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  1. Tonia
    April 27, 2016 @ 10:57 am

    I’ve been transitioning over to cruelty free products. Any recommendations for deodorant? I’ve tried a couple and let’s just say they have not been effective and leave it there.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      April 27, 2016 @ 11:03 am

      lol… my bff and I have had this exact conversation. I use the liquid crystal stuff, but sprinkle talc-free baby powder on top before getting dressed. For some reason this makes a difference for me. (but not for Lara)

      Maybe explore this site: she is extensive!


      • Victoria Georgianna
        April 27, 2016 @ 7:14 pm

        I’ve been cruelty free for almost ten years. Deodorant wise I would strongly recommend Every Man Jack Sandalwood deodorant. Even though it is a guy’s deodorant it smells pretty gender neutral and I think the smell is fantastic.
        It is cruelty free and I’ve been using it for the last two to three years and I’ve only had to replace it once so it lasts forever. It’s also super affordable because I’ve been able to pick it up for around 5-8$ and I see it on sale a lot. You can get it at Whole Foods.
        I just think it is so great because previously I used to have to use extra extra strong Secret and the flowery smell would just smell so wrong on me and it never really worked very well but once I made the switch it was so so so much better.
        By the way, I know this sounds like a terribly long add but this deodorant kept me smelling great through 90 degree weather and training through cross country and through out prom and overall teenage grossness and hormones so it is great. I should probably go stock up.


    • Kay
      April 27, 2016 @ 1:34 pm

      I’ve used a deodorant stone for many years. One application is effective for a good two days, although I use it every time I shower. It is not an antiperspirant, so don’t expect it to keep you dry. It goes on wet, but I do other things after applying it, and by the time I’m dressing, my underarms are dry. One stone lasts about six months. Just don’t drop it–it shatters and you end up salvaging the larger usable lumps. Despite that drawback, I’m devoted to the things.


    • Allison
      April 27, 2016 @ 2:25 pm

      I use magnesium oil spray (allow to dry) followed by a little coconut oil. It works so well that even after moving on a hot summer day last year, I still smelled totally neutral.


      • Jen
        April 27, 2016 @ 3:05 pm

        Magnesium oil? Do you buy ready-made or make your own or how does that work? I realize I could Google it but I’d rather hear from someone who’s using it successfully than sort through a lot of ads ?


        • Allison
          April 27, 2016 @ 4:11 pm

          They sell it at health food stores and you can get it on Amazon as well. I’ve used the Life-flow brand with good results. It’s not oily at all – it’s more like water, but dries quicker. It’s strictly topical. I think some people mix magnesium chloride flakes with water to make it themselves, but I’ve never tried that.


    • Cat
      April 28, 2016 @ 2:45 pm

      The natural German brand Dr. Hauschka makes fabulous deodorant that really works. It’s pricey in the US but it’s lovely stuff.

      Also, The People’s Pharmacy (Joe & Terry Graedon of NPR fame) make a Milk of Magnesia deodorant that my entire family now uses – let’s just say we’ve really put it to the test and it passed with flying colors.


    • Carisa
      April 29, 2016 @ 10:46 pm

      I’ve found that the Kiss My Face liquid rock works amazingly well for me. It’s a liquid roll-on that drys fast and leaves no residue. Comes in an array of lovely, natural scents or unscented. Natural deodorants sometimes need a lot of personal trial and error until you find what works for you. I’ve tried some that made me smell worse than wearing nothing. Body chemistry is real.


    • Jill
      November 28, 2016 @ 10:16 am

      Tonia, I use Arbonne deodorant. It is vegan and cruelty free. Best part is it has a 45 day guarantee. If it is not optimal with your body, you’re not stuck with it-where else can you say that? I’ve worked in a retail drugstore for years and no one returns the one that didn’t work, they just spend more hard earned $ on more. I will post a link here which I hope is ok- please delete if not- ; you will find cruelty free nutrition, make up, skincare, spa and sports products. All are vegan ( meaning no beeswax either!), petroleum and phthalate free, many are kosher too. Do note that the deodorant is strictly that, it is aluminum free and not an antiperspirant. For some people, for health reasons, that is a huge selling point, while others prefer the drying activity of an antiperspirant.


  2. Susan
    April 27, 2016 @ 11:00 am

    Add Rebel Green products to your list. Totally organic, cruelty-free and made in the US of A! They have been expanding their product line lately due to high demand. rebel


    • Yvonne Angus
      April 28, 2016 @ 6:39 am

      Nice to hear that a US company is making a cruelty-free product. The Euro-Ban on animal testing is the best argument AGAINST Buy American!


  3. Alex
    April 27, 2016 @ 11:06 am

    That impossible sheen is the hardened sweat of generations of maidservants.

    If any of you feel hopeless in the face of animal cruelty, take a look at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine –
    They, and many other organizations, are working hard for you to make the world a happier place!


  4. Sheryl
    April 27, 2016 @ 11:19 am

    This is not an endorsement as I have not tried it, but the website has a good deal of info about it and looks to be legit.


  5. Garden, Home and Party
    April 27, 2016 @ 11:21 am

    Thanks for the information on the products. It’s so confusing. I’ve been trying to change over, especially now that I have 2 granddaughters, the moms are strict and I want to follow their lead. However, there was an article not long ago about “Honest” products still having toxic chemicals. Who are we to believe on this subject. I’ll check some of your links. It would be nice to know we were only using products that are pure and free of toxins, not to mention that they’ve left all animals to live without this horror.


  6. vikki
    April 27, 2016 @ 11:22 am

    Thanks again for a great post. I do love your passion about going cruelty free. I have been slowly trying to go chemical free for years, but now more so since I was diagnosed with breast cancer in August of last year. I usually just make my own cleaning solutions and laundry soaps from simple ingredients. They clean as good and I feel better knowing they are not toxic. Thanks so much for including a few items that can be purchased that are also cruelty-free. I will definitely look into buying those items. It does amaze me when I see what goes into baby shampoo and baby wipes. I cringe when I see my children using them on my grand babies. It is unconscionable that industry would poison our babies, but they do not care as long as there is $$ to be made doing so. Keep on your soap box, it will help others to see what is going on.

    And by the way I love all your beautiful antiques. I wish I lived in an area where I could pick up some of those beauties, but I refuse to leave the West Coast. 🙂


  7. Marni
    April 27, 2016 @ 11:37 am

    Thank you for being an amazing, outstanding human!


  8. Debbie
    April 27, 2016 @ 11:37 am

    Thanks so much for getting the word out about toxic chemicals. Stopped buying name brands years ago just as I also don’t eat fast food. Also love the work FOOD BABE is doing too get harmful chemicals out of our food. We need to stop these companies from poisoning us on a daily basis by not buying there products. We wonder why there is so much illness. Money talks. If they can’t sell it, they won’t make it. I even make our own toothpaste because of the terrible chemicals it has. And we get great check ups, too. America needs to pay attention, the EU has banned way more than the US. It is even a felony in Russia to sell GMO products. Have you ever read the list of chemicals in something as common as aspirin? I read every label we use. Great house tour picture, too. I WANT THE MOLDING!


  9. Victoria
    April 27, 2016 @ 11:43 am

    Love this post and yes, the animal pics made me tear up. But I am glad you used them as words would not been enough to describe such insanity. Thank you.


  10. Barb
    April 27, 2016 @ 11:49 am

    Well said! Years ago I worked for one of the MAJOR companies that are on the list. It was back in the day before people truly “got” it. As a former beagle mom, this is heartbreaking. Well done. I hope people truly change their ways. Life is short, make a difference.
    Oh, and thank you for the book reviews. Going to check them out. I hope Elvis is doing much better!


  11. Jeanne
    April 27, 2016 @ 11:52 am

    Thanks for the reminder. I think we all can benefit from a less toxic environment and try to pass a less toxic environment down to our kids – and yes, animals should not be made to suffer for cosmetics and cleaners! One thing more is the amount of medications that people take that pass through our system and out to the water cycle. I would not want anyone to stop taking needed medication, but the amount of medication people take is on the rise, in some parts due to the hectic, stressed lives we lead – and the birth control pills are one of the main culprits, causing the feminization of male fish and other water life – which of course are part of the food chain. Add the number of people on medications for stress – we need to change our priorities – all the extra “stuff” is really not making us happier.


  12. Lynn
    April 27, 2016 @ 11:54 am

    There is an app called Buycott that lets you scan any product in the grocery store to see if it aligns (or does not align) with what you want to avoid. It includes animal testing, GMOs, cheap labor, and everything else you could imagine. It’s great. It also makes shopping IMPOSSIBLE 🙂


  13. S Zajonc
    April 27, 2016 @ 11:56 am

    I love your passion and resolve to speak your truth. I love your deep connection with life that reveals itself through GFTs and Elvis and every other beautiful being in the animal world. I love that you choose to guide and teach with this delicious blog you’ve created. Thank you, VEB.


  14. Cindy
    April 27, 2016 @ 12:01 pm

    Hey- could you separate you post so I could share just the animal cruelty stuff on Facebook? I have friends that would skip my sharing it because of the title but they would read it if they knew that it was about animal testing.


    • Yvonne Angus
      April 28, 2016 @ 6:48 am

      Why don’t you just copy and paste the part(s) you want to share with your friends?


  15. Pattie C
    April 27, 2016 @ 12:06 pm

    I think as consumers we forget about the animal testing or we chose to forget so thanks for bringing it to my attention again. I do have a question, what does Tommy Hilfiger do test on, ugly pants and overpriced purses? Oh, I bet it’s perfume, which I hate.


  16. Barb
    April 27, 2016 @ 12:07 pm

    Thank you for sharing this infuriating TRUTH. I’m proud to run a cruelty free household. I learned some more just reading this, so thank you. I love YOU even more! 🙂


  17. Anne Greene
    April 27, 2016 @ 12:08 pm

    I’ve also been on the quest to go “all natural” with cleaning and personal care items to benefit our family as well as the environment, so was shocked to see Arm & Hammer on the list of brands test on animals 🙁 I’ve used their super washing soda to replace dishwasher detergent as well as an ingredient in our homemade laundry detergent, and have used their baking soda for years as our go-to cleaning product (with vinegar)… Looks like I’ve got some more research to do.

    We use Dr. Bronner’s for shampoo now (diluted with a bit of essential oils added for scent), and lotions have been replaced with organic oils. I use argan oil in place of facial lotion and almond for body lotion (though all the oils I’ve tried work great for body lotion). I’ve been thinking of trying baking soda (applied with a pouf) in place of deodorant, but am still using up what I have left of another natural brand I like (Tom’s of Maine).

    Thanks for the information!


    • Tal Saarony
      April 27, 2016 @ 1:17 pm

      Tom’s of Maine has for a long time now belonged to Colgate-Palmolive, a major animal tester. Many of the beloved cruelty-free companies are slowly being acquired by the testing giants.


      • Anne Greene
        April 27, 2016 @ 1:43 pm

        Well that’s a bummer… I should have known when I saw that they include fluoridated toothpaste in their line of toothpaste several years ago 🙁 I’ve since switched our toothpaste brand and plan to move to a homemade deodorant as soon as finish up what I’ve got.


        • melbajo
          April 28, 2016 @ 1:15 pm

          i recently made the switch from tom’s to dr. bronner’s toothpaste (after using bronner’s soap for a decade or more, i only just found out that they make toothpaste too!). definitely less foamy-sudsy – i think that is a sure sign it has less crap in it, but it does take some getting used to.


  18. Melinda
    April 27, 2016 @ 12:09 pm

    Thank you for all the safer, cruelty free cleaning/soaping tips! …and the book reading suggestions… and those house pictures with your amusing comments:)


  19. Randi
    April 27, 2016 @ 12:11 pm

    I live in Savannah. Sadly, that is not my house, although I do have 5 1/2 bathrooms. I read Empty Mansions…good book. I make my own cleaning products and many of my own lotions and potions using essential oils. Chemical free and everything smells delicious…


  20. Katherine
    April 27, 2016 @ 12:12 pm

    Thank you so much for such an informative post, Victoria. I’ve been ysing white vinegar and baking soda to clean almost everything, but I still occasionally succumb to other cleaning products. This must stop.

    Also, I’m in France and it is very difficult to find real cruelty free, chemical free products here. But I’m always looking.

    Elvis looks adorable!


    • Katherine
      April 27, 2016 @ 12:22 pm

      By the way, I stopped coloring my hair 2.5 years ago due chemicals and expense. I love the result – healthy white hair – and would urge others to give it a try.

      I read your post again and saw there’s an EU ban on animal testing, of which I was completely unaware. As I said, I’ve had difficulty finding such products but I guess it’s time to look harder!


    • Kiki
      April 28, 2016 @ 4:29 am

      Katherine; you’re right up my alley…. I also live in France and I would recommend the site where I just ordered washing nuts – I used to be able to buy them at Auchan years ago and then, when they didn’t have them any longer, I switched to green products with satisfactory results. But then I found one last bag of the nuts and because they have no smell at all and we’re pretty allergic to everything with chemical components, I decided to find another supplier. I knew the wash nuts from Switzerland where I origin from.
      Ferme des peupliers has many other organic products too incl facial & hair products as well as organic coconut oil (which is also difficult to source in F).
      Good luck – and I DO commiserate the non-state of organic produce in France; Switzerland is so infinitely more advanced, incl. sourcing produce of ‘nearby’.


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