You would think makeup brands that test on animals would be virtually nonexistent these days but unfortunately, they are still around. In fact, testing on animals is not only still happening around the globe, it’s often required by law before a cosmetic product can be sold to the public. Besides being unnecessarily cruel, animal testing is also not a very effective way to determine if a product is safe for use on humans. So why do we test makeup on animals?
Looking into the horrific world of makeup animal testing may make you reconsider some of your beauty purchases. Learn how it works, why it's still around, which beauty brands subscribe to animal testing, and which brands are certified cruelty-free.
Alternatives To Animal Testing Are Being Developed
Studies have shown animal testing isn't actually the most effective way to test products - there are other methods that are cruelty-free and deliver reliable results. There are over 50 non-animal tests that have been validated for use in lieu of animal testing, and there are more in development all the time.
One alternative solution comes from Massachusetts lab MatTek, where scientists isolate human cells (which they harvest from procedures like tummy tucks) to make 3D skin models on which to test products. They can even make models that react similarly to eyes and lungs now!
Consumer Pressure Is Convincing Cosmetic Companies To Be Cruelty-Free
When there are no laws in place to ban the use of animal testing, there's only one thing that can persuade a brand to become cruelty-free: The voice of the customer. The Humane Society encourages what they call "consumer pressure," saying, "Companies will get the idea if consumers show a strong preference for cruelty-free cosmetics and support an end to cosmetics animal testing."
The method has worked. One example is luxury skincare brand Omorovicza. The company opened stores in China in 2015 but closed those shops just a year later in order to "return to their cruelty-free policy after hearing from their disappointed customers."
There Are Easy Ways To Be A Conscious Consumer
If you want to be a conscious consumer, there are a couple of ways to check if a beauty brand is cruelty-free before purchasing. The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics has put together the Leaping Bunny, a guide to cruelty-free brands around the globe. There's even a Leaping Bunny app! You can find a little bunny icon on the products of brands that have been approved by Leaping Bunny.
PETA also has an incredibly informative, searchable database that allows you to look up a cosmetic company's animal testing status with a few clicks.
There Are Some Amazing Cruelty-Free Brands To Shop
So many beauty brands have made the switch to cruelty-free testing methods. In fact, many companies have not even tested on animals in the first place! Here are some companies doing it right:
- Kat Von D
- Pur Cosmetics
- RMS Beauty
- Wet N Wild
- Essence Cosmetics
- Cover FX
- Urban Decay
The most important thing to keep in mind is if your favorite beauty brand says they don't test on animals but they do sell their products in China, they are not cruelty-free.