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Freshly Baked Science

Love Animals, Don't Test On Them

2nd December 2018

Cosmetic animal testing is a test to determine the safety and hypoallergenic properties of products, using animals as the test subjects. Sometimes the finished product is tested or the individual ingredients that make up the finished product. Although it may not sound too damaging to test a little bit of blusher or moisturiser on an animal, just one new ingredient used in a product has the potential to cause up to 1,400 animal deaths!

 

It’s also not just the testing process that is harmful, but the conditions they’re stored in. Often, animal testing labs will have used most of their money on creating and trialling products, so they must keep the animals as cheaply as possible. This can mean limited food, space and care!

 

The methods

 

There are many different methods of animal testing, which are all used to test different features of a cosmetic.

 

  • Dermal Penetration:

 

This is a method usually used on rats and it analyses the movement of chemicals to get a better understanding of how the skin absorbs the product.

 

  • Skin Sensitisation:

 

This is the method which can determine if a product is likely to cause an allergic reaction. To do this, the ingredients are injected into the skin and the reaction is determined by the appearance of the skin.

 

  • Acute Toxicity:

 

This is slightly different from the previous method, as it’s to test the toxicity of exposure to the mouth or skin. In this test, a lethal dose is injected into a mouse or rat, which often causes death!

 

These are the main methods, however there are many, many more which are used regularly! Luckily cosmetic testing on animals is now illegal in the UK, but many other countries are still testing on animals!

 

What are the other options?

 

Cosmetic companies who don’t test on animals tend to test their products in test tubes (in vitro), which can still accurately determine the potential risk to humans, without harming animals in the process.

 

The best way to stay cruelty-free is to use one of the 5000 ingredients which have been labelled as safe to use and then to test the final product using modern methods that don’t use animals. Modern methods include the use of artificial human skin, which can be altered to mimic different skin types.

 

Sometimes us humans need to take a step back and realise that we have no greater right to live on the earth than other animals.

 

“Be kind to every kind, not just mankind!” -Anthony Douglas Williams

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