None of us wants to think about Thumper testing out our face cream, but if you don’t shop for cruelty free products, that’s exactly what could be happening.
The skin care industry is full of products that are either tested on animals or contain ingredients that are tested on animals. The worst part? You may not even know you’re using a product that is tested on a small, furry creature.
Clever marketing techniques can fool even the most observant and careful consumer into believing the products they are buying are free from animal involvement. However, it isn’t as simple as looking for “not tested on animals” on the product packaging.
To really know for sure your products are cruelty-free, you’ve got to learn:
- How animals are used in product testing. From the first conceptual idea of a product to the end of the manufacturing line, there are numerous chances for animals to be involved as test subjects.
- What cruelty-free means and how some brands misuse cruelty-free verbiage. Just seeing “not tested on animals” on the box doesn’t mean it’s 100 percent cruelty-free, even though we agree it totally should.
- Which brands are committed to keeping their products cruelty-free as a standard business practice of their company.
Disco is proudly 100 percent cruelty-free. From start to finish our products and their ingredients are never tested on an animal. Our products are also 100 percent vegan, which means they don’t contain any animal parts or byproducts.
Let’s talk about how animals are used in testing and why you should look for cruelty-free skin care options.
It seems pretty archaic, but animals are still used in product testing, especially in the skin care industry. The most commonly used animals for product testing are guinea pigs, rabbits, rats, and mice. Larger animals (like dogs and cats) aren’t excluded, they just aren’t used as often as smaller animals.
Animals are used to test the toxicity of products, determine whether or not an ingredient causes an allergic reaction, and whether or not a product ingredient is a carcinogen. Animals are also used to calculate any reproductive and/or developmental issues a product or ingredient may have.
To test products and ingredients on animals, extremely invasive procedures are used. This includes:
- Skin and eye irritation tests. Animals undergoing these types of tests will have a product or ingredient applied or injected into their skin to see if it produces a reaction. If an eye irritant test is performed, the ingredient or product will be dropped into the animal’s eye to determine if it results in irritation, changes in vision, and/or blindness.
Toxicity tests. Toxicity testing works similarly, with animals being injected with certain ingredients, or being forced to inhale an ingredient repeatedly to determine if repeated use presents a toxicity issue.
The same types of tests are used to determine whether a product ingredient is carcinogenic. These tests usually take longer, as the animal is exposed to the product or ingredient over a period of time and tested years later to determine if the ingredient played a role in the development of cancer.
- Reproductive and developmental testing. Possibly the most invasive form of animal testing, reproductive and developmental testing involves forced exposure of an ingredient or product on an animal, followed by forced breeding to determine whether the product or ingredient caused a reproductive issue or a developmental issue with the animal’s offspring.
It’s heavy. It’s depressing. It’s seriously cruel to think of animals being subjected to these types of tests just so you can moisturize your skin. The worst part? It’s not even necessary. There are numerous alternatives to animal testing, so using animals just doesn’t make any sense.
Consumers like you are fed up, and demanding products that aren’t tested on animals. This is great news, but some companies are less than honest about how their products involve animals. Here’s how.
When Cruelty Free Doesn’t Mean Cruelty Free
You’re super careful, and always buy products that say “product not tested on animals” on the package. You’re safe, right? Wrong.
Here’s how things get sticky with cruelty-free marketing.
1. Product Not Tested on Animals
The fact is, the product in your hands may have never been tested on an animal, but one of the ingredients in the product could have been.
Your products are made up of numerous ingredients, each of which must be deemed safe to be included in a final product. Whether the tests to determine those ingredients’ safety are performed on animals are not can be a mystery.
As such, a company is sadly well within their right to place “product not tested on animals” on the final product they sell you.
2. We Do Not Test on Animals
You only buy products from a company that states “we do not test on animals.” Seems legit, right? Again, wrong. While the company that sells your product may not test on animals, they may send their products to a third-party company for testing. That company may test on animals.
Another caveat? The company that sells your product doesn’t test on animals, but they source their ingredients from companies that do. In other words, every ingredient in the product may have involved animal testing, but the company that sells the product doesn’t test on animals, so the verbiage on the package is technically true.
3. Cruelty is Subjective
What you think is cruelty to animals and what a company thinks is cruel can be as different as political opinions. An example of this is lanolin.
Lanolin is naturally secreted by sheep to help keep their wool healthy and protected. It is often harvested from the sheep and used as an emollient in lotions and creams.
Companies often claim that harvesting lanolin isn’t cruel. After all, it’s usually collected from the wool that a sheep has shed, or it is simply brushed from the animal. Seems harmless enough. However, any time an animal is being raised in captivity, it’s never harmless.
Animals (like sheep) raised for their byproducts are often mistreated, underfed, kept in awful living conditions.
How Can You Know if Your Product is 100 Percent Cruelty Free
You know what’s not cruelty-free, so how can you find what is? It’s not as difficult as it seems. One of the easiest ways is to look for a certified cruelty-free bunny logo. These logos are offered by several different third-party companies that offer certification for cruelty-free products.
However, it should be noted that not all cruelty-free products will have these logos. A product can be completely cruelty-free and not have a logo; it’s completely optional.
The best way to know for sure your products are cruelty-free is to get familiar with the brand. If you visit a brand’s website it will be pretty easy to tell if animal safety is a concern to them or not. Usually, cruelty-free brands are out loud about their decision to keep animal testing away from their products.
At Disco, we require all our products remain cruelty-free. It’s a founding principle of our company. None of our products is tested on animals at any level of manufacturing from ingredient testing to the final product itself.
We’re more than just cruelty-free; we’re committed to protecting humans, too. That’s why you’ll never find toxins, carcinogens, sulfates, or parabens in any of our products. We only use natural, effective ingredients to get you the best and healthiest skin.
Our team of dermatologists worked tirelessly to create a skin care line that would be safe not only for animals but also for your skin. Our skin care is pH balanced to work synergistically with the perfect pH balance of a man’s skin, so you get better results than you do with products you find at a big box store.
It’s easy to get started with cruelty-free skin care. Our starter set includes a cleanser, exfoliating scrub, and moisturizer that are 100 percent cruelty-free and can eliminate questionable products from your bathroom counter.
Grab our all-natural, aluminum free deodorant and paraben-free body wash in our body set and eliminate two more products from your current lineup that might be tested on animals.
The Bottom Line
Buying cruelty-free isn’t as easy as it should be, but you can take the guesswork out of it by trusting your skin care to Disco. Our products and their ingredients are never tested on animals and are safe for your skin.
You’re tough, but we know you’d never hurt a flea. If you really want cruelty-free skin care products, Disco is your solution.