Since our founding, Hale Cosmeceuticals has always been cruelty-free. We are glad to see that many skincare companies are making the same choice, and that many countries are increasing the pressure to do so by proposing and passing legislation that bans animal testing.
Although animal testing has long been the stand
ard method for determining skincare product safety, technological advances provide a number of alternatives to animal testing to ensure human safety.
Opponents of animal testing have long used the argument that animal skin is not like human skin, so test results may be misleading or not representative of what happens when the product is applied to a human consumer. So, it makes sense to test skincare products on actual human skin. Although that may sound risky, the practice is actually more humane because human testing can only be done with informed consent. Unlike animals who are caged and strapped down for tests to be performed, humans are thoroughly informed about the procedures and risks and still willfully participate (and are often compensated for their participation).
Advances in skincare testing also allow for micro doses to be applied and allow researchers to observe effects at the cellular level. In other words, human testing can be done with little to no discomfort at all on the test subject.
Many skincare technologies are intended to work on the cellular level. Testing, then, can also be done on a cellular level. Rather than apply and observe products on a large patch of skin (animal or human), skincare products can be tested on skin cells that are harvested or grown (with consent) in a test tube.
In vitro testing allows researchers to more carefully control variables that may affect the product’s performance, so this testing method may actually prove more effective in product (re)formulation.
Advances in all types of technology makes it possible to 3D-print human skin! Doing so allows skincare product manufacturers to test their products on real skin that did not come from a human or animal subject.
While this technology does exist, and is used by some of the largest skincare producers, it is cost-prohibitive to many manufacturers. However, the continual advancement of science may allow this testing method to become a more widespread alternative to animal testing.