Cruelty-Free Skin Care/Hair Care Alternatives // Alba, Acure, Jason, Yes To, Soapbox

It’s been a bit of a slow process to switch over to cruelty-free products since my decision back in February. I’ve come across some things that I like, and some things I don’t, but I try to use up all the products that I buy before switching to something new. I’ve already given an update on the type of cruelty-free deodorant I’ve been using, and I thought that it was time for an update on skin care/hair care products that I’ve been trying out.

Skin Healing Ointment

Aquaphor® Healing Ointment 7 oz. tubeAlba Botanica Un-Petroleum, Multi-Purpose Jelly, 3.5 Ounce

What I was using: Aquaphor Healing Ointment ($9.96 for 7 oz) (not cruelty-free)
What I’ve been using: Alba Botanica Un-Petroleum Multi-Purpose Jelly ($7.22 for 3.5 oz)

I’m not a heavy user of lotions. I had just started using Aquaphor before my switch to cruelty-free, so I still have a mostly full bottle of it at home and a tiny tube of it in my purse. I mainly use it between my fingers, where the skin becomes cracked after washing my hands or dishes, or in the winter when my hands are pretty much always dry.

I heard really good things about Alba’s Multi-Purpose Jelly being a good alternative to Aquaphor, so I bought this bottle and keep it in my office at work. For me, it works nicely, especially since I wasn’t ever a die-hard Aquaphor fan, but it does have some pros and cons. It’s not as thick as Aquaphor, which I actually like because it means that it doesn’t take nearly as long to dry. However, there was about a week where the product kind of randomly liquified in my bottle and then went back to its normal consistency a little bit after that. I was never able to figure out why, but maybe it’s particularly sensitive to temperature.

I think it does help to soothe, moisturize, and soften (as stated on the bottle), but I don’t think its effects are as long-lasting as Aquaphor.

My biggest con when I first bought it was its scent. I’m not sure if it is the beeswax or some type of oil, but I found it really off-putting, to the point to where I considered not using it. But since then, I’ve gotten used to the smell and barely even notice it anymore.

This was a successful alternative to me, but I’m a pretty casual user of skin ointments. If you use Aquaphor all day every day, you might not like Alba as much.


Facial Cleanser

facial cleansing gel

What I was using: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Cream Cleanser ($7.99 for 6 oz)
(not cruelty-free)
What I’ve been using: Acure Facial Cleansing Gel ($9.99 for 4 oz)

I can’t tell you how much I love Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Cream Cleanser (that’s a mouthful). I struggled with acne a lot during my adolescence (as we do), and out of everything that I tried, this stuff worked the best. Other acne washes always seemed to dry out my skin and didn’t eliminate the acne. This stuff was magical. I think I used it for about 8 years. (I also like their daily scrub.)

BUT SADLY. Neutrogena is not cruelty-free. (I know there’s some confusion about this because many brands, Neutrogena included, claim to be cruelty-free except “when required by law.” Don’t be fooled by this, though. What they’re really saying is that they sell their products in China, where animal testing is required. This means the company is not cruelty-free.)

I’ve been trying out Acure instead. I’ve been using their Facial Cleansing Gel and like it well enough. It’s by no means a dupe for Neutrogena’s Cream Cleanser. I prefer cream over gel, and I have had a few minor breakouts since switching over, but it leaves my face feeling soft and fresh. The best thing about it is the scent. It smells like lemons, and Deacon is always sniffing my face after I use it. I don’t think Neutrogena’s cleanser has a particular scent.

It is more expensive, though. You pay two more dollars for less product (4 fl oz compared to 6 fl oz), so there might be a better alternative out there for me. I did just get a new bottle on sale for Prime Day, but after I’ve gone through that I might try out some of their creams to see if I can find something a little bit more like Neutrogena’s Cream Cleanser.

I also tried out their Brightening Facial Scrub and really liked it, but found out it contains walnut shell, so I had to give it away because Deacon is allergic to tree nuts. (note: the ingredients listed in the picture on Amazon does not include walnut shell, so always check the actual bottle before applying).

I do recommend Acure, though. I really like the experience I’ve had with their products, I just also want to see what else is out there.



Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo 13 oz (Pack of 2)                Jason® Natural Biotin Hair Restorative Shampoo 16 oz Shampoo $8.39

What I was using: Organix Hair Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo ($5.74 for 13 oz) (not cruelty-free)
What I’ve been using: Jason Pure Natural Shampoo, Restorative Biotin ($7.09 for 16 oz)

A lot of people think that Organix is cruelty-free. It says so on the back of their bottle. I liked their coconut milk shampoo and conditioner, so I was pretty bummed when I did more research and found that it’s sold in mainland China and has lost its cruelty-free status.

So I switched to this Jason shampoo that I saw on Amazon, mostly because I had seen the brand pop up here and there and wanted to try something.

Unfortunately, this did not work out for me. I find that the shampoo is really hard to lather and even harder to rinse. And the next day, it gives my hair a really weird texture, which might be a result of it being difficult to rinse. And I really don’t like the scent.

The only pro is that you get a lot for what you pay for, and it’s free of harsh chemicals.


Body Wash

Body Essence Tea Tree Oil Ultra-Moisturizing Body Wash - 24 Oz      Yes to Coconut Oil Body Wash, 9 Fluid Ounce Coconut Oil Deep Moisture Body Wash (20.0 oz)

What I was using: Body Essence Tea Tree Oil ($3.74 for 28 oz) (might be cruelty-free)
What I’ve been using: Yes To Coconut Oil Body Wash ($5.69 for 9 oz) and Soapbox Coconut Oil Deep Moisture ($6.99 for 20 oz)

(I’m not sure if the price listed for the Body Essence is the acutal price, but that is what it says on Walmart’s website.)

I always liked coconut-scented body wash, but Deacon got me hooked on Body Essence’s Tea Tree Oil for about two years after we got married. It comes in a big bottle with a pump and is pretty much the perfect consistency. The bottle does list it as cruelty-free, but I was never able to confirm that with my research, so I decided to branch out and try some other cruelty-free brands.

I first tried Yes To back in January/February, and I loved the scent. It’s a mix of coconut and apricot, and it was delightful. But the soap itself was way too watery, and there wasn’t a lot of product for the price. So even though I loved the way it smelled, it didn’t seem worth it to me.

I instead switched to Soapbox, which you can find at Walmart. It’s also listed as coconut scent, but it doesn’t smell like coconut at all to me. It smells kind of like Play-Doh, and I kind of hate using it. The consistency is fine, and the price is fine for what you get, but it’s just not my favorite. I’ve also tried out the Sea Minerals scent and it’s a little bit more bearable, but not my favorite.

I just bought a bottle of Puracy body wash, so I’ll be trying that one out after I’m finished with my bottle of Soapbox.



currently listening to // Sincast, Ep. 81

Do you use any cruelty-free skin care or hair care products?
Which one is your favorite?
Are scents a big factor in the products you choose?

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