While most spa-goers care about the products they use, they don’t often think beyond whether the products are healthy, effective, and affordable. That’s why for some it has been somewhat of a shock to learn that their favorite lipstick or moisturizer may have been tested on animals. Unfortunately, such tests are usually painful and cause the suffering and death of millions of animals each year. Now, thanks to a growing awareness about animal welfare issues, the environment, wellness, and the ethical choices we make with our money, more people are looking to cruelty-free products, a positive choice that doesn’t compromise their personal values for the sake of convenience or efficacy. “The way we protect and care for animals says a lot about what we value and who we are as human beings,” says Jennifer Herbert-Coste, cofounder and CEO of Luzern Laboratories.
Cruelty-free is the label used for products or activities that do not harm or kill animals. The category is growing as more people become educated on the topic. “I feel that social media is helping greatly by shining light on industry practices and sharing information that was previously not as easily available,” says Judith Bourgeois, education manager at Shankara. “With increased awareness, it becomes easier for people to follow their conscience to make educated choices.” It also didn’t hurt that the European Union, India, Israel, and Norway all banned animal testing in 2013, which resulted in the U.S. shifting away from it, as well. That’s because U.S. manufacturers could no longer sell products tested on animals there. Of course, it didn’t help that any products sold in China had to be tested on animals. Animal testing is still mandatory by law in China for all imported cosmetics. However, the country, which was set to become the world’s largest cosmetics market in 2017, according to a recent Morgan Stanley Research Report, is looking to incorporate alternatives to animal testing with the help of nonprofit organizations and cosmetics companies that are promoting non-animal testing.
According to Market Research Future, the cruelty-free cosmetics market is expected to grow by 6.1 percent between 2017 and 2023. The report also noted that the top exporters of cruelty-free cosmetics include France, U.S., India, Germany, and New Zealand. Says Ellen Clark, founder and CEO of Control Corrective, “The trend toward cruelty-free has made us all aware of what is being done in terms of animal testing with cosmetics.”