Opinion: A Case for Cruelty-Free

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by Jen Anderson


What if I told you that the eye shadow you’re wearing was tested directly on the eyes of innocent bunnies that reacted so badly to the product their sight was permanently affected? What if I told you that the product was still put on the market despite this outcome? Though this is a fictional example, very real and often very worse results are a horrific industry norm.

Animal testing is a troubling reality, and especially scary given that more and more cosmetic brands are choosing to test their products on animals in order to expand their reach to other countries and customers. Animal testing is not safe. It is not painless. And it is certainly not valid. It is unjust to raise animals for the sole purpose of testing, to make naive animals suffer in the name of beauty.


Recently, I became very concerned when I discovered that L’Oreal, a cosmetic brand notorious for their maltreatment and abuse of animals through product testing, was buying Urban Decay, a cruelty-free, partially vegan brand sponsored by PETA. Urban Decay was already almost persuaded to begin sales in China, which would have forced them to begin animal testing. Would L’Oreal now persuade them to adopt their testing practices?

Astonishingly, brands don’t need to use this age-old technique of cosmetic testing. Over the past few decades, scientists have duplicated the composition of human skin, creating Episkin, a cruelty-free way to accurately test cosmetics. Episkin comes at a fraction of the cost of animal testing and even provides results faster than the appalling alternative.

Despite my obsession with makeup, going “cruelty-free” is one of my proudest decisions yet. There are so many safe brands available that, with the proper support, can help pave the way for the future of cosmetics.

So now it’s your turn! There are many simple ways you can personally help with the cruelty-free movement. The first step is to stop buying from brands that test on animals. I chose to start with makeup and work my way out. There are great websites that can assist you in your hunt for animal testing free brands – I personally like peta.org, leapingbunny.org and mybeautybunny.com. Next, you can sign an agreement on leapingbunny.org giving your promise to stay truly cruelty free. This is a great way to network with thousands of other pledges. Finally, continue spreading the word. The more people that learn about the problem, the more that are going to want to help out.

Some of my much-loved CRUELTY-FREE brands:

  • Urban Decay (for now at least, and hopefully forever)
  • TooFaced
  • NYX
  • Tarte
  • Stila
  • LUSH
  • ELF
  • Bare Escentuals/Bare Minerals
  • NARS
  • Wet N’ Wild

Popular brands that unfortunately DO animal testing… We may love some of the products marketed by these brands, but their core values and means of testing are in no way humane:

  • L’Oreal
  • Covergirl
  • Revlon
  • Smashbox
  • MAC
  • Clinique
  • Estee Lauder
  • Bobbi Brown
  • Lancôme


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