Cruelty-Free Cosmetics And The Fight Against Animal Testing
The fight against animal testing in the cosmetics industry has been a long and arduous one. However, an end may finally be in sight. The history of animals being used in the testing of cosmetic products has caused outrage among many for decades and welcomed the beginning of the cruelty-free movement. As part of the endeavour to sell only cruelty-free cosmetics, many organizations and cosmetic companies have been campaigning for alternative methods to be used. Although there was a major breakthrough in 2013 when the European Union banned animal testing, 80% of countries still have no laws in place to ban the use of animals in the cosmetic industry.
The history of animals being used in the cosmetic testing process began in 1938 under the United States Food, Drug & Cosmetics Act. For decades afterwards, it was common for animals to undergo dangerously harmful tests and procedures such as the Draize eye test during the development of cosmetic products. According to the Food And Drug Administration (FDA), cosmetics can be defined as any products “intended to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness or altering the appearance without affecting the body’s structure or function.” This means that animals can be used in the testing of many everyday products such as shampoo, mascara, foundations and lotions. Although the Humane Cosmetics Act was introduced in the United States during 2014, it has yet to be enacted meaning that many animals still needlessly suffer.
The Be Cruelty-Free campaign set up by the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International has been campaigning tirelessly to ensure that legislation can be brought about to end animal testing and promote the production of cruelty-free cosmetics. This organization and many others, The Body Shop and Lush to name a few, have been passionately fighting to make this a reality.
Finding Another Alternative
Many of the ingredients that are available to cosmetics manufacturers are already deemed safe for human use, yet thousands of animals still needlessly suffer each year. It is estimated that at least 500,000 animals will suffer and die due to cosmetic testing in a given year. However, many alternatives have been discovered which are much more effective and can make cruelty-free cosmetics a reality going forward.
Advancements in technology mean that non-animal testing is already available. Many laboratories are already safely testing cosmetics through computer-based analysis, voluntary patch testing on humans and through the use of laboratory-produced skin. These methods are completely safe and still give companies the opportunity to innovate using new ingredients. Alternative methods like these also mean that results are no longer hindered by species differences. The use of animal testing produces scientific limitations and results can be variable. Using a non-animal test ensures 100% accuracy in results and can guarantee consumer safety quicker.
The aim now is to push for cosmetic companies to seek and invest in these alternative methods in order to put a complete end to animal suffering in the industry.
How To Tell If Your Makeup Is Not Cruelty-Free
With many individuals now searching for cruelty-free and vegan-friendly makeup brands, it is no wonder that people may ask how is it possible to tell if their makeup is truly cruelty-free. The answer is that it may not be as easy as you think.
As animal testing has not been fully banned in the United States and neighbouring countries such as Canada, there may still be many companies using animals during the testing process. It is also well known that countries such as China conduct mandatory animal tests on any products imported into the country. So, even if a makeup brand claims that they are cruelty-free, if they sell their products in China then this is not true. With so many consumers now campaigning against animal cruelty in the cosmetic industry, it is important that brands clearly state how they innovate, develop and produce their products. Honesty is a quality that many makeup brands can no longer avoid portraying.
If you are new to the cruelty-free movement or are unsure how to fully ensure that the makeup and beauty products you use are tested in ethical ways, below we mention some tips to help you in your search for cruelty-free cosmetics.
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Beware Of Third Party Testing
If you notice that a brand displays the phrase “third-party testing” on their labels, then you should practice caution. Many cosmetic companies in the past have used this phrasing on their products to distance themselves from the controversy of using animals for testing purposes. Even if a brand states that they are cruelty-free, it does not mean that a third party such as a parent company or an outsourced company hasn’t carried out the testing process for them. If you want to ensure that a company is truly cruelty-free, look for a certified bunny logo or carry out some research on the third party companies that they used.
Although the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act in the U.S prohibits companies from selling products with misleading labels, this doesn’t mean that loopholes don’t exist. Many brands are misleading consumers with their product labels. If you have ever noticed the term “this finished product was not tested on animals” on a product label it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the brand is cruelty-free. Some makeup companies use this term and while the finished product may not have been used on animals, the individual ingredients were. The reality of this labelling means that companies can get away with still using animals during their testing process while claiming that they are a compassionate company. If you are unsure about a product’s label, it is often best to only purchase products are 100% cruelty-free.
Look Out For These Ingredients
Even when a cosmetic brand has proven to not use animal testing, often there can be ingredients involved that do not fall under a person’s conventional understanding when they think about animal involvement in the cosmetic industry. If you are on the search for vegan makeup brands, it is important that you keep an eye out for some of the following ingredients: beeswax, carmine, estrogen, keratin, lanolin, polypeptides and retinol among others. Although these ingredients do not necessarily involve the use of cruelty for those looking for animal-free ingredients, it is worth carrying out some research into how a brand sourced these ingredients.
Best Vegan And Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Brands
The good news is that there are many great cruelty-free and vegan cosmetic brands on the market that support the fight against animals being used. Brands such as Honeybee Gardens, Intelligent Elixirs, Burts Bees and Ecotools all produce products that are natural, animal-free and consumer safety guaranteed. So whether you are searching for a makeup product, facial care or hair products you can be safe in the knowledge that they are cruelty-free.
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