For many, makeup is seen not only as a way to enhance one’s natural features, but as an art form. Cosmetic designs often require a plethora of creativity and exact precision.
The products used are frequently very expensive, with some of the top brands like Too Faced and MAC charging upwards of $60 for one item. What consumers are often not considering, however, are the harmful tests the industry carries out on animals during the creation of their lines.
Over 100 million animals are mistreated, poisoned or killed in United States labs every year, according to Peta’s website.
While some of this animal testing can be excused, such as those used to explore new pharmaceutical drugs for humans, much of the testing is utilized for the makeup industry. Hundreds of cosmetic companies around the world still experiment on animals, despite the fact that there are cheaper and less cruel ways to test makeup products.
One of the most common practices of animal testing is the eye irritation test, which involves placing harmful chemicals into the eyes of rabbits and observing any potential bleeding, ulcers or blindness that may result from the contact, according to the Humane Society and Dosomething.org. In addition, the acute oral toxicity test is another popular examination in which a guinea pig or rat is forced to inhale chemicals and the observers determine if any convulsions, bleeding or deaths that ensue constitutes these products as harmful to humans.
Overall, 92 percent of products that pass inspections on animals do not pass human clinical trials, as they are then seen as too dangerous for people, according to Dosomething.org. Additionally, animals have different skin, hair and eye sensitivity than humans have, and just because something is safe for animals does not mean it will be safe for people.
Despite evidence that testing on animals is not a viable way to guarantee human safety, this practice is still used by a majority of cosmetic companies around the world. These companies continue to engage in animal testing not because they believe the process is effective. It, as per usual, has everything to do with monetary gain.
This is not only a problem in the U.S. cosmetic industry, but is an international issue as well. While countries, such as the United Kingdom and India, have prohibited animal testing, China still mandates such testing on products imported from other countries, as reported by CNBC. Cosmetic products in China alone brought in $222.2 billion worth of sales in 2016, making it a desirable market for many companies. Even with this income, however, the torturing and killing of millions of animals for a higher profit is unacceptable. These major companies should consider animal rights when entering international markets with less regulation.
Thankfully, there are a multitude of quality companies that do not succumb to market demands and choose to sell products ethically. Amongst these admiral companies are Elf, NYX, Urban Decay and Too Faced, according to Cruelty Free Kitty.
While there are still many companies that continuing to test on animals, the choice is ultimately up to the consumer if they want to condone the murder and torture of millions of innocent beings.
It is essential that consumers take a stand and only support cruelty-free makeup companies so that those companies that treat animals poorly are not rewarded financially for their harmful makeup testing practices.