Ethical Exploits Vol. 2

The ups, downs, ins, outs, disappointments, and triumphs of a day-to-day ethical living.
By Featured Contributor, Matt Lara

There are a hundred-and-one reasons for guys to take care of their skin and hair, but so many of the products on the market are toxic, full of animal ingredients, or still perform horrible and needless tests on animals that it makes us want to give up grooming and be crust-punks!

Realizing that dreadlocks and gamy odors were not for me, I decided to do some overhaul in the grooming department. Bathroom shelf, meet your new cruelty-free, earth-conscious friends:

Triple RazorThe first to go was that turbo-thingy razor that came free in my mailbox after high school graduation. Instead of shoveling out big bucks for more tiny replacement cartridges that are made by a company burning the eyes and skin of rabbits, I happily spent my money on a new Preserve Triple Razor. The shave is just as good, and there are some other great things to consider about Preserve Products besides smooth cheeks. I also switched to lavender and shea Moisture Shave from Kiss My Face. Now everyone wants to kiss my face. Now if they’d only make something so everyone would kiss my ass…

Also, if you’re a manly-man like me and use manly-man things like toner, consider my other big switch in the grooming department: organic cotton balls. If you are not using a spray-toner, these are great! Are they cost-effective? With cotton being one of the most highly-sprayed crops, and the price the environment pays for our single-use puffs, yes they are worth the extra dollar or two. Plus, the quality is actually better, and you’ll like that for your hunky mug.

Organic Essentials Cotton Balls Triple Size

Revitalizing Eye Cream from Avalon Organics is one of my new staples. Say what you want, I’m conscious of my smile lines! I can still feel this stuff moisturizing and firming even at the end of my most tired days. I’m also a sucker for the Soothing Lip Balm for some smooth smackers without the girlie, glossy look.

I can think of so many uses for tea trea oil, and with Trader Joe’s putting it in shampoo, I am so there. Tea Tree Tingle is quite an experience with every wash. For styling, I find David Babaii for Wildaid to be wonderful. Their motto is “It’s beautiful to be good,” and I couldn’t agree more. 10% of their profits are donated to Wildaid to help with wildlife conservation. I use their Bohemian Beach Spray and the Fibers Molding Paste.

Fibers Molding Paste

There are several product lines like Organic Grooming by Herban Cowboy, and JASON which Joshua covered in THIS POST that make men’s grooming products, so check them out too!

Finally, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau has an excellent podcast episode dedicated to the compassionate bathroom. And hey, I didn’t buy all this stuff at once. Purchasing just one of these products is helping make for a more compassionate world.

Happy grooming!

-Matt Lara


Matt is an actor, singer, closet poet, dancer, avid reader, guitar picker, waiter, home cook, nosey coffee shop guy, animal lover…he basically has to know how to do everything. He lives in New York and Los Angeles.

7 Responses to Ethical Exploits Vol. 2

  1. Matt – look at you! I didn’t even know you were contributing articles! You’re so awesome. I was so excited to see this – and then I saw that you recommend my podcast. Thanks! Glad to see you’re doing well (or at least that’s what I surmise). Stay in touch. Best, Colleen

  2. mark says:

    Anyone know of a good men’s fragrance that is vegan?

    • jordan says:


      the company is all vegan. Joshua wrote a post about him last year some time. At least all of their finished products are. Meaning that they do not contain any animal products, his squalene is plant derived. The raw materials used may have been animal tested at one time, but FDA rules being what they are- it’s difficult or impossible to find something that has not ever been animal tested. Almost everything has an LD50(look it up if unfamiliar).

      I have his wild hunt fragrance. Smells really good. To me at least. Like a forest in spring.

      Interestingly enough, the majority of fragrances are vegan- in the sense that they do not contain any animal products. The raw materials used follow the same guidelines described above.

      Most fragrances made today are composed from synthetic sources or plant derived products. Animal ingredients are often prohibitively expensive. Take ambergris(whale vomit) it has been known to be more expensive than gold pound for pound.

      So then, if all ingredients are the same, what factors go into buying? I believe this is where you have to look at where your money is going and who you are supporting.

      Why not support an independent, thoughtful, and brilliantly creative individual? Instead of a mall. You don’t want to smell like some dude who pops the collar of his polo shirt right? Then don’t go to the mall.

      I hope this helps.


  3. Virginia says:

    I didn’t even know that organic cotton balls existed. Thanks for the recommendations!

  4. Jason says:

    I love organic cotton balls, and I looooove JASON products (and not just because I like seeing my name all over my bathroom)! The grapefruit and aloe shampoo and conditioner and the sea kelp leave-in conditioner are the best. Kiss My Face also has a sunless tanner I like (vital for the self-conscious actor prone to being seen in various states of undress on stage). I’m going to look into the Avalon eye cream. (I think I’m approaching that age where it should be part of the regimen. Yikes. . .)

  5. mark says:

    Thanks Jordan!

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