Is IRÉN Cruelty-Free? The Sad Truth About Animal Testing


IRÉN has good news! We are recently approved by the Leaping Bunny cruelty-free programme.

Are you considering to purchase our cult favourite serums, or do you simply adore our products? Rest assured, you will be shopping for cruelty-free. More importantly, you are supporting our stand—the world’s stand—against animal testing.

What is the Leaping Bunny Programme?

The Cruelty Free International Leaping Bunny “is the globally-recognisable gold standard” for household and personal care products.

While some companies make their own cruelty-free claims, Cruelty Free International enforces stringent criteria that cover and extend beyond governing laws of animal testing.

When brands are Leaping Bunny approved, it is the best assurance to prove that they have made a genuine commitment to ending animal testing.

What is Animal Testing?

Rabbits forced into tiny enclosures

Source: Cruelty Free International

Animal testing forces a live animal to undergo a test or scientific experiment to deliberately cause them pain or lasting harm.

According to Cruelty Free International, in 2018, in the United Kingdom alone, 31 per cent of animal experiments involved moderate or severe suffering.

These experiments can expand to include injecting or force-feeding animals with potentially harmful substances, forcing them to inhale toxic gases, exposing them to radiation, and many more.

Eighty per cent of the world still tests on animals. Laboratories and breeding facilities breed these animals for this purpose. They are constricted to live in tiny cages, without any freedom of movement. Some are even isolated, away from the companionship of others.

But here lies the unfortunate truth; these animals are bred, only to be killed at the end of the experiment. Some experiments even require the animals to die as part of the test.

This inhumane, multi-million dollar industry purges countless animals worldwide, such as rabbits, hamsters, and mice, to test for the ingredients that end up in that overhyped facial cleanser or skin cream.

However, there are other ethical and safer ways to go about this. Animal tests can be replaced with quicker and more reliable non-animal methods. Plus, companies can tap on ingredients that are already proven to be safe.

Types of Alternatives

Cell Cultures

Developing 3D Cell Structures

Source: Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News

Scientists have managed to take both human and animal cells and grow them into three-dimensional (3D) structures. This can provide a more realistic way to test new therapies.

Human cells have been used to create what scientists call “organs-on-chips”. They can replace animals to study disease processes and drug metabolism. These devices can accurately mimic a person’s lung, heart, kidney, and gut. Ultimately, scientists use these chips to replicate the entire human body.

Human Tissues

Human volunteers can donate both healthy and diseased tissues to replace cruel rabbit irritation tests. These tissues are used to study human biology and disease, and can be donated from surgery, like transplants.

Human tissues can also be obtained from a person who has died. For example, post-mortem brain tissue has provided vital leads to understanding the effects of Parkinson’s disease.

Volunteer Studies

Besides that, the advancements in technology have allowed the use of scanning machines and recording techniques to ensure the safety of studying human volunteers.

An example is an innovative technique called microdosing. It is used in volunteers to measure how tiny doses of new drugs behave in the human body. Other tests include studies for nutrition, drug addiction, and pain to test on consenting volunteers, rather than animals.

These alternatives are proven to be way better than crude animal testing. For instance, allergy tests on guinea pigs only predict human reactions 72 per cent of the time, whereas the combination of chemistry and cell-based alternatives can accurately predict 90 per cent of human reactions.

The Cruelty Free International also stated that standard tests on pregnant rats to see if certain chemicals can harm developing babies can only detect 60 per cent of dangerous substances, but using cell-based methods has a 100 per cent accuracy.

How Are Products Tested at IRÉN?

At IRÉN, we formulate clean, vegan, and cruelty-free skin care, which is free of allergens and irritants.

We never test on our furry friends, nor use animal-derived ingredients. We have stringent standards to blacklist over 2,000 ingredients that are proven to be toxic, comedogenic (pore-clogging), or allergenic to the skin.

We even test on human volunteers to ensure our products are safe to use on the skin. We call this protocol the Safety Test, where our serums are tested on volunteers to determine if they are safe for human use.

All our products undergo a series of other tests before they make their way into your skincare cabinet. Each product is scientifically-clean and backed up by science. We spent over 10,000 hours in our Japanese research lab to develop our own, patented molecular biotechnology, the Ziplock Encapsulation™, to please the skin.

So, what’s next?

At IRÉN, we urge you to take the stand against animal testing. It can be as simple as shopping for cruelty-free. Look out for brands that are Leaping Bunny approved, or accredited with other cruelty-free programmes.

You may also donate to Cruelty Free International here. All proceeds will help to end the sufferings of these animals in laboratories.

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