Cruelty free cosmetics and ginger rodents

On a related note to the previous post, I spent part of New Year’s Day typing up this list, while I was staying round someone’s house. There may well be spelling mistakes – it was tiny font, and pink on pink I think. It may not have been the most exciting way to spend 1/1/11 but after a rather late night it was about all the excitement I could handle.

Aqua Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Xylenesulfonate, Parfum, Cocamide MEA, Sodium Benzoate, Terasodium EDTA, Propylene Glycol, Linoleamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Guar Hydroxpropytrimonium Chloride, Benzyl Alcohol, Limonene, Butylphenyl Methypropional, Hexyl Cinnamal, Sodium Diethylenetramine Pentamethylene Phosporate, Etidronic Acid, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Citronellol, Euterpre Olacea Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Silk, Methylochloroisothiazoline, Methylisothiazoline, C1 17200, C1 14700, Potassium Sorbate, C1 4705, Fumaric Acid

These are the ingredients of Proctor & Gamble’s Herbal Essences shampoo, promoted on the front of the bottle as containing “Acai berry and silk extracts”. I know several very nice people who buy Herbal Essences precisely because they think there’s something natural (and by extension, environmentally sound, and by further extension, not involved in nasty animal testing) about it. There’s not.

In fact Proctor & Gamble are notorious for their testing. (This story, about rats turning orange as a result of cosmetics testing, is really crying out for a Danny Alexander quip, but I will restrain myself…..)

All the surveys show that the majority of people in the UK don’t want cosmetic products tested on animals. But how many actually use their shopping power? It can’t be all of those who say they’re against it, because clearly there’s still a big, big market for products that have been tested. And I think this isn’t for lack of good intentions, but simply because it’s not always easy to find things that aren’t – I can spend ages perusing the shelves in Boots, trying to find a shampoo that isn’t tested – but there are alternatives out there. Lush and the Body Shop on the high street, Aveda if you want to splash out a bit. Urban Decay make-up isn’t tested, and in fact they’ve got a special edition ‘Vegan Palette” out at the moment. 

For a comprehensive guide, have a look in the Shop Cruelty Free section of the BUAV website, and download their guide to Cruelty Free shopping. This covers, I think, only brands that have never been tested.

Going forward, kudos to Superdrug who have stopped testing and promised not to test their products going forward. Boots need a bit more pressure applying!

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