So call me naïve – I agree that I am. But I was absolutely heartbroken when I found all of this out. It turns out that, in 2013, cosmetics manufacturers still believe that animal testing is necessary.
Before I get too deep into the topic, please note that :
1. I’m talking about testing cosmetics on animals, not medicine. That is a whole other minefield that I don’t feel ready to comment on.
2. This article is about my personal views. You don’t have to agree. You might think I’m overreacting, and I’m not here to judge anyone. I just feel that this is relevant to my blog.
3. When talking about testing products on animals, please do not imagine that they are getting free beauty treatments. I’m not going into gory details here. If you want to know those, you can use a search engine. Just know that I, personally, believe them to be unnecessary, cruel and torturous.
Since March 2013 (yes, only march 2013!), the European Union has banned companies from selling cosmetics that have been tested on animals since 2009/13 (depending on the type of test used).
Whilst I am very grateful that someone finally listened and decided to do something, many international brands are required to submit (and pay for) their products to be tested on animals in China if they wish to sell their products in mainland China. A lot of large cosmetic groups are therefore choosing to test on animals in order to make a profit in the Chinese market.
Again, I’m not saying you have to agree. I’m just saying that I do not believe that millions (or billions!) of dollars justifies causing (even minor) discomfort to one animal, let alone the millions of animals who are subjected to this treatment *every year*. According to this website, 15 million animals are used for testing every year!
Now one thing that I had no idea about – and I feel stupid about that, I should have done my research – is that (too) many of the companies from whom I have been buying nail polish are guilty of this.
Now, I’m not saying that these brands directly test on animals. Some even state that they do not. But their profits go to a corporation that does. Some of these same corporations also fund alternatives, and that is wonderful. But they still test on animals, and I feel totally disgusted that I have therefore (albeit indirectly) funded animal testing.
There is an argument for supporting the parts of these larger corporations to prove that they don’t need to test on animals to make a profit. Personally, I don’t agree. I don’t want a single cent of my money going towards testing cosmetics on animals.
So the upshot is, I’m not going to provide an exhaustive list. But there are some brands I will no longer feature unless they clean up their act. If I thought it would do any good to throw them away, I would. Unfortunately it won’t, so I may use them on manicures. But I will not quote the brand name or trademarks any longer.
Also, if I have made any mistakes, please let me know. It will be my pleasure to correct them, with an apology if appropriate.
Essie apparently does not test directly, but are owned by L’Oréal, who does. O.P.I., Rimmel and Sally Hansen are owned by Coty, who do submit to animal testing to sell in China. So does Procter & Gamble, who own Max Factor. Guerlain and Sephora are owned by LVMH, who have a similar policy. Sadly, so do Estée Lauder companies such as Clinique and M.A.C.
As far as I’m aware, the following companies do not test products or ingredients on animals at all. Note how many there are! :
Butter London (though I’ve contacted them to be sure)
Models Own (but not all of their polish is three free)
All indie brands that I have featured, including but not limited to :
Black Sheep Lacquer
I Love Nail Polish
Pretty & Polished
These are just some nail polish brands, I hope to discover more! For more info about beauty brands, I urge you to check out their policies and those of their owners. Please be careful, some very clever wording is used – they might say that they do not test the final product on animals (that doesn’ t mean they don’t test individual ingredients on animals). They might say that they don’t do animal testing unless required by law. That means that if they have to test on animals to make a profit in China, they will.
There is a lot of information out there, and it’s evolving all the time, so do check it out. Maybe you’re not against animal testing. That’s entirely up to you, and as I said, I’m not passing judgement, I’m just informing, because I was surprised to find this all out myself, and it directly affects the brands that I will now be using for this blog.
Of course, many chemicals that are currently used for cosmetics were tested on animals a long time ago, and though I don’t think that “everyone else did it” is an excuse, I don’t think it is practical (or, indeed possible) for any cosmetics to be made without them.
If you would like to find out more
PETA (and i’m not endorsing all of their tactics) have some helpful lists.
PETA article on animal testing
PETA database of companies
PETA list of companies that test on animals
The National Anti-Vivisection Society
‘Shop Ethical’ Companies to avoid list
‘Not Tested’ online guide to home and beauty products
The RSPCA (Royal Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) – section about laboratory animals.
L’Oréal on animal testing
Please feel free to comment openly, but I will remove any comments that are insulting, as there is no place for that here.