I doubt that anyone would willingly purchase a cosmetic product if they knew it was tested on animals. There’s something about cosmetic testing that seems especially unnecessarily cruel. In fact, the European Union issued a directive, which implemented a ban on testing the finished cosmetic product on animals in 2004, and further extended the prohibition to cover ingredients or combination of ingredients in 2009, all with the goal of banning testing by their target date of 2013. Other countries have followed suit, but the United States still has yet to issue any such ban. This isn’t to suggest that consumers and cosmetic brands in the United States don’t care whether or not their cosmetics are tested on animals ; on the contrary, the U.S is home to The Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT), which works steadfastly to research and promote humane science.
From their website:
We promote humane science by supporting the creation, development, validation, and use of alternatives to animals in research, product safety testing, and education. We seek to effect change by working with scientists in industry, government, and academia to find new ways to replace animals with non-animal methods, reduce the numbers of animals necessary, or refine methods to make them less painful or stressful to the animals involved.
Some of their funding comes from private cosmetic companies who would love nothing more than to have alternatives to animal testings; whether or not this is for ethical or public relations reasons one can’t be sure, but it’s comforting to know that real efforts are being made.
While I look forward to the day when all testing on animals is banned, I can, in the mean time, buy cosmetics from brands who use ingredients that were not tested on animals.
Unfortunately, many of the brand name , mainstream, nail polishes that you’ll find stocking the shelves at your local drug store do test on animals or use ingredients that have been tested on animals, OPI and ESSIE are sadly among them.
And you might not be aware that nails are porous, so they can absorb some chemicals and actually damage nails, which means it’s best to shop for a brand that is free from chemicals like formaldehyde.
So, before you buy, consider snatching up one of the following five perfect colors for spring from cruelty-free and vegan nail polish brands–and if you must have your nails professionally done at a slon, you can totally bring your own polish!
HABIT in their creamy pale lavender-blue Soft Focus
Habit nail polish is a 5-free brand, which means they’re free of: toluene,formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin,dibutyl phthalate, and camphor. They also proudly proclaim their use of myrrh, which acts as a natural nail strengthener. I also love that they use a bamboo top cap instead of plastic, and package all of their polishes in FSC-certified paperboard.
AILA in their soft pink-purple Lilac
Aila is a physician developed nail polish brand which is 8-free meaning it does not contain all of the five chemicals listed above, AND does not contain: sulfates, parabens (which are estrogen agonists), or TPHP, which is a plasticizer and flame retardant.
LAUREN B BEAUTY in their clean mint green My Private Cabana
Lauren B nail polish is made in the USA and is 5-free
TRUST FUND in Why You Mad, Though?
If the light pastels aren’t quite cutting it, and you want something a little more sparkly, this is a fun, yet easy to wear option.
Trust Fund is a beauty brand that makes polishes and lipsticks in the US and EU. They’re a 7-free brand: paraben-free, dibutyl phthalate-free, toluene-free, xylene-free, camphor-free, formaldehyde-free and formaldehyde resin-free.
ELLA + MILA in their happy and bright Limoncello
As they say on their website, “Because nothing puts you in the mood like a glass of limoncello in Rome.”
I’ve personally never been to Rome, but I would imagine a glass of limoncello there would be delightful.
Ella + Mila are a USA made 5-free brand. As a sucker for cute packaging, I must admit that love their adorable elephant logo.