Cruelty-Free Make-up: True Facts

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Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

The general human tendency of desiring the quintessential alternative that is in coherence with one’s economic and social background isn’t the most destructive characteristic present in human beings, but when it is driven by our unquenchable pursuit of perfection, it causes more harm than good.

Although weighing options is absolutely a process that one should incorporate in their lifestyle, one must ask themselves, is their process of critiquing unerring?

For Example, people tend to analyze skin care products deeply. The amalgamation of our desire to look good and selecting the best for ourselves work in our favor. We tend to go for products that offer solutions that are in alignment with our “skincare goals” and that contain a marginal concentration of chemicals. Great critiquing criteria, right? I believe it isn’t. Although well-intentioned, the approach seems to be self-centered.

There exists a segment in the market that endorses animal welfare by developing “cruelty-free” products. ‘PETA’s “cruelty-free” designation implies that a brand has banned all tests on animals for their ingredients — including in their supply chain — formulas, and finished products. With a variety of brands available at our disposal, expanding our search filter to include “cruelty-free’ shouldn’t be too burdensome.

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Renowned brands, like The Body Shop and Lush, market themselves on being cruelty-free, so we can conclude that they’re particularly ethical in their approach. Although the EU and India have banned animal testing for cosmetic purposes, there exist countries like China where animal testing is mandated. This creates a grey area as brands test their products in China and mention that they are cruelty-free until mandated by law. Currently, such companies are allowed to sell their products worldwide.

Although banning testing in all disciplines wouldn’t be wise, cosmetics and skincare is a category where it would be better to do away with animal cruelty.

Mentioned below are a few brands that still test their products on animals:

1) L’Oréal

L’Oréal has a notoriously misleading animal testing FAQ. Lying in the greying area of “testing only when mandated by law”, they claim to be cruelty-free when they clearly aren’t.

2) Maybelline

Maybelline, a famous brand also shares the policy as its parent company L’Oréal.

3) Revlon

Revlon too is a privately held company that tests on animals where required by law. Since they are sold in China, they are subject to animal testing and are not cruelty-free.

4) Chanel

Like many of these brands, Chanel’s animal testing policy is nowhere to be found, but their products are indeed sold in mainland China.

5) Giorgio Armani

They are owned by L’Oréal, and they share L’Oréal’s policy to test on animals when required by law.

6) Dior

Owned by LVMH (Louis Vuitton / Moët Hennessy). Like many other luxury brands, Dior tests on animals.

7) Avon

Avon claims to be the first major cosmetic company to end animal testing nearly 25 years ago, but in reality, they’re paying local officials in China to test on animals for them so they can sell their products there.

8) Victoria’s Secret

The company has let down its compassionate consumers by choosing profits over principles. Victoria’s Secret expanded sales to China and began paying for cruel and deadly tests.

9) Benefit

Behind the colorful advertisements exists a brand that tests products on animals.

Found a brand you love on the list? Don’t beat yourself too much. At the end of the day, it was for lack of awareness. To help you clear one’s conscience, we’ve compiled a list of brands that don’t test on animals at all.

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1) Body shop-The brand worked with Cruelty-Free International to create its own Forever against Animal Testing campaign.

2) Lush- The brand launched its plastic-free foundation in 40 shades and has a refillable lipstick collection. The brand isn’t only cruelty-free but also plastic-free.

3) Urban Decay Perversion Mascara- A good alternative to the Dior shows Mascara is the Urban Decay Perversion Mascara. Its thick mascara wand and formula are very similar to Dior.

5) Jordana’s eyeliners- Jordana’s eyeliners are said to be good dupes for Avon’s.

6) Urban Decay- With a commitment to continuing to expand its vegan selection, Urban Decay makes shopping a breeze with its Vegan tab.

7) LA Girl- This Californian based makeup brand is owned by the parent company — Beauty 21 who is a member of the cruelty-free PETA organization.

8) SoulTree- Selling good quality and fragrant skin and hair care products SoulTree also makes lipsticks and kajal.

The Utilitarian Good

Although this selection process is a bit more tedious than the one we had before, it is the ethical approach. Each decision that we make has an outcome and it is time to take responsibility for the outcome. The Utilitarian philosophy states that the ethical stature of a person can only be defined by the repercussion of one action. From selecting a brand for one’s essentials to choosing a way of commute, each decision holds the same value in the eyes of the utilitarian philosophy. For example, owning a product of a brand that uses mica imported from Jharkhand would be considered unethical in utilitarian philosophy. It is the ethical responsibility of a person to be aware of the current situation in Jharkhand. Between children giving up their education to work in mines and reports of the hazardous working environment, Jharkhand has turned into a hub of illegal mica production. The exploitation of the poor continues, even after the countless reports of death by suffocation in mining shafts. Miners are scraping mica from the ground with their bare hands causing recurring injuries to their working hands. With workers coughing blood but continuing to work to make ends meet, lives are at stake. In such a situation, a person buying products from such brands is causing the brand to exist and thereby causing the exploitation to continue. The internet has provided us with inexhaustible access to information. This is the reason why the current generation is an informed generation. With discussions on the moral and ethical responsibilities of a human being are more prominent than ever, we are progressing towards a society that would reprimand destructive progress and strive to co-exist. To exist in such a society, it is imperative to combine empathy and rational decision making to weigh ethical considerations. A consumer has the ability to build and tarnish a brand. It is the time to use our ability as a consumer and drive brands into ethical decision making.

Contributed By- Gursimar Singh Bedi, Content Writer @ Mitti Ke Rang

At Mitti Ke Rang, we started with a COVID-19 community support fundraising, as an emergency response to provide a safety net to families. This will help them survive in the lockdown period. We aim to directly support these families by providing a minimum wage, through transferring the same into their accounts or partner with local NGO, Organisation, Fellow, or a Volunteer and support them with groceries.

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