Updated: May 16
Late one night, immersed in R&D for a cosmetic product, the thought of animal testing crossed my mind. I was contemplating how preposterous the notion of even considering it for this (cosmetic we're developing with a client) or any cosmetic is. I paused with my arms and hands covered in test patches of every ingredient we were using and wondered, how could I ever feel ethically decent developing products that have that much potential to be harmful. I wouldn't consider recommending things to people that I haven't tried myself. There is no ingredient going into any product that I'm involved in the development or promotion of that I would not & have not put on my own skin many times.
Then it hit me: that's what animal testing is. The ingredients in cosmetic products are of such questionable safety that they require testing on animals before being considered reasonably safe for human use.
What kind of not only unethical, but also immoral company sells consumers a product containing ingredients that are so potentially toxic that they require being tested on animals because they are considered more disposable than humans? Furthermore, why are products that toxic even allowed to be sold in cosmetic products for unassuming customers to buy? You don't have to be an animal rights activist to be alarmed and disgusted by this. This is about individual freedom in my view.
I know this is considered an animal rights issue, but the way I see it, this is a human rights issue. We are putting toxic substances onto our skin and consequently, our bodies.
The skin is a large and absorbent organ, more so than most people understand. If you knew how much of what goes on your skin goes into you, you wouldn't have to care about the welfare of rabbits to be alarmed, but you should anyway.
I'm not going to jump into my opinions of the morality of the practices of cosmetic animal testing because that isn't the point of this post, but I strongly encourage you to think twice about what would motivate a company to use that as a means of bringing a cosmetic product to market. Think about what kind of companies you're supporting when you buy their subpar, unethically-produced, potentially harmful products.
- Read ingredient labels. Don't be dumb.
- Yes, your skin absorbs the shit you put on it (!!!!!!!!!) if you believe otherwise, explain nicotine patches or really anything topically applied. This article brilliantly and elegantly explains skin absorption/ toxicity etc.-- it's shocking
- If you're interested in the technical efficacy of animal testing, read this (spoiler alert: not as effective as you think)
This day and age, with all of the advancements in cosmetic chemistry, it's careless, greedy product formulations that require careless, dangerous practices to test their safety. The things we put on our skin should come from tried and tested, quality tinctures, herbs, waxes, oils, nature and should nourish the skin. It's 2019. We should be able to confidently read ingredients labels instead of just cringing and wondering what the fuck is hydrdihethatrimethylparafibradermahyde.