When I shopped at department store a few weeks ago, my eyes got attracted with the body lotion bottle of Love Beauty And Planet. At first, I loved with its colorful pinkish cover with the picture of roses, some kind of notice that this body lotion contained natural ingredients which is good for your skin.
Next I explored more information written on the label. So now UNILEVER has beauty product which also campaigns for awareness of the protection of the Mother Earth: bottles made from recycled materials, the sources are natural and taken ethically, no harm chemical compounds like silicone or paraben. I suddenly associate this product with The Body Shop look-alike, only it's half the price cheaper with more volume.
I have adored The Body Shop since I was in senior high school. It wasn't only famous for its natural ingredients, but also this brand promotes social movements like against animal testing, community fair trade, and respect every kind of women's beauty and body. The latter is the (perhaps, only) reason I become the loyal customer of The Body Shop, without really pay much attention on the other affairs The Body Shop stands for. Until the word printed out on Love Beauty And Planet body lotion raised my curiosity, VEGAN. What's that supposed to mean?
My research about the meaning of vegan led me to the issue of animal testing on beauty products. It directed me to organization of People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Leaping Bunny Certification to signify beauty products as cruelty-free. It means that start from the making process to product finishing, no animals have been hurt and tested to the product's experiments. Even the brands claim their products are cruelty-free or not-tested to animals, the only thing to make sure is if you really check the official website of Leaping Bunny Program or PETA to see the list of certified beauty brands.
Why Is It Important to Consider the Cruelty-Free Issue? According to Cruelty Free International 2019 Report, 115 millions animals are being used for testing worldwide each year. This practice involved torture, maim, blinded, and even killed of the animals that put on the tests. This harshness might disturb the conscience, and we are facing with various dilemmas. To create a flawless look on our skin, the sacrifice of 115 millions animals is needed every year. If the product is directly applied to humans without being tested on animals, humans can be harmed. Some may argue that the law, internationally and regionally, accommodates animal testing to a certain degree. Perhaps it is just an ethical issue. Then suddenly I remember every description in Yuval Noah Harari's Homo Deus about the supremacy of Homo Sapiens who can rule, dominate, and own every single aspect on Earth without having to weigh other living creatures. Maybe even we can surpass God(s) in the future. The matter of animal testing on beauty products isn't as important as human's interest. I ain't no saint, I don't even plan to stop eating steak. But I do care about to create balance for nature and the way to preserve it. I should do something, at least to stop myself doing wrong practices even though I still don't have power to change people. I can't imagine that the smooth skin I accomplish from a product must first went through the slaughtered process of thousands of bunnies and kittens.
With this article is being published,
I , Elle Zahra, hereby declare that I will consider the natural preservation and all the creatures that live in it as the main factor of conscience in my fashion and beauty journey. I'll do my best to not destroy mother nature and torture animals for reasons to look chic and gorgeous.
The awareness to use cruelty-free beauty products, in my opinion, is not too echoing for many beauty lovers in Indonesia, especially where we still find lots of un-certified Leaping Bunny Program brands circulate in beauty markets. I can't say that the cruelty-free products in Indonesia are rare for we can find them in shopping centers or in online beauty stores. But clearly, many of them are pricey!
Perhaps the cruelty-free products must conduct costly research to organize some kind of "skin-lab" by using computer model on cultured cells instead on animals. And also I read that to be certified as cruelty-free products, brand must pay high price for consultation and continuous audit. It could take more time and big effort to make it happen. Not to mention if the products use fairly rare and expensive ingredients on it.
Fortunately, the awareness to use beauty products coupled with social awareness to protect nature and the environment is also increasing. In 2019, there are 350+ of beauty products are registered as cruelty-free. According to Leaping Bunny, the number of brands that enroll always increases every month. So, it is also easier for us to seek for brands where high quality can match with affordable price.
Particularly in Indonesia, some local brands like Mineral Botanica, Bali Balance, Make Over, By Lizzie Parra, and Wardah can nail it. They have good reviews by many beauty bloggers/vloggers. The international brands with affordable prices can also be found in Indonesia, both in the form of counters in plaza or drugstores, and via trusted online stores such as Sephora and Sociolla. The most famous one is The Body Shop where you can locate it in almost every shopping arcade in big cities. There are also Inglot, Nyx, Catrice, Wet n Wild, Absolute New York, and Lush or Tarte where you can discover them online, too.
The decision to replace all my old beauty products with the cruelty-free ones will affect my lifestyle as a whole, and might change my point of view. It also takes time to compare and find the best substitute products that suit my skin. But I'm so sure that I can manage it for the good deeds will always generate better results. I hope in the next three months, all beauty products I and my family use are cruelty-free.
Gorgeous, if you're already being the part of this cruelty-free movements, I'd love to hear and share your thoughts and experience. I also encourage others to change your products to the cruelty-free ones. You can check the list of the brands by clicking here.