Thursday, March 16, 2017

Is CeraVe Cruelty-Free?

Is CeraVe Cruelty-Free?

I love a good, gentle and non-drying cleanser; and a search for one is unceasing. I have loved Neutrogena Foaming Cleanser for the longest time. I was searching for a cruelty-free alternative; I narrowed down on a few brands. I was adamant to buy CeraVe from Amazon US since I read it is cruelty free and hence I dropped them an enquiry email. The challenging part of finding a cleanser is it being SLS/SLES free, Paraben free and cruelty-free. And then there is no middle ground.

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser had it all that I was anticipating, even though I did read that CeraVe is cruelty-free. I was unsure of it being unquestionable. So I dropped an email to enquire about their cruelty-free stance. I received two emails regarding my query.
The first did mention that CeraVe products are not tested on animals. Here is an insert of the email.

Thank you for contacting Valeant Customer Service.CeraVe products are not tested on animals.  Additionally, we have forwarded the latter portion of your inquiry over to our Medical Information Department.  This department has access to CeraVe ingredient information and will be getting back to you with additional information.



Consumer Affairs

So it was clear then that the finished CeraVe products are not tested on animals.

And a few days later, I received an email from one of the members of Medical Information Department stating that either their products are tested on animals on some instances. I am inserting an excerpt from the email below.

Dear Pranali:Thank you for your request on product information from Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America. Please refer to the respective product package insert(s) for complete prescribing information.

Enclosed is the following information you requested:

    Animal Testing

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other worldwide health regulatory agencies currently require all pharmaceutical manufacturers to protect patients and consumers by establishing product quality, safety and effectiveness through approved and validated testing methods, which include animal testing in some instance.

Please feel free to contact the Valeant Medical Information Department at 1-877-361-2719 if we can be of further assistance.



Even though I knew pharmaceutical skincare is tested on animals, I was hoping that it might just turn out to be cruelty-free like I read on some blog.

Conclusion: CeraVe is not cruelty-free.

Friday, January 20, 2017

elf cosmetics now ships worldwide: International Shipping, Customs duties & taxes

elf cosmetics (Eyes Lips Face), a cosmetic brand based in New York now ships worldwide. I happened to be making my birthday list, sorting through brands I want to own. Accidentally I landed on their website only to discover they've initiated Free Worldwide Shipping on the orders above $50.

So I contacted their customer support to confirm free shipping on $50, Duties and taxes. And I hurriedly added few primers into the cart. And the Customs duties and taxes were included in the total order. The option of paying the customs duties and taxes upon the arrival of the package is available as well.

I am attaching a snapshot of my order summary below.

Here is what you could pick up from their bestsellers list.

e.l.f High Definition Powder
e.l.f Lip Exfoliator
e.l.f  Baked Highlighter & Blush (e.l.f Blush gems is close dupe for MAC Soft & Gentle)
e.l.f Poreless Face Primer (a close dupe for Smashbox photo finish primer)
e.l.f blush (available in 7 shades which are close dupes of the Nars blushes.)

I personally think the international prices of the elf products defeats their ideology of premium affordable makeup. The e.l.f essential lipstick that retail for $1 is priced INR 147, a little more than converted currency. And to top that, we have customs duties and taxes.
I hastily added correcting primers and serum foundation, flabbergasted to see it exceeds the price point of a mediocre Indian drugstore foundation. After calculating the increased pricing and customs duties and taxes, I think I’ll pass.
elf is cruelty-free and PETA approved, was the only plus point that compelled me to place an order. Perhaps I’ll splurge on my birthday, better!
You can check out the link below to check the list of countries elf cosmetics currently ships. They are currently offering free worldwide shipping on the order above $50 excluding France, Australia, Netherlands, Sweden and Mexico.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Vegan Chips: Terra Real Vegetable chips in Original, Blues and Mediterranean

Chips make fine snacks, especially with dips. I am not really fond of plain potato chips with excess salt and oil. I did try Bittergourd & Sweet potato chips, but the taste was below par, forget the nutrition. Terrachips is the creation of Alex Dzieduszycki and Dana Sinkler. The determination was to present flavourful appetizers to accompany drinks at bars. According to Terrachips, every vegetable is selected and prepared in small batches and then packed into bags to retain flavours and crispness.

Terrachips Original, Mediterranean, Blues Root Vegetable chips

Terrachips make great appetizers to be served with dips and salsa and flavourful even on their own. The flavours sent to me are Original, Blues and Mediterranean; out of these the Original and Blues are vegan-friendly and Mediterranean is vegetarian-friendly.

 Terrachips Original Root Vegetable Chips

Terrachips Original is a celebration of colours and flavours.
Exotic Vegetables in Original Terrachips are:
Batata, a Cuban sweet potato also known as Boniato.
Parsnip, a member of carrot family
Sweet Potato, often called as Yam
Taro, a root vegetable with purple lines & Yuca, a pale white-yellow root vegetable.
The ingredients list includes Root Vegetable, Safflower or Sunflower or Canola Oil & Seasalt.

Terrachips Blues Root Vegetable Chips

Terra Blues as mentioned before has a melt in the mouth crunch. These are produced from selected naturally blue potatoes which a bluish-purple in colour and have a distinct nutty flavour.
The ingredients list includes Naturally Blue Potatoes, Safflower/Sunflower/Canola Oil & Seasalt.

 Healthy snacks, Root vegetable chips

Terra Mediterranean leaves quite a zest of herbs, as an aftertaste. The aroma of the herbs is strong and fresh. A tangy kick just reminds of the lemon as mentioned on the bag.
The root vegetable that are included in Terra Mediterranean are Batata, Parsnip, Yuca, Taro, Ruby dipped Vegetables and Sweet Potato.
The Ingredients list is precise: A seasonal mix of root vegetables including sweet potato, batata, parsnip, taro, yuca, seasoning (whey {milk}, spices, garlic powder, safflower or canola or sunflower oil, sea salt, vinegar powder [maltodextrin, distilled vinegar solids], onion powder, autolyzed yeast extract, citric acid, oil of safflower, evaporated cane juice, lemon oil, toasted sesame oil), beet extract concentrate (for color), natural olive flavor.

 Vegetable chips in India, Vegan Chips in India

Terra Mediterranean contains Whey from milk which makes it suitable for only vegetarians. These are Gluten-free, Non Gmo and MSG free vegetable chips available in India. Terrachips are definitely an exotic and healthy snacking option available for Vegans and Vegetarians.
Out of these, Terrachips Original is crunchiest and crispiest of the chips I’ve ever tried. While the Blues is melt in the mouth crunch. These chips retain their natural sweet flavours, and have a slight caramelized crunch on the surface; resembles sweet & salty crackers.

Terrachips has indeed revolutionized snacking with these exotic vegetable chips.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Is Lakme Cruelty-free?

Is Lakme Crueltyfree?

My first ever Lipstick and Polish were from Lakme, both true red and I was only ten. Lakme was my favourite brand while I was in school mostly because of easy availability and perhaps, naiveness?
Then there was Elle 18, Revlon, Tips and Toes. Revlon had quite a cult following, I remember the round black packaging with gold ring around that did look as good as an Estee Lauder lipstick!
When I started discovering new brands, I never looked back. Lakme Lip and Cheek tint from their 2012 limited edition bridal collection was my last product ever, I'll hold on to it ever.
And now they've launched their Lakme 9 to 5 Weightless Mousse Lip & Cheek Color and honestly they look irresistible.
The products are affordable and tailor-made for brown/olive skin tones. But a question always echoed in my head: Is Lakme Cruelty-free? or even Vegan? Any products!
And I was never answered upon asking. Infinite unanswered emails later, I decided to dig deep since the search queries have overwrought my blog search. So I finally sat down to research the brand's stance on animal testing.

So my conclusion: Lakme conducts animal testing either on the finished products or on the raw materials.


  • Never have I heard Lakme promoting their products as cruelty-free or being against animal testing.
  • Hindustan Unilever is the parent company, one of the miscreants (if I could put across ever so politely) of the animal-testings.
  • Lakme is an Indian brand and is largely exported to Malaysia apart from Nepal and UAE,  Though I could not trace China.

    I have already filtered the brand from my essentials or lust list, no matter how alluring the new launches seem to me.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Forest Essentials Delicate Facial Cleanser Kashmiri Saffron and Neem Review

Forest Essentials Delicate Facial Cleanser Kashmiri Saffron & Neem Review

I struggle to consistently prioritize my mental effort on what's truly essential because the line between tasks can sometimes blur, and subjectivity is at play. No quintessential would be here unless noteworthy (read skincare). Lately, I've been focusing on Forest Essentials' Delicate Facial Cleanser Mashobra Honey, Lemon, and Rosewater. Forest Essentials Delicate Facial Cleanser Mashobra Honey, Lemon, and Rosewater here.

I started using this in January (the first week or so). And it lasted me around 50 days, considering it was new, and I took a week to get accustomed to the right amount. I switched to this variant after emptying the other variant. And I have been using it ever since: more than 6 months straight!
Usually, I get bored with cleansers and often switch them, and different seasons require different cleansers.

Cruelty-Free Skin Cleansers in India

Price: 1075 INR for 200ml
Is Forest Essentials Delicate Facial Cleanser Kashmiri Saffron and Neem cruelty-free? Yes

Evening: I used this post-oil cleansing method when I wore makeup. And on days when I wore powder foundations, I massaged a pump on a damp face and wiped it off using a washcloth.

Morning: I usually use a pump simply to remove the layer of grime, not stripping out the natural moisture. Some mornings I use two full pumps (for lather) for a squeaky clean feeling.

Forest Essentials Delicate Facial Cleanser Kashmiri Saffron & Neem Review
LR tarteist Lash Paint Mascara, Sleek Pout Paint, Urban Decay 24/7 Perversion
When I buy a cleanser, I don't think of anything else except cleansing without drying. I careless of all the magic ingredients that would aid anything but cleansing. So the ingredients honey, lemon, saffron and rosewater didn't matter to me. But somehow my skin looked brighter with its use (rosewater I assume).
This doubles up as an eye makeup remover since it does not sting. I used this to effortlessly remove long-wearing eye makeup without dragging the eye area (except for the Inglot Gel Eyeliner.)

See for yourself

Forest Essentials Delicate Facial Cleanser Kashmiri Saffron & Neem Review

You'll love this...
* If you are looking for the gentlest cleanser, that foams and cleans without drying.
* If you want a double-duty cleanser + makeup remover.
* If you're looking for a Cruelty-free and Vegan alternative.

I have but one constraint: the ingredients list, or the base used as a foaming agent. But I have no issues with this so far. Closing this with the price tag, I don't personally spend so much on a cleanser but looking at how little you need and it will last for months. I think I would make a life-changing decision of adhering to this.

Repurchase: Almost yes. Since I prefer using this for makeup removal than Bioderma Micellar Water (Non-Cruelty-free)
I have an unopened Kama Ayurveda Rose & Jasmine Cleanser & The Body Shop DOL cleanser; I need to try La Roche Posay Lipikar Syndet (Non-cruelty-free) maybe.

Update: This is a staple now. 😼