With the summer solstice just around the corner, it’s time to stock up on summertime beauty essentials. Moisturizers and hair conditioners to rehydrate after being outdoors, perfumes and colognes to freshen up, pedicure polishes, lip balms, shaving creams, and everything in between all come with the concern that they could have been tested on animals.

But, there is hope! The Be Cruelty-Free USA campaign of The Humane Society of the United States wants to fill you in on how to find products to get the most out of the season without harming animals in the process.

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Hop to the Leaping Bunny as your First Choice

With the development and validation of non-animal alternative testing methods and the availability of thousands of ingredients with a safe history of use, it is very easy for companies to make products to enhance your summertime experience without causing animal suffering. There are more than 500 beauty brands in North America that have committed to making only cruelty-free cosmetics certified by Leaping Bunny standards. Companies that have adopted these rigorous standards do not test final products, ingredients, or formulations on animals, and have asked all their suppliers to do the same.

If you don’t see your favorite company on the Leaping Bunny list, we encourage you to call the number on the product’s package to ask if its final products or ingredients have been tested on animals, and if they are selling in China – a country that requires all cosmetics be tested on animals. If the answers to these questions are no, proceed with your purchase and don’t hesitate to ask your favorite brand to become Leaping Bunny-certified!

Is Sunscreen a Cosmetic and Can it be Cruelty-Free?

Sunscreen is considered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to be an over-the-counter (OTC) drug, not a cosmetic, and OTC drugs can be subjected to animal testing as required by the FDA. When a company produces an OTC drug containing a new ingredient, the company is required to conduct animal testing to receive FDA approval to sell the product. This is called the New Drug Application process.

However, if a company is developing a new product using ingredients that have previously been tested and FDA-approved, it can appeal to the FDA to waive the animal testing requirement. Therefore, sunscreens can be cruelty-free if they were produced using ingredients or substances that were tested in the past and approved by the FDA.

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The FDA has a list of acceptable ingredients that is often updated with new approved ingredients.

According to Juice Beauty (a Leaping Bunny-certified, cruelty-free company) CEO Karen Behnke: “Our sun protection products contain mineral sunscreen, specifically zinc oxide, and not chemical forms of sunscreen. Zinc Oxide is already on the FDA’s list of approved and safe sunscreens and would not have to undergo an NDA process. Our sunscreens, like all of our products, are truly cruelty-free. Juice Beauty abides by EcoValues, which include a strict, no animal testing policy for all phases of product development and manufacturing of products. We stand for highly effective, authentically organic skincare, and makeup that provides all the great benefits of conventional brands but without animal suffering or harmful chemicals.”

So, not to worry! You can #BeCrueltyFree while still protecting your skin from the summer sun.

Will I Ever be Able to Pick up any Cosmetic Without Worrying About Animal Testing?

Thankfully, the Humane Cosmetics Act, H.R. 4148, has been introduced into Congress, and if passed, you’ll be able to do just that. This bill would align the U.S. with worldwide momentum to stop cosmetics animal testing by ending the manufacture and sale of animal-tested cosmetics in the country. Take action now to ask your representative to co-sponsor this crucial legislation. After all, non-animal tests are not only available and becoming more prevalent, but can be more relevant to human safety, cheaper, and do not harm animals in the process. That’s why more than 133 members of the cosmetics industry have endorsed this bill, and the list is growing.

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To achieve an endless cruelty-free summer, shop cruelty-free, and support the Humane Cosmetics Act.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

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