Garnier: CERTIFIED Cruelty-Free at Last!
When it was announced earlier this year that drugstore cosmetics giant, Garnier, had been CERTIFIED cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny (the gold standard for cruelty-free cosmetics, personal care and household products), I almost fell off my chair. Because, I mean, come on... all those years of lip service. Pfft.
But now, finally, it's official. They've been certified.
Bravo, Garnier. Bravo. 👏🏻
You made me do my happy dance.
Ignore that. I'm a Neanderthal. With two left feet.
Anyway, in light of this commendable development, I decided to give the brand a try after years of avoiding them. So last week, I hit the pharmacy and got a bottle of their Pure Active Multi-Action Toner. I'd been using another brand of toner previously - a brand that's also cruelty-free, but pricier - and when that toner was about to run out, I thought, "Why not give Garnier a try now that they're certified cruelty-free?" I'm glad I did because for a fraction of the cost, this Garnier toner seems to be doing as good a job as the other more expensive one, i.e. it produces the same cool and refreshing result my oily skin craves.
"Wait, how much was it again?" you ask. A sweet RM13.50 during a sale at Aeon Wellness (RRP is around RM16.00 per bottle). What?! I know, right? No pun intended, but how cool and refreshing is that? 😉
Anyway, one of the things I like about this toner is that it doesn't have a long and dreary list of ingredients. Salicylic acid is the key ingredient here. Intended for oily and acne-prone skin, salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that not only exfoliates the surface of the skin, but also penetrates deep to unclog pores, flush out bacteria, and break down and decrease excess oil. The other key ingredient is HerbaRepair, or we could just call it blueberry extract... right, Garnier?
I should probably mention that this toner also contains fragrance, which can be irritating for some people, so take note if that's you. Personally, I would prefer a fragrance-free product, but I'd make an exception if the fragrance is plant-derived or appears somewhere at the end of the ingredients list, which it does in this case, meaning there's probably too little of it to cause problems for me.
While I am excited about Garnier's newly acquired cruelty-free status, and I'm loving their Pure Active Multi-Action Toner, it's hard to ignore the fact that Garnier is owned by L'Oreal, a company that's NOT cruelty-free. Look, I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record here... I mean, just look at the numerous posts I've written on cruelty-free products. But bear with me, please. If you're an animal lover like me, I trust you'll understand why I'm so against animal testing in the cosmetics industry. It's an atrocious, unnecessary and often ineffective practice that ought to be banned. Though Garnier no longer sells in China, L'Oreal continues to sell its other brands there. And though L'Oreal itself doesn't conduct animal testing, it allows the Chinese authorities to test its products on animals at their discretion, thereby rendering L'Oreal complicit in animal testing. In order not to repeat myself, I invite you to check out my review of Unilever's Love Beauty and Planet if you like, where the situation is similar and I talk at greater length about the subject.
I'll say this about Garnier: I like their Pure Active Multi-Action Toner. Performance- and price-wise, it's great. Love it. And the fact that they chose Leaping Bunny despite its rigorous standards speaks volumes in my opinion. And I think it's a genius and potentially game-changing move as they've now positioned themselves as another certified cruelty-free alternative for customers to consider. And an economical one at that.
Note: Prices, where mentioned, are correct at time of writing.