Animal testing: truth behind beauty products stirs outrage


Photo by Bekky Bekks on Unsplash.

The use of animal testing in the cosmetics industry has been occurring since the early 2000s. Many are outraged by the truth and have created multiple ways to spread awareness over the abuse animals are facing.

Harum Taha, Staff Writer

Makeup products, such as eyeshadow, lipstick and foundation, are often seen as a necessity in one’s daily beauty routine. However, many should reconsider putting these products on their face due to the inhumane method some brands use to test their products: animal testing. 

Since the early 2000s, Vegan Black Box states that formulation labs have used rabbits, guinea pigs, rats and many more animals to test cosmetics for popular makeup brands across the world like Maybelline. In order to test beauty formulation, researchers administer harsh chemical ingredients to the animals to check if the products are safe for human application.

“I’m honestly quite shocked that animal testing is even a thing,” senior Shruthi Solaiappan said. “It’s even scarier to know that this seems to be a popular working process as many large companies partake in it.”

In a four-minute mockumentary called “Save Ralph,” Humane Society International sheds light on the mistreatment animals face, such as being force-fed the ingredients or having the finished product applied to the animal’s conscious eye.  

“Watching the mockumentary video made me feel scared for the animals,” senior Kimberly Bascope said. “I think it will help bring more awareness to the situation and change people’s perspectives, but I’m also unsure [awareness] will have a large enough impact on those bigger makeup companies to stop using animal testing.” 

According to Beauty and Kind, over one billion animal tests have been conducted between 2015 and 2020, and 95% of animals used in the research were not protected by the U.S. Animal Welfare Act, which was enacted to prevent animal mistreatment during testing. At least 97% of all animals subjected to animal testing die in laboratories. 

“I am disgusted that I did not know about these statistics sooner,” Solaiappan said. “I had no idea that the number of animals under testing was such a high number, and I am even more confused on how this seems to be legal but the government hasn’t taken action to prevent it.” 

One way to stop feeding into this vicious cycle of animal cruelty is by researching more about the ingredients of beauty products we use. Sticking to ingredients that have already been listed and clarified as safe for humans and from animal testing is also another way to decline these cruel productions, according to Cruelty-Free International. People can also lobby politicians to end the use of animals in cosmetics. 

“I think that people should have more sympathy for the animals that undergo testing for cosmetics,” Bascope said. “Animals are also living beings and should be able to live normally without being used or injured for testing makeup, which isn’t even a necessity.” 

Find a list of cruelty-free brands here.