Why are organic cosmetics expensive? (2)
You get that organic personal care products are good, but do you think they are little overpriced? Are you concerned if they are safe because of that the organic personal care products do not go through animal testing?
I watched a documentary film about animal testing for the personal care product safety certification. It was horrifying and I decided not to use any product that underwent animal testing. Don’t organic personal care products undergo animal testing?
If you look closely at the label of organic personal care products, there is a lovely rabbit logo with the statement indicating that the product did not go through animal testing. What does this mean? Do organic personal care products actually cost more?
Since when did the personal care product companies start to conduct the safety test for the products?
Before the introduction of synthetic chemicals, the human body skin was considered as the absolute protection from the external pollutants. We thought that anything touches our skin would stay on the outer surface of the skin and would be washed away eventually. However, with the introduction of synthetic chemicals, ingredients with the size as small as a molecule that can penetrate into our skin were invented. It hasn’t been long since these new ingredients were used. Thus, we would never know if they are toxic or harmful. It is now the duty of the companies to prove the safety of the raw materials and the products. The companies cannot ignore the possible damages to the business if the products were launched without identifying their potential hazards.
The 17th century’s rationalism philosopher, Rene Descartes (1596~1650) asserted that animals are automata without consciousness and mind, thus cannot feel pain. Later on, his view has become the supporting philosophy in justifying the animal testing. In 1933, there was an accident in the US, people who dyed their eyebrows went blind, and few of them even died. From this incident, the animal testing was introduced regularly.
How is the animal testing conducted?
Normally, the test is conducted by injecting the ingredients, eye irritation experiment (test the intramucosal irritation), allergy test and skin sensitisation test are the typical tests. I think there is no other creatures more cruel than the human beings, knowing the fact that animals are suffering for personal care products that they do not even need at all.
Personal care product companies have been explained to the public that the animal testing is for ‘the sake of customer’s safety’. This led to consumer strikes and other campaigns of many organisations and now we can see many products with the ‘not tested on animals’ label. I believe this is the representative case of the customer’s action changing the corporation’s decision. According to RSPCA, “While no animal testing for cosmetics currently takes place in Australia it’s technically not illegal. Neither is the sale of any imported cosmetic products that have, or contain ingredients that have, been tested on animals elsewhere in the world. However, this could soon change.” Let’s move forward!
If we do not do animal testing, how would we be sure about our safety?
In order to be certified as organic, animal testing must be strictly prohibited. So, instead of this brutal and cruel experiment, the following test methods are conducted. Of course, they are more costly compared to the animal testing and eventually affect the price of organic personal care products...
Human body test
Test the product to the targets who satisfy the condition and are expected to be the potential users of the product. Since the raw materials and production methods are totally safe, it is a hundred times more logical to test the product on the volunteers than to sacrifice the innocent animals with totally different gene arrangement to humans.
This test is conducted when the product is evaluated to contain potential harmful components for the human body test. In-Vitro test involves epiderm®, episkin®, epiocular® and such artificial tissues that are similar to human epidermis, cells and cornea. These artificial tissues are used to test the safety of the personal care products’ raw materials. To tell you a little bit more of the back story, this test method was developed in a hurry by L'Oreal, beaten up by the European customers because of their vicious reputation with animal testing.
How can I purchase personal care products ‘not test on animals’?
There has been no official logo related to the animal testing prohibition, yet, each organisation uses distinctive logos. However, just remember that you are saving a cute puppy whenever you choose a product with that logo!
Please! Check all the ingredients whenever you buy personal care product. A thoughtful purchase behavior of each and every customer will change the action of personal care product companies. See you soon with the next posting ‘Why are organic personal care products expensive? (3)’!