Women (and men) love their creams, lotions and potions, declaring a range of life-changing results- tighter, clearer and more youthful skin or sky-high lashes. Many of us don’t bat an eyelid when it comes to where our cosmetics are produced- normally we just take notice of the effect that they will have on the way we look. After seeing a Peta campaign online that showed the results on animals used for testing, I decided that my cosmetic purchases needed to be more considered. We wouldn’t test on our own pets, so why do we test on animals who have no owner to stick up for them?
I blame the social media influence. We are encouraged to splurge large amounts of money on makeup, haircare and skincare without any consideration of the animals that suffered for our advantage. Being frivolous with our purchases is considered fashionable- but would it be this way if the consumer was made more aware of the unethical practices of their favourite lipstick brand? The harsh realities of animal testing are largely left behind closed doors, but it shouldn’t be this way and more awareness is needed in order for any type of change to happen. Products that were produced without being tested on animals carry the ‘leaping bunny’ symbol. Perhaps if products that are tested on animals stated so on the packaging buyers would be more likely to consider their purchases more carefully? Food for thought.
Around 11.5 million animals including mice, rats and rabbits are used in the cosmetics testing industry every year according to research by PETA. They are submitted to substances put in their eyes or injected into their skin; methods that would never be approved should it be human testing. More pressure needs to be placed on companies that still abide by this cruel practice, with the attitudes of its consumers changing there is more of a call for alternative testing methods. As of March 2013, a law was passed that prevents any brands from selling cosmetics in the EU that have been tested on animals. As a result, there has been a surge of interest in other ways cosmetics can be tested without the means of animals. This is a major step in the right direction, however, brands that wish to trade with influential markets like China, are still required under their laws to conduct tests on animals for the goods to be sold there. This unfortunately poses the biggest problem for worldwide brands such as Estee Lauder and Clinique who rely on trade with China.
On a lighter note, Despite these problems, there are a number of brands who refuse to test on animals. Too Faced, Urban Decay, Liz Earle and Aveda are just a few of the hundreds of cosmetics, skincare and haircare brands that pride themselves on their cruelty-free approach. Since, September I have been trying to condense my own collection of cosmetics. Many I have given away to friends or other family members, some I have yet to find replacements for. It can be fairly expensive to change up your entire makeup collection at once so there is nothing wrong with doing your research so that you still find products that you find work for your skin and is exciting to use. Brands that I have invested in when looking to change my cosmetics collection is Laura Mercier, Charlotte Tilbury and NYX (their liquid lipsticks are unbeatable). Liz Earle is my top pick for skincare due to their high quality ingredients and affordable prices, with Aveda haircare that I’m eager to try due to their rave reviews.
All in all, maybe we should all take a little more time when looking at our habits as shoppers and consumers. Looking at the brands who offer cruelty free cosmetics, many of which you will be surprised that they produce some of your makeup bag favourites; Naked palette, Bronze and Glow, Anastasia contour kit- there is a surprising range. I will be looking into the New Year with the intention of going completely cruelty free by the end of it. Looking for alternatives is surprisingly fun (and is an excuse to try some more unusual brands) so next time you run out of your favourite mascara, why not have a go with a cruelty-free one?
Here’s a handy list of some cruelty-free brands that are listed on the PETA website:
Kat Von D
Anastasia Beverly Hills
Marc Jacobs Beauty
The Body Shop
PETA has lots of useful information including a list of brands that are cruelty free and more information about the law changes: http://www.peta.org.uk/issues/animals-not-experiment-on/cosmetics/