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Creating New Paradigms
Although there was never a requirement to test cosmetic products on animals, doing so has become an accepted methodology by the world’s leading cosmetics companies. The good news is that in recent years, this paradigm has shifted dramatically. Companies such as Aveda, Seacret Spa
, Kiss My Face and Dermalogica have become change agents in the war against animal cruelty. Today, consumers can enjoy peace of mind knowing that their cosmetic products are cruelty-free.
The Requirement for Safe Product
The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which governs the development and distribution of cosmetic products in the U.S., does not require companies to test their cosmetics on animals in order to establish safety. The FDA merely requires that companies establish, by whatever methodology they choose, that the product is safe for use by humans.
In fact, it encourages companies to consider alternative, scientifically-valid strategies for establishing safety. In instances where a cosmetics company chooses to test on animals, the FDA urges them to adhere to the most humane models possible.
Why Test on Animals?
While several innovative and credible alternatives to animal testing exist today, many cosmetics companies continue to test their products on animals. Where did this idea come from? In the 1940s, some cosmetic products proved to be harmful to consumers. At this point, animal testing was implemented as a way to guarantee consumer safety. Today, however, the vast majority of formulas utilized in cosmetic products are already classified as “generally accepted to be safe.” It appears that companies that turn to animal testing are doing it for legal reasons and not consumer safety.
Disrupting the Paradigm of Animal Testing
Sadly, old habits are hard to uproot. Even though testing on animals is usually unnecessary, and even banned in many countries
, a number of leading cosmetics brands continue to test their product on animals. In some cases, cosmetics companies go to the effort of outsourcing this part of their product development to countries where animal testing is permitted. On the other hand, the good news for both animal and consumer safety is that many companies have chosen to take a stand against animal cruelty despite the fact that in some cases, it requires pulling out of certain international markets, such as China, where animal testing is required.
Take These Three Cruelty-Free Brands for Example:
Aveda is a well-known cosmetics brand with a global consumer base. Not only do they not test on animals, but they make a point of letting the world know. This year, Aveda rolled out its “cruelty-free” bunny logo, designed by PETA. Aveda encourages its consumers to be smart about animal testing. They even provide a list on their website of other companies that are cruelty-free.
Utilizing centuries-old secrets of the Dead Sea, Seacret Spa
offers a wide palette of therapeutic mineral-based products to cleanse, hydrate and nourish your skin. The company utilizes natural minerals and vitamins that are native to the Dead Sea, and conducts no animal testing in the process.
Dermalogica, whose products are familiar to a global consumer base was not on the cruelty-free list due to its marketing in China, which requires animal testing. Putting words into action, Demalogica pulled its product from China, restoring its status as an animal cruelty-free cosmetics company.