Animal Testing in Beauty Products
By Sofia Randazzo
Everyday tasks such as applying makeup, washing your hair, and cleansing your face all entail the usage of cosmetic products. Have you ever wondered how your favorite soap or cosmetic brand perfects their product? Surprisingly enough, 88% of beauty brands test on animals before their product hits the market. Over 110 million animals are burned, paralyzed, poisoned, and abused in U.S. laboratories every year to test cosmetics. Though the majority of humans view animals as friendly companions, the other portion look at animals as a means for testing subjects for further experimental research. When there are alternate testing options available that do not necessitate the expenditure of an animal’s life, animals are nonetheless compelled to undergo painful testing. Some may argue that because of their shorter life span and the need to determine if items are safe for use by humans, animal testing is necessary. However, there are more compelling arguments against animal testing that should be considered.
Animal testing is a huge violation against animal rights. Though animals are not biologically similar to humans, they are similar in other ways. We both feel, think, behave, and experience pain. According to North Carolina State University philosophy professor, Tom Regan, animals have a moral obligation to be treated with respect and, at the very least, without harm or stress. Yet, the lack of respect is shown by laboratory facilities when animals are reduced to being mere tools in scientific experiments. Through the Humane Society International program, people may save and care for dogs and cats, enhance farm animal welfare, protect wildlife, and advocate for testing and research that do not use animals. The Humane Society International Program goes on to state that many animals being tested are still alive. These living animals used in experiments are often subjected to force feeding, water and food deprivation, burns, and other wounds. Numerous animals are caught and mistreated solely for the purpose of testing a single beauty product. It is a waste of an animal’s life to employ so many of them on a solitary product to ensure human safety.
Animal testing is not only wasteful, but also time consuming. Animal tests may take up to months or even years to conduct and analyze, with a cost of hundreds of thousands, or even millions per substance examined. Many of these experiments are wasted because they fail on the animals, and the products are never even released onto shelves. That means animal testing is also very unreliable and misleading. About 92% of experimental drugs that are safe and effective in animals are disregarded because they are too dangerous or do not work on humans. To determine whether a mouse's genetic makeup is sufficiently comparable to that of humans to be able to fend off disease, Dr. Richard Klausner, a former head of the National Cancer Institute, undertook a study on animal testing of cancer research on the animal. The National Cancer Institute stated, "the history of cancer research has been a history of curing cancer in mice. We have cured mice of cancer for decades and it simply doesn't work on humans." This is because the animals' anatomic, metabolic, and cellular differences cause different results in testing. The same issue applies to cosmetic items; due to the biological differences between humans and animals, the reactions to the products being tested on may be quite different from those tested on humans.
Due to scientific advancements in safety testing, new and more effective alternatives to animal testing have been created. Dermal penetration, skin sensitization, acute toxicity, and Draize testing are all quite common animal tests in the beauty industry. In-vitro testing, which uses human cells or tissues as test subjects, provides an alternative to these procedures. We can better understand how treatments operate in a living creature thanks to in-vitro testing. A French business is aiming to bio print a liver that can evaluate the toxicity of a medicine, according to Jonathan Smith, a biotech who conducted additional research on in-vitro testing. Artificial human skin can be created from sheets of human skin cells grown in test tubes or plastic wells, such as the commercially available products EpiDerm and ThinCert, and may yield more informative results than testing chemicals on animal skin. If alternatives continue to take the place of animal testing, it is expected that animal testing of chemicals will be reduced by 30% by 2025 and eliminated entirely by 2035.
The majority, if not all, of your favorite cosmetic companies test their goods on animals to see if the substances are okay for consumers to use. When there are better options available, companies like Chanel, Benefit, Aveeno, L'Oreal, and countless others continue to test on animals. It is so crucial to buy from cruelty-free brands to be a helping hand in an animal's life. In addition to saving an animal, purchasing a cruelty-free product is likely to result in a healthier and softer product for your skin or hair because they employ more natural components and fewer chemicals. When you choose products that are not tested on animals, you are also avoiding harmful ingredients like parabens, sulfates, and synthetic colors, according to Nadine Rich, a blogger at SeriouslyFab. Because these cosmetics are healthier for your skin, there is a lower chance of irritation, allergies, and breakouts. You can buy cruelty-free products anywhere! Drugstores including CVS, Walgreens, and Rite-Aid have a wide variety of cruelty-free goods. They are also carried by larger retailers like Target and Meijer. It is great to do your research before buying a product. That does not necessarily imply that you must check the brand online; simply examining their label will be enough. There are some things to look out for on an ingredient label to determine whether that product is considered cruelty-free. Animal-friendly manufacturers typically want to mention it in a readable font size. However, some businesses are developing their own definitions for it. Even though some claim they do not test animals, they hire others to do it. Finding the tiny pink bunny on a product's label is another way to tell if it is cruelty-free.
An innocent life is lost solely for the sake of evaluating cosmetics that might just as easily be tested without using an animal. It is best to purchase cruelty-free goods if we want to change the world. Not only will purchasing cruelty-free goods save the life of an animal, but you will also be contributing to a better society and a more promising future. Make the switch and adopt your new favorite beauty product's adorable little pink bunny!