Let’s talk about what no one is talking about: animal testing on beauty products.
People might say, "What are you talking about? This doesn’t happen anymore?" However, the truth is, lipsticks, foundations, skincare, and perfumes are still being tested on animals. Based on our research and analysis as of January 1st, 2024, we estimate that 78% of the top 50 beauty brands in the world their products are still tested on animals (see how we calculated this at the end of this article). You only need to watch the short film 'Save Ralph' to see heavy hitters like Taika Waititi, Zac Efron, and Ricky Gervais bringing awareness to animal testing in the beauty industry.
While animal testing on beauty products is banned in Australia, it is still prevalent overseas. The main two reasons for the testing still occurring are: First, certain countries, notably China, may legally require animal testing for beauty products entering their markets. Second, some harsh chemicals, like those found in sunscreens, are seen as necessitating testing on animals to ensure safety.
Transparency of brands that allow their products to be test on animals in this regard is sorely lacking. Many brands claim to be against animal testing, with corporate statements like ‘we have been against animal testing for more than 30 years’, yet turn a blind eye when their products undergo testing to enter specific markets. It's a moral paradox—can a company truly claim to be against animal testing if it knowingly allows it to happen for profit? I think absolutely not!
The argument often presented is that testing on animals is a regulatory requirement for market access. However, this is not an insurmountable obstacle. Alternative solutions, such as manufacturing in that local country and avoiding special use cosmetics like sunscreen, deodorant, hair dyes, and skin-lightening products, exist.
So why are these companies not making these changes? Because it all comes down to money. It’s too expensive to change product ingredients or manufacturers.
But here's where our power as consumers comes into play. Our wallets wield immense influence. By choosing to support brands committed to cruelty-free practices, we send a clear message—we demand change. If we collectively boycott brands that know their products are continuously test on animals, they will be forced to prioritise ethics over profits. Ignorance doesn’t make you innocent, in the eyes of the law.
This isn't just about animal welfare; it's about accountability and integrity in the beauty industry. Just as the rise of fast fashion behemoths like SHEIN has reshaped the apparel landscape for the worst, our collective consumer choices can revolutionise the industry.
Imagine a world where every lipstick stroke and skincare regimen were created with cruelty-free product—a world where beauty is synonymous with compassion. It's not a far-fetched dream; it's a tangible reality within our grasp.
Together, we hold the power to enact meaningful change. Let's stand united in our pursuit of a beauty industry that values ethics as much as aesthetics. With every purchase, we cast a vote for the world we want to live in. Let's make it a cruelty-free one.
If you’re unsure on what brands are tested on animals there are a number of resources:
78% of the Top 50 beauty brands in the world test on animals, information came from:
- Top 50 brand list click here and then this list was then put against the Ethical Elephants database click here.