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UPDATE (September 5, 2018 3 P.M. EST): This week marks a major victory for proponents of cruelty-free beauty, as California just passed a bill banning the sale of any products tested on animals.
Earlier this year, we reported on the bill (officially called SB 1249) introduced by California Senator Cathleen Galgiani, which promised to pull all beauty products (we're talking makeup, skin-care, body-care, and hair-care products) that had been tested on animals, or including ingredients that have been tested on animals, from shelves across the state starting in 2020. On August 31, the bill officially — and unanimously — passed in the State Assembly, making California the first U.S. state to take the step for the future of cruelty-free beauty.
In practice, the newly passed bill means beauty brands that haven't yet adopted cruelty-free practices will have until January 1, 2020 to change the way in which they test products or be barred from California. "I'm proud of California lawmakers for moving science, industry, and ethics forward today," Galgiani said in a statement, according to Refinery29. "Cruelty-free cosmetics are good for business, safe for humans, and don't harm animals."
Even before there was a law on the books, beauty brands have been taking the initiative to go cruelty-free on their own. Earlier this year, for example, Bliss partnered with PETA to go 100 percent cruelty-free (there's also a vegan collection, BTW), becoming the latest major skin-care brand to do so.
Now, it's official: The future of beauty looks cruelty-free.
This story originally appeared on February 27, 2018:
The state of California just made a major eco-friendly beauty move by introducing a new cruelty-free cosmetics bill. Spearheaded by Senator Cathleen Galgiani, the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act (officially dubbed SB 1249) proposes a ban on any cosmetics that are tested on animals.
The bill is supported by Cruelty Free International and cruelty-free beauty pioneers Lush Cosmetics, and if passed, it would "make it unlawful for any cosmetic manufacturer to knowingly import or sell any cosmetic, including personal hygiene products such as deodorant, shampoo, or conditioner, in California if the final product or any component of the product was tested on animals after Jan. 1, 2020," according to a statement from the Senator's office. In other words, if the bill passes, some major beauty brands could disappear from Californian shelves unless they clean up their product development.
Surprisingly, cosmetics are largely unregulated in the U.S. There's currently no official agency in charge of ensuring beauty products are safe to use and ethically produced (though the Personal Care Products Safety Act currently in Congress is aiming to change that). "Inaction at the federal level compels California to lead the way in ensuring a cruelty-free cosmetics market for its citizens by barring any new ingredients or cosmetics that are tested on animals," Senator Galgiani said.
While the federal government might be a little behind on this, luckily a lot of beauty brands are ahead of the game. By proactively finding newer, safer methods of testing, a rising class of cruelty-free makeup brands with an eco-conscious ethos (we see you, Kat Von D) are challenging the rest of the beauty industry to step up and implement cruelty-free practices. Hourglass, which is also a cruelty-free brand, just pledged to kick it up a notch and go vegan by 2020.
If the bill passes in California, it could tip the scales for the rest of the industry. Elle Woods would be so proud.
For more cruelty-free beauty:
All eyes on eye makeup (100 years of it, to be precise):