Cosmetic Animal Testing - Cosmetic Industry

Using animal testing in the development of cosmetics involves testing a finished product. Get information on cosmetic industry.

Many companies have tested their cosmetics on animals. But, the protests lodged by the animal rights activists’ has had its’ impact as many companies have stopped testing their products on animals. Avon was the first company to stop testing their products on animals. Major companies like Boots, Yardley and Revlon have also made claims that they have stopped testing their products on animals. The animals were used for cosmetic testing in the past but a lot of alternatives are being found, now. The European parliament has also decided to outlaw the cosmetic animal testing by the year 2009. It is said that 38,000 animals are used every year for cosmetics testing in the European countries. The people all around the world have been signing petitions to stop the cruelty to animals.

Cosmetic Animal Testing

The cosmetic animal testing is done for eye shadows and soaps. Majority of these eye shadow tests are done on rabbits in order to assess the level of damage or irritation caused to the rabbits. The sunscreen products are also tested on guinea pigs to assess the level of allergic reaction and irritation. These cosmetic testing could cause bleeding problems to the animals. Many reputed companies employ the outside companies so as to avoid criticism from the society and the activists. Statistics points out that 50% of the animals die two or three weeks after the experimentation.

The companies give various reasons to justify the cosmetic animal testing. They say that many countries have passed regulations which states that the preservatives and lotions have to be tested before the usage. But, the critics argue that no law specifically demands the testing of cosmetics on animals. The demand by the customers for new cosmetics also prompts the companies to test their products on animals. It is also said that the’ cruelty-free’ companies are more expensive than the rest of the companies. It is a common complaint that companies carry out these tests for publicity. Statistics also points out the fact that 75% of the Americans are against cosmetic testing on animals and many companies have adopted more human ways of cosmetic testing due to the popular public demand. The finished cosmetic products are no longer being tested on animals as they are tested on the human volunteers.

The cosmetic companies point out the following benefits for cosmetic testing on animals:

  • Protecting the human health and safety: The companies claim that protecting human health is the main reason for carrying out the cosmetic testing on animals. The companies claim to carry out these tests so that they could establish the safety of their products beyond doubts.
  • The cosmetic animal testing also enables the company to maintain a competitive edge over the other companies.
  • The companies also feel that they are safeguarding the environment by testing their cosmetics on animals.
  • It is said that the consumers have also been putting pressure on the companies to offer safe and improved products.
  • The tests performed on animals are not entirely reliable as they give guarantee protection to the people only for a short period of time.

The following are the disadvantages of the cosmetic animal testing:

  • It causes severe allergic reactions to the tested animals.
  • The cosmetic testing could also cause liver problems, swollen eyelids, ulceration and bleeding to the animals.
  • Inhuman treatment of the animals.
  • The animals are said to have a different distribution of fine blood vessels and their skin does not react in the same way to the tests as that of a human.
  • The cosmetic testing on animals is very expensive.
  • The cosmetic testing on animals is said to be less reliable.
  • The animals are made to endure a lot of tests in the labs making the end-result meaningless.

The critics point out that the alternatives to the animal testing could also be used to test the safety of the cosmetics. The alternatives are cell cultures, tissue cultures, corneas from the eye banks and sophisticated computer models.

The following are the alternatives that could be used in the place of cosmetic testing on animals:

  • A HET-CAM test for eye-irritancy could be done. These tests have been successfully carried out in Germany and Belgium.
  • The vitro methods could be used to test the skin irritation.

Cosmetic Industry

The European cosmetics industry has thrived over the years and it is said to be the world leader. The European cosmetics industry has generated a business of $50 billion in the year 2000. More than 1,50,000 Europeans are employed in the cosmetics industry. The European cosmetics industry has also spend a lot in scientific research and development.

The ‘cosmetics industry’’ is an abbreviation for cosmetics and perfumery industry. There is an impression among the people that the cosmetics industry pertains only to lipsticks, eye shadow and mascara but it also caters to personal care and hygiene.

The cosmetic registration in the U.S. is voluntary. Avon, Revlon, Angie’s cosmetics unlimited, proctor and gamble, Johnson and Johnson, the Gillette company, Beauticontrol cosmetics and Estee lauder are the major cosmetics companies in the world. The cosmetic companies promise to contribute a certain portion of its’ profits to the cancer patients if the consumers purchase one of its’ product. It is also claimed that the cosmetics contain chemicals such as parabens and phthalates which could cause breast cancer. The cosmetic industry insists that these chemicals are safe and are regulated. The cosmetics industry is always under a vigilance by various sections of the society for providing quality and standardized products.

It is said that Americans spend millions of dollars in the cosmetic products. It is predicted that the demand for the cosmetics product would increase to $4.3 billion in the year 2005. Innovative products are in demand as people have become more conscious of their beauty. The sales of essential oils used in cosmetics are also predicted to reach between 700 million to 1.2 billion in the year 2005.

The cosmetic products with the therapeutic benefits is also a matter of discussion in the cosmetic industry. The European union has issued certain directives to the cosmetics industry. The functions to be performed by the cosmetics products are as follows:

  • To clean.
  • To perfume
  • To help in preventing the body odor
  • To bring about a remarkable change in the appearance
  • To keep the consumers health in a good condition

The reports from the cosmetics industry could be used to:

  • Analyze the trend in sales and analyze the new product development and the methods of pricing and packaging.
  • Focus on the various corporate leaders and the challenges they face.
  • Understand the factors that stimulate growth
  • Assess the various channels of distribution.

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