OneKind volunteer and cruelty-free business owner Rebecca Miller recently launched her own vegan skincare company, Temple de Luna. We asked Rebecca to write a guest blog for our autumn appeal about why she never tests on animals, as one of our key requests in our manifesto is for the Government to replace animal testing with animal-friendly alternatives.
It isn’t news that animal testing is a barbaric and inhumane practice, causing a great deal of suffering. However, cruelty-free goes much deeper than whether a company directly tests their products on animals or not. Cruelty-free is looking at how are their ingredients sourced? Are their ingredients cruelty-free? Where does the company sell its products? Do they sell their products in a country where cosmetic regulations instruct that all cosmetic products being sold in that country must be subjected to animal testing before they allow it to go on the market?
Do companies need to test on animals?
At the absolute heart of ‘cruelty-free’, the fact of the matter is that animal testing is completely unnecessary. As the owner of a small, handmade skincare business, I can tell you testing on animals is a completely avoidable step when testing your products, even in the early stages of formulating an idea. The entire premise of testing a product formula on animals horrifies me for two main reasons. The first, the most obvious one, is the exploitation, abuse and murder of animals in this barbaric practice. The second is the realisation of what is actually going into these product formulas if the formulators are so unwilling to test it on humans that they try it on animals first. That makes me question if I want to put something on my skin that hasn’t been created with confidence and makes me suspicious of the ingredients and what they could potentially do.
When it comes to formulating my products, I go through the ingredients individually and create a first-draft formula.
Once I’ve created the first batch of a new product formula then the first thing I do is try it out on myself.
I also dish samples out to my husband, parents, sisters and friends and encourage them to try it as I know they will be completely honest with me. I do this with confidence because I know my ingredients inside out, I know that they are safe to use and which quantity to use them in. This isn’t to say these formulators/companies aren’t, however, I don’t use synthetic ingredients or harsh chemicals in my products that could potentially be unsafe at certain quantities because they aren’t necessary either.
The worst that can happen in this part of the process is that the product didn’t turn out the way it was intended, perhaps the consistency could be better or it doesn’t quite work the way it was intended to. So I go back to my formula, tweak it and follow the same process. Sometimes this can take a long time, but there are multiple benefits. No animals are involved, and I get to try out my products for myself and perfect them based on my own opinion and that of those I share samples with for feedback. If I’m not using any ingredients that can potentially cause harm or a dangerous reaction (I don’t mean allergic reaction, as there is always potential we can discover something new we are allergic to) then I can safely and confidently use them myself and give them to my loved ones to try. If the companies testing on animals can’t pay a group of humans to trial their products from the very first formula to the last then I have to ask why?
What is ‘cruelty-free’?
When it comes to cruelty-free I think it’s important to do your research. Even making a conscious effort to look beyond a ‘CF’ label and dig a little deeper makes all the difference.
For me, transparency is key, so a company that has details on their testing procedures or a statement against animal cruelty and the role they play is more likely to get my vote than a company who has a simple “cruelty-free” logo on their branding. And that’s something I carry into my own business. For example, on my website, my front page highlights that my products are vegan & cruelty-free, and that every formula is tested on humans only! And it’s something like that I look for when it comes to buying products for my routine if I don’t make them myself. Basically, I look for brands that take a clear stance on animal testing.
There are plenty of resources out there that go into much more detail about animal testing processes, regulations (or lack of) and what you can do to help be part of the solution to ending animal testing. This is one of the reasons I love OneKind so much, they always have such a wealth of informative updates about animal cruelty, regulations and petitions and are so passionate about and committed to ending animal cruelty.
At the end of the day, animals are incredible, sentient beings. Like you and I, they have the ability to experience pain and suffering, in the same way that they are able to experience love and compassion.
I have always been an animal lover, growing up with lots of rescue pets and a distinct appreciation for nature, I could never dream of putting an animal through pain or suffering. Animal testing in the cosmetics industry is a completely avoidable practice, but the good thing is that more and more people are learning about the subject and becoming passionate about it.
I believe people are taking more action now than ever before. Providing we continue to educate ourselves, make conscious choices of where we put our money and fight to end animal cruelty, I truly believe that we will create a world free from animal testing.
If you’d like to find out more about Rebecca’s cruelty-free process, or learn more about her products, you can visit her website here.