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California just introduced a bill that would ban animal testing for beauty products


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Photo: Stocksy/Trinette Reed

Shopping cruelty-free isn’t always easy, considering buzzy household name brands sometimes test products on animals, like Benefit and Estée Lauder, according to animal rights organization PETA. But that struggle may be over—at least in the Golden State.

Senator Cathleen Galgiani recently introduced the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, which would make it illegal after January 1, 2020, for brands to sell or import cosmetics or personal hygiene products tested on animals.

California always seems to be ahead of the game regarding eco-friendly initiatives (like how San Francisco became the first city to mandate composting, in 2009, no less), and Senator Cathleen Galgiani has maintained that reputation by recently introducing a new cosmetics bill that could change the beauty industry. If it’s passed, the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act—which is supported by Cruelty Free International and Lush Cosmetics—would make it illegal after January 1, 2020, for brands to sell or import cosmetics or personal hygiene products that they knew to be tested on animals.

So, what’s the deal with animal testing, anyway? Astonishingly, every year more than 100 million animals— cats, dogs, monkeys, guinea pigs, and rabbits, all included—die in laboratory cages across the country after enduring testing that can skew painful and cruel, according to PETA. But, given that current technology allows for testing products to be safe for human use without needing to harm other living creatures in the process—like by using human skin cultures grown in labs, for example—it’s high time to respect these other beings with whom we coexist.

“The European Union implemented a similar law over five years ago, and the sky didn’t fall. Animals have been saved while companies have flourished and grown without cruelty as part of their business model.” —Judie Mancuso, founder and president of Social Compassion in Legislation

Similar laws have been enacted elsewhere in the world to much success, like in 2013 in the European Union, according to Judie Mancuso, founder and president of Social Compassion in Legislation. “The European Union implemented a similar law over five years ago, and the sky didn’t fall,” she said in a statement. “Animals have been saved while companies have flourished and grown without cruelty as part of their business model.”

Fingers crossed that this California bill is passed and that other states follow suit. Until then, you can support the brands that have already made it their mission to create great products without harming animals, like Kat Von D, W3ll People, Aveda, Tarte, Schmidt’s, and RMS Beauty. It’s possible to use clean beauty products that benefit your skin and keep fur babies safe.

Meet the cruelty-free face mask that has a 1,000-person waitlist. Or, check out 10 beauty brands that will give you an Aussie glow.

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