Which animals are used in cosmetics tests?
The answer will make you want to swap your shop
Half a million animals are used to test cosmetics around the world each year – that’s more than 1,369 today alone. So, who is the odd one out?
Sorry it’s a trick question – they can all be used in cosmetics tests. Here’s the low down…
Pregnant rabbits are force-fed a cosmetics ingredient for about 28 days and are then killed along with their unborn babies. In some- fortunately less common- cases, rabbits are forced to eat or inhale or have it rubbed into their shaved skin every day for 28 or 90 days, and are then killed.
Guinea pigs have a cosmetics ingredient rubbed onto their shaved skin and are subjectively observed to see if they have an allergic reaction. They are then killed.
Rats are forced to eat or inhale a cosmetics ingredient or have it rubbed into their shaved skin every day for 28 or 90 days, and are then killed. In some tests, pregnant rats are force-fed the ingredient over about 21 days and then killed along with their unborn babies.
Mice have a cosmetics ingredient painted onto their ears and are observed to see if they have an allergic reaction. They are killed six days later.
In some – fortunately rare – cases, dogs are forced to eat or inhale an ingredient used in cosmetics or have it rubbed into their shaved skin every day for 28 or 90 days, and are then killed.
Some cruelty free companies carry out humane testing on humans. People have a small amount of product placed on their skin to ensure that it is safe and effective, usually at the final stage of testing a new formulation.
You’re bound to agree that testing cosmetics safely and humanely makes so much more sense than forcing animals to suffer.
And there are many other ways to test cosmetics which don’t involve animals. These alternatives use simple organisms like bacteria, tissues and cells from humans, computer models or chemical methods. These scientifically advanced tests are often quicker, cheaper and more reliable than the cruel and unnecessary animal tests they replace. Find out more about the alternatives to animal tests.
Swap your shop
You can make help our work to end animal suffering for cosmetics by swapping your shopping. Switch to cruelty free approved brands for your favourite products and help make your world cruelty free.
We’ve made it easy! Our Leaping Bunny is the internationally-recognisable gold standard for cruelty free cosmetics, personal care and household products. With over 1,000 brands, there’s something for everyone.