You may have heard of the term “cruelty-free” and wondered what it exactly means and whether buying into cruelty-free skincare is a conscious decision that you should make. More importantly, what switching to cruelty-free products imply in the larger picture and how far does it take you in your journey as an ethical and responsible customer.
Cruelty-free skincare essentially means clean labels. Any product that claims to be cruelty-free is identifiable by its labels on the packaging — the Leaping Bunny Logo or the PETA Bunny Logo. This means, these skincare products are not sourced from animal-derived ingredients, neither are they tested on animals.
What is animal testing?
Any skincare product needs to be tested before it is launched in the market. The best way to do this is of course try it out in real-time. Unfortunately, the easiest way is to test on laboratory animals (mostly bunnies, rats, guinea pigs, dogs, etc) to identify harmful ingredients and understand if the product poses a threat to humans and how much. To take it a step further, this just doesn’t involve applying a finished product onto an animal, but often actually means aggressively subjecting the animal to an ingredient or a chemical to understand if it is toxic and in what quantity can the chemical be potentially life-threatening.
Why is it unethical?
Animal testing is unethical owing to several factors, most importantly because it is cruel, inhuman and a form of animal abuse. Laboratory animals are often blinded, maimed, and killed in the process. Equality is the law of nature and all animals have the right to live their lives without being subjected to discomfort or death.
Why switch and what to expect from cruelty-free skincare?
Making the switch to cruelty-free skincare makes you an ethical and responsible customer. You are choosing to be a part a community that aims to protect the rights of animals, promote equality, and mutual coexistence. Also, more people taking the leap only means sending out a loud and clear message to companies that still indulge in any form of animal testing.
What’s in it for you, you ask? Cruelty-free skincare means using ingredients that are marked safe for humans — read FDA-approved trials, getting rid of synthetic dyes and toxic chemicals among others. The cleaner the label, the better it is for your skin and lifestyle. Also, as a consumer, you can go guilt-free from that nagging thought of your makeup or moisturizer being patch-tested on a bunny. Cruelty-free skincare also helps encourage innovation at large, because the more customers demand cruelty-free products, the more time companies will spend in coming up with better and cleaner options.
The first step?
Start by reading the labels. As a customer, all you need to do is exercise your purchasing power in the right way by consciously ditching and switching labels.