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Canalside Chronicles

The Student News Site of Canalside Chronicles

Canalside Chronicles

The Student News Site of Canalside Chronicles

Canalside Chronicles

A second chance
May 7, 2024

Cruel Cosmetics

Cruel+Cosmetics

By Abigail Scott

For people who wear makeup or use cosmetics, the use of animals in testing the products is often overlooked.

Types of animals used in testing (Photos/ Creative Commons Licenses)

An estimate of more than 50 million monkeys, rats, dogs, cats, rabbits and more are tested in the United States in one year alone. 

NYS Governor Kathy Hochul passed a bill through the NY Senate that went into affect Jan.1, 2023 which prohibits cosmetics companies from manufacturing and selling products that use animal testing.  

Cosmetics are more than just makeup, they are any product that can be applied to the body to clean or change it in any way.  Examples of cosmetic products are; hair dyes, perfume, makeup, skin-care creams and products that treat or prevent diseases like dandruff shampoo or whitening toothpaste. 

Popular brands are often big culprits of the different brands that are not approved by the PETA Global Animal Test Policy that lists all of the brands and products that are and aren’t cruelty free. Clean and Clear by Johnson and Johnson is one of the products that aren’t.

Clean and Clear by Johnson and Johnson cream cleanser (Photo/ Creative Commons Licenses)

SUNY Brockport student Eiley Thompson uses some big brands but doesn’t take the time to check for the cruelty free label.

When I was younger, I went for some of the more expensive brands like Tarte, Urban Decay, Too Faced and Clinique,” Thompson said. “I’m still using those products today, but when I buy new products now, I typically go for Nyx Cosmetics.  I try to find a product that fits best for my personal uses, which means being pigmented and long lasting. I’m often more concerned with the price and quality of the product so I don’t look to see if that brand uses animal testing.”

Thompson’s makeup collection with her at Brockport (Photo/Contribution)

Country Treasures Owner Marie Bell sells cosmetic products from a small business in New Hampshire called Sweet Grass Farm but she does not know if they are cruelty free.

“They do not say anything about animal testing or otherwise but they are a family owned and family run company established in 1988. They sell in home care, laundry solution, soap and cleaning supplies. They use pure essential oils as the fragrance, high quality olive oil as a base and nutrients in the soaps that sit out for 20 days,” Bell said.

Soaps from Sweet Grass Farm sold at Country Treasures in Brockport NY. (Photo/Abigail Scott)

SUNY Brockport Journalism, Broadcasting and Public Relations Lecturer Mary McCrank is knowledgeable of the cosmetics consumer base.

“Cosmetic companies target women between the ages of 18 and 49,” McCrank said in an email. “Advertising agencies use subliminal messaging to sell beauty products, including sexual images, to attract customers to their product lines. This is a common tactic used by cologne and perfume companies, as well as cosmetic companies. These ads often make young girls and women want to buy their products so they can look like the models in the ads and attract boyfriends like the male models in these ads.”  

Thompson uses her products for similar reasons.

“I usually use makeup because I enjoy it as a form of self expression. I find it as a form of self expression. I find it fun to try new looks, colors and styles. A fun makeup look and styled outfit makes me feel so confident and happy in myself,” Thompson said.

Eiley Thompson with a full face of makeup (Photo/Abigail Scott)

Unlike Thompson, McCrank takes the time to buy cruelty free products.

“I personally buy only cruelty free products,” McCrank said. “Many of these product lines advertise they are cruelty free. But you have to really look for the fine print or the image of the bunny, which indicates it’s a cruelty free product. This slows down the purchasing efforts if you are in the store which is irritating and time consuming. My wife purchases the majority of our health and beauty aid products through a lot of good companies online. We only shop in person for these products if we are completely out of something.”

Logos on trustworthy cruelty free products (Photo/Creative Commons Licenses)

For those who wear makeup and use cosmetics, the search for cruelty free products should be less difficult. So far 10 states passed legislation on animal testing and efforts are being made to pass a federal legislation called the Humane Cosmetics Act that will prohibit animal testing and the sale of products that test on animals.

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