“Animals should be loved and cherished, not tortured in labs for makeup.”
--Courtney of Phyrra
There’s a quiet revolution going on.
For so long, makeup consumers have rarely thought about the processes products go through before hitting shelves—but that’s changing.
“When I found out what happens in makeup production, I thought it was truly awful, especially being a pet owner myself,” says Yasmina, owner of the July Journal, a cruelty free makeup and lifestyle blog.
And she’s not alone.
Consumers of beauty products have been shocked to find out that more than 25 million animals are experimented on in the U.S. each year, and it is totally legal for experimenters to subject them to horrific treatment. Think withholding food and water and subjecting innocent animals to long-term social isolation is bad enough? What about burning, poisoning, blinding, maiming and giving brain damage and repeated electric shocks? (Edit: As of 2022, ten states have banned cosmetics animal testing)
“If people actually saw what happened to animals when they were being tested on I think people would change their thinking,” says Amie at The Curvaceous Vegan.
When testing if a product is toxic or causes cancer, researchers will dose animals up with poisons every single day for two whole years. Most of the poor animals will die before the end of the study.
“It kills innocent lives,” Yasmina of the July Journal says.
And if they’re not dead by the end, the researchers are allowed to kill them. Only chimpanzees are protected, but dogs, rabbits, cats, pigs, sheep, ferrets and other animals can be murdered by researchers at will.
“The [animals] won’t be the ones using the products anyway.”
--Yasmina, the July Journal
It’s hard to understand why cosmetic companies are still so heavily involved in this horrible practice. “Alternatives to animal testing exist,” says Courtney of Phyrra, “and companies need to be using them.”
Research has found that testing on animals might not even be relevant to humans, because different species respond differently to chemicals.
Ashlee Piper, from The Little Foxes blog, agrees. “From a scientific perspective, animal testing is ineffective and flawed.”
A proven alternative is a mix between two methods – human cell-based tests, and advanced computer models. These can give researchers results in mere hours or days, instead of the months or years animal testing takes. They’re much more cost effective, too. “Animal testing for cosmetics isn't required by law in the U.S. and there are so many non-animal test methods that could be used instead that are cheaper, faster, and more relevant to humans,” Sunny from the Vegan Beauty Review confirms.
Helen at Tea in the Tub says, “It is okay to want to look your best but it is not okay for animals to get hurt and killed needlessly.”
Beth of Toasty adds, “With so many alternatives available in this day and age, I don't believe it is necessary for animal testing to be carried out for the sake of beauty products.”
The reality is that animal tested products only keep reappearing on drug store shelves because we buy them. It’s all about supply and demand, and the more good people like you take a stand against cruelty by refusing to hand over your hard-earned cash, the stronger the message we send out. Big companies that use animal-testing will only get the message when we hit them where it hurts—their profits.
“It's so important to vote with your purchasing power,” says Sunny of the Vegan Beauty Review. “Show the world there's a huge demand for cruelty-free products.”
It is clear that companies should be moving beyond the outdated cruelty of animal testing and looking into alternatives. So… which companies are doing just that?
Meet the cruelty-free heroes:
“No bunnies need to suffer for my beauty, and there's a plethora of kick-ass cruelty-free products to choose from,” says Sunny of the Vegan Beauty Review.
The Leaping Bunny and Peta's Beauty without Bunnies Program provides a certification program for beauty products that refuse to be involved in cruelty. If the maker of the product can prove that it is 100% free of animal testing, their product will be included on their lists. You’ll spot their labels on cruelty-free products.
WARNING: Leaping Bunny’s website lets us know that even if a product reads ‘not tested on animals’ or ‘cruelty-free’, these claims might only refer to the final product. Most animal testing happens at the ingredient level, so these claims can be misleading. Leaping Bunny certification requires no animal testing throughout the entire process.
Some women who are unfamiliar with cruelty-free cosmetics worry that cruelty-free products just might not be as good, or might be too pricey, but this is totally not the case. Suzi at the Cruelty Free Kitty has compiled a massive list of more than 75 quality makeup brands for every budget, so you can replicate your look without a heavy conscience or breaking the bank.
“I’ve been able to find everything I need cruelty-free, as far as makeup and skincare are concerned,” says Courtney of Phyrra. “Urban Decay has done a lot of the cruelty free message,” she continues. “They’re Leaping Bunny certified.”
Other favorite brands mentioned included Axiology, Superdrug, GOSH, Uma Oils, Osea, Earthwise Beauty, Tata Harper and Ellovi. Lush, another favorite, was said to be “very vocal about their ethics,” by Beth at Toasty.
Of course, here at Axiology, we are committed to using vegan ingredients that create great products, without compromising on our values. We pledge that our cosmetic products will always be 100% cruelty-free.
“With so many cruelty free makeup and vegan-friendly beauty brands to choose from, there's no excuse to support the companies that still test,” says Sunny of the Vegan Beauty Review.
Spread the word:
We believe that most people would support cruelty-free cosmetics, if only they knew the dark secrets that lurk behind the scenes of the beauty industry.
But of course, this comes down to education.
“I think if [people] knew what [animals] go through [in producing these cosmetics] …they might stop buying them!” Amie of the Curvaceous Vegan says.
So what can we do right now to impact the world with the cruelty-free message?
Share this article. Help us get the truth out there by passing along this article on Facebook or Twitter, or sending it to your friends via email. Everyone deserves to know the cruel history behind what they’re putting on their face every day.
Additionally, all the bloggers quoted in this article offer reviews on a huge range of cruelty-free cosmetics that you can use with a clear conscience – from mascaras to foundations, from blushers to bronzers. These trailblazing bloggers bring you honest cosmetic reviews, so you’ll be clued in on how to stay both glamorous and cruelty-free.
An exciting future:
It feels like we’re right at the beginning of something really big.
“Animal rights is the next frontier of social justice,” Ashlee of The Little Foxes says.
We’re not content to sit back and let people burn, maim, blind, shock and kill animals, all for the sake of some eyeshadow. There are faster, safer, cheaper alternatives for companies out there, and we need to demand that these be used.
It’s fantastic to be able to say we’ve already seen some progress with history-changing countrywide bans. The EU group of countries, plus India, Norway and Israel, have taken a stand against cruelty, and have totally banned the cosmetic testing of animals within their borders.
But more needs to be done.
Sunny from the Vegan Beauty Review is hopeful that the US will soon follow suit. “Obama just recently signed a new law [that discourages] the use of chemical testing on vertebrate animals, and requires the Environmental Protection Agency to create and promote a database of alternative testing methods. This is a HUGE step in the right direction.”
The past shows us that when we come together in support of a common cause, anything is possible. And we’re determined to see history changed, so that all beauty products are 100% cruelty-free, worldwide.
Ashlee says, “I believe [cruelty-free] will eventually become so common that no label is needed at all [and] that animal testing will be abolished. That's something I'd love to see happen in my lifetime.”
Here at Axiology, we’re just as excited about the future of cruelty free makeup, and we’re committed to developing vivid, beautiful lipsticks with no cruelty, so you can shop with a clear conscience.
We want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all the contributors to this article. These bloggers are amazing women who are committed to preaching the cruelty-free gospel across the web. We at Axiology highly recommend that our readers use their blogs as other portals to education and information.