Once again, large companies are deceiving us about just how ethical their products really are. Every day, beagles, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and many other animals are tortured in order to “test” the safety of cosmetic products. That’s right; if you’re not careful about the brands you buy, that new mascara you just told all your friends about may not seem as wonderful when you picture the little bundles of fur that suffered for it. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
In 2013, the EU banned animal testing on cosmetics in all its member countries. However, some cosmetic companies, such as L’Oréal, have found a loophole. So strictly speaking, none of their products sold within EU territory are actually tested on animals. However, they still test the ingredients outside of the EU. It’s cheaper than other alternatives, but the main reason is because China has a policy with the opposite notion – cosmetics MUST be tested on animals. Therefore, profit hungry companies like L’Oréal, MAC and Benefit will not leave from the large market in China and so must abide by their animal testing laws for as long as they stock their products over there. True cruelty free products are those that are not sold in countries demanding animal testing – and don’t worry there’s plenty of them, so you don’t have to ditch the contour kits and eyeliner!
So what happens to the animals?
There’s no nice way of putting it – they are quite simply poked, prodded, cut and abused. Then finally disposed of. Yes – they get killed once they’ve been tested on. Bred for the sole purpose of abuse for no reason at all with such great, and more RELIABLE alternative testing methods. Rabbits are most frequently used for eye irritancy tests – substances are poked into their eyes often leading to blindness, sores and of course a lot of pain. Beagles are often used as inhalers of gaseous substances and aerosols to check how well they can breathe. Mice and other small rodents are force fed chemicals every single day for years to see whether they develop cancer to test for carcinogens in the ingredients. Animals are also injected with chemicals, and have substances forced down their throats. One of the worst procedures is the deliberate infliction of wounds in order to test how the chemicals irritate open wounds – it’s hard to imagine the pain and suffering these innocent beings go through for THEIR WHOLE LIVES. All for abit of foundation and perfume. Appalling.
As disturbing as the images are, they must be seen in order to understand the severity of this issue.
So, what’s the alternative?
Artificial human skin is a great alternative to using live animals for tests. It’s simple too! Skin cells are simply placed into a dish of collagen. Water, sugar and amino acids are then added to allow the cells to grow. After 3 days, the cells are exposed to air to dry them out. After 10 days, they are exposed to UV light to age the skin layer to be 1.5mm thick. That’s as simple as it is – then all ready for cosmetic testing. It’s a no brainer really isn’t it? Harm animals and get less accurate results or use a cruelty free method with far more accurate results – after all the best thing to test on to see how a human will react to something is of course a human – so human skin cells are a fantastic option. Another option is using advanced computer modelling techniques – again a no brainer!
What can you do?
Cosmetic testing on animals is banned in the EU, UK, India, Israel, Norway, New Zealand and Turkey, but the brands can still test abroad and sell their products to you – so make sure you know what brands to avoid and which are bunny friendly! As a makeup lover I’ve made sure to find the best beauty buys that don’t harm animals in their production – check out my list below of brands to avoid and my favourite alternatives.
We as consumers have huge power. If we boycott brands that test on animals they have no choice but to respond to our demand for cruelty free products. Join the fight and stand up against the unnecessary abuse and exploitation of animals for our vanity. If you don’t want blood on your hands, why put it on your face.
BRANDS TO AVOID – THE HALL OF SHAME
Bumble & Bumble
Dolce & Gabbanna
Yves Saint Laurent
HALL OF FAME – My recommended alternatives
Bare Minerals – Want to add that bit of extra colour to your face? Say no more; bare minerals have created perfection with their warmth powder. They also do great matte and original powdered foundation, mineral veil, primer and blushers, all for a perfect finish to your face
Basic Bitch Cosmetics – Lucy Watson of Made in Chelsea has done herself proud with her new range of lipsticks available in gorgeous tones
KYLIE (Jenner) Cosmetics – For a more dominating look, I’m a fan of her lip kits, my fave shade being Candy K
Carmex – The chapped lip miracle! For a natural look and healing powers like no other lip moisturiser. Kissing has never felt better!
Collection 2000 – They have the best range of mascaras. You’re eyelashes will somehow expand 4 times their length – I kid you not.
Eyelure – For those of us that like some false lashes to add to our look, Eyelure are by far the best quality and value for money, and of course 100% cruelty free.
Too Faced – My favourite ever eyeshadow palette is Two Faced. Similar in texture and shades to Urbam Decay’s palettes, they’re a sure hit
Urban Decay – Everyone needs a NAKED palette in their life!
No7 – Exclusive to Boots stores. Their range of nail polish is insane. I can’t remember the last nail varnish I bought that wasn’t a No7. My favourite colour is Betty Blues
Batiste – Their range of dry shampoo and other hair products are what every girl needs in her purse. They keep your hair fresh, full of volume and fabulously styled.
Mark hill – I have very fine and long hair, so my go to shampoo is the Mark Hill XXL Volume one. They have products for all hair types, and since I swapped to a Mark Hill a year ago, my hair has never looked better!
B – Superdrug’s own makeup and skincare line is easily affordable, cruelty free AND vegan. I’ll be heading straight to the B counter next time I’m there.
For a budget:
All other cruelty free brands:
Anastasia Beverley Hills
Bath & Body Works
The Body Shop
Crabtree & Evelyn
Kat Von D
MUA (Make up Academy)
Soap & Glory