The Price of Beauty


Amber Dalby

      Day after day, millions of people put on makeup to enhance their appearance. An important question to ask regarding makeup is: does makeup cost more than it serves the user? Those who wear makeup feel pretty and find a sense of confidence in themselves. However, there are numerous costs of wearing makeup. These include the literal cost of it, as well as toxic beauty standards in society. However, the main cost of makeup I am referring to is the testing on animals that occurs before the product is released.

      Makeup companies justify their testing on animals by saying that it is necessary to ensure the safety of their product. What exactly do they do to these animals? According to the United States Humane Society (USHS), one thing they do is “Skin and eye irritation tests where chemicals are rubbed onto the shaved skin or dripped into the eyes of restrained rabbits, without any pain relief.” Additionally, the USHS states that makeup companies run “Tests that deliver doses of chemical substances to mice through repeated force-feeding. These tests last weeks or months so researchers can look for signs of general illness or specific health hazards such as cancer or birth defects.” While the FDA recommends alternative ways to test products, they still allow these atrocities to occur.  After an animal has gone through cosmetics tests, sometimes they are killed by decapitation, snapping of the neck, and asphyxiation. There is no need to subject these animals to these harsh conditions when it is both not necessary or required.

     Testing on animals is not required for safety approval of cosmetics; there are other ways to test products. There are now modern computer models that can mimic human biology and therefore show how a certain product would affect them. Another way of getting safety results for cosmetics is stated by PETA, a massive animal rights organization. “A method called ‘microdosing’ can provide vital information on the safety of an experimental drug and how it is metabolized in humans prior to large-scale human trials.” With this method in place to test products, it’s preposterous to keep up the testing on animals. 

     It can be difficult to find what cosmetic companies do not test on animals, especially when cosmetics companies can still put “Not Tested on Animals” and “Cruelty Free” seals on their products even if this is untrue. This is due to the fact that there are no legal definitions for these terms. Down below are links to sites which have a variety of cruelty free makeup brands not tested on animals. In addition, there are lists of makeup brands that do tests on animals. When it comes to your beauty products, learn the truth about the cosmetic companies that you may buy from to make the most informed decisions.


Sites with makeup brand lists:



“In Vitro Methods and More Animal Testing Alternatives.” PETA, 9 Feb. 2022,

“Cosmetics Testing FAQ.” The Humane Society of the United States,

. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “Cosmetics Labeling Claims.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA,