True Beauty is Cruelty-Free: Support the Humane Cosmetics Act!


For the sake of new lipstick shades, skin creams, or shampoo formulas, animals endure torturous tests and suffer in silence in laboratories. The Humane Cosmetics Act of 2019 would eliminate cruel and ineffective testing and would also ban the sale of animal-tested cosmetics throughout the United States. Please urge your U.S. legislators to support the Humane Cosmetics Act today!

The Humane Cosmetics Act of 2019, introduced in both the House of Representatives (H.R. 5141) and the Senate (S. 2886), would end cosmetics testing on animals in the U.S. by prohibiting the use of animals to test cosmetics and would make it unlawful to sell, offer for sale, or knowingly transport in interstate commerce any cosmetic that was developed or manufactured using cosmetic animal testing.

The Food and Drug Association (FDA) defines a cosmetic as “articles intended to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness or altering the appearance without affecting the body’s structure or functions.” Under this definition, cosmetics can include eye and facial makeup, nail polish, shampoo, conditioner, hair color, skincare, perfume, deodorants, unmedicated body lotions and creams, and more.

A mouse used in animal testing. Image credit Understanding Animal Research, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Cosmetics animal testing includes outdated, scientifically unreliable methods of determining the safety of a product. For these tests, innocent animals, including rabbits, mice, rats, hamsters, and guinea pigs, are confined, restrained, and exposed to finished cosmetic products or ingredients included in a product’s formula.

Skin and eye irritation tests include dripping chemicals into animals’ eyes or rubbing chemicals onto their shaved skin to observe the results, which may include burns, lesions, bleeding, ulcers, and loss of vision. Animals are also forced to inhale substances or subjected to force-feeding studies in which they are forced to ingest chemicals over prolonged periods of time to observe the effects, which may range from general illness to cancer, seizures, birth defects, death, or anything in between. For “lethal dose” tests, animals are forced to consume large amounts of a test substance to determine the dose that kills them.

The FDA does not require animal testing for cosmetics in the United States.

These tests are not only cruel, but they have long been proven to be unnecessary, inefficient, and inconclusive. Although the anatomy of humans and that of other animals appear to be similar, all species respond differently to chemicals. The way a rabbit or mouse responds to a specific substance may be entirely different from a human’s response or even to each other. If a substance is determined to be safe for one animal species through these tests, it may not be safe for human use, which renders the test inconclusive and unnecessary. To make these tests even more tragic, the animals used are mercilessly killed once testing concludes, often by suffocation, decapitation, or neck-breaking.

An activists holds a sign that says “Animal Testing Makes Money, Not Progress.” Image credit Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals.

What you can do:

Many companies offer products made from thousands of ingredients that have been proven safe for human use and do not test the ingredients or finished products on animals. If companies wish, there are dozens of non-animal tests, including those that utilize human cells and digital models, to more precisely determine the safety of their products for humans’ physiology without harming and killing animals.

Please contact your two U.S. senators and one U.S. representative and ask them to put an end to cosmetics animal testing for good!

1. Personal contact with Congress is the most effective thing you can do. Please make three simple phone calls to your legislators by clicking on the link below, entering your zip code, and clicking on the federal tab.

When you call, state your name and your city/state. You may use the simple script below. Personalization is highly encouraged.

As your constituent, I urge you to support The Humane Cosmetics Act of 2019 (H.R. 5141 / S. 2886). The FDA does not require cosmetics animal testing, which forces animals to undergo cruel, outdated tests that yield unreliable, inconclusive results. Animals respond differently to substances than humans, and there are thousands of ingredients that have been proven to be safe for human use. With today’s technological advancements, animals do not need to suffer and die for cosmetics and more reliable testing methods are available. Please eliminate cosmetics animal testing!

2. Send our letter by filling out the form on the right hand side of this page. Please personalize if you can, especially the first few sentences.

Featured image: a rabbit in a laboratory. Image credit Otwarte Klatki, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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About Author

In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 valued supporters and a 30-year history of protecting animals, people and the environment through education, campaigns and hands on rescue facilities in India, Africa, and rural Mississippi. Our main headquarters are established in San Rafael, California. Click to see author's profile.

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