Beauty or beast?

05 July 2020

We are all used to the advertising campaigns for so called beauty products that claim to reverse or slow the aging process or make our eyelashes look longer or plump up our skin or nourish our hair, etc,etc.  We are also all aware of the well known animal products that these creams and cosmetics contain such as Lanolin (from Sheeps’ wool) and Beeswax or honey.

However, there are many other animal ingredients that aren’t so obvious and are certainly not shouted about in the adverts!

There is one particular advert on TV right now that has a female ‘celebrity’ extolling the virtues of Hyaluronic Acid in some kind of ‘beauty’ product. So, I decided to delve deeper and find out where this ‘magic’ substance came from. Well, it is apparently found in our bodies, in all tissues and fluids but the Hyaluronic Acid used in cosmetics usually comes from Rooster combs. It can be made from bacteria in a lab but the chances are, the stuff that is in most popular cosmetic products has been extracted from Rooster combs, on an industrial scale.

The ‘beauty’ industry in this country alone is worth £27 billion pounds and still profits from the suffering of animals.


When did people, I have to say women in particular, become so obsessed with their appearance? I have never bought into the ‘beauty’ industry. In fact, I own one eyeliner which I have had for years and one lipstick; both from The Body Shop before they sold their soul to L’Oreal. Why do women feel the need to pump their skin full of collagen, a product derived from animal tissue, which is also an allergen, funny old thing!

Why do they insist on using false eyelashes, many made from animal hair, which, in my opinion, look absolutely ludicrous!!

It never ceases to amaze me how gullible people are when it comes to advertising and when you offer them the truth they would rather believe the hype. 

The ‘beauty’ industry in this country alone is worth £27 billion pounds and still profits from the suffering of animals.

The testing of cosmetics on animals may be banned in this country, although many companies still test on animals if they want to sell their products in other countries like China for example, but that does not mean  that animals are no longer suffering in the name of ‘beauty’.

Most cosmetic and toiletry products, unless they state they are vegan, contain animal products.

Think about it…there are over 66 billion people in the UK, of which, latest figures suggest 600,000 are vegan.

That leaves 65,999,400,000 non vegans.  Assuming the non vegans don’t make a point of buying vegan products, that is another huge industry based on animal exploitation and suffering in the UK alone.  Another industry that has become the norm. Another industry that hides the truth from consumers,  who, in blissful ignorance, buy into yet more suffering of innocent and defenceless animals. For what?

Vanity. Pure and simple self obsession.

I wonder how many women would still use these products if the adverts showed the slaughterhouse skip, full of the ‘offcuts’ of the poor souls they have murdered and told the truth about what that product contained.

Of course, the truth is inconvenient and uncomfortable so we have to be clever. I know my family switch off and raise their eyes to the ceiling when I try to educate them so , instead of trying to talk to them about it, I find other ways. I send them vegan toiletries for birthdays, I make up vegan hampers at Christmas full of eco and vegan gifts and I give them books such as ‘Allowed to grow old’ by Isa Leshko

I started my journey for Animal Rights at 12 yrs old, when a girl joined my school and wore badges on her jumper from animal rights organisations. I joined Animal Aid at a time when the big issues were  Fur and Vivisection.

Well, we have come along way in both those areas but  the exploitation and suffering in the beauty industry continues.

You can find a full list of animal derived products used in the beauty industry here.