California Bans Animal-Tested Products


Animals are people too.

By Megan Shelton

Last month, California made it illegal to sell products that have been tested on or contained ingredients that have been tested on animals. The scope of the product list ranges from deodorant to makeup. This unanimously-passed bill, called the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, has also been signed by Governor Jerry Brown. The bill will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020, to give companies who have not yet gone completely cruelty-free the chance to do so.

According to People, the national effort to pass the same law, the Humane Cosmetics Act, has been stalled in Congress. The author of the bill, Senator Cathleen Galgiani, is hoping that because California already passed the bill, the rest of the nation will do so, too. Over 37 other countries including the European Union, India, New Zealand and South Korea have already banned animal testing, while the United States has remained neutral on the issue. The FDA claims that, “while it doesn’t require animal testing, it ‘advises cosmetic manufacturers to employ whatever testing is appropriate and effective for substantiating the safety of their products.’”

So, how will the passage of this bill affect shopping habits? For those in California, it will be illegal to sell or purchase any product tested on animals. If companies cannot change their habits, they will have to take their business outside of the state.

As for the rest of the nation, change starts with consumers. One brand that has made it their mission to end animal testing is Lush Cosmetics. They have collaborated with the Humane Society International to initiate a campaign called #BeCrueltyFree, which is a call to action for North Americans to get political and rally against animal testing.

You, too, can join the anti-animal-testing fight right from the comfort of your own home by signing this pledge to support the Humane Cosmetics Act. If you’re from Canada, you can sign this pledge to show your support for the Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, which is well on its way to becoming a law. Also, take note of and support those companies that do not test on animals — and those that still do.

Fortunately, some of our favorite beauty brands are already cruelty-free, and some are even fully vegan! Learn more about these brands and check out some of the best reactions to the passage of SB 1249 below.

The Body Shop

This 100% vegetarian cosmetic brand has been a force in fighting animal cruelty since 1989. The Body Shop not only prides itself on their products and practices, but they also take part in other initiatives to promote physical and mental health. They utilize natural ingredients to create their signature body and makeup products.

Burt’s Bees

“Secrets-free since 1984,” Burt’s Bees is incredibly transparent with their product’s ingredients and formulas. Their products are 99% natural and over half are 100% natural. The “Natural Bar” section of their website shows the exact percentage of natural ingredients present in each product. Burt’s Bees is so dedicated to creating sustainable, cruelty-free products that they have registered with the Leaping Bunny Program, an organization that makes it easy to shop for cruelty-free products.

Vapour Beauty

Another company that is registered with the Leaping Bunny Program is Vapour Organic Beauty. This natural luxury makeup brand strives to make the most organic and inclusive choices when selecting the ingredients for their products. They have received Champion Safety Status from Environmental Working Group and Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Vapour never uses toxic chemicals, preservatives or animal testing.

Hourglass Cosmetics

Hourglass Cosmetics is at the intersection of technology and cruelty-free luxury beauty. Founded by Carisa Janes in 2004, the brand is recognized for its formulations and emphasis on active ingredients. All complexion products are infused with natural, active ingredients and none of the products are ever tested on animals.  

OSEA Malibu

According to OSEA, the core elements of wellness are ocean, sun, earth and atmosphere. Thus, all the products are created with plant-based, vegan, non-toxic and non-synthetic ingredients. OSEA is well-known for their certified organic, biodegradable seaweed infused with pure steam-distilled and cold pressed essential oils. In 2002, OSEA was the first company to sign “Compact for Safe Cosmetics”, the pledge part of the previously-mentioned Campaign for Safe Cosmetics by EWG.

Staci Soslowitz