What is Cruelty Free Makeup? – Basics of Animal Testing

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Although the term Cruelty-Free is known to most of the people but still there is something more of it. Cruelty-Free products are those which are not tested on animals. So by using only Cruelty-Free makeup, we ensure that we care animals and save their lives.

In cosmetic world, the animal test include skin and eye irritation tests which usually include inducing chemicals into the eyes of rabbit or rubbing chemicals into the shaved skin.

The use of animals for testing cosmetic products such as make-up or skin creams is widely used all around the world to better provide improvements in the cosmetic industry.

Lets find out here if animal testing is really necessary in cosmetic product industry and also look over the consequences.

Why Cruelty-Free?

Around 80% of the world population still allows animals to be used in cosmetics for testing. According to Humane Society International, approximately 100,000-200,000 animals suffer and die just for cosmetics every year around the world. These are rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats and mice. While dogs and monkeys are never used to test cosmetics anywhere in the world, they are used to test other types of chemicals.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Companies can use thousands of natural ingredients which are already known to be safe and require no testing.

They can replace animal tests with quicker, cheaper and more trusted non-animal tests.

More than 40 non-animal tests are already validated to be used.

For example-

  • Tests such as EPISKIN and SkinEthic use human reconstructed skin.
  • 3T3 neutral red uptake test for sunlight-induced “phototoxicity”.
  • Bovine Cornea Opacity and Permeability test for eye corrosion.

Still thousands of animals are used worldwide for testing that already have alternatives available.

To make sure that this should not happen, we should ensure that our skin care products are all Cruelty-Free.

Consequences of Animal Testing

Repeated tests are performed on animals that lasts for weeks or months to look for any sign of side effect of applying newly added chemical ingredients. These ingredients are new and does not have prior safety data. So in order to satisfy regulators and to ensure product safety, variosu tests are performed on animals.

A traditional lethal dose test performed on animals forces animals, specially rats and mice, to swallow chemicals to determine the dose which results in the death of 50% of animals. Such tests are severely painful causing bleeding and swollen eyes. No pain relief medications are given to relieve the pain and ultimately the result is death.

Taking Action for Animal Use in Cosmetic Testing

According to Cruelty Free International, a leading organisation working to end animal experiments worldwide-

“Animal experiments are cruel, unreliable, and even dangerous.”

In the EU, the use of animal testing in cosmetic products is banned since 2009 and the use of cosmetic ingredients is banned since March 2013. The EU has also banned the sale of any kind of cosmetic that uses animals for testing from March 2013 onwards.

In Israel, cosmetic testing is banned two times – in 2007 and 2013.

Similar policy changes are under review in India and South Korea.

In Canada, the bill is passed to amend the Food and Drugs Act that prohibits any cosmetic animal testing and the sale of cosmetics developed or manufactured using cosmetic animal testing. It also ensures that no evidence derived from animal testing may be used to establish the safety of a cosmetic.

HSI’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign is the largest and most effective initiative to end the animal cruelty in cosmetic range. There campaign played a significant role in driving the EU to become the world’s largest Cruelty-Free cosmetic market. The campain was also instrumental for subsequent bans in India, New Zealand, Taiwan, Norway, South Korea, Switzerland, Guatemala, and in seven states in Brazil.

Recently, the State Of California got huge success. On September 28, 2018, Governor Jerry Brown approved Senate Bill no. 1249. This bill makes it impossible for non cruelty-free products to be sold in the state of California after January 1, 2018. If this date is passed, manufacturers still have 180 days to sell non cruelty-free products before being fined. Considering a massive cosmetic market in CA, this is a huge win.

Certified Cruelty-Free Brands

There are more than 600 Cruelty-Free companies which means these companies do not use any kind of animal testing all the way from choosing ingredients to finished products to products sold in stores. They sell only vegan products and are certified as cruelty-free under the internationally-recognized Leaping Bunny program.

So having so many trusted brands delivering exciting, safe and reliable Cruelty-Free beauty products is an indication that it is this can be done simply by manufacturing the cruelty-free way.

All of our top recommended skin care lines are also Cruelty-Free apart from having other unique qualities (free from artificial color, synthetic chemical, artificial fragrance, etc) that they offer.

Finding a True Cruely-Free Product

While choosing a certain Cruelty-Free product, you have to keep few things into consideration-

You have to check for Cruelty-Free certification logo in the product. To make sure, the best thing is to also cross reference this certification on the certifier’s website. Brands with Leaping Bunny and PETA certifications can be easily identied as brands that use Cruelty-Free products.

Some Cruelty-Free experts run third party Cruelty-Free websites that can also be checked. You can check if a brand is Cruelty-Free or if a brand tests on animals on Cruelty-Free Kitty. You will be surprised by seeing major brands as offenders in the list which are not Cruelty-Free. So if you really care about animals then check it.


Cosmetic world is a huge market with lots of people still using non Cruelty-Free products due to lack of knowledge. Here we have tried to cover the basics of Cruelty-Free products and why Cruelty-Free products should be used. Even a little awareness in this direction can lead to major change in the cosmetic world.

If you care about animals and are deeply committed to protect animals then use only Cruelty-Free products. This should be our dedication for animal welfare.

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