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The California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act—What It Means for the Beauty Industry

The future of cruelty-free beauty looks bright.

A huge victory was recently won for cruelty-free beauty. On August 31, 2018, California passed the Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act that will ban the sale of animal-tested beauty products by January 1, 2020.

Cruelty-Free Cosmetics

What it means

Earlier this year, senator Cathleen Galgiani proposed the original bill in the California State Legislature, sponsored by the Social Compassion in Legislation and Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. The bill sponsors made the point that ending animal testing in cosmetic products would mean healthier animal and human lives, without hurting the market:

“Nonanimal approaches—including engineered 3-D human skin tissues or other types of cells and sophisticated computer models—are cheaper, faster, and can better predict human reactions. In addition, companies can utilize the hundreds of thousands of ingredients for which safety data is already available.” Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Cruelty Free International also noted the success of the ban on animal testing in cosmetics in the European Union as a model to follow.

Last month, this bill was unanimously passed by the California Senate, setting the act in place officially.

What it covers

The California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act makes it illegal for any manufacturer to import or sell any animal-tested cosmetics in California beginning on January 1, 2020. This includes the products as well as any ingredients.

In addition to skin care and makeup, the act includes personal care products as well, such as personal hygiene products and bath products.

Beauty brands that still test on animals at any stage of their manufacturing process will have until January 1, 2020 to change their practices.

The future of beauty

With California setting a huge precedent, it’s promising that other states will follow suit, making cruelty-free cosmetics a standard.

Hopefully the act will also force companies to adopt more stringent testing practices that are also healthier for humans as well. It’s possible to see switches to cleaner formulas and ingredients that don’t require any animal testing today, as already seen in many natural and organic companies that currently swear by cruelty-free practices.

The act doesn’t just affect cosmetics. It’ll change how other industries approach animal testing as well. For example, the vice president of research policy for the Physicians Committee notes: “Passing 1249 will alter testing practices across the globe….The use of non-animal testing methods available today will surge, encouraging the development of even more human-relevant testing methods—methods that are applicable to safety testing beyond the area of cosmetics.”

This all is a huge sigh of relief on part of us cruelty-free activists, especially in light of an industry that is still largely unregulated. But the fight isn’t over yet! Free Bunni will continue to be at the front lines of supporting cruelty-free beauty that’s healthier for the whole planet.

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