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The Truth About Animal Testing and Cosmetics

By Nicholas Mirabella June 04, 2015 0 comments

Every year, millions of animals are victimized by cruel businesses in the beauty industry. Popular brands like Avon and Garnier expose these innocent beings to unsafe chemicals that leave them with a number of health complications – or death – in order to provide “safe” products for their customers. For example, some companies will force dangerous liquids into the eyes of albino rabbits and leave them in small cages for several days to record the damage. For the rabbits, this can mean swollen eyelids, bleeding, or blindness.

Most people either don’t know that animal testing exists in the cosmetics industry, or they believe it is necessary to protect consumers from dangerous side-effects. However, more and more people are now realizing that the latter just isn’t true. Not only is animal testing unnecessary, it’s also unreliable. 

1. Animal Testing Doesn’t Work.

Humans and animals differ both genetically and biologically, and because of this, they respond to chemicals in different ways. Think about how difficult it is to predict how one drug will affect different people, let alone a different species. We can take one example from the sedative thalidomide. In the 1950s,  it was successfully tested on animals, so doctors started giving it out to help pregnant women suffering from morning sickness. Unfortunately, because the tests were unreliable, more than 10,000 children wound up with birth defects.

Here’s more proof: in the 1920s, Alexander Fleming began testing penicillin on animals. Not surprisingly, it had a vastly different effect on the animals than on people, prolonging its use in the medical field; the drug was either ineffective or it killed those animals that were forced to take it. Luckily, it was later found to be safe in humans and, as a result, has saved millions of lives. Just imagine how different the world would be if we had relied on Fleming’s initial tests…

2. Animal Testing Alternatives.

This may come as a surprise, but animal testing isn’t required for selling cosmetics. In fact, the FDA’s only demand when it comes to these products is that their ingredients are “adequately substantiated for safety” or that a product warns customers that it has not been tested. The FDA cannot demand specific tests for products, so this is ultimately left to those putting them on the market. 

If animal testing isn’t required, then why do so many companies do it? Well, it pretty much all comes down to one thing: money. Besides the fact that animal testing is relatively inexpensive, its unreliability makes it easier for companies to sell what they want. The tests can also offer protection in the event of a lawsuit.

So, what can companies do to avoid animal testing and still provide safe products? There are quite a few things. Aside from using ingredients that are already FDA-approved, companies can use computer-generated tests, cell and tissue cultures, and corneas from eye banks. While perhaps not as easy or “cheap,” these tests are far more reliable and thus should be far more desirable for the company producing them. After all, the best cosmetics companies should want not only to please you with their products, but also to ensure your safety!

3. How You Can Help

The best way that you, as a consumer, can help end animal cruelty in the beauty industry is to simply stop supporting it. There are plenty of cruelty-free products on the market that are just as great – or better – than anything you could find at your favorite cosmetics store. At Brick & Mirror Beauty we strive to offer only the best cruelty-free hair and makeup products in an effort to put a stop to this unnecessary cruel treatment of animals. We hope you will take a look at what we have to offer and help us fight animal cruelty. 


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