At Lush, we believe in buying ingredients only from companies that do not commission tests on animals and in testing our products on humans.
Unfortunately, it’s become commonplace in the North American cosmetics industry to test products and their ingredients on animals in labs. Laboratory testing is done to substances that make up these cosmetic products, to see whether they are likely to harm people, or damage the environment when they are disposed of.
Considering animal testing is not legally required, a staggering number of animals are injured and killed for the sake of cosmetics.
As a cosmetics company we care deeply about both the quality of our products and the safety of our customers, and we happily comply with federal safety standards. But did you know that Legislation Canada and the United States only requires that products not be contaminated or harmful when used according to directions? This means that nowhere do they stipulate that animal tests must be used to demonstrate safety.
Cosmetic companies are responsible for providing safety assurances in whatever manner they deem appropriate. This can be done without any new animal testing by relying on the roughly 20,000 established cosmetic ingredients that have already been evaluated for their safety, and through the use of a growing number of proven, non-animal test methods.
Animals in laboratories spend their lives in cages, never knowing the warmth of the sun or the breeze on their skin. They are often kept either in isolation or in extremely overcrowded cages. They are never provided with pain relief after being subjected to often painful testing, and are killed once the testing has been completed. More than 100 million animals are used worldwide, which is about 274,000 per day, or three every second.
The Efficacy of
With millions of animals suffering and dying in the name of ‘cosmetic safety’, are these tests even accurate? Often not. We know from the pharmaceutical sector that 9 out of every 10 new drugs (92%) that appear safe and effective in animal tests turn out to be unsafe or ineffective in human clinical studies. And there’s no reason to believe that animal tests do any better in predicting the human safety of cosmetics or other substances.
The science of cosmetics safety testing has progressed greatly in recent years, and there are now dozens of proven non-animal test methods accepted by government regulators of cosmetics. Examples include 3-dimensional human skin models, which can fully replace the use of rabbits for skin irritation testing, and cell culture tests for sunlight-induced “photo”-toxicity, genetic mutations, and other harmful effects.
Unlike animal tests, which have never been ‘validated’ to demonstrate their relevance to people, non-animal methods have been shown to be scientifically superior – and usually take less time to complete, at a fraction of the cost of animal experiments.