The curious case of Influencers and animal testing

We live in a day and age where when in doubt we are one google search away from finding out whether the product we are wanting to buy is cruelty free or not.

I don’t quite know how to begin this article but I do know that this is a topic that irritates me greatly on a daily basis. Every time I open Instagram, Stories or Youtube I am bombarded with beauty product recommendations.

I follow a large number of influencers – most would be classified as beauty influencers. Most of them don’t have any qualification pertinent to the beauty industry, no in depth (or even shallow) knowledge of ingredients and formulas, and most importantly no care in the world to look into what they are actually using and advertising.

What actually irritates me the most is the blind ignorance that these influencers show. If a cosmetic company tests on animals and the influencer promotes the company or product, either consciously knowing this or by default of not doing their research, they are technically promoting the message that it is OK to test on animals for the sake of beauty.

This is where money over morals come into play.

The truth is we are all responsible for actively choosing cruelty free products. We live in a day and age where when in doubt we are one google search away from finding out whether the product we are wanting to buy is cruelty free or not. However, for the purpose of this article I’m focusing on influencers, seeing as they do have a large audiences, and given they make their income by influencing people to buy products it would be nice if they at least directed the focus on choosing vegan products (and that applies to all products, not just makeup).

I would confidently say 99% of beauty influencers happily promote companies that test on animals. Think of all the UK influencers who promote Jo Malone fragrances: Lily Pebbles, Fleaur De Force, Lydia Elise Millen, Josie from Fashion Mumblr, Erika Fox, channels like SheerLuxe spearheaded by Georgie Coleridge Cole, and Emma Louise Connolly who has made Jo Malone the signature scent of her home. Singling out one specific influencer seems unfair, after all, they are all as bad as each other and the pool of candidates is so wide I wouldn’t be able to name them all in one post. But if you open Amelia Liana’s stories on any given day you will find her promoting Dior make-up and fragrances, Allana Davison promoting the most recent Mac lipstick shade, Lydia Elise Millen and a whole army of DIY beauty influencers promoting Armani beauty… I mean you get the point. Below is a collage of products from Lily Pebbles ‘2020 Make-up & Skincare Favourites’ which seems a little unfair to showcase like this but… she did have them as ‘favourites’, and each product promoted with an affiliate link. In all fairness I did reach out to her to see what her stance or thoughts are on the matter but no response was given 😛 She does have a daughter though, and I wonder what example this sets for her? She’ll grow up surrounded by her mums ‘favourite’ products, completely unaware of the suffering behind the shiny big brand labels.

Products featured and promoted with affiliate links in Lily Pebble’s recent 2020 Makeup & Skincare Favourites video

While we can argue that sustainable clothing is still significantly more expensive than high street option (more on that coming soon) we do not have that same issue with beauty products. Nowadays there are so so many brands out on the market that don’t test on animals, that are vegan and cruelty free, often in sustainable packaging, available in various different price points, from mid/high price points to drugstore to natural & organic brands there is something for everybody.

So why do influencers so blatantly ignore this?

That being said, I am also aware that a lot of the general public use make-up, fragrances, and general products that test on animals. I have family members who do it, I have friends who do it, I myself occasionally forget and do it. But I will say that if we could all do our research, take two minutes to google whatever product you are unsure about, if we actively try and avoid companies that test on animals then that would already be an amazing start.

One easy thing to do would be every time you finish a product, think. Google it and find a cruelty free alternative – before you know it it will become a habit and you will have replaced most products.

For those wanting to see which brands do not test on animals here is a link to the crueltyfreekitty database, which is an amazing resource. I strongly suggest following them on Instagram as well, just even as reminder to check your labels!

Would love to read your thoughts and opinions on this topic!

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