Makeup brands continue to test products on animals despite safer, alternative options


Graphic by Denaya Lewis

When you bring up animal cruelty, some of the first things to come to mind are dog fights, starvation, neglect, suffering, etc. But there is also a form of abuse that doesn’t get as much light. Animal cruelty in the cosmetic industry is a problem humanity have had too long.

While more than a few cosmetic brands are becoming cruelty free, there are still some who test on animals. Popular brands such as Nars, Avon, Maybelline, and Clinique still test on animals in 2018.

Using animal testing in the development of cosmetics may involve testing either a finished product or the individual ingredients of the product on animals, often rabbits, mice, rats, and other animals.

These animals are manipulated against their will and can suffer some serious defects. While these tests are not required by the FDA, many companies are not considered to be cruelty free.

The tests can include skin and eye irritation tests where chemicals are rubbed onto the shaved skin or dripped into the eyes of restrained rabbits without any pain relief, repeated force-feeding studies lasting weeks or months to look for signs of general illness or specific health hazards such as cancer or birth defects, widely condemned “lethal dose” tests, in which animals are forced to swallow large amounts of a test chemical to determine the dose that causes death.

At the end of a test, the animals are killed, normally by asphyxiation, neck-breaking or decapitation. Pain relief is not provided. In the United States, a large percentage of the animals used in such testing are not counted in official statistics and receive no protection under the Animal Welfare Act.

We need to stop animal testing on cosmetics because it’s unnecessary and downright wrong. these animals haven’t done anything wrong and don’t even have the power to say no. At the end of the day cosmetics don’t really need animal tests.

Cosmetic animal testing is banned in the European Union, India, Israel, and Norway. Companies have the option of using existing non-animal tests or investing in and developing alternative non-animal tests for new ingredients. There are nearly 50 non animal tests that have been validated for use, with many more in development.

Alternative tests are normally more reliable than animal tests. Also, they are more cost effective and cheaper. The use of human tissue in toxicity testing is also more accurate. Cruelty free products are more environmentally friendly.

Overall, I think we should work towards ending animal tests because they are useless and cruel. There are other ways to test toxicity in cosmetics.