Animal Testing for Cosmetics, Toiletries, and Household Cleaners (My View)


Animal testing is a very controversial topic in society today. While many people say we need it to make sure our products safe, the truth is that most of the ingredients used today are already shown to be safe/not safe. Do we really need to cause these animals to suffer for the purpose of human beauty products? You be the judge.

When I was a sophomore in high school, my teacher wanted us to choose a controversial topic to write a persuasive essay about. I knew I wanted to pick a topic having to do with animals, but I struggled for a few days to find a good one. At first, I thought about writing it on the benefits of being a vegetarian, but since I was not yet a vegetarian (I did become one very soon after) I couldn’t input my experience. Then it came to me- Animal testing. The topic was perfect for me. I cared enough to not procrastinate and I ended up handing in all the rough drafts on time. This paper ended up changing my life and my goals for the future. It opened up my eyes to the abuse that lab animals endure to make sure our windows look shinier or that our hair is just a little bit less frizzy. Some of these animals suffer and/or die to make sure our teeth are whiter than usual. I ended up throwing out most of my cosmetics because I had no idea certain companies tested on animals! I also persuaded some of my close friends and family to do the same by informing them of what I learned.

Since people do not want to risk killing a human being, they decide testing on an animal for the sake of human kind is a better idea (for humans). Now, I can’t really tell you my opinion on animal testing until I give you the facts about it first. Ninety-four percent of animal testing is used to determine the safety of cosmetics and household products. This leaves only 6% for medical research. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require animal testing for cosmetics. Yet, most popular brands of eye shadows, eyeliners, and mascaras are still being tested on rabbits, mice, and even dogs! It’s true! When people think of cosmetic testing done on animals, they usually think that lipstick is just smeared on the animals lips or something like that. But that’s not what they do at all! There are many different ways they test makeup on animals. In Defense of Animals tells us:

“Product testing is commonly performed on animals to measure the levels of skin irritancy, eye tissue damage, and toxicity caused by various substances used in the manufacture of cosmetics. In the Draize test, caustic substances are placed in the eyes of conscious rabbits to evaluate damage to sensitive eye tissues. This is extremely painful for the rabbits, who often scream when the substances are applied and sometimes break their necks or backs trying to escape the restraints.”

Every time I see a CoverGirl or a Maybelline commercial, it makes me want to scream at the TV. Why? Because I know they test on animals! AND THEY DON’T EVEN NEED TO! In fact, most makeup ads that you see on the TV are companies that test their ingredients on animals before they sell the final product to you.

THESE POPULAR PRODUCTS ARE TESTED ON ANIMALS: Maybelline, CoverGirl, L’Oreal, Pantene, Dove, Windex (Yes, they do test this on the eyes of animals), OxiClean, Aussie Products (Shampoo & Conditioners), Ralph Lauren Fragrances, Old Spice, ect. To get a full list of products, click here. Now, the major companies that I DESPISE WITH A BURNING PASSION are:

  • Proctor & Gamble (Crest, CoverGirl, Downy, Tide, Bounce, Mr.Clean, Pantene, Head & Shoulders, Febreze, IAMS pet food, Scope, Old Spice) People, words can not express my utter HATRED towards this company. I have so much hate, that it makes me sick to my stomach. If an award were given out for Company-that-Inflicts-Pain-On-Animals, it would go to Proctor & Gamble. If you look on their website, they state that they do not test their products on animals unless they absolutely need to. But if that were the case, then why wouldn’t they say “This product was not tested on animals” on ANY of their products?! Wouldn’t they advertise it if it were true? All of the other cruelty free companies say it directly on the product. If P&G truely cut out all animal testing, it would say so on the brand name items. I’m not buying their bullshit. You shouldn’t either. To learn all about how P&G carries out testing done on animals, click here.
Testing some products on this poor innocent bunny.

This is the life of an animal whose sole purpose is to make sure we look nice
  • Johnson & Johnson (is the maker of Acuvue, Aveeno, Clean & Clear, Listerine, Lubriderm, Neutrogena, Rembrandt, ROC)
  • Unilever (Axe, Comfort, Dove, Lever Bros., Lux, Ponds, Suave, Sunlight, Sunsilk, Surf, Vaseline)
  • Dial Co. (Dial, Purex, Right Guard, Soft & Dri, Soft Scrub)
  • Clorox (Armor All, Ever Clean, Formula 409, Fresh Step, Glad, Green Works, Pine-Sol, Scoop Away, Tilex)

The other day, I was looking at this list (where I got all of this information about companies) and I got so angry when I saw Green Works was on the list of products tested on animals. The reason for this is because it states on the back that the product was not tested on animals. I had been using this product to clean my windows and mirrors. So of course, as an animal activist, I got extremely mad. So mad, I wrote an angry letter an email I found on Green Works’ website. This is what it said:

“Hi. My name is Alyssa. I use Green Works, but do you want to know the only reason why I use it? I use it because it clearly states on the back of the bottle “not tested on animals”. Well, today I was looking at the list of companies that DO test on animals, and guess what company was on there? GIVE UP!? YEAH, GREEN WORKS WAS ON THERE! And you know what Mary Seltzer? I’m kind of pissed off. Unless of course, they made a mistake and put Green Works on there. Which I don’t think happens too often. Look, I do like your product. But I really need to know if this product is tested on animals or not (which it shouldn’t test if you say this product is a “green product”, seeing if it were actually “green” no chemicals would be used and you wouldn’t need to test on cute little animals). I want an honest answer, no bullshit. If you don’t reply to this email, I’ll take it as a “Yes, we do test this product on animals.” And I’ll add Green Works to my new blog to alert others that your company hurts animals for making windows a little bit cleaner. PLEASE RESPOND AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! I need to know. “

I gave them a week or so to write back to me. They never did. Therefore, I am letting you know not to use Green Works. If you need to clean your windows or mirrors, get products from Seventh Generation. Because they are awesome.

  • Reckitt Benckiser (Air Wick, Easy-Off, Finish, Lysol, Mop & Glo, Old English, Resolve, Rid-X, Spray ‘N Wash, Veet, Woolite)
  • L’Oreal (L’Oreal, Maybelline, Garnier, ect)

I used to use a lot of Maybelline makeup. That was before I learned that they tortured cute animals to make my eyes look pretty. When I did discover this, I immediately switched to Origins eyeliner. Both  eyeliners work great, the only difference is the cost and that one kills animals. Origins is a rather expensive store, but I know that Hard Candy and Revlon have inexpensive makeup that doesn’t test on animals & it works just as good.

  • S.C. Johnson (Drano, Fantastik, Glade, Nature’s Source, Pledge, Oust, Scrubbing Bubbles, Shout, Skintimate, Windex)

People who support animal testing say “It’s better than testing it on our own children” or “We need to make sure that the ingredients in a product are safe before using it or letting our children use it.”  Animals and humans are not the same. Just because something worked on a mouse doesn’t mean it’ll work on Timmy over there. Sure, animal testing has proved successful for certain things. But science is improving and alternatives to animal testing are becoming more well known.

Does this look right to you?

Animal testing really doesn’t need to continue. This is proven by the many companies that have sworn off of them from the start! They care for animals and have refused to test their products on them.  To name a few:

Burt’s Bees, Bath and Body Works, Dermalogica, Greenwood Naturals, Hard Candy, Mary Kay, Nature Clean, Pangea Organics, Seventh Generation, The Body Shop, Urban Decay (found in Sephora) Revlon, Origins, Tom’s of Maine (all organic toothpaste/soap company), Avon, Paul Mitchell, and many more.

** This is a VERY small amount of companies listed here. There are actually a lot more than just this. Click “many more” to get a full list of companies. I only named the larger companies. **

Make sure you read the labels on your makeup to see if they test or not. The one way to be 100% sure your makeup isn’t tested it to look for the Leaping Bunny symbol.

    Look for this symbol!

A lot of companies that have tested on animals in the past are coming out with products that claim they are not tested on animals. A good example of this is L’Oreal Paris EverPure line of hair care products. They CLAIM it’s sulfate-free shampoo and that they didn’t test it on animals. I have mixed views about this subject. Of course, I think you should support their decision to go vegan with their products. Maybe if a large amount of people buy the EverPure products, then this will convince the company to change the way the company test their products. However, there are many different ways companies such as L’Oreal could invest the money they make from this vegan line. Who’s to say they won’t invest in more animals to test on? This thought stops me from buying anything from a company who hasn’t phased out animal testing all together. I suggest you buy from a company that has never tested on animals before. Just to be safe.

Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) is a non-profit organization that is looking for new ways to replace animals with non-animal methods, to cut down the number of animals being used, or to refine methods and make them less painful and stressful for the animals involved. I think this is great, but I hope they invest most of their efforts in finding non-animal methods.

Lots of places have fazed out animal testing all together. Cosmetic testing on animals is banned in Belgium, the Netherlands and the U.K.. Europe. Sadly, animal testing still continues in the United States of America. I hope that in the future, people will become more informed of the companies that do test on animals and stop using them until they show some compassion and quit using animals in labs all together.

How to become a Compassionate Consumer:

    1.) Look at the back of your cosmetics and/or household cleaners. If you see any of the company names I talked about that test on animals OR if it doesn’t say anything about being cruelty-free, throw it out. If you’re one of those people who doesn’t want to put things to waste, give it to someone. Just make sure you let them know why you’re not using it anymore.

    2.) Research cruelty free products. A lot of the cosmetics that are organic and vegan can be very expensive. But you just have to keep looking! There are some cheap vegan products out there, I promise!

    3.) Pledge to be cruelty free.

    4.) Buy the products. Then try them out. Let me know how they work for you! If you really like them, tell your friends to stop using products tested on animals and try the cruelty-free products. If everyone would do this, maybe one day, we’ll stop animal testing all together. Now that’s a nice thought!


43 thoughts on “Animal Testing for Cosmetics, Toiletries, and Household Cleaners (My View)

  1. I also have to do a controversial essay and this topic is so great because I feel so strongly about it! I agree with you 100%! I get the medical stuff but girls should not want make up so badly that they’re willing to let animals suffer. Imagine if that was YOUR pet, then how would you feel? Really nice job! Thanks for the extra info and research!

    • I’m glad you’re doing a controversial essay on this! The more that people know, the better chances are that we can put a stop to it once and for all! I don’t think girls mean to buy make up that hurts animals, I just think they don’t know that the companies they see on the commercials are bad (usually). Also thank you so much for your kind words! Make sure you check out my other posts too. I don’t believe this post was the best written (it was my first, after all).

  2. While it is good to see that you are passionate about your lifestyle, there is much misinformation about your blog. Animal testing serves a very important role in the safety of products. Animals and humans are very much alike depending on what you are studying and the model you choose for that purpose. The whole purpose of animal testing is because there are enough similarities to gather data which can be applied to humans. Once a compound is tested and given FDA approval, companies do not and will not have a need to test the product further. It is a waste of time and resources and is highly regulated by the USDA and IACUC. Needll Almost every product you have bought in your life has been tested on animals. The main claim many organic companies have to being “cruelty free” is using compounds that have already gotten FDA approval by having someone else do the dirty work.

    • While I agree with some of your statements, you clearly missed my point. Yes, It’s true that most of the products I got from companies claiming to be “cruelty free” used compounds already tested on animals. That’s most likely the case with some of the products I use, if not all. But my main point is that some companies STILL DO test their products on animals to this day! My friend went to job shadow a makeup company not too long ago and she witnessed the animals in cages. When she asked what they were for, the woman showing her around said “Oh those are to test our make up on”. My friend had no idea that animal testing existed, and asked me to help her by giving her a list of companies that do and don’t test.

      Also, this is MY blog with my OWN opinions. The information is, for the most part, accurate. The ethical part may differ depending on the person. It seems we have different opinions because I believe that no animal should not have to suffer for human saftey, especially if their own species do not benefit from it. Also, animals and humans are NOT similiar in nature. Genetic altering is done to mice to make them display human genes; they may also be bred to be a carrier of a certain disease (well, for medical testing). This causes the animals unnessisary pain and/or discomfort and that is NOT okay with me (again, opinions are different). Good arguement though! I’m obviously more passionate about animals than some people. And by the way, we are both correct. I don’t appreciate you saying that my blog has a lot of misinformation because I researched for weeks and went to several different (valid) sites. We are both correct.

  3. Im doing a Biology human awareness essay and research project on animal testing, and im glad i have chosen this topic. at first i thought it would be a pretty even arguement that medical testing can be justified but alot of the time it cannot be, i hope i too can raise awarness on this issue as you have thanks for posting these references and products lists.

  4. I read this whole text of yours and I must say that you really made my day. I’ve just started a new blog about cruelty free cosmetics and while I was doing some research for it, I found this text. I’m really glad that there are actually people who feel the same way about this topic as me. And it makes me even happier to see that there are people like you who write about these things and try to spread the word! (:

    I just have one question. Where did you found out that only 6% of animal testing is used for medical research? (it’s for my research ^.^)

  5. I’m curious what the companies test on if they don’t use animals??? I’m against animal testing. This article made me cry

  6. Alyssa, this information is so useful, as you see the debate topic for Lincoln Douglas is on animal rights and information like this is vital. If it is ok with you, may I use the information in this article as evidence? Furthermore, regarding paintlvr32’s comment on how animal testing is important, I believe that is a valid point but playing the devil’s advocate, here is some evidence you should consider. According to Dr. Michael Fox, “the applicability to animal experiments to humans is also recognized to be a serious problem by both researchers and their critics. It is frequently pointed out, for example, that the drug thalidomide passed standard animal tests only to maim thousands of human babies subsequently and that if penicillin had been tested on guinea pigs (on which it has a highly toxic effect), it would have been judged unsafe for humans,” (Note this was cut out of his book, “The case for Experimentation, which can be found here in case if you wanted to read it yourself, this is on page 151.

    On page 149, he furthers, (this is just me summing it up for your sake here, but still feel free to check it out for yourself) that in order to test which compound in eyeliner is causing X, one must test each individual compound, multiple times to be sure that the compound is causing problem X. Then in order for it to be accepted by the scientific community others will replicate the procedure, testing LOTS of animals, just for a single cosmetic.

    Additionally, If you count the 6% presented in this article, for every 6 animal being tested on for medicine and going through this rigorous testing, 94 of them are being tested for other products like cosmetics. It just doesn’t seem fair to me.

    Finally, Looking back to the first Michael Fox quote I gave you, if thousands of babies have died because of a false testing and if “The FDA itself estimated in 2006 that 92 percent of drugs that pass animal testing fail in human clinical trials.” (that is by Stephanie Ernst which can be found here along with lots of other shocking animal rights numbers then I find it just doesn’t seem worthy enough for me, all to get more luscious hair and fuller lips.

    But, paintlvr32 I really appreciate and respect your opinion (no sarcasm here, honestly). You must have some reasoning behind this, which also helps me in my research, because if you have the opinion, others do too.

    Keep up the good work Alyssa and if you can post up where you got the 6% statistic. It seems amazing!

  7. Just browsing to get some information for myself….I went meatless one year ago and am now trying to replace all my health and cleaning products with ones that are not made by companies that test on animals….I am getting conflicting information i.e. you state that Seventh Generation is safe to use but on another list I looked up it stated that Seventh Generation health and beauty products were not tested on animals but their cleaning products were….this is where it gets confusing….you think you are doing your homework but you can never be sure. I’m going to go with Peta’s list or the Leaping Bunny to be sure. I’m also utilizing my neighbourhood health food store (The emporium in Newmarket Ontario) to guide me on the products I can use….so far I’ve found Green Beaver has some good products that I will try. You seem a very passionate person and I admire the work you have put into this site…keep up the good work.

  8. Oh shoot I forgot to add something…..I love Ellen but she professes to love animals and respect them (she went vegan)…but if Cover Girl does animal testing…..does she not know this????? considering she is raking in millions from her ads for Cover Girl Make up. Also you made a good point even if a company tries to appease animal rights activists with making one product not tested on animals why should we give them our hard earned money while they still test on animals for their other products…

    • I’m actually not sure… I have been pondering that same question myself! I watch The Ellen DeGeneres Show and she talks about animals often on her show… I honestly don’t understand why she does CoverGirl commercials. She must not have suspected that they tested their products on animals either that or she wanted the millions they promised to pay her… Which I know are going towards great things (she’s launching a “Going Vegan With Ellen” website, promoting a healthy Vegan diet!) I still don’t support anything that company does… so annoying that they get ALL of this money, and they don’t even invest much of it into new alternative methods of testing. But I really wish I knew for sure why she decided to work with the Devil.. :/

  9. YOUR AMAZING I LOOOOVE YOU tomorrow i have a debate on the animal testing issue im with the against I LOVE ANIMALS and i would never ever harm an animal for my needs its selfish i hate people who kill or hurt animals for there sake 😦

  10. Thank you sooo much, Alyssa. I’m so glad that you pointed these things out I’ll be sure to try and not to buy these products and i might even copy and paste this whole page and hand them out in school so people know this, because this kinda stuff is just absolutely AWFUL and heartbreaking!! I hope you don’t mind and I’ll wait to hand them out because i would like to know if you’re okay with that. Reply very soon, please!!

  11. We have to learn more about this!!!! I want to know the truth about any product that is tested on animals! We can’t let this continue to silently happen and SUPPORT it!!!
    Its NOT ok!

  12. I’m doing a class essay on animal testing and i have two questions based on the topic. Alyssa said that mary kay didnt test on animals but on the link for the people that do test on animals said mary kay on it so which one is it? And is there any type of toothpaste that doesnt test on animals because i havent found one yet… please help this would really help my facts for my essay.

    • Some of the companies make it tough to figure out whether or not they test on animals. I think they do though, now that I think about it. Also, I use Tom’s of Maine toothpaste to brush my teeth. It’s honestly the greatest brand of toothpaste out there and it was one of the first companies that decided to go a more humane root by testing the product out on people (because it doesn’t use any harsh chemicals or anything. So I’d check them out!

      • Thankyou so much! this will definetly help my essay for school and raise awareness for animal testing! This is definetly the only website that i got a ton of information and i actually got to talk to you. keep blogging your really good an I think you could make a difference someday 🙂

  13. Hi
    Avon is on the list of products what are not tested on animals but that’s not true…
    They are testing on animals 😦

  14. I have a website of my own called Animal Help 101. ( I think this is one of the best animal site ever. Would it be okay if I made a link to yours?

  15. Hi, thanks so much for writing this. I think this is one of the best animal rights blogs. I have noticed you haven’t made a lot of posts recently, can you make some more please?

  16. I love this animal rights blog, I am only 14 and I love it. I am doing an Inquiry on Ethical Dilemmas, an i have chosen to do animal testing. It is going ok, not the best, but Inquiry is never the best neither school on the other hand but anyway. If you just give some advice to write about that would be very handy, and I would gladly appreicate it, sorry if any of my spelling id bad just rushing. Thanks again, by the way my name is Kyle

  17. Thanks for letting me know about Green Works! I’ve been telling to boss to purchase it because it does not test on animals, but I will be stopping that ASAP! Also, do you know of any laundry soap that does not test on animals? I’ve just been using an all purpose liquid soap from Nature Sunshine(a herbal medicine company). I started using it at first to wash my guinea pigs beds, because I didn’t want a harsh detergent to irritate their skin, and I decided if it’s good enough for my pigs, its good enough for me to use! But it would be great if I could find a detergent that doesn’t test on animals that I could find in a super market instead of ordering it off-line.

    • I use a brand called Seventh Generation for laundry detergent. Most grocery stores sell it I think… Though some of them don’t. But yeah, all the Seventh Generation products are awesome! 🙂

  18. Hey! I know this is somewhat off-topic however I had to ask.
    Does running a well-established blog like yours require a
    massive amount work? I’m brand new to writing a blog however I do write in my diary on a daily basis. I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my personal experience and thoughts online.
    Please let me know if you have any suggestions or tips for brand new aspiring blog owners.
    Appreciate it!

    • In short, YES! But more than anything, it requires a great deal of passion and commitment. I started my blog because I wanted people to become more knowledgable about the cruelties inflicted upon animals. That was my first and primary goal. What makes my blog different from others is that I also include my own opinions and views on each subject I cover. If you’re going to start a blog, make sure that you are dedicated about the subject you choose to write about. If you want people to take the time to read your blog, you need to include a good mix of information, opinion, and I like to also include personal experience. A good grabber paragraph is also essential or people won’t bother reading the whole post. If your blog is going to include a lot of text, pictures are a must! In order for your blog to gain lots of viewers, you should post frequently. I could have a LOT more viewers if I kept posting new things but my commitment and dedication to writing diminished. Good luck on your blog tho!

  19. and for those that say animals are essential in medical testing, these researchers have never proved it, the law is 65 years old, the money involved is keeping the lies going, and never has animals predicted in any safe way how a medicine would react in a human, its done for insurance purposes and business lobbying governments to keep they profits rolling in, ask yourself why animal testing has never been evaluated by someone independent, or look at the 197,000 people who die every year in the EU by side effects from taking the drugs alone that the pharmaceutical industry said where “animal approved” oh i wonder why the pharmaceutical is the third richest industry in the world along side banks, with global sales of £356 BILLION, if the in vitro methods are showing better results although better then animal testing could do to have money injection, which there will be if we rid the research on animals, why use animals that are showing worse results, why bother, rid the law and medical cures and medicines will become more safe and results start coming in,

  20. After I originally commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when
    new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I receive 4 emails with the exact
    same comment. There has to be a means you can remove me from that service?

  21. I still live with my parents, and I try to be a responsible consumer. however, my mom thinks I’m “trying to save the world” and therefore refuses to cooperate and thinks its “too hard” to not test on animals. How would you suggest I convince her?

    • Sometimes there’s just no convincing them. My parents are basically the same way. Just explain to the best of your abilities that she is buying products that are not cruelty free, therefore she is basically supporting animal testing. Even though I explain that to my parents all the time, they just don’t seem to care as much about animals as they care about saving a dollar or two. Most of the time, I buy my own cruelty free cleaners and makeup so that I’m not giving any of my money towards a company who doesn’t test cruelty free. So if your mom doesn’t change her mind, buy some of your own cruelty free products and suggest she use them. Show her a list of the products to use and maybe she’ll see that there are SO many alternatives out there. Hope this helps!

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