Beauty products can make us feel all kinds of beautiful, but are they really worth the torture that animals have to face on a daily?
Over 115 million animals are used for testing globally and are subjected to various ‘experiments.’ While we can’t change the past, we can very well shape the future. Most brands are pledging to go cruelty-free and have boycotted animal testing altogether.
Today, making a switch to cruelty-free products is best for both the customer and the manufacturer.
Negligence of Humans
Two of the many disadvantages animals have to humans are their intelligence, or lack thereof (as compared to humans), and the inability to vocalize their concerns. These are scientific facts and cannot be neglected.
What is also a scientific fact (and is definitely neglected) is the animals’ susceptibility to pain, which just seems to get lost in translation.
In a generation where empathy is a striving factor, many are against animal cruelty, and the beauty industry happens to be one of them.
This has given rise to a new movement: beauty companies against animal testing. To confirm their solidarity, each day a new brand declares itself cruelty-free and offers animal-friendly products.
As beauty brands are striving to offer the best cruelty-free skincare and makeup products, as consumers, it is time we are educated about the horrors of animal-cruelty and opt for cruelty-free products.
What are some cruelty-free skincare and makeup brands?
The last decade has been the decade for change. It brought illuminating and enlightening perspectives to the masses; the concern of the people for the future has lifted the veil of ignorance on many.
One of the significant movements of the last decade has been in the realm of animal cruelty, which has encouraged many cosmetics corporations to become cruelty-free.
And, here are some brands that produce the best cruelty-free skincare products:
- Anastasia Beverly Hills
- Urban Decay
- Too Faced
- Marc Jacobs Beauty
- Kat Von D
- Fenty Beauty
- Jeffree Star
- Kylie Cosmetics
- KKW Beauty
- NYX Cosmetics
- The Body Shop
- Bare Minerals
A more comprehensive list of cruelty-free brands 2020 is available on the internet, and a piece of advice to all the cosmetics customers would be to do a little bit of research before investing your hard-earned money.
A simple Google search is between you and your contribution to a cruelty-free industry.
Why do some big companies still test on animals?
For some multinational, billion-dollar companies, deciding to offer only cruelty-free products means abandoning the Mainland Chinese beauty market, as animal testing was a legal mandate for some cosmetics products.
Hence, it is not surprising that most companies ultimately tested their products on animals to not lose out on the Chinese market.
As of today, China has implemented several reforms to end animal testing that could save thousands of lives. As per the new reform, special use cosmetic products, domestically produced or imported, such as deodorants and sunscreens, still require animal testing.
However, ordinary cosmetics such as makeup and perfumes no longer require animal testing. Along with the new regulations, alternatives for animal testing has also been approved by the Chinese government.
Breaking down the myths and facts about cruelty-free products
One of the most prevalent myths about cruelty-free products is their cost. It is often believed that all animal-friendly products are expensive.
However, there are many drugstore and affordable brands like CoverGirl, LA Girl, Elf Cosmetics, Makeup Revolution, ColourPop, and Flower Beauty, among other cruelty-free brands 2020 that perform exceptionally well.
Some people believe that cosmetics and personal care products are legally mandated to go through animal testing, which is 100% untrue. The advancements in cosmetic technology have proven animal testing obsolete and unnecessary.
Another myth about cruelty-free products is that they aren’t safe; this has been refuted many times as there are alternatives to animal testing. Some beauty products are inherently cruelty-free, an example would be any sugar lip scrub, this is 100% natural and cruelty-free.
Some people believe that cruelty-free products aren’t good or effective. However, many brands refute this misconception, one of them being Fenty Beauty, the 2017 market disruptor.
There are many cruelty-free products available in the market that are sold at an affordable price. As consumers, we must opt for cruelty-free products and support beauty companies against animal testing.
Alternatives to animal testing
As with any circumstances, there are alternatives to animal testing, some being human cells and tissue cultures, computer models, and in vitro human clinical studies to determine the safety of a new product.
A willing brand can easily test its products on actual humans (indirectly) via cells and tissue cultures in the lab.
The 3R method is the new alternative to animal testing that comprises of Replacing, Reducing and Refining.
- Replacing: Animals are replaced with biochemical or cell-based models or with a less-developed species such as a worm.
- Reducing: This method reduces the number of animal subjects traditionally required for testing.
- Refining: Lab conditions are made better for animals to help reduce their pain or distress.
How can a start-up be cruelty-free?
Animal testing is expensive, and unfortunately, the cost is a more significant deterrent for some brands, upcoming or otherwise than the cruelty and horror the unsuspecting animals have to go through.
While there are many animal-friendly alternatives, one of the easiest and most efficient ways to declare that your products are cruelty-free and safe for human consumption would be to develop the product(s) from ingredients that have already been declared safe.
We should also note that not all of the natural ingredients are sustainable or cruelty-free, like carmine, a natural red pigment extracted from insects.
What does a Leaping Bunny represent?
The Leaping Bunny is a global standard for cruelty-free products. Brands and companies in the leaping bunny program are thoroughly vetted and are 100% cruelty-free.
With many corporations joining the Leaping Bunny program every month, there are now over 1,300 Leaping Bunny-certified brands that we can choose to shop from.
The Leaping bunny also offers an app that is available for download on Google play store and iTunes, which further illuminates and educates the consumers about the brands of their interest.
Today, being a Leaping Bunny certified brand is a USP as well as one of the brands’ core competencies.
How to avoid fake “cruelty-free” logos and choose the right ones
Three cruelty-free logos are the leaping bunny, the pink PETA bunny, and the resting- ‘not tested on animals’ bunny.
As the bunny happens to be the common denominator of the cruelty-free logos, there have been instances where brands/companies have falsely slapped a rabbit on their product(s) just to pass it off as cruelty-free, given the preference on this rising trend.
There are three ways a product, and ultimately a brand is considered cruelty-free: surprise audits, legally binding contacts, and a pledge by the brand of practicing cruelty-free methods.
It is also imperative to note that a product has to be cruelty-free on the ingredient level and not just on the end product.
For example, just because an XYZ eye shadow palette hasn’t been tested on animals does not mean that it is cruelty-free; each ingredient on the eye shadow must also be cruelty-free.
Apps to Help You Advocate Against Animal Testing
Several apps are available for a mindful beauty buyer to make conscious purchases.
Apart from Cruelty-Free developed by Learning bunny, apps such as Cruelty-Cutter, Think Dirty, and SkinDeep can read the labels of your chosen product to inform you of its cruelty-free status or lack thereof.
Another app, Bunny Free, developed by PETA, scans barcodes and notifies you of whether or not it is PETA cruelty-free certified.
Your contribution to ending animal testing is only an app away.
Whether you are a consumer or a beauty business owner, you can always show your support towards humane manufacturing practice in many different ways.
This includes sourcing products that do not require animal testing and creating content that empowers the cruelty-free beauty community to consciously shopping for the right beauty products.
Together we can make change happen!
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Header Image Source: Photo by peyman toodari on Unsplash
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