I FOUND this doing the research for this week's column very distressing. Images of animal testing in the name of beauty shocked me beyond belief, I had no idea how many companies still tested on animals and that it was common practice.
I am being asked more and more frequently if companies test on animals, and the more I checked, the more shocked I got. The use of animals for product testing is regulated to various degrees in different countries.
Most animals are 'put down' after being used in the experiments. Supporters of the use of animals in experiments argue that virtually every medical achievement in the 20th century relied on the use of animals in some way and on the other side organizations such as PETA question the legitimacy of such testing, arguing it is cruel, poorly regulated and that animals have an intrinsic right not to be used for experimentation.
The number of animals used for experimentation in Irish laboratories has rocketed 800% in five years.
Campaigners are concerned here because 80% of the animals used were experimented on under a licence which allows researchers to use no anesthetic. China's beauty market is growing to the tune of €32 billion and it is the only major market where companies must test their mascaras, lotions and potions on animals.
This means, for example, that The Body Shop are blocked from the China market because their core belief is against animal testing.
The Body Shop, with the support of singer Leona Lewis, ask people to call for a global ban on animal testing for cosmetics.
One cosmetic company tests their products on inmates on death row and in return the prisoners receive money for cigarettes.
A company totally against animal testing is Dr. Hauschka, which is an organic cosmetic company whose products contain mostly plant extracts and natural ingredients.
Dr. Hauschka skincare is very different because they believe as we sleep our skin undergoes natural cleansing and recuperation and should be able to breathe and work freely, so they refrain from using heavy night cream.
The hero product in the range is rose day cream and is perfect for sensitive skin and contains rose water, rose wax and marsh mallow rose extract which hydrates and moisturizes the skin. Use it in the morning after toner and press into the skin and decollete. The results are amazing.
Dr Hauschka oils are of very high quality and, having used their bath oils, I can tell you that they are second to none. Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow are big fans of this brand and I love their make-up range.
I found this great company called yourtonic.com who are passionate about animal protection and are committed to environmental conservation.
They do a wonderful male collection called Sapien and is great for lads who suffer with excess sweating. It is also great if you are sport mad and need to dash from work to the gym.
It's an organic range and is derived from pure essential oils, harvested from Amazonian plants and fruits. Sapien uses gluten free amaranath proteins and mild cleansing agents, making these grooming aids powerful in the war against body odour.
The range includes shower gel, shampoo and conditioner and shaving cream and gels. Word back for testers so far is no odour for up to 12 hours later.
A few weeks ago I received a beauty device called Mia 2 and our relationship has flourished ever since.
Now you know how well the Sonic cleans your teeth, well my new buddy moves at 300 times per second to open pores and lift dirt and debris out.
Reports are mixed on this gadget, some people called it plurging, sounds like a eating disorder but it means your skin gets worse before getting better.
For me this was not the case. I found it easy to use, just cleanse the skin first and use Mia to deep cleanse.
The results was softer skin, serums and skincare worked better and it looked the next day like you just had a facial, with pores appearing smaller.
This will work well for oily skin and for a skin that wants to look fresh and feel super soft.
The cleaning heads are replaceable and it is recommended to do so every three months.
The Mia is a bit on the pricey side, starting at €150 - €265 but Santa is coming and it's highly recommended.
Up for testing this week is rose day cream from Dr. Hauschka and a selection of their beautiful make up. Write to me at 9/10 Denny st, Tralee, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next Week: New hair products.