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Animals and Cosmetic Testing: An Unnecessary Duo

Animals and Cosmetic Testing: An Unnecessary Duo

Before those bottles of shampoo and conditioner made it to your bathtub, and before your lip balm made it to the bottom of your bag, there’s a chance those products’ ingredients were tested on animals. It’s not a small problem: roughly 400,000 animals suffer and are killed in these unnecessary tests every year.

Methods of animal research in the cosmetics industry commonly include:

  • Eye irritant tests wherein substances are dropped into the eyes of restrained rabbits
  • Skin corrosivity tests wherein chemicals are applied directly to the skin of shaved rabbits, rats, mice, and guinea pigs
  • “Lethal dose” tests wherein lab animals are force-fed known toxic or potentially toxic products to determine the amount required to induce death by ingestion

Cruel tests like these are simply unnecessary. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) requires that all cosmetics are determined safe for human use. The FD&C Act does not require animal tests to prove such safety; in fact, FDA state they are “a strong advocate of methodologies for the refinement, reduction, and replacement of animal tests with alternative methodologies that do not employ the use of animals.”

Despite the lack of legal necessity for animal testing and the existence of alternative research methods, many cosmetics companies continue to test their products or ingredients on animals as a matter of convention. Examples of cheaper and more efficient alternatives to animal tests include technologies that are capable of screening thousands of chemicals using lab-grown cells.

Some companies don’t want to do this testing but allow their products to be tested on animals because certain governments require this be done. The most glaring example of this occurs because China, a massive market for cosmetics, requires animal testing before cosmetics are allowed on store shelves.

Thanks to decades of advocacy by NEAVS and others, as of 2018 many cosmetics companies in the U.S. have moved away from animal testing entirely. NEAVS helped found the Leaping Bunny Program, which evaluates brands’ adherence to cruelty-free standards for cosmetics and household products so that consumers know which companies to support. (Please look for the Leaping Bunny logo or phrases like  “No Animal Testing” or “Cruelty-Free” on labels before making a purchase.)

The E.U., Israel, Norway, Switzerland, India, Turkey, and Guatemala have already recognized the nonnecessity of animal testing and have banned it from their cosmetic industries. In all, more than 35 countries have enacted partial or complete bans on this cruel practice. The United States could be next to join this esteemed group if the Humane Cosmetics Act (H.R. 2790) passes legislation. New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and recently California have already passed state laws banning these inhumane and unnecessary research methods.

Want to try some amazing products that haven’t been tested on animals?

For a chance to win these cruelty-free products, simply sign up for email updates from the team here at NEAVS. One lucky winner will be chosen to receive the contents shown here!



Contest is open to residents of the United States of America only. Contest is open from November 15, 2018 at 11:30 AM EST until November 26, 2018 at 12:00 PM EST. Winner will be chosen by random drawing and contacted by November 28, 2018 by a NEAVS representative via email for the winner’s shipping address. Should prize remain unclaimed one week after contact, the winner will have forfeited his/her claim to the prize and a new winner will be chosen at random from the same group of entrants. One entry per person. Odds dependent on number of entries received. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.