Cosmetics (beauty) products have become the most significant means of making up and this is also promoting animal cruelty. We think there’s nothing wrong with adding a little eyeliner or lipstick to look pretty, but is it okay to support animal cruelty in beauty products? No way.

The cosmetic industry is responsible for a significant amount of animal exploitation, which is concerning. While it may seem harmless to use a small amount of makeup to enhance our appearance, supporting the use of animal testing or animal-derived ingredients in beauty products is unacceptable.

Animal-derived ingredients are used to make cosmetic products and animals are cruelly tortured to steal animal substances.

The cosmetic industry routinely conducts animal testing on creatures such as rats, frogs, rabbits, pigs, monkeys, and more to ensure that their products do not have adverse effects on humans. This testing involves forcing animals to inhale toxic chemicals and subjecting their skin and eyes to chemical exposure. 

It is estimated that globally, between 100,000 to 200,000 animals suffer and die annually as a result of the cosmetic industry’s animal testing practices. In India, the demand for cosmetic products is increasing every year.

Animal-Derived Ingredients in Cosmetics

Below you can see a list of all the cosmetic products that contain animal ingredients.

1. Lipsticks

Lipstick is made from ‘cochineal dye‘, and this dye is made by crushing cochineal beetles or insects. Apart from this, ‘Guanine’ (Guanine – a substance derived from fish skin cells), ‘Squalane’ (Squalane – shark’s liver oil), and ‘Tallow’ (Tallow – fat present in meat) animal substances are included in lipstick.

2. Eye makeup

Eye makeup products contain guanine (a substance derived from fish skin) and fats present in meat. Along with this, ‘Squalane’ (Shark’s liver oil) is also used in it.

3. Nail Polish

‘Carmine’ (mashed insects) to make nail polish, ‘guanine’ (a substance obtained from fish skin cells) to give shine, and ‘musk oil‘, which is obtained from male deer, all these animal-derived ingredients are used.

4. Cosmetic Cream

Animal fat‘, ‘Gelatin’ (Gelatin – a protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones with water), and ‘Estrogen’ (Estrogen – female sex hormone) is used to make cosmetic creams. It is extracted from pregnant mares’ urine.

5. Perfume

To make perfume, ‘musk oil‘ (which is obtained from male deer), ‘bee’s honeycomb‘, ‘Castoreum’ (Castorium – a substance derived from the feces of the beaver), ‘Ambergris’ (Ambergris – a waxy oil derived from whale’s stomach), ‘Hyraceum’ (derived from the excreta of the animal called hyrax), ‘Civet’ (secretion extracted from the glands near the anus of the civet cat) all these animal substances are used.

6. Makeup Remover

Animal substances like ‘Stearic Acid’ (a substance obtained from a pig’s stomach) and ‘Lanolin’ (Lanolin – excretion of sheep wool) are used to make makeup remover.

7. Shampoo and Conditioner

‘Silk powder’ (obtained from a silkworm), ‘Keratin’ (Keratin – it is obtained from animal hooves, hair, horns, scales, and other keratinized animal parts), and ‘Gelatin’  (Gelatin – a substance derived from the marrow of animals), are animal-derived ingredients used to make the shampoo.

8. Toothpaste

Most toothpaste contains ‘Glycerin’ which gives it a paste-like quality. It is cheaper to get glycerin from animal bones than from plants, so animal glycerin is used to make toothpaste.

9. Foundation

Tallow (fat present in meat) is used to make a foundation.

10. Blush

Blush products are made from cochineal dye

People who use cosmetic products are unaware that they are using animal substances on their bodies. Millions of animals are tortured and finally put to death so that we can look beautiful.

What alternatives are available for individuals who rely on cosmetic products for their makeup needs?

What is the solution to the problem?

Vegan, cruelty-free cosmetic products are the solution to this problem. As people become aware of animal cruelty, cosmetic companies are increasingly using plant-based ingredients as animal substitutes in cosmetic products, also known as vegan products.

Choose plant-based cosmetic products so you don’t become a participant in animal cruelty.

To identify a vegan or cruelty-free cosmetic product, look for the “Cruelty-Free” symbol and the ingredients the product is made of. No animal-based ingredients are used in vegan products.

As we become more aware, we must make the right choices. We all have a part to play in making our world a better place so make plant-based cosmetic products a part of your lifestyle.

Caution: Just because it’s labeled ‘cruelty-free‘ doesn’t mean it’s a vegan product, as it may contain animal ingredients even though it may have not been tested on animals. Also, a product that says vegan may not necessarily mean that it is cruelty-free, as the product may be plant-based, but they may have tested it on animals. So in today’s commercial world, we need to look for products that have both cruelty free+vegan labels.

Read also: What is Speciesism?


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