How Cosmetics Are Actually Tested On Animals. The Truth!
As a professional cruelty free, hair & makeup artist, who has also been a volunteer for over 20 years for the non-profit organizations Choose Cruelty Free ( which on June 1st 2022, merged into Cruelty Free International and their Leaping Bunny Programme), it has come to my attention time and time again that most people actually do not realize that animal testing of cosmetics, personal care and cleaning products is still so prevalent. Nor do most people have any concept of how cosmetics are actually tested on animals.
Consumers Have The Power To Stop Animal Testing Of Cosmetics.
This article is designed to give you the basic facts about animal testing of cosmetics and it is my hope that you will share this article with others.
I believe that it is only through education and awareness that consumers will make cruelty free shopping choices.
As the ball starts rolling faster towards ethical, humane shopping choices, companies that still animal test will see their sales dropping significantly. These companies will start to investigate through marketing surveys, as to why they are loosing business and in turn hopefully make some humane changes in their manufacturing processes.
Over the years I have had various questions posed to me by my clients,
” Why do they need to test cosmetics on animals anyway?”
” So do they actually put eye-shadow on the animals? What’s the point of that?”
” How do they even test cosmetic products on animals? It’s not like animals wear makeup!”
” Seriously! I didn’t think they still tested on animals! What type of animals do they test cosmetics on?”
The general population really do not know anything much about cosmetic testing on animals and for change to happen we need to be made aware of this unacceptable cruelty. Cruelty towards animals that all the big cosmetic companies would rather we did not know about and what they conveniently choose to down play and keep hush hush.
I always take the opportunity to educate my clients while working with them and the majority of them have been quite surprised and shocked to hear what I have to say. Most say to me, “I really hadn’t given it much thought before.” and “thanks for making me aware.” .
I encourage them to check out the list of hundreds of approved Leaping Bunny brands. Brands that have gone through a strict 3rd party, accreditation process to be able to state that they do not test on animals.
How They Test On Animals – Acute Reaction Testing
The 3 most widely used animal tests for showing acute reactions in animals are, The Lethal Dose Test, Draize Eye Test and the Draize Skin Test.
* Please note that cleaning products and personal care products fall under the category of cosmetics when it comes to animal testing.
ANIMAL LETHAL DOSE TESTS – animals used – rats, mice, rabbits, cats, dogs and monkey
- Force feeding the individual ingredients or product to groups of animals. Often causing horrific symptoms, such as hemorrhaging, organ failure, breathing difficulty, paralysis and of course the normal signs of poisoning, stomach cramping, diarrhea, vomiting and extreme dehydration. THE ANIMALS ARE ALWAYS KILLED AT THE END.
ANIMAL DRAIZE EYE TESTS – animals used – rabbits
- Applying the individual ingredients or finished product to the restrained, conscious animal’s eye continually, more often than not, resulting in severe irritation, inflammation and even rupturing of the eye. THE ANIMALS ARE ALWAYS KILLED AT THE END.
ANIMAL DRAIZE SKIN TEST – animals used – mostly rabbits and guinea pigs.
- Shaving a patch of fur and sometimes also the top layers of skin off the animal and then constantly applying the individual ingredients or the product to the animal’s raw skin to check for irritation, inflammation and any other reactions. These tests often result in the skin blistering, severe chemical burns and the skin getting excruciatingly inflamed and infected. THE ANIMALS ARE ALWAYS KILLED AT THE END.
Long-Term Animal Tests – Used To Test Ingredients For Toxicity.
There are also a whole series of animal tests regularly adopted to determine slower more chronic reactions such as cancers, organ damage, reproductive damage, endocrine damage etc..
Animals are either force fed, injected with, forced to inhale, or have applied to their skin and eyes, ingredients and products in smaller, regular doses, over a longer period of time, sometimes years, to see what damage these substances will do to them.
These animals live their tragic lives in sterile metal cages and in fear and terrible pain. You can guess what happens when they are no longer needed!
Animals such as dogs, monkeys, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats and mice are used for the following tests,
- Repeated Dose and Sub Chronic Toxicity Testing
- Chronic Toxicity Testing
- Mutangenicity Testing
- Reproductive Toxicity Testing In Mammals
- Developmental toxicity (teratogenicity) Testing
- Toxicokinetics Testing
- Carcinogenicity Testing
- Eco-toxicity to measure the effects of substances on wildlife and the ecosytem.
Why Animal Testing Is Not Accurate Or Necessarily –
Please sign the following Australian Petition to Ban Cosmetic Testing.
- Firstly what can kill or make an animal sick, even an animal such as a chimpanzee (an animal very closely related to humans), does not always harm a human being and vice versa. Did you know that 9o% of drugs that pass animal tests fail in human trials? See more about this at – Humane Research Australia. Also see – January 2016 France Clinical Trial drug passes animal tests but humans end up in hospital.
- The only way to ensure a product is safe for a human, is to test it on a human, or at least a human cell; e.g. stem cell research, artificial human skin EpiSkin™, EpiDerm™ and SkinEthic, human blood.
- These days there are nearly 50 alternatives to animal test methods that manufacturers can use!
- The law does not require animal testing of cosmetic products. It only requires safety testing and this can be done using a whole range of animal-free alternative testing methods. See this statement by the FDA in the USA.
- Often it is just the individual ingredients that are tested on animals and even if they show no harm, this by no means ensures their safety when they are combined with hundreds of other ingredients and this commonly occurs in the manufacturing of cosmetics and fragrance products. Therefore animal testing of individual ingredients for human safety means very little if they haven’t also been tested in combination with all the other ingredients found in a product.
- Animal testing is designed to protect the cosmetic manufacturer from a law suit and not the consumer from harm!
- There are literally thousands of ingredients for cosmetic manufacturers to use that have already been tested for safety years ago. Manufacturers can choose to use these ingredients to produce perfectly good cosmetics and cleaning products.
Alternatives To Animal Testing Information
Cosmetics Animal Testing Stances Around The World in 2016
Animals Australia has published this extensive list of International Cosmetics Brands Still Testing On Animals.
Europe, Israel, India & Norway have enforced a ban on the sale of ALL cosmetics tested on animals.
New Zealand First Step To Ban Animal Testing.
New Zealand has taken the first steps to towards a ban on animal testing of cosmetics. They have banned cosmetic testing by manufacturers in their own country, however they do still allow imported cosmetics into New Zealand that have been tested on animals.
Australia, USA & Asia Still Allows Animal Testing Of Cosmetics
- While in Australia we don’t animal test cosmetics here onshore, Australia does test pharmaceutical ingredients on animals and these ingredients are able to be used by cosmetic companies to manufacture their cosmetics. Also many cosmetics companies can have ingredients and products manufactured offshore in Asia and tested on animals over there.
- Most of the big cosmetic brands are USA owned by big pharmaceutical companies and most of these USA pharmaceutical companies animal test their ingredients.
- CHINA – the issue is that all imported cosmetics products coming into China MUST, BY LAW first undergo animal testing in China before being allowed to be sold to the Chinese people.
SEE more about countries taking steps towards banning animal testing of cosmetics -at Cruelty- Free Countries Listings.
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