The last 12 months marked a watershed moment for cosmetic companies, as nearly four dozen manufacturers shifted their operations to utilize cruelty-free testing methods for their products. The companies join about 100 other cosmetic businesses that have done away with animal testing, opting instead for cruelty-free options like in vitro testing to ensure their products are safe for consumers.
Consumers demanding cruelty-free products
The use of cruelty-free testing isn’t new; vegan cosmetics have been around for decades. But until recently, the cruelty-free cosmetics market was relegated to a few “boutique” brands, reaching only a tiny share of the consumer marketplace. Today, all of that has changed – and major cosmetics companies have joined forces with leading retailers to provide consumers with plenty of options that help them feel good about the products they’re buying.
In fact, the global marketplace for cruelty-free cosmetics is expected to reach or exceed $10 billion by 2024, with an anticipated growth rate of 6% — significantly higher than the “traditional” cosmetics industry as a whole. What’s driving that growth? Industry experts say there are several factors:
- Broader adoption of a “vegan” lifestyle, notably among younger consumers and also among baby boomers – two sizable market sectors driving cosmetic sales.
- Greater awareness among consumers of the pain and suffering inflicted upon animals during the testing phase of cosmetics manufacturing and a desire to play a role in eliminating that pain and suffering.
- Movements among state and national governments to ban animal testing in new cosmetic manufacturing. To date, roughly 40 countries have banned new cosmetics testing on animals, a number that’s expected to continue to grow.
Companies meeting the need
Cruelty-free cosmetics are now routinely carried by major retailers like Target, along with many leading specialty cosmetics retailers, like Ulta and Sephora. What’s more, consumers can ensure the products they’re choosing are cruelty-free simply by visiting websites like Cruelty Free Kitty, Leaping Bunny, Ethical Elephant, and of course, PETA. Devoted solely to identifying brands that don’t test on animals, Cruelty Free Kitty’s site logged about a quarter million visits during the last half of 2019.
According to the Cruelty Free Kitty website, nearly 150 cosmetic companies have been confirmed to be free of animal products and animal testing, and about 40 companies were added to the list in 2019, including:
- Kylie Cosmetics
- LA Girl
- Jeffree Star
These and about 30 other companies join major brands like NYX, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Urban Decay, Too Faced, Physicians Formula, Elf and Milani. (The complete list is here.)
Alternatives to animal testing
While the FDA has never required animal testing for cosmetics products, many manufacturers have resorted to animal testing as the “traditional” choice – or at least, the method that’s been most widely used in the past. Today, though, there are in vitro testing options that offer results that are just as accurate as animal testing. At InVitro International, we offer two state-of-the-art testing methods for cosmetics testing, helping forward-thinking, socially-responsible companies offer products that are safe and attractive to consumers.
The Irritection® Assay System is used to test for ocular and skin irritancy, replacing methods like the painful Draize test without sacrificing accuracy. What’s more, Irritection® is far less costly compared to animal testing, and results can be obtained much faster – in as little as 24 hours, compared to several weeks with in vivo testing. Results are also highly reproducible, enabling comparative ranking of formulations with far greater accuracy.
Corrositex® is a full replacement for in vivo rabbit skin corrosivity tests, providing highly accurate results in a fraction of the time of live animal testing – four hours max compared to two to four weeks with live animals. Like Irritection®, Corrositex® offers substantial cost savings without sacrificing reliability, accuracy or safety.
Join the movement to cruelty-free
Our cruelty-free in vitro tests are simple to implement at your own facilities, and we offer comprehensive lab testing services at our site as well. To learn more about how our products and services can help your company grow and thrive in an evolving consumer marketplace, use our online contact form or give us a call at 800-246-8487 today.