Tag Archives: animal testing

Make-up Trade

cosmetic companies animal testing list 11-down-Revlon
Revlon is the 11th down, click for larger view

Revlon tests products on animals, Facebook says. Huh? I thought Revlon was one of the few major mainstream cosmetic companies that did not do animal testing. On-line searching turned up confusion matching my own. But from what I could glean, Revlon, formerly cruelty-free, no longer is.

About a year ago, the company wanted to move into the huge market of China. All cosmetics sold in China must meet that country’s safety standards that require animal testing. So Revlon, along with many other previously cruelty-free companies, quietly reintroduced animal testing of their products.

revlon-csr-testingThey certainly haven’t advertised this fact. You can go to the Revlon website and see nothing about it one way or the other. PETA apparently had to buy stock in the company in order to raise the question and get a ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do’ answer. Revlon has been taken off PETA’s cruelty-free list. Avon, Mary Kay and MAC are among others that now do animal testing in order to sell in China.

Law requires animal testing

China is home to companies that have made and exported baby food, toys, pet food and dog treats that have killed and sickened countless children and recalled-dog treats cbspets over the past several years. There have been many recalls in North America alone of products due to contamination with melamine, use of lead-based paints and other toxic substances – all made in China.

And now expansion into the huge Chinese market requires, by law, that companies previously committed to cruelty-free production and testing must renege on those promises. Such irony! Companies based in the personal injury lawsuit capital of the world – the US – now have to use testing methods that are not required in the US in order to sell in the country that makes and ships toxic goods to US stores.

Companies quietly change practices

When companies change policies and practices quietly, it is hard for watchdog groups to keep track and keep lists updated. And why should a third party even have to do this? Should a company not make its policies and practices, and any changes to those, cosmetic companies testing-rabbit welovepetsq8known to its customers? Sneaking around, hoping no one finds out, splitting hairs about ‘when’ and ‘where’ does not seem like good corporate citizen behaviour to me.

I will use the Revlon products I have. I will not add the crime of waste to that of animal testing  But I will not buy any again. If Revlon decided to do something this significant without making it known to their customers, I won’t be going back to them unless they take out banner ads that I cannot miss saying they are not and will never again test on animals. It’s easier to lose a customer than regain one and, Revlon, you’ve lost me.

So how can I buy any company’s products and be sure that a rabbit or a guinea pig has not Leaping-Bunny-logo-CCIC buygreen.comhad to suffer pain and death to ensure that manufacturer’s sales in China? From now on, I will need to see a clear statement on the package. I shouldn’t have to do research each time before making a purchase to know if a “safe” company still is. The bunny will be my guide.

Cruelty-free Beauty takes you to ethical products for sale on Amazon.

Santa Bunny

perfume and cosmetics counter decorated for ChristmasThe cosmetics sections of stores have beautiful Christmas displays. Toiletries, creams and bath oils are lovely and easy gifts to give almost anyone.

You can do it in one stop shopping in any drugstore or shop cruelty free logodepartment store. But look beyond the pretty packaging. Think of the how the products were made before you start loading up your cart. Look for the bunny or something saying that the product was not tested on animals.

rabbit's eye in cosmetic testThis is what happens to the animals who get sprayed in the eyes or lathered with potentially damaging ingredients so that you can safely stick cosmetics or cleaning products in your eyes. Most of these product formulas are long established and proven in the industry. Also other means of testing for adverse reaction now exist. Animal testing is not needed.

Finding cruelty-free products

Beagle with side shaved for lab testingAvoiding animal-tested products tested can easily be done, but you do have to read labels. Familiarizing yourself with company names that do animal testing can allow you to take shopping shortcuts by just avoiding those brands totally. Do you need to buy from the company that does this to animals?

St. Ives lotion no animal testing labelRevlon, Avon and Almay are some of the big cosmetic companies that do not do animal testing.* Neither do Physicians Formula and Smashbox. For lotions and cleansers, St. Ives**. Burt’s Bees** has a greatly expanded line of cruelty-free skin care. Body Shop products say they’re not tested on animals and that Fair Trade ingredients are used.

But Body ShopBurt's Bees display in Sears cosmetic section is owned by L’Oreal, which still tests on animals. That’s a situation where you have to make a judgment call: do you support the ethical branches of a corporation or boycott all lines.

Look outside the usual aisle

Tints of Nature organic cruelty-free hair dyeHair dye is not something usually given as a Christmas gift but may be part of holiday preparations. I had a hard time finding any hair dye made by companies I knew didn’t test on animals. Then in an aisle of the Atlantic Superstore, way across the store from other skin and hair products, I found a whole section of holistic, organic and cruelty-free lotions, creams, shampoos and conditioners – and two brands of hair dye. Wahoo!

By looking for the “odd” items in pharmacy, grocery and department stores, I found cruelty-free products in my own small towns without ordering online or going to specialty stores. The big names like St. Ives and Revlon are in the cosmetics sections, but there is usually a section somewhere with cruelty-free and/or organic less well-known brands. In the St. Thomas Zellers, for instance, I found that on the other side of the main cosmetics and toiletries shelves there was a whole section of organic and “not tested on animals” lotions and cleansers. They were no more expensive.

Make your own gift sets

As I did, you might find a whole range of neat stuff you never knew about.  If you basket of cruelty-free productsplanned to get pre-made gift baskets of toiletries as easy to buy and easy to please gifts, just put your own together. I found lots of small bottles, sample bath salts and facial packs and soaps. Put them in a basket or box with tissue and ribbon and voilà – a personalized Christmas gift basket.

* See update on changes in companies’ practices in Oct. 30/13 post.

** According to Vegan Rabbit, Burt’s Bees is another of the no-cruelty companies that has an animal-testing parent company. Also there is discussion as to whether St. Ives is still cruelty-free, but the labelling I have seen recently on some products still says no animal testing.

Click Cruelty-free Beauty for my Amazon links to available ethical products.