The History of Animal Testing in Cosmetics

Testing on animals dates as far back to ancient Greek and Egyptian times. There is documented evidence confirming vivisections being carried out on animals during very early civilisation, it seems that humans have always had a sadistic curiosity.

Animal testing in cosmetics became prevalent during Victorian times. The Victorian times were an age of innovation, a time of groundbreaking discoveries and dramatic scientific changes.

During the Victorian era make up trends were much more natural looking  than that of the Georgian times. A face full of make up signified you were vulgar and were likely to be a prostitute and so the 1800’s were filled with “Beauty” products (if you can call them that), that enhanced “Ladies” natural features. I emphasise “Ladies” because it was believed that the paler the complexion the more beautiful you were considered, as it signified that you were a indeed a lady of nobility that didn’t have to go out and work in the hot sun and therefore were attractive in status.



Sadly as a result of this skin bleaching became popular, wrinkles were filled in with arsenic and white lead paste. Other beauty trends included mercury and lead being used in eyeshadows, the poison Belladonna was used as drops in the eye to make the pupils dilate, ultimately causing blindness. Dyes so toxic that women would literally die for a hair dye.

The beauty industry in Victorian times were so brutal, products were filled with so many dangerous toxic chemicals it often had women slowly dying of poison from the cosmetics they were putting on their skin and in some cases causing very sudden deaths.

Now one would assume that no one would want to be slowly poisoned or risk dying suddenly just for a beauty product but death for the Victorian’s was no deterrent and the solution was not to stop using dangerous chemicals in the beauty industry the solution was to first test them on innocent animals.

And so animals testing in cosmetics as we know it today began……..

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Beauty is more than skin deep

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