Originally animal testing for cosmetics and skin care was required for safety.
Testing and guidelines were developed approximately 70 years ago, when cosmetics transitioned from limited use by specific populations to the foundation of mainstream beauty regimens. As their ingredient lists grew longer and chemical formulas replaced natural materials, product testing became necessary to ensure consumer safety.
The practice of testing has prevented some poorly designed products from coming to market. However, companies that continue to use outdated 20th-century tests, such as those that require animal subjects, are missing an opportunity to take their safety standards to the next level.
New Technology Offers Reliable Testing Methods
New technology has produced more reliable testing methods that accurately measure the impact products have on people. When you choose cosmetics that are labeled “cruelty-free,” you are doing more than making a statement about your values.
You are choosing products that have been put through dependable testing that closely mirrors the human experience, ensuring that only the healthiest ingredients touch your skin.
Some cosmetics companies have opted for in vitro tests that use lab-grown cells as test subjects for new products. Other companies have elected to use sophisticated computer modeling programs that demonstrate exactly how the product impacts the human body.
These tests are referred to as in silico tests. Chemical tests (in chemico) have proven quite useful as well, adding to the options available. All of these choices are far less expensive than animal testing, and they offer faster results.
Improved Testing Methods Offer Better Insight
Before the new testing methods could be approved, they went through a vigorous validation process to ensure that they would deliver results as good as, or better than, the animal tests they were replacing.
However, a validation process has never been completed for animal testing methods, as this requirement was put in place long after animal testing became an industry standard.
The validation process shows that animal tests offer correct results in 72 percent of cases, while new in vitro, in silico and in chemico tests offer correct results 90 percent of the time. Clearly, new technology is a better solution to determine whether cosmetics are safe for you to use.
Healthier Ingredients for Healthier Skin
When it comes to cosmetics, plant-based ingredients are clearly the superior choice. Removing harsh chemicals from these products typically reduces or eliminates the need for complex testing procedures.
For example, some companies are using these centuries-old solutions for common skincare concerns: aloe vera, rose extract, brazil nut, chamomile, coconut oil, tea tree oil, honey and more.
There are proven natural remedies to address everything from dry hands to an oily T-Zone, and preparations that rely on such solutions pose very little risk to consumer safety. The choice of these ingredients appeals to consumers who are pursuing a cruelty-free lifestyle, as well as individuals who wish to minimize their exposure to the toxins commonly found in commercial makeup and skincare products.
Cutting Out Carcinogens
Common carcinogens used in cosmetics and skincare products include benzophenone, carbon black, coal tar and formaldehyde, and some of the worst offenders have been banned in other parts of the world.
For example, the preservative butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) has been completely outlawed in the European Union as a result of its proven link to endocrine system disruptions.
When it comes to cruelty-free cosmetics, consider this: The European Union has outlawed animal testing, and companies must use the new alternatives in order to sell to the European market. The extraordinary faith that European consumer safety experts have in non-animal testing methods offers a strong reason to choose a healthier alternative: cosmetics tested without animals and cruelty free-cosmetics companies.