Three Things You Can Do with Gifts That Are Not Cruelty-Free

Three Things You Can Do With Gifts That Are Not Cruelty-Free, Vegan Makeup

After the holiday season ends, one of the most common questions I get is, “What should I do with all the gifts I received that are not cruelty-free?” It can be hard to figure out what to do with presents that were thoughtfully picked out for you but are, unfortunately not cruelty-free. Thankfully, there are several things you can do with these gifts that are not cruelty-free.

Below are 3 things you can do with the not-so cruelty-free gifts you get this year:

Three Things You Can Do With Gifts That Are Not Cruelty Free

1. Return or exchange them for cruelty-free and vegan options. 

Many stores will let you do an exchange without a receipt or get store credit for future purchases of cruelty-free products. If a cashier asks why you are returning the item, feel free to let them know you want to support cruelty-free brands and that you do not support this specific brand that tests on animals.

Need some help finding cruelty-free brands? Check out our easy guides to cruelty-free brands at Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom, and the drugstore.

Three Things You Can Do With Gifts That Are Not Cruelty-Free

2. Use it as a way to start a conversation about cruelty-free and vegan beauty.

No one wants to give you a gift you cannot use. If you are comfortable with the person who gave you the not-so cruelty-free gift, use this as an opportunity to talk with them about cruelty-free and vegan products. If you are taking this approach, be sure to start by expressing gratitude, stay calm, and be positive. Let them know how important cruelty-free is to you and why it matters. It can be a really great way to introduce people to great cruelty-free brands out there. Often people just don’t realize how easy it is to find great cruelty-free products.

Three Things You Can Do With Gifts That Are Not Cruelty-Free

3. Donate them to a local shelter or organization.

This is probably the best thing that you can do with any gifts that are not cruelty-free. Shelters are always in need of personal care basics such as soap, shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, shaving cream, and more. A lot are always looking for makeup as well (cruelty-free or not). Be sure to contact the shelter first to find out what they are in need of and if they have any specifications about the items they accept. Some shelters will take open or gently used items, but some will not. If the shelters and organizations in your area won’t take open products, you may be able to send them to Project Beauty Share.

Using these three tips, you can easily turn any not-so cruelty-free gift situation into something positive. Know someone who needs to see this? Share it with them!

Three Things You Can Do With Gifts That Are Not Cruelty-Free


  1. Thanks, Tashina! Sometimes I hold onto things for folks who I know would love to receive these gifts. Most people don’t really notice it’s being “re-gifted”, and I don’t feel guilty about that one bit. 🙂

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