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No Animal Testing? Deceptive Beauty Labels

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No Animal Testing? Deceptive Beauty Labels

By Maryann Hammers, Natural Solutions

The face cream smells delicious, feels gratifyingly luxurious, and promises to smooth out wrinkles. Best of all, the label reads “No Animal Testing.” Now you can be sure that no animals suffered or died to make this product. Right?


Despite what the label proclaims, this face cream, or any one of its ingredients, could easily have been rubbed into a bunny’s eyes, force-fed down a rat’s throat, or smeared over a guinea pig’s raw skin. Such practices continue at many cosmetic and skincare companies, even as the words “Not tested on animals” appear boldly on the labels.

“Consumers are shocked to learn that millions of animals each year are injected with or forced to inhale or ingest cosmetics. Those animals live in fear and loneliness every minute of their lives,” says Erin Edwards, media liaison for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the animal-rights organization better known as PETA.

Wondering how companies get away with such brazen claims? Well, the label could mean that the company itself do no testing on animals, but instead hires a laboratory to do the dirty work. Or perhaps a company didn’t perform animal tests on that particular product, but it does on others. Clairol’s Herbal Essence shampoo label, for example, clearly notes, “Not tested on animals.” Meanwhile, according to PETA, the company continues to conduct animal testing on its other products. Even some companies that advertise their products as natural, organic, or vegan, still use ingredients tested on animals.

“Testing may be done by the suppliers, and a company may purchase ingredients with a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ philosophy. Or testing may occur by a parent company,” says Zibby Wilder, media relations director of the Animal Protection Institute. “So statements on the label may be literally correct to shield the company from public relations problems–yet quite disingenuous, if not downright deceptive.”

Reading between the labels
Since the label may not be telling the entire truth about testing, you need to do a certain amount of sleuthing to make sure you choose products that are 100 percent free of animal-tested ingredients (no matter who is doing the testing) and come from companies dedicated to that mission.

The good news? You can have your ethics, beauty indulgences, and an honorable relationship with the animal world–and it’s easier to do than even a few years ago. Many more conscientious organizations, manufacturers, spa owners, and consumers have established cruelty-free policies and have taken a stand against unnecessary testing.

PETA has compiled a list of companies that have signed a “Statement of Assurance” that they (and their suppliers) don’t and won’t test on animals. You’ll find major brands like Revlon, MAC, Avon, and Estee Lauder on the list, as well as natural favorites such as Kiss My Face and Aubrey Organics. (Download the guide at

“We started out 17 years ago with a wallet-sized pamphlet with only a handful of companies,” says Ann Marie Dori, coordinator of PETA’s Caring Consumer Project. “Today, it has grown to include more than 550 companies that don’t animal test their products.” Just as importantly, PETA also offers a guide listing companies that do test, including Cover Girl, L’Oreal, Olay, and Max Factor–so you can avoid them.

The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC), which uses the Leaping Bunny name and logo, offers an animal-friendly shopping guide and also provides sample letters you can send to companies to urge them to stop animal testing. The coalition requires the companies it lists to prove that neither they, nor their suppliers, will conduct or commission animal tests during any stage of product development.

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Mel, selected from Natural Solutions magazine

Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living offers its readers the latest news on health conditions, herbs and supplements, natural beauty products, healing foods and conscious living.


+ add your own
4:50AM PDT on Oct 11, 2011

It's great that this list of cruelty-free companies is growing!

2:55PM PDT on Aug 8, 2011

Please keep the pressure on those responsible for these cruel tests by joining the thousands of caring consumers who refuse to purchase products from corporations that torture, and abuse our animals. Make this barbaric, and ignorant act of cruelty a thing of the past..........forever!

5:44AM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

Thank you

9:02PM PDT on Jun 17, 2011

Thanks for the article.We need all the info on this important subject as we can get.

11:07AM PDT on May 19, 2011

I recommend to not bother with using or buying beauty products in the first place! It makes every thing so much easier. That's what I do. Besides, many people don't think that wearing makeup makes them or other people look more beautiful. that's the way I see it. we should embrace our natural beauty, not one that comes in a jar from a factory!

11:05AM PDT on May 19, 2011

I recommend to not bother with using or buying beauty products in the first place! It makes every thing so much easier. That's what I do

6:54AM PDT on May 17, 2011

Really nice article.I like this kind of article very much.Thank you very much for your great article.Bangladeshi Girls

3:18PM PDT on May 12, 2011

good to know. our $$$ will definately speak when consumers choose cruelty-free, no animal testing companies.

5:53PM PST on Feb 16, 2011

It is disgusting how companies can torture animals and then blatantly lie about it.

9:46AM PST on Feb 8, 2011

Thanks for that list....

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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