Part of the consumer mindset is to be assured that the products they are buying are safe to use. Unfortunately, when it comes to many companies’ products, many lab animals are subjected to harsh chemicals, horrific pain, and senseless death. Testing cosmetic products on animals in a lab is a very common corporate practice, and a lot of what they do continues to go unnoticed and unrecognized by the public.

Everybody knows the main goal of a business: Profit. Unfortunately for our furry friends, testing on animals is one way to drastically cut costs and optimize spending company revenues in areas that will make them more money. While there is extensive research being done to prevent the popularity of it, animal testing is the most economically convenient way for companies to ensure that their products are “safe,” according to the Food and Drug Administration’s standards. However, this way of saving money forces helpless animals to pay the price instead.

Many of the tests that companies do on animals are shockingly cruel, and caution is advised to those who may be sensitive regarding hearing about these practices. While animal testing in the United States is not required by law, companies still choose to expose animals such as mice and rats to excruciating pain. Skin and eye irritation tests are done where a product is dropped onto shaved skin or into the eyes of animals in order to make sure they do not cause chemical burns. Products are force-fed to animals to confirm whether or not they will cause illness or birth defects. Lethal dose tests are performed where the product will be fed to the animal until it dies in order to determine the dose that will cause death. All of these tests are performed without the use of pain relief, and at the end, the animals are killed by suffocation and discarded.

Some cosmetic companies that test on animals as of 2018:

  • Victoria’s Secret
  • NARS
  • Chapstick
  • Bath & Body Works
  • L’Oreal
  • Maybelline
  • Pantene
  • Sephora Cosmetics
  • Revlon
  • Benefit

Many more can be found here:

Outrage about these practices have sparked discussion over animal rights and whether or not legal limitations should be put on animal testing has become a widespread debate. It is argued that since animals are not completely aware of what is going on and cannot do anything to help themselves, they should be more protected. The argument stems from the fact that companies are abusing power over animals and causing pain and suffering when there is seemingly no real logical reason to do so.

Animal testing has existed since the late 1930’s, but questioning the accuracy of these methods is a fairly new topic that has reached the eye of the media in recent years. Although the tests that are done are intense and cruel, they may not serve as great a purpose as consumers are led to believe. Different chemicals react to different species’ genetic makeup in various ways, so there is no telling that a chemical that is safe for a rat will be safe for a human being. Since these practices are not necessary, they are also not required by law in the United States. However, they are in China, which is why every brand that sells in China is not cruelty-free.

While animal testing has not yet been deemed illegal by the FDA, there are people that campaign to do so. Organizations such as the Humane Cosmetics Act advocate for the development of tests that don’t involve the use of animals and additionally hold more benefits that ensure the safety of a product. At the moment, tests are being created that provide a greater range of data for the safety of human beings, including information regarding birth defects and types of cancers. The development of more accurate and informational tests that do not involve the use of animals will render animal testing useless to many companies and would most likely result in them abandoning the practice.

While you may have found some of your favorite brands on the list of those that test on animals, there are many companies that market themselves as cruelty-free, and the market continues to grow as awareness spreads. The future for cruelty-free cosmetic products looks bright, and it is only a matter of time before animal testing becomes less widespread.

A selection of cruelty-free cosmetic brands you can find in stores and online:

  • CoverGirl
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills
  • Tarte
  • Too Faced
  • BareMinerals
  • Urban Decay
  • Hourglass
  • Milk Makeup
  • Glossier
  • ELF
  • NYX
  • Milani
  • WetNWild
  • TheBodyShop
  • LUSH

More information regarding cruelty-free brands can be found here:

It is important when deciding which of these brands to purchase to assess your values. Those who may be against animal testing may not know that their favorite products are selling in China. It is vital that any consumer be aware of what they are buying, as it may come as a shock to you that they partake in such horrific practices for the sake of saving money. Whatever your decision may be, this is not what Beyoncé meant when she said “Pretty Hurts”.