ANIMAL TESTING: A REQUIRED PART OF COSMETIC PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT?

Testing on rabbits' eyes for mascara development, testing on monkeys for creating a lipstick.. most consumers believe that this type of animal testing is still routinely conducted. But that simply isn't the case.

In Europe and in countries like Australia, animal testing is already banned by law, and in the US, four states - California, Nevada, Illinois, and Virginia - currently prohibit animal testing. And these animal testing bans seem likely to expand to the rest of the United States in the future.

Even in the world's second-largest cosmetics market, China - where until recently animal testing was required by law - things may be changing. Effective May 2021, the government mandate for animal testing has been rescinded. But this only applies to general cosmetic products. For goods in the special-use category, such as hair dyes, sunscreens, whitening products, etc. the animal testing requirement still exists.

In Korea, an amendment was implemented in 2017 that levies a fine to any company that either produces or distributes an animal-tested cosmetic product. However, allowances are made for special cases where an alternative to animal testing is not available.

But irrespective of such laws, most of the world's cosmetic factories and companies do not engage in animal testing. And this isn't a recent development but a long-held practice in the industry. This is because unless you are using unusual ingredients, there is no need for any animal testing in the creation of a cosmetic product.

When a cosmetic ingredient supplier needs to test for skin irritation, for example, it uses synthetic or human skin to reproduce a dermis and epidermis for testing. Not only the skin but also the cornea and oral mucosa (inner lining of the mouth) can be replicated. This has enabled cosmetic makers to test the changes their products produce on human skin.

Also, increasingly animal ingredients are being replaced with plant substitutes. For example, collagen (extracted from animal skin and bones) and squalene (extracted from shark liver) are animal ingredients used for their skin-tightening and anti-aging properties. These are being replaced with effective plant alternatives such argan oil, coffee bean oil, and bean protein extract. Another example of a move toward plant ingredients is vegan cosmetics. Veganorganicnatural, and cruelty-free (i.e., no ingredients from animal testing or abuse) are categories used in today's marketing, and the key differentiator between these is whether animal or animal-derived materials are added.

Organic cosmetics are made from ingredients that are certified as organic. Natural cosmetics are made with a minimum of chemicals if any. Both can include animal and animal-derived ingredients, but vegan cosmetics can not contain any animal or animal-derived materials. To help illustrate this, we can look at honey. If a honey-related ingredient such as royal jelly or propolis is added to a product, it can still be categorized as organic, natural, or cruelty-free, but not vegan. This is because honey is an ingredient that is processed by animals, i.e., bees. In contrast, vegan cosmetics can contain chemicals that are used instead of animal-derived materials, so vegan cosmetics are not always natural. And vegan does not equate to organic unless the ingredients are certified as such. Lastly, if a product contains an animal-tested chemical but not an animal ingredient, it can be labeled vegan but not cruelty-free.

At any rate, BAD ACE stands with many other cosmetic makers in opposing animal testing, and we do not use animal ingredients in the development of our cosmetic products.