This weekend I decided to look up cruelty-free cosmetic brands and found that the information out there can get a little confusing. Many questions popped into my head as I kept poking around for information about this industry, so I wanted to clarify and present the information I researched.
Firstly, there are three logos to look out for (see image above). If you see a variation of these logos or a logo with a different rabbit, IT’S FAKE! Many companies will try to advertise themselves as cruelty-free, vegan, or say no animal testing on their labels, but these labels are not to be trusted unless they have the official logo. That being said, some smaller companies do not want to pay the fee to add the official logos, BUT they will usually not advertise their brand as such (or else may be seen as fake or advertising false information). For an official list of brands that are cruelty-free, visit each organization’s website (names from top to bottom: Leaping Bunny, PETA, Choose Cruelty-Free).
So why do companies decide to test products on animals in the first place? To make sure we don’t contract any diseases, infections, irritants, or cancer. “Typically, animal tests for cosmetics include skin and eye irritation tests where chemicals are rubbed onto the shaved skin or dripped into the eyes of rabbits; repeated oral force-feeding studies lasting weeks or months to look for signs of general illness or specific health hazards, such as cancer or birth defects,”(Human Society International). If these are the possible side effects to the cocktail of chemicals present in cosmetics, WHY ARE WE BUYING THEM? In the U.S. alone, taxpayers spend $16 billion on animal testing (this includes drug testing).
Some companies are required by law to animal test if they want to sell their products in certain countries. For example, China’s cosmetics market is worth around $26 billion annually… that’s a lot of profit for companies to miss out on, which is why they continue to animal test. However, Hong Kong does not abide by the animal testing law, so there is room for companies to still sell in China without having to animal test (such as Lush Cosmetics).
My decision to go cruelty-free was taken after accidentally stumbling onto a PETA video on Facebook. Prior to that, I really had no idea what was involved when the term animal testing came up. Ignorance really is bliss, but will never fuel any change that really needs to happen on this planet. Take-away: animal testing occurs because cosmetic companies are shoving chemical compounds in pretty packaging. What do we as consumers do? Purchase cruelty-free / vegan / vegetarian (whatever you support) products so other companies can supply what we demand. Remember, skin is absorbent! Whatever you apply on your face will definitely affect you in the long-run (fyi, studies aren’t available on long-term effects of the chemicals in our food, clothes, and makeup because they are relatively new to this world). Hope this post clarified a few things and shed light on others! Happy cruelty-free shopping!