During the 20th century, the popularity of beauty products increased rapidly. Beauty products are used by girls at increasingly young ages, especially in the United States. Because of the fast-decreasing age of makeup users, many companies, from high-street brands like Rimmel to higher-end products like Estee Lauder, cater to this expanding market by introducing flavored lipsticks and glosses, beauty products packaged in glittery and sparkly packaging, and marketing and advertising using young models. The social consequences of younger and younger beauty products use has had much attention in the media over the last few years.
Criticism of beauty products has come from a wide variety of sources including some feminists, religious groups, animal rights activists, authors, and public interest groups. It has also faced criticism from men, some of whom describe it as a form of deception or fakeup.
As of 2019 an estimated 50-100 million animals are tested on each year in locations such as the United States and China. Such tests have involved general toxicity, eye and skin irritants, phototoxicity (toxicity triggered by ultraviolet light), and mutagenicity. Due to the ethical concerns around animal testing, some nations have legislated against animal testing for beauty products. An updated list can be found on the Humane Societies website. According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are nearly 50 non-animal tests that have been validated for use, with many more in development, that may replace animal testing and are potentially more efficacious. In the United States, mice, rats, rabbits, and cats are the most used animals for testing. In 2018, California banned the sale of animal tested beauty products.
Beauty products testing is banned in the Netherlands, India, Norway, Israel, New Zealand, Belgium, and the UK, and in 2002, the European Union agreed to phase in a near-total ban on the sale of animal-tested beauty products throughout the EU from 2009, and to ban all beauty products-related animal testing. In December 2009, the European Parliament and Council passed the EC Regulation 1223/2009 on beauty products, a bill to regulate the cosmetic industry in the EU. EC Regulation 1223/2009 took effect on July 11, 2013. In March 2013, the EU banned the import and sale of beauty products containing ingredients tested on animals. China required animal testing on cosmetic products until 2014, when they waived animal testing requirements for domestically produced products. In 2019, China approved nine non-animal testing methods, and announced that by 2020 laws making animal testing compulsory would be lifted.
In June 2017, legislation was proposed in Australia to end animal testing in the beauty products industry. In March 2019, the Australian Senate passed a bill banning the use of data from animal testing in the cosmetic industry after July 1, 2020.