According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), various tests still conducted include skin sensitization studies, eye irritation studies and tests that rate levels of carcinogenicity. "Pain relief is rarely provided and the animals used are always killed at the end of each test," says the group's website.
Theodora Capaldo, president of the New England Anti-Vivisection Society, adds that animals "suffer convulsions, seizures and other agonizing effects from being slowly poisoned to death." And to perform these tests, Capaldo told The Dodo, the animals are locked into restraining devices "for as long as required."
Quantifying exactly how many animals are being tested on and what tests are conducted on each animal can be a challenge. A 2014 study suggested some 2,700 animals in the U.S. and 27,000 animals worldwide are tested on for cosmetics each year. But that's just an estimate: "One reason why you can't find out how many animals are used in cosmetics testing in the U.S. is because the government doesn't require companies to disclose how animals are being used in their labs," explains Crystal Schaeffer, outreach director of the American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS).
Schaeffer told The Dodo that because mice and rats aren't protected by Animal Welfare Act, companies using these animals aren't required to submit their numbers to the USDA. Click here for an AAVS description of methods of tests, including eye irritancy, skin corrosivity and neurotoxicity.
In an effort to provide a framework for the concerned consumer, the Leaping Bunny Program - or more specifically, the Leaping Bunny logo (yes, it's an actual drawing of a leaping bunny) - entered the picture. Established by The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics, a group of eight organizations including the HSUS and AAVS, the Leaping Bunny program aims to create an independent standard for animal-friendly products.
To become certified by Leaping Bunny, companies must adhere to "The Corporate Standard of Compassion for Animals," which requires that no new animal testing occur at any stage of development. The company's suppliers must also make the same pledge. Furthermore, "all Leaping Bunny companies must be open to independent audits," says the website. However, Paschen notes only a dozen companies are audited annually.
There are some 500 companies that are Leaping Bunny certified, including popular brands like EO, Alba Botanica and Paul Mitchell.