go read the ingredients, it’s opposite Courts(?) near Jardin de la Compagnie.
An importer’s friend said they sell L’Occitane here. If you know where, please let me know!
Online shopping recommendation removed not only for their inefficient staff, + they no longer take international orders. They were the cheapest shipping to here. Time to search in Reunion Island!
Shame on PicknPay for not stocking ‘cruelty-free’, BWCSA-approved South African products! In Mauritian PicknPays (3 stores, of the South African chain) all South African brands I was looking for, the cruelty-free ones, seem to have been replaced with animal-tested products from France and Australia, products I’ve never seen in SA. Where is the logic in that?! I wrote to one local PicknPay many months ago asking for product availability at the biggest one, the manager didn’t get back to me…
Update: PicknPays are closing down, they’ll be Monoprix soon
Drop me a PM or email if we can do a letter action to La Vie Claire in France. A franchise like La Vie Claire relies on sellability of a product, I wonder if the owners would order special products if we organise and say we’ll buy all 12 items from a single order, then of course we must buy them.
Perhaps we can draft a letter to the French store or other local stores and figure out ways to boycott cruelty, within capitalism. Do PLEASE lemme know if people sell home-made products locally. I think one would need an insect-free kitchen/ space which is also mold-free then heat and humidity would decrease shelf life.
Do you know Green Brands reps in Rodrigues? An ad said there are, and like here perhaps they advertise island style. I know women who do this after their retirement, they use word of mouth to sell.
If you’re wondering about the “fragrance-free”, multiple chemical sensitivity is an illness with reactions to fragrances and other chemicals. I have some chemical allergies but personally find most fragrances unpleasant.
Suppose you use cruelty-free in your home, I’m sure you’d like to visit people and find they keep cruelty-free soap for you to wash your hands. If they don’t, you can tell them about it. Fragrance-free people don’t have that luxury, they may not be able to even enter a house with fragrances. Heck, even outside buildings, there may be pesticides, fertilisers and incense. They can buy expensive masks if they get money to buy these online but what they use in their houses or on their skin has to be fragrance-free.