Cruelty-free makeup necessary and affordable for college students

Nelida Insua-Coelho/Contributing Writer

Opting for cruelty-free cosmetics is not just possible, but also a must as a college student. If there’s one ideal most of us share is against the unnecessary inhumane practice of animal testing for cosmetics. Approximately 26 million animals are used every year for commercial and scientific testing and experiments in the United States, according to the organization ProCon.org. Animals are used for biomedical, commercial, health care uses, medical treatments, toxicity determination of such medication, and also for the makeup we wear on a daily basis.

“Animals do not deserve to be used as test subjects when we have all these beautiful options, and better quality than most animal tested brands like Maybelline or Mac,” said sophomore biology student Daniela Molnar. “What happens to them is horrific. People need to know what happens behind the scenes and put the other companies out of business, stop the injustice.”

Brands like Anastasia Brows, Kat Von D and Cover Fx pledge to be cruelty-free, proving that brands don’t need to be tested on animals. Alternatives to animal testing exist.

“PETA includes non-vegan and vegan products in their cruelty-free list such as Burt’s Bees since it’s easier to stop animal cruelty by offering a greater variety of brands to choose from. If the testers are eliminated first, it will be easier to incorporate switching to vegan makeup later on, such as those without milk derivatives or beeswax,” said Molnar.

E.L.F. cosmetics is an inexpensive cruelty-free cosmetics company with prices ranging from three dollars and up, depending on the product. Their Acne Fighting Foundation, blushes, eye liners and brushes are a must for any makeup enthusiast, myself included. Their affordable prices let us university students opt for better options, not only improving the lives of animals, but also harmful chemicals exposed to the environment and our skin.

Cosmetic companies are able to include any raw material or ingredient in their products without government approval, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) organization. While the European Union has banned up to more than one thousand ingredients from being used in cosmetics, the FDA has only prohibited eleven, including bithionol, chloroform, mercury compounds, methylene chloride and sunscreens in cosmetics, just to name a few out of the eleven.

Keep in mind that makeup goes onto our skin, absorbing into our skin and into our bloodstream. It’s dangerous for our bodies to ingest dangerous chemicals that have not been banned, such as formaldehyde which is a known carcinogen, associated with respiratory problems. Lead, parabens, triclosan are also ingredients that have been banned overseas, but are still legal in the United States.

“There are a few alternatives to animal testing nowadays, but in vitro method is one of the best in my opinion,” said Plant Based Society at FIU president, Lilian Rodicio. “In Vitro means in a test tube. Instead of testing drugs on live animals, what we can do now is grow live cultures of human cells. Human cells are attainable through bone marrow.”

When performing any sort of scientific testing, there is a hierarchy of steps that have already been established by the scientific community over time.

“When you start testing a drug or ingredients that goes in cosmetics, one would start testing on various groups of animals and later test on humans. That way us humans would get the ‘safest’ product. Animals aren’t always reliable as they are not the same species as us,” said Rodicio.

It’s hard finding a good affordable product that works with our skin type and skin tone. But keep in mind the importance of our health, not only by being aware of what we consume but also what we put on our bodies. Cruelty-free options do exist, and some are affordable, thanks to the alternatives being less expensive than the cost of actual animal testing methods.

“La Broccolina” airs Saturdays from 1-2 p.m. only on The Roar, 95.3 FM Miami/88.1 FM in Kendall and Homestead, starting Sept. 30, 2017. For more information you can find “La Broccolina” on Facebook and Instagram by searching @labroccolina.

The views and opinions expressed in “La Broccolina” do not reflect that of FIU Student Media’s editorial team.

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