Next week, the EU will ban the sale of all cosmetics, including toiletries such as tooth paste, that have ingredients tested on animals. This new legislation is a major victory as it will force multi-national companies, such as Proctor and Gamble and Estee Lauder, to find alternative methods for safety testing. Unlike, the 1998 testing ban in Britain, a sales ban requires any item to be cruelty free in order for it to be sold in the EU. The other significant point of this new law, is that it requires the testing of ingredients be cruelty free. It is rare a product is tested on animals, but rather, it is the ingredients within a product that are tested on animals. In Canada and the US, a company can claim a product is cruelty free if the product has not been tested on animals. It does not have to guarantee that the ingredients within this “cruelty free” item have not been tested on animals. And it is almost impossible for the average consumer to be able to identify the difference. To add to this confusion, many companies who have marketed themselves as cruelty free (and may in fact, not test their ingredients on animals) are owned by major corporations who use animal testing on many of their other products and lines. For example, companies such as Aveda and the Body Shop, two companies who historically used cruelty free as a marketing tool, are now owned by Estee Lauder and L’Oreal respectively. Both Estee Lauder and L’Oreal test on animals. In fact, Estee Lauder (along with Avon and Mary Kay) resumed animal testing in order to expand into the Chinese Market.
With all this confusion and no indication that the Canadian or US government will pass a similar ban any time in the near future, it is our hope that once these standards are in place for the European markets, they will become universal so that by 2018 all products will be cruelty free. In the meantime, if you are committed to using cruelty free cosmetics, you will have to be do your due diligence.
- Leaping Bunny is a Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) that provides cruelty free certification. You can find all companies who have been certified cruelty free by the CCIC on their website.
- The leapingbunny.org is not an exhaustive list and there are many ethical companies that for whatever reason have chosen not to go through the certification process. PETA also provides an on line resource that includes a more comprehensive list.
Last year, I made a resolution to not use any cosmetics that test on animals. I soon realized that would require me to throw out everything in my bathroom. Finding products that work has been an expensive and at times frustrating process, but a year later, I can honestly say that not only are my cosmetics cruelty free, they are all better quality than the products I was using before.
- Arbonne Ninety percent of the products I now use are Arbonne products. I use their make up (except their mascara), RE9 anti-aging line, body scubs and masks and body spray. I also use their ABC baby line on my baby. (They also have an amazing vegan protein shake).
- Tarte eye lash primer and mascara. Amazing
- Rocky Mountain Soap Factory foot butter, shaving bar and body wash.
- Paul Mitchell styling products
- Kiss My Face body moisturizer
Paws for Hope Animal Foundation advocates for the humane treatment of all animals. There are safe and humane alternatives to ingredient testing that do not require animal testing. As a consumer, it is our responsibility to hold companies accountable by supporting cruelty free companies.