Cruelty-Free Makeup: A Step Ahead To Prevent Animal Cruelty


Some of the top cosmetics brands still produce and sell products that are tested on animals. If you buy makeup from major cosmetic brands, you’re likely supporting companies that still practice animal testing. There are over 2,500 cosmetic brands that provide alternatives like cruelty-free makeup brushes and cruelty-free makeup. Compassionate consumers support businesses that go the extra mile to get certified cruelty-free.

Animal Testing Facts

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines cosmetics as anything applied to the body for cleaning or making it more attractive. The practice of animal testing screens potentially toxic, physically damaging, and fatal products on other living things like rats, mice, rabbits and dogs, to ensure they won’t accidentally harm humans.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, when adding new ingredients to cosmetics, some companies conduct animal testing to review ingredient safety. It’s often necessary when cosmetic companies develop a new formula with innovative, synthetic ingredients that have never been used on humans before. They ultimate beautifying effects may be stunning, but first they must make sure they are safe. Beauty brands that animal test carry out these painful trial and error tests on animals before they go to market with a new product.

 These tests may include the following:

  • Skin and eye irritation – Technicians rub chemicals into the shaved skin or eyes of rabbits.
  • Repeated force-feeding – These studies look for birth defects from long-term use.
  • Lethal dose tests – Animals are force-fed ingredients to determine lethal dosage.

After testing, animals are normally killed without pain relief. Even in the United States, tested animals are not protected under the Animal Welfare Act.

Animal testing is unnecessary because of the wide variety of natural ingredients that have been used safely for decades. Companies that supply cruelty-free makeup use these alternatives.

If very large, multi-billion-dollar cosmetic brands don’t animal test for safety, they risk law suits that may result from untested products that cause harm in the market place.

Many countries have out-right banned animal testing, while other countries such as China require all non-Chinese brands prove they have tested all their products on animals before they enter the Chinese marketplace. Currently, the U.S.A. doesn’t have any legislation requiring or banning animal testing for cosmetics.

What is Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free Makeup?

Over 600 companies have received the Leaping Bunny certification from Cruelty-Free International. To obtain certification, all of a company’s products must meet the following criteria: 

  • Establish a cutoff date after which no ingredients or products are tested on animals.
  • Institute procedures to monitor manufacturers and suppliers throughout the supply chain to ensure ingredients and facilities are cruelty-free.
  • Adopt Cruelty-Free International’s animal testing policy.
  • Accept independent compliance audits.

The application process is lengthy, and while Leaping Bunny is a non-profit organization, there is a yearly fee for certification. Companies that carry the Leaping Bunny logo have invested significant amounts of time and money to offer products that have not been tested on animals.

Cosmetics companies can also be certified as cruelty-free through PETA when they provide a statement to verify no animal cruelty is involved in their ingredients, formulas, or finished products.

Watch Out for False Cruelty-Free Claims

Some companies advertise that their products are not tested on animals, but they are skirting the truth. While their end products may not have been animal-tested, individual ingredients often have been. If a company tests individual ingredients on animals or buys from suppliers who does, they are a part of the problem.

Identify Counterfeit Cruelty-Free Logos

Just because cosmetics have a bunny logo doesn’t mean they’ve gone through the rigorous process of cruelty-free certification. Below are three logos that guarantee high-standards: 

  • Leaping Bunny Logo
  • PETA’s Cruelty-free Logo
  • Choose Cruelty-Free logo (offered in Australia)

Once you’ve found the logo, double-check with the certifying organization. Some companies have been certified cruelty-free, but they don’t put logos on their packaging. If you’re not sure, it’s always a good idea to look them up.

Cruelty-Free Makeup Brushes

Stop every form of animal cruelty by choosing makeup brushes made of synthetic material instead of animal hair. Brushes made of synthetic fibers are easier to clean, they shed less, and often make your product last longer. Animal hair has scales on the hair shaft that trap oil and dirt, and provide a breeding ground for bacteria. They also can irritate allergies in people who are sensitive to animal dander. High-quality synthetic fibres provide a cruelty-free alternative.

When you buy cosmetics, don’t just look for a specific color or product feature. The money you spend will either fund animal testing or encourage investing in products made with safe, natural ingredients. Choose to vote for cruelty-free makeup from companies that go the extra mile.

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