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The goal of animal testing alternatives are to reduce the amount of animals used in testing methods, refine the methods so that they cause less pain, and ultimately replace animals entirely. Scientists at the University of Liverpool have discovered a way to use protozoa, or single-celled organisms, to replace animals in toxicity testing of cosmetics.

The method is still in its early stages of use, but the method seems straightforward, as reported by Live Mint.

“The scientists were able to examine potential toxicity caused by mascara, based on the growth of the protozoa when placed in experimental chambers containing the cosmetic. Six different brands of mascara were tested, by painting it on small glass plates and placing these in the chambers. The protozoa and their food were then added. The protozoa — the slipper ciliate (Paramecium caudatum) and the eyelash ciliate (Blepharisma japonicum) — were chosen carefully because of their large size, their historic use as model organisms, and their genetic similarities to humans,” according to the publication.

Dr. David Montagnes, the Liverpool project’s supervisor, said that if there was toxicity in the substance, the protozoa grew slower than if there were no toxins present.

Before the test can truly replace animal methods, he says, “It would have to be compared to real animal testing and to, I would suggest, these epidemiological studies where we’re looking at people [who have used the cosmetics].”

The use of protozoa also has the potential to lend itself to testing other cosmetics like lipstick and perfume. Montagnes says, “When you can develop a simpler and cheaper alternative, there is really no need to test cosmetics on animals.”

We hope to see this technology develop into an industry standard to replace animal testing for cosmetics, which is already on the way out in many countries like India and the member states of the European Union. In the meantime, be sure to check out our cruelty free guide to mascara for humane cosmetic shopping tips!

Image Source: Benny Mazur/Flickr

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20 comments on “New Technology May Reduce the Use of Bunnies in Mascara Testing!”

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Cindy Corkern
4 Years Ago

Eliminate it instead!

Meg Keen
4 Years Ago

Jodie Ross, apparently we all shouldn't clean either? Because cleaning products are also tested on animals. Instead of blaming people for wanting to wear mascara, blame the people who won't choose to wear mascara that is cruelty-free! Cosmetics and such will never go away, and they wouldn't have to if people would start buying Leaping Bunny approved, taking the money AWAY from this companies that still test on animals!!

Teeney Evo
4 Years Ago

only on mascara?

Nicole Kozak
4 Years Ago

All the products that are tested on animals are cheap and shitty. Yet all the products that aren't are high quality and amazing. Hmmmmmm.......tough decision.

Jodie Ross
4 Years Ago

if women would get over the idea that they were not pretty enough just the way God made them we wouldn't need any kind of testing for awful things like cosmetics, because we wouldn't need cosmetics.

Michelle Peacock
4 Years Ago

There is no excuse for animal testing! Alternatives already exist but they don't want to spend the $. Animal testing is about money, AKA grants! This is just another diversion like "free range" and organic!

Travis Turner
4 Years Ago

Why not test it on the people who want to wear it?

Paula E Diment
4 Years Ago

About fucking time end animal torture today

Mary Ciulla
4 Years Ago

Do it NOW!

Stephanie Fong
4 Years Ago

Jackie Legaspi.


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