Mercifully, new European* legislation that comes into effect in April of this year brings the era of lawful animal testing on cosmetics to a close. Not before time, it will be illegal to test either finished cosmetic products or their ingredients on animals.
However, I wanted to highlight one issue that is still perhaps a concern to some, even though it is arguably not as large an ethical issue. While testing on live animals will be banned in the EU, living creatures can still be killed or maimed in order to be used as cosmetic ingredients.
Animal glycerine in soap is one example. And in makeup products, carmine or cochineal (crushed beetles) is widely used as a red colouring, even in natural cosmetics. Likewise Serica or silk (ground up silkworm cocoons) is a common filler in cosmetics products (often used in mascaras and eyeshadows – see a later blog this week on mascara ingredients).
There are ample cruelty-free cosmetic ingredients that perform just as well as those derived from animals. To be absolutely sure that your skincare and makeup is cruelty free, choose Soil Association certified health and beauty products as their organic standards ban cruelty in cosmetics on any level.
See also our new tutorial on how to create a natural red-lip look. Seasonal awards season or Valentine’s Day glamour that is truly cruelty-free – no beetles or silkworms involved!
*Note this legislation is for Europe only – see my earlier blog about brands and products that are sold in China where animal testing is mandatory.