It’s virtually impossible to separate a woman from her beauty products. Even women who eschew make-up, hair dye and fancy lotions still use deodorant, moisturizer, and aqueous cream, and, more often than not, face wash. Rare is the woman who has never used lip gloss or dabbed some perfume behind her ears. But beauty comes at a price and I’m not talking about the damage to your purse.
It’s no secret that most make-up brands have a history bloodied by animal testing. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has spent decades campaigning to stop a practice that is genuinely no longer necessary. The organization has brought the plight of countless animals to the public’s attention and has made many brands re-evaluate their approach to ensuring the safety of their products. Unfortunately, many brands continue to tacitly endorse animal testing while drafting creative marketing messages that make consumers think they are making an ethical choice.
Products vs. ingredients: how brands veil the truth
According to uncaged.co.uk, brands often make true but misleading statements on their product packaging. The statement: “None of our products are tested on animals” may be technically accurate, but unless it is accompanied by a further qualification: “None of our ingredients are tested on animals”, the brand concerned can’t legitimately claim full animal anti-cruelty status.
Once again uncaged.co.uk has some important advice for those who want to buy ethically: always look at the parent company. Some brands don’t test their products on animals and don’t use ingredients that have been tested on animals either, but they are owned by a company that tests other brands in their range on animals.
A very good example of this is The Body Shop. The Body Shop built its reputation on its animal-friendly credo. If you knew one thing about The Body Shop it was that it was 100 percent free of animal testing. Well, not anymore. In 2006, the company was bought by L’Oreal, which does test on animals. So while The Body Shop maintains its cruelty-free image, it’s no longer credible.
Editor’s Note: We at My Beauty Bunny believe that although a cruelty-free brand owned by a non-cruelty-free corporation is not ideal, it DOES allow the cruelty-free products to reach a wider audience (often Target, Wal-Mart and drugstore channels). This is the line of thought followed by PETA, and we agree with it. However, that doesn’t mean YOU have to agree with it. We encourage you to do your own research and make your own informed opinions.
The bunny seal of approval
There are, however, a rising number of brands and companies that fully endorse animal-friendly principles, even down to avoiding ingredients that contain any animal products, such as beeswax, lanolin and elastin.
Dermalogica also has its share of celebrity fans, including Mischa Barton, Victoria Beckham, and Jessica Biel. Stella McCartney is an animal rights’ hero. Not only does she not use any animal products in her fashion lines, but she’s also launched a line of cruelty-free skincare products.
According to PETA, other animal-friendly make-up companies (and their celebrity fans) include, Dr. Hauschka (Jennifer Aniston and Mena Suvari), Barry M. (Sophie Ellis Bextor and Lily Allen), Lush (Kylie Minogue), Bumble & Bumble hair products (Jessica Alba) and Aveda (Angelia Jolie).
You can find out more about companies that do and don’t test on animals on PETA’s website.
You don’t have to be vegetarian or vegan to be against animal testing. And you don’t have to give up looking your glamorous best either. With a little conscientious shopping, you can do your bit to end animal cruelty and still feel body beautiful.
Guest post by Jade Scully – a copywriter, blogger and online marketing enthusiast who has published her work on a series of online publications and websites including Leeulekker who provide a range of fashion and accessories resources for southern Africans.