Remember the days when my blog was all about beauty? When I would talk about my favourites every month and describe my foundation routine? A lot has changed since then and although I don't restrict my blog to certain topics a beauty posts is rarely seen on my blog these days. Today's post is all about beauty, though not in the typical sense. This post is dedicated to a topic that is very important to me and that I'd like to be more openly discussed in the world of beauty: cruelty-free beauty. As you might remember I used to be a big fan of MAC and it was the first high end makeup I ever tried and loved. But after a while I heard of them testing on animals, looked up whether that was true, found my suspicion to be confirmed and as a consequence, I started to avoid the brand. I didn't think much further though and somehow assumed that other makeup brands had better ethics and avoided cruel tasting on animals. Last year I did a quick google search, looking if there were more brands testing on animals and honestly, I was shocked to see that so many brands still practised these methods. Especially considering that animal testing is prohibited in Europe. In March 2013 a law was passed not only banning animal testing but also banning cosmetics tested on animals. But still, there are loopholes and brands continue to test on animals in countries outside Europe, e.g. China where animal testing is required for all beauty products. And although some brands claim to be dedicated to cruelty-free beauty, they still make exceptions. A good example is L'Oréal - on their site the following is stated "L’Oréal no longer tests on animals any of its products or any of its ingredients, anywhere in the world. Nor does L’Oréal delegate this task to others. The rare exception allowed is if regulatory authorities demand it for safety or regulatory purposes." In other words, they have minimised their testing on animals which can be seen as a step in the right direction but yes, they are still testing on animals. And like I just said, the list of non-cruelty-free brands is long including popular brands such as Benefit Cosmetics, Maybelline, Chanel, Make Up Forever and Rimmel London, to name a few.
Can animal testing be justified? When I started to dig into this topic this was the question burning on my mind. Many companies claimed animal testing was sometimes required for safety purposes and I asked myself if there was no alternative. But luckily the answer is yes, there are many alternatives indeed and therefore no need to continue animal testing. Methods like in-vitro provide us with very reliable results - I actually studied this method for my bio final and I won't go into too much detail but it's about using a micro-chip containing human cells and therefore testing their reaction to certain substances. Other methods include human-patient-simulation and sophisticated computer models. These methods aren't only cruelty-free, they also provide more reliable results than animal testing (as animals of course show different reactions to cosmetic products than humans do). It is furthermore said that these methods take less time and money and when looking at that, there really is no way to justify animal testing and in my opinion, it's sad that companies still practise cruel methods.
But let's focus on the positive: although many companies still test on animals a lot of well-known makeup brands refrain from animal testing. Brands that are cruelty-free are NARS, Charlotte Tilbury, Catrice, NYX, Zoeva, Too Faced, Urban Decay, Hourglass, KIKO, bareMinerals and many more. It does get a bit trickier when buying other cosmetic products such as shampoo, cream etc but there are still cruelty-free options out there (Lush probably being the most popular one) and there are various lists on the internet telling you which companies test on animals and which don't. Many cruelty-free products carry the 'Leaping Bunny' sign as an indication although it is not mandatory and brands might still be cruelty-free despite not having it printed on their products - for more information you can check out websites such as peta.org and crueltyfreekitty. I'm also positive that brands testing on animals will eventually change their politics. On the MAC website is says that they are working towards cruelty-free production and I would be very happy if they turned that into reality. In the meantime I will stay away from buying products of brands that test on animals. I know that some people throw away all their products which are tested on animals and I don't think that's necessary (you might say the "damage" is already done) but I made a vow to myself to only purchase cruelty-free cosmetics from this point onwards.
In the end we are 'voting' with our money and I'm therefore choosing to support brands that are cruelty-free and I believe that as bloggers we can really make a difference together, by promoting these products and by raising awareness.
What is your favourite cruelty-free makeup/cosmetic brand? x