Way back when, testing on animals was conducted to ensure the safety of a product. Now, there are over 50 alternatives to this procedure (such as human cell-based tests and advanced computer models) that are available for these brands to continue churning out cutting-edge products and formulations. These alternative courses of action not only efface the cruel aspect of animal testing; they also prove to be the more efficient and reliable of the two.
To put things into perspective, according to the Humane Society of United States, more than 50 million animals are used each year in the United States alone. There is no data to show how many are being tested on worldwide, but we can assume that it’s an astronomical figure. Of that 50 million, 500,000 will eventually perish each year in the US. All for the sake of lipgloss, deodorant, or hair gel.
Despite the prevalence of animal testing, individuals and organisations alike are pushing the needle towards cruelty-free cosmetics goods. Associations such as the Humane Society International, Cruelty Free International, Leaping Bunny, and more, are all making staunch efforts to educate and mobilise the public into voting with their dollar. Riding the wave of sustainability, cruelty-free consumption is finally getting the spotlight it deserves, with more and more consumers becoming aware of their purchasing decisions and what they entail.
Who’s on the cruelty-free train?
So who are these activists we’re talking about? Grace and Frankie‘s Lily Tomlin made a personal plea to over 5,000 Texas A&M faculty members, urging the school to end their testing on dogs. The Beatles’ Sir Paul McCartney has also contributed an anthem towards the cause, “Looking for Changes”, asking the British government to end the futile and cruel experimentation on animals. Peter Dinklage, who played Tyrion Lannister on Game of Thrones is also a known advocate for Cruelty Free International and a vegan. Similarly, comedian Ricky Gervais and pop icon Billie Eilish are on the same front, being vegan and sharing an apprehension towards the use of fur in fashion.
Far from exhaustive, this list goes to show that celebrities too are taking a stand against this unnecessary practice. From turning down opportunities with brands that still adopt this age-old exercise, to collaborating with partners that are working to improve their business practices, Hollywood glitterati is not at all blind to the fact that this is a serious social issue worth spotlighting.
Countries across the globe are also making moves to step away from animal testing. In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration has never required brands to test their cosmetic goods on animals. The European Union has entirely banned the act, going as far as forbidding the distribution of products that have been tested on animals. Adopting a similar ban are India, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Mexico.
What cruelty-free beauty brands to shop from to show your support
Coco & Eve
Inspired by Bali, the line has everything covered for your hair and body needs. For starters, look into their cult-favourite Like A Virgin Super Nourishing Coconut & Fig Hair Masque. Once you’ve sampled some of the best the brand has to offer, discover the decadent Glow Figure Bali Buffing Sugar Exfoliator, that’s sure to reveal your best summer skin. Further fortifying your hair follicles is the Like A Virgin Miracle Hair Elixir Serum, which adds a lustrous shine to your hair while battling frizz—all without hurting a single furry friend.
The hair care girlies already know that Aveda is the one brand to go to for all your hair-related woes. Perhaps the most celebrated line on this brand is the Nutriplenish, which seeks to rejuvenate weakened hair. But we’ve all fallen victim to those heavy hair masks that claim to work magic on our lacklustre locks—which just won’t do in our very humid climate. Enter the Nutriplenish Conditioner Light Moisture, a lightweight conditioner that delivers powerful nutrients into the shafts of the hair without weighing it down. Follow that up with the Nutriplenish Leave-in Conditioner to really seal in the hydration. Bonus: the leave-in-conditioner also doubles as a heat and UV protectant, too! Come nighttime, revitalise your scalp with a shot of Scalp Solutions Overnight Scalp Renewal Serum. It slows down scalp aging and repairs the scalp barrier to ensure its best health.
A newcomer to the Malaysian beauty scene, Korean hair and body care brand Aromatica could be counted as one of the frontrunners of the sustainability game. Having made its debut in the country recently, we have rounded up some of the best items to cop before it goes out of stock. The most eye-catching of all in the offering has to be the Wooden Dolphin Face & Body Massage Tool. Similar to your face’s gua sha tool, this wooden lymphatic massager has all the right curves to really target parts of the body. Pair that with the Serene Lavender & Marjoram Body Oil, and watch all that water retention disappear. Don’t forget to try out the Embrace Neroli & Patchouli Body Wash as well to complete your Aromatica shower routine.
Beauty of Joseon
A favourite K-beauty brand to many, Beauty of Joseon is becoming increasingly accessible in Malaysia. We don’t have to tell you to try out its already-viral sunscreen. Instead, we turn your attention to the Radiance Cleansing Balm, a decadent makeup cleansing balm that emulsifies beautifully without leaving any filmy residue. Take it a step further and incorporate the Red Bean Refreshing Pore Wash-Off Mask, a treat for many that deal with oily skin. To restore balance to the skin, give the Revive Serum Ginseng + Snail Mucin a try and watch the combination work its magic.
Everybody remembers how monumental of a move it was when Biossance produced a whole slew of squalane-powered products without hurting a single shark, an animal that is renowned for its squalane. Your face isn’t the only part of your skin that could benefit from all that goodness, and Biossance knows it. For your daily use, take the Squalane + Omega Repair Hand Moisturiser Cream to ensure that you have the softest of hands no matter what. There’s also the Squalane + Caffeine Toning Body Cream, a cream that promises to firm the skin while also imbuing it with moisturisation. And every other few days, when you’re in need of a self-care reboot, you can always slather on the Squalane + Enzyme Sugar Body Scrub to thoroughly cleanse the skin off of impurities and dead skin cells.