By Catie Ryan, Staff Writer
A company’s “cruelty-free” status has become a massive determining factor in how well its products sell - and rightfully so. Animal testing is a not only unnecessary, it’s unethical. Animals endure horrendous atrocities in the name of “beauty,” when, in reality, there are countless other ways to safely and honorably test products.
The phrase “cruelty-free” means something different for everyone, but regulatory institutions have set specific qualifications that a company must meet to gain that title. However, there is still a lot of confusion surrounding the specifics of the term and its definition, so we had our resident dermatologist, Dr. Ershadi, answer some of them for us!
How would you define "animal testing?”
Dr. Ershadi: Cosmetics testing on animals relates to many aspects of the manufacturing process. Animal testing may occur on the full, finished product or it may occur on individual ingredients within a formulation. The type of test that was performed in animal were about eye and skin irritation test, acute toxicity, skin sensitivity testing, mutagenic testing.
(Dr. Ershadi with her pup)
What does it mean for a company to be “cruelty-free?”
Dr. Ershadi: “Cruelty-free” is a label for products or activities that do not harm or kill animals anywhere in the world. But how does the company accomplish satisfying laws, regulations and safety standards? In many countries manufacturers are still required by law to show that a product meets certain health, hygiene and safety standards before it can be approved for public purchase and use.
Other than the ethical issues, what are the scientific downfalls of animal testing?
Dr. Ershadi: Non-animal testing procedures are widely available, despite the fact that many institutions still utilize experiments on animals that can be cruel and even costly to perform. Interestingly, animal testing is generally inapplicable to humans, as human skin differs in its composition in most cases.
When did the skincare industry as a whole decide to veer away from this practice?
Dr. Ershadi: Unfortunately it hasn’t, and we are still working tirelessly to end these practices around the world.
What are the alternatives to testing on animals?
Dr. Ershadi: The alternatives to animal testing include human volunteers, sophisticated tests using human cells and tissues (also known as in vitro methods), and computer-modeling techniques (often referred to as in silico models or trials).
At the end of the day, the choice is always yours. At Paris Hilton Skincare, we are proud to develop our products cruelty free and without any animal testing. Around the globe, the skincare and cosmetic industries are still adjusting to the increased awareness of animal free product testing and ethical development, and we could not be happier to be at the forefront of this movement. While we encourage everyone to be informed on the products they use, no matter your beliefs, we look forward to share our wonderful products with you!
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