Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Testing Cosmetics on Animals...

I'd like to talk about - as the title suggests, animal testing. This topic was very common a few years ago and now I feel it has died down considerably due to the lack of media coverage. I think this is as an important issue today as it was yesteryear, I just don't think people care enough anymore. As this is a beauty blog I will try to relate the companies and content of the post to cosmetics in particular as much as I can.

After researching on the internet I found that a shocking number of companies use animals to test their cosmetics on. The companies I have found and recognised and the source of this information is listed below, (please note I may be incorrect and be sure to check the link and let me know if you do find any mistakes):

  • Ponds, Vaseline
  • Mentadent, Nair, Pearl Drops
  • Clairol - Aussie, Daily Defense, Herbal Essences (although Clairol have said that Herbal Essences is not tested on animals)
  • Colgate-Palmolive Co
  • Cover Girl
  • Crest
  • Right Guard
  • Gillette
  • Johnson and Johnson - Aveeno, Clean and Clear, Listerine, Neutrogena, Rembrandt, ROC
  • L'oreal USA - Biotherm, Garnier, Giorgio Armani, Lancome, Maybelline, Ralph Lauren Fragrances, Redken, Soft Sheen, Vichy
  • Max Factor
  • Olay Co./Oil of Olay
  • Oral-B
  • Pantene
  • Veet
  • Dr Scholl's
  • Glade
  • Oust
  • Dove
  • Sunsilk

And these are the ones that I've recognised. I understand that people may be divided in their views of testing cosmetics on animals before putting them out on the shelves to sell to humans and I will respect all views, this post contains my views.

Personally I don't think companies should still be testing cosmetics on animals as there is such a vast number of cosmetics brands that do not need to test their products on animals. I think it's cruel to use animals because we as humans are superior, intellectually. The animals chosen cannot speak or protest for themselves and although I'm not an animal rights activist, I still believe this is unfair.

For medical and pharmaceutical purposes I can appreciate that pharmaceutical companies are required by law to test on animals before allowing humans to use their products; for this I think there can be new innovations that means we don't need animals to be tested on.

Do we really need to use and abuse innocent animals to see if our lipsticks are functional and safe?

I certainly don't think so. If brands like Lush Cosmetics, MAC, Bobbi Brown, Urban Decay, Yes to Carrots, OPI and Essie are able to create safe products for us without testing on animals then why can't Maybelline, Max Factor and L'oreal do the same?

I'm not able to provide any details about what goes on when companies use animals to test cosmetics as I have only studied the process of pharmaceutical testing, however I'll assume that it's very similar. For example many checks would need to be performed, then animals are tested on, then healthy human volunteers in smaller quantities, then larger quantities then the drug is permitted to be sent out for production. I can just about understand that we'd need to test on animals before humans in the cases of drugs as they can be very dangerous, however how necessary is this for cosmetics?

I feel by using animals for cosmetics is entirely selfish and not needed, I was surprised to find how many of the brands on this list I use myself! Or know of other people using them, I haven't come to a straight and narrow conclusion here with regards to whether I will continue to purchase products from companies that do choose to test on animals, but it is most likely that I won't. An offender that surprised me the most was Clean and Clear and the rest of the Johnson and Johnson products, I've always thought of this brand as gentle and safe, so I incorrectly assumed that they wouldn't be partaking in animal cruelty.

I also believe that people should be strong enough and willing enough to find similar products from brands that do not test on animals, companies that do not test on animals are listed here:

And there are a fair few! Which I'm very glad to hear about!

Maybe we should pay attention to the little details in the manufacturing of the products we use on ourselves everyday. I don't want to offend anyone by comparing this to the Fairtrade issue and please allow me to continue and complete the way in which I am comparing. I think this is similar to the Fairtrade campaigns because no-one knew enough or was bothered enough to care about how the things they use were made/coming from, and this is true for this argument. Not enough people (in my opinion), are aware of or bothered about how their cosmetics and household items are made.

Overall, I think that testing on animals in this day and age - especially for cosmetics is completely unnecessary and selfish. I believe that we should take a leaf out of all the companies' books that do not test on animals and continue on without harming little creatures with lesser intellectual/physical ability than us.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to comment below, I'd appreciate it greatly if your comments weren't rude and more of a discussion, I have placed my opinion here only.


  1. well consdering u covered much of the topic, i agree completly, its atrocious that animals are used for testing. it should stop and if a large enough group do move against it. it could well be put to an end.

  2. I didn't realize all those companies tested on animals :( Luckily my faves don't, but seeing cover girl, loreal, clean and clear, etc is disappointing. I agree that if so many companies can get by without animal testing that there's no reason these other companies can't do the same. This has definitely given me a lot to think about. I can't say for sure that I'll discontinue using companies who test of animals, but it is definitely something I'm going to research more and make a decision. Thanks for this very insightful post!!

  3. I totally agree with you here, it is ridiculous that so many companies do this. With our technology today, there is no reason they can't use synthetics or other materials to simulate human hair/skin.

    We use non-living materials to test almost everything else, why can't we do it for beauty products as well? Just because we are smarter than other animals doesn't mean we should exploit them for whatever purpose we want. We need to respect the other animals on our planet, they have just as much of a right to live as we do.

    Thank you for writing about this! I hope more people think like you do.

  4. @Paige Borda, I know! All of the companies with good products seem to test but doesn't do much for their image!

    @Mike Borda I completely agree, I feel that surely there are other means of testing and not hurting animals

    @Mustafa I don't think many people are bothered enough to speak up so it won't be put to an end until it's deemed "fashionable" not to test

  5. Great post! One thing to point out though, neutrogena say they don't test on animals although their parent company is not cruelty free x


Please leave a comment on your opinions about this post, I will get back to you as soon as possible :)