Cosmetic Brands That Do and Don’t Test on Animals

I definitely have way too many makeup products, but I do use them all at some point. Makeup is fun to experiment with, and I think it is exhilarating finding the Holy Grail items. But something that I haven’t though much of was the way in which the products are tested before being sold. The makeup and beauty industries are a huge force within the world, and no matter the reasoning behind a purchase of a product, you are then supporting company practices. It is very important to be a smart shopper and know what you are supporting. Regardless of your thoughts on animal testing, it is good to know the practice of the companies you buy from. It is interesting to note that testing on animals is not legally required of cosmetics, it is done by choice and at the discretion of the company itself.

Companies that test on animals include Maybelline, Almay, Revlon, Mary Kay, Bobbi Brown, Avon, CoveGirl, Estee Lauder, L’Oreal, Stila, ChapStick, Giorgio Armani, Neutrogena, Lancôme, and Yves Saint Laurent.  

Companies that do not test on animals include bare Minerals, Burt's Bees, Clinique, e.l.f., Smashbox, Too Faced, Urban Decay, Becca, Bite Beauty, ColourPop, Hourglass, It Cosmetics, Kat Von D, Laura Mercier, Milani, N.Y.C., Nars, NYX, Tarte, and Rimmel.

Different lists show different brands. You can find more on sites such as Pinterest and PETA’s website. It comes down to doing some research into companies. Some smaller companies may not test on animals, but the larger company that owns them may. So sometimes knowing the company isn’t enough, but you have to dig further to find the companies associated with it. Yet, these lists represent both high end/expensive options and cheaper drug store brands, so there are ways to be mindful under any budgetary restrictions.

There are many reasons why companies test their products on animals. Sometimes companies are using new ingredients and want to test them out on animals. Alternatively, you could stick with brand that use widely known ingredients that are known to be safe to use.

When looking into all of this, I began to wonder what animal testing would mean for the animals in the laboratory. I found a great resource in the humane society’s website that clearly outlines what this would look like. The animals that are tested frequently are mice, rats, rabbits and guinea pigs. A test substance is put onto the shaved skin of the animal and covered to avoid them licking or removing the substance until the researchers are able to determine the amount of the substance that causes death of the animal within 2 weeks of exposure. This substance is also on their skin for 24 hours and can cause this reaction. Other tests are substances being force fed to the animals to test the same rate of death for oral exposure. Eye irritation is tested on rabbits to show signs of redness, bleeding, ulcers, or blindness. Skin irritation is tested on rabbits’ shaved skin to show any sign of irritation. The same sort of test is also done for allergic reactions on mice.

Personally, I have never been one to research this when shopping for my cosmetics. I did not really think about what was done before the product was put in its packaging. There are many ways to become more informed about the companies that you are interested, along with learning more about animal testing and ways to end it. We all have the power to make choices every day, and even our makeup brands send a strong message. Some products even have an effect on the quality of life an animal has. It is up to us to make our own educated decisions about which companies we give our money to through these purchases. We send a message when we choose to buy or bypass.


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