Pets are an important part of many of your lives and clients' families—we even have sunscreen specially formulated for them (more here). So it only makes sense that consumers are rising up against animal cruelty in the beauty industry. Jim Moran, U.S. congressman, is sponsoring the Humane Cosmetics Act, which would phase out animal testing for American-made cosmetics within a year and imported cosmetics within three years. Also on board is Santosh Krinsky, who recently partnered with the Humane Society of the United States’ “Be Cruelty-Free” campaign, to urge voters to call their U.S. representative and ask for him or her to vote in favor of H.R. 4148 (the Humane Cosmetics Act).
Here are some tests that mainstream cosmetic companies still commonly conduct on animals, according to Krinsky.
- Acute dermal toxicity … uses 20 rabbits, guinea pigs or rats to determine how much substance causes half of the tested animals to die within two weeks of exposure. A chemical is applied to their shaved skin for 24 hours, and a patch is used to cover the area so they do not lick or clear off the tested area.
- Eye irritation or corrosion … tests one to three rabbits; a chemical is applied to their eyes to determine how severe the resulting irritation or damage. The exposure tests for signs of redness, ulcers, bleeding, blindness and other forms of damage.
- Developmental toxicity … examines either 480 rabbits – 100 adult females and 480 kittens (babies) – or 1,300 rats – 100 adult females and 1,200 pups – to test for birth defects. Usually by force-feeding, a pregnant female is exposed at the beginning of an implemented pregnancy; exposure persists throughout the term. She is then killed on the day before she is expected to give birth, which is about 22 days for rats, or 31 days for rabbits. Her young are extracted and evaluated for signs of developmental abnormalities.
- Acute oral toxicity … subjects seven rats to determine how much of a chemical causes half of the exposed animals to die within 14 days of exposure, when the substance is swallowed. The rats are force-fed the substance, causing them to experience convulsions, diarrhea, bleeding from the mouth, seizures, paralysis and sometimes death.
How do you ensure your spa's products are cruelty free and safe?