Image courtesy Rob Schreckhise
At Lewin & Reilly, we are proudly Certified Cruelty Free by Choose Cruelty Free Australia, a non-profit organisation that actively campaigns for an end to animal testing of cosmetics, toiletries and other household products.
Unfortunately, it is a sad fact that now, in 2018, there are still brands that test on animals. Yes, certain companies in the skin care and beauty realm still test their products and ingredients on animals, and it’s more prevalent than you may think.
Though we're not usually fans of naming and shaming, as we try to invest our time and energy into the positive, we feel it is necessary to highlight these companies using such an archaic, unnecessary and cruel practice to test their products.
Photo courtesy Mikhail Vasilyev
Here are just some of the beauty and skin care companies that currently test their products and ingredients on animals:
Clean & Clear
Dolce & Gabbana
|Head & Shoulders
|Johnson & Johnson||Jurlique*|
Image courtesy Hannah Troupe
|Nice 'n Easy
Ralph Lauren Fragrances
|Tony & Guy
Viktor & Rolf
Image courtesy Simon Hesthaven
*Indicates a company that currently sells into places (such as China), where it is mandatory to test products on animals, prior to human use/consumption. These companies do have a ‘no animal testing’ policy in the make and manufacture of their cosmetics.
Altogether, that is a lot of companies that continue to test on animals, and this is by no means an exhaustive list. The data here is from Animals Australia, and in fact they go on to list a further 70 or so household companies that currently conduct tests on animals.
Did you know that the correlation between animal toxicity and human toxicity is only somewhere between 5–25% accurate? Or that the US Department of Health admits almost 80% of new drugs that have passed animal tests have proved ineffective or even harmful to humans?
So not only is it morally bankrupt performing these tests, but it can be inaccurate and sometimes even dangerous to our health.
Image courtesy Gary Bendig
According to Choose Cruelty Free, the National Cancer Institute believes we have actually lost cures for cancer that proved ineffective in mice. Animals are different to humans, hence they metabolise drugs differently, plus their… everything is different. Different skin, different sensitivities, different internal systems, different lifestyles...
There are certain intellectual-types out there such as Professor Andre McLean of University College, London who also believe that animal testing is ‘a waste of everybody’s time and a fearful waste of animals.’ So why then, do these tests continue?
According to Choose Cruelty Free, ‘animal experimentation is a multi-billion pound business.’ Not dollars, pounds. ‘A multi-billion pound business.’ Lab mice sales alone account for around 200 million pounds per year. Plus there are suppliers of cages that profit, animal breeders and of course pharmaceutical companies.
Better alternatives to animal testing exist of course. Such as using DNA chips (“a collection of microscopic DNA spots attached to a solid surface.”), and even testing micro-doses that are risk-free in human volunteers.
There is also test-tube research, studying sectors of the population, autopsies and other complimentary research methods such as MRI scanning. All ethical, consensual and effective.
Image courtesy Isaac Beneshed
All hope is definitely not lost. Currently, countries such as New Zealand, India and the EU have made it illegal to conduct tests on animals for cosmetic purposes. In fact since March 2013, the EU even banned the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals. I guess there’s hope for us all yet.
– Henry David Thoreau
Image courtesy Andrea Natali
A great place to start when looking for ethical skin care companies is the Choose Cruelty Free List. There’s a detailed process of getting accreditation with them, whereby the brand has to fill out a lengthy form detailing where/who they purchase their ingredients from.
Plus they have to provide written statements from their ingredient suppliers that no animal testing has ever, or at the very least, not in the last 5+ years, conducted tests on animals, and has no intention of doing so in the future.
We know, because we went through that process in 2014 with Lewin & Reilly. You will be pleased to know that it was, and still is, a necessity for us to make sure our entire supply chain of ingredients is Certified Cruelty Free, without compromise.
If you want to make a difference and show your support for animals worldwide, Sign The Pledge to help end the suffering of animals in testing laboratories, by only choosing products that are not tested on animals.
Photo courtesy Mikhail Vasilyev
There have been a few changes made to the mandatory animal testing laws in China, as follows:
In 2016, the Chinese government proposed introducing changes to the product registration requirements for cosmetic products sold internationally via e-commerce. This would mean even more products would be animal-tested. Thankfully the government temporarily halted its plans to introduce these changes.
At the time of this article (2018), imported products can continue to be direct mailed by foreign companies to consumers in the Chinese mainland for personal use with no animal testing requirement. Imported products can also be sent to Hong Kong by foreign companies, then an agent there can direct mail to consumers in the Chinese mainland for personal use, with no animal testing required.
Hong Kong still has no mandatory animal testing regulations for e-commerce or retail.
Animal testing in China is under constant regulatory review.
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