If most people knew exactly what goes on behind the scenes with animal testing for cosmetics, they would think twice about some of the brands that they buy.
You’re walking down the beauty aisle at your local drug store and see a bottle of lotion with the image of a guinea pig covered in inflamed red skin and open sores proudly displayed on the front label. There’s another product label that shows a rabbit with its fur shaved off, covered in swollen, bleeding lesions. You read the label on another product and instead of learning about its fresh scent and promised effects on your body, you learn that thousands of pregnant rats were exposed to toxins and killed the day before they were to deliver their babies just so that product could find its way to that shelf in your local store.
How many of those products would you buy? Probably none of them, and that’s why manufacturers prefer you see the pretty packaging with fluffy words telling you all about the lilac scent or glossy shine it can give your hair. Yet, most of the products you see on store shelves today are a result of intensive animal testing which kills billions of animals around the world every year. Once you know what happens to these animals, you may think twice about purchasing products that aren’t just as safe for animals as they are promised to be for you.
How does a manufacturer know that their product isn’t going to severely irritate the skin of consumers? They know because they expose animal skin to the chemicals contained within their products. They may shave the fur from a rabbit and apply the chemical directly to their skin, and then watch to see what happens. If a product is designed for use near or in human eyes, chemicals are often put into a rabbit’s eyes to see if they have a negative reaction. Skin products are often tested on guinea pigs and mice as well.
Negative reactions in these cases of animal testing for cosmetics may include any of the following:
These are all things that you would never want to do to yourself or someone you love, yet millions of animals suffer under these negative side effects during product tests.
How do you know that a product taken orally isn’t going to poison you? Well, many of them are tested on rabbits, guinea pigs and mice first.
If these animals experience intense stomach problems, seizures or paralysis, the chemicals in the product obviously have side effects that make them unsafe. Some will still hit store shelves with fine print warning of these potential side effects, but millions of animals suffer around the world to create that fine print because of animal testing for cosmetics.
For oral products, feeding tubes are used to force-feed potentially poisonous ingredients to mice. The poisons are applied directly to the skin of animals to check for toxic reactions from ingredients contained in topical products. If there’s a concern that a product is poisonous when inhaled, animals are placed in tubes where the air they breathe is laced with the dangerous chemical. The suffering that follows is never pleasant, but these animals suffer until the testers are kind enough to end their lives.
When there’s a concern that an ingredient used in many cosmetic products could potentially cause cancer in humans, animals are exposed to the ingredient for a long period of time. In many cases, they are forced to eat, breath or live with the ingredient on their skin for two years or longer. At that point, they’re killed so that researchers can analyze their tissue and determine whether they developed cancer from the exposure.
How do manufacturers know the impact their products will have on your body over time? For instance, how do they know that you need to wait three weeks to see the best results from a diet product? In many cases, animals are force fed the main ingredient in those products. They suffer through blood tests to determine the amount of the product in their bloodstream. They are then killed at different times so that their bodies can be analyzed to see what impact the product had on their systems.
Many other tests are conducted on animals each year, and they can impact every system within their little bodies. From determining the impact of a medication on an animal’s unborn babies to studying generations of animals to determine the long-term effects of some ingredients, the world of testing brings nothing but pain, confusion and torture for animals