Should You Switch To Cruelty-Free Makeup?

Thursday, February 13, 2020

There is no denying that more people are making significant lifestyle changes for ethical reasons. Whether you care to admit it or not, the vegan movement is expanding at an exponential rate. Increasing numbers of people are starting to question things like the source of their foods or the products that they buy, and whether there is an ethical or moral boundary that gets crossed.

In 2019, the cosmetics industry was worth around $90 billion in the United States alone. When you buy makeup items, you likely focus your attention on products that catch your eye and are within your price range. But, should you start thinking more ethically about your beauty products purchases, and instead make the switch the cruelty-free makeup?
What’s so cruel about makeup, anyway?
The sad truth is that many people aren’t aware of how cosmetics get developed before they go on sale and are marketed to retail consumers. When a company decides to launch a new product or perhaps a variation of an existing one, it has to make sure that the new makeup item is safe for use on humans and isn’t toxic in any way.

As you can imagine, using human subjects to test concoctions of chemicals is somewhat taboo, and so some cosmetics brands instead prefer to test prototype products on animals. Each year, millions of animals sadly end up poisoned or killed in what more people now perceive as barbaric and outdated tests to evaluate the safety and health hazards of their products.

Some people are sadly under the illusion that rodents only get used for testing purposes. But, there is evidence to suggest that some cosmetics companies use all manner of animals, including domestic ones like cats and dogs.

What’s different about “vegan” makeup?
Being vegan isn’t just about consuming foods that aren’t animal-derived. Veganism also includes the use of cruelty-free products such as clothing, furniture - and cosmetics. So, what’s different about  cruelty free makeup?

For a start, cruelty-free cosmetics don’t get tested on animals. Did you know makeup products don’t even need to get tested on animals? Cosmetics companies can opt for in-vitro testing, which is where toxicity tests get carried out on synthetic cells. There aren’t even any laws that state cosmetics firms must test their products on animals before declaring them safe for human use. The ugly truth is that such companies choose to test their products on animals, and not out of necessity.

Another advantage of cruelty-free makeup is that they mostly contain natural ingredients. Some makeup users may not realize the non-vegan products they apply to themselves each day could contain chemicals that are carcinogenic (i.e., they could cause cancer). Formaldehyde is perhaps a well-known example of such a toxic chemical used in makeup.

Does it make sense to switch to cruelty-free makeup?

In a word, yes. You don’t have to be a vegan to use cruelty-free cosmetic makeup products or even someone that has a strong opinion on animal testing. The truth is that cruelty-free makeup is kinder to your skin and body, and the brands behind such products are more transparent about how they get made, unlike many conventional cosmetics brands.