Animal Testing for Cosmetics - Cosmetics Essay Example

Animal Testing for Cosmetics



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Animals are subjected to a variety of chemicals and products, including medicine, cleaning agents, pesticides, chemicals in food, packaging, and cosmetics. These safety tests of chemicals and products uses at least 10% of the animals in the laboratories (about two million animals in the United States) But the controversy on animal testing still lingers despite this relatively low figure. Controversies like, ethical issues, whether deliberately subjecting animals to harmful or possibly harmful chemicals is right or wrong (Animal Testing, 2008).


Any sort of animal testing for cosmetics purposes is already banned in most parts of Europe. The European Union (EU) has recently banned all kinds of product testing on Animals. The United States on the other hand, have yet to fully follow this trend (Consumer Product Companies, n.d.)  There are still companies that resort to this kind of testing because it is the cheapest way for them to test their products. The legality of animal testing depends on the country. In some countries, animal testing for cosmetics is required to make sure that the chemicals used are not harmful to humans. Countries that banned animal testing for cosmetics believe that cosmetic companies have already done enough research and should stop animal testing. It has been made illegal thanks mostly, to animal rights activists that fought for certain laws to be passed.

Ethical Issues

Logically, ethics dictates that we humans, the species that would benefit from the products (whatever these products may be) should test these products on the same species. It is unethical that we test harmful chemicals on species that would not benefit from the product. Although we do test products on humans, but that is after we have already tested it on lab animals. News on abuse on test animals angered the public a few years ago. Companies that conduct animal testing suddenly were at gun-point from animal rights activists and the public, forcing them to shut down their animal testing program. They developed means of testing products that does not require animal testing (Jeantheau, 2004).

What Drives You?

It seems the debate on Animal testing on cosmetics have been concluded years ago. The ethical question that was left was whether animal testing for medical advancement. But there are still some organizations and persons that believe that animal testing for cosmetics is still vital for the safety of the consumers. In 2006, a scientist from the United Kingdom commented that animal testing for the development of cosmetic products should still be practiced (Pitman 2006). Companies that support animal testing are, understandably, big cosmetic companies.

Animal Rights Activist on Animal Testing

For animal rights activist, animal testing is downright cruel. Animals are exposed to harmful chemicals that are going to be used by humans. It does not benefit the animals at all. Animals are powerless against humans, they are not willing subjects. Humans on the other hand, have a choice (and the morals) to choose or not choose if they want to undergo testing.


The mere fact that cosmetics are just used to simply make someone beautiful (but not always the case) is enough reason to stop animal testing for cosmetics. But the world is just starting to impose laws on animal testing for cosmetics. Animal testing is unethical and should be stopped. Despite large corporations that support animal testing for cosmetics, it should be ultimately put to an end.





The Humane Society of the United States. (2008). Animal Testing. September 5,

2008. from:

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. (n.d.). Consumer Product Companies.

September 5, 2008. from:


Jeantheau, M. (2004). Manimal and the Cosmetics Testing Laboratory. September 5, 2008.


Pitman, S. (2006) Scientist’s pro-animal test comments court controversy. September 2008.







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