The Difference Between Testing, Being Against Testing & Not Testing
One of the big things about the beauty industry that never ceases to amaze me is its ability to use language to confuse and misrepresent itself. We are constantly bombarded with new ingredients that are guaranteed to make us younger, firmer, brighter and more beautiful. This is also used to mask the reality of the testing that goes on with the cosmetics and beauty products we buy. The companies do not lie, but they do bend the reality so that we, the consumers, can become very confused and believe that something is cruelty free when, in reality, only the finished product is.
One way of manipulating us into thinking something is completely cruelty free is to say the finished product is not tested on animals. This is, of course, true, but it does not state whether the ingredients have been tested on animals or not. I have seen more than one debate on forums and social network sites where customers of a product or brand have become confused as to the reality of the company’s position and different beliefs have been argued. One in particular I saw went on for a while with people asking the company to confirm either way (it was the companies Facebook page), unsurprisingly the company did not respond as their ingredients are tested it’s only the final product that isn’t and they would not want to risk their reputation being tainted by admitting this.
There are other ways companies can twist the truth and make it look like they are cruelty free when in reality they are only playing lip service to this, below are some examples of this from well-known brands. It saddens me that they can get away with this but, unfortunately there are no laws in place governing this at the moment so we are at the mercy of very good marketers:
“To develop products of optimal safety and to participate in the development of methods that do not involve testing on animals”
http://www.loreal.co.uk/_en/_gb/index.aspx?direct1=00004&direct2=00004/00005 – accessed 7th June 2012
A quick search under L’Oreal Animal Testing on Google shows a massive amount of campaigning to get L’Oreal to stop the unecersary testing.
“Clinique Laboratories, LLC. is committed to the elimination of animal testing. We are equally committed to consumer health and safety, and bringing to market products that comply with applicable regulations in every country in which our products are sold.
We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law. We evaluate our finished products in clinical tests on volunteer panels.
Clinique Laboratories, LLC. fully supports the development and global acceptance of non-animal testing alternatives. To this end, the Company works extensively with the industry at large and the global scientific community to research and fund these alternatives”
http://www.clinique.com/cms/customer_service/faqs.tmpl – accessed 7th June 2012
As you can see it would be easy to think that these were not testing but this is wrong. L’Oreal do not mention their actual policy only what they are working towards. Clinique, on the other hand, look like they don’t test but put in the caveat of “except where required by law”, this company is on a few bad lists and doesn’t feature at all on the Leaping Bunny site.
I think when it comes to finding out if something is tested or not the best place to go is a well trusted organisation who are experts in this field. If they don’t list the company you’re interested in contact them, they will always be happy to help!
Example of another unclear policy:
“In 1987, Clarins was the first French company to ban animal testing. Since plants are an incredible source of resources and infinite riches, Clarins also banned the use of cellular extracts of animal origin beginning in 1991″
Notice how there is no mention of the ingredients, therefore no specifics so no real confirmation that they are completely cruelty free!
I have found that those companies who are truly cruelty free tend to wear it as a badge of honour, one of these who are very prolific are Lush who have a petition to end animal testing. They are one of the few companies who have never tested on animals who you will find easily on the high street. They are also a fave brand of mine!!
Most companies tend to stick to a Fixed Cut off Date regarding animal testing. This means that the company sets a date in time which they will not buy or produce ingredients etc that have been tested on animals after. This is the best method of preventing further testing, uncaged has an excellent page with further information in this area, I would recommend this as a place to get more insight.
My next post will be my first review!!! 🙂
ps I’m so proud of myself, I’ve worked out how to add a link to a word!!!!! :p