Are Sharks in Cosmetics?

3m read

2022-11-07 5:25 by Shark Free

A recent poll on the awareness of shark ingredients in cosmetic and personal care products has revealed that 75% of Americans and 73% of Canadians are opposed to the use of sharks in cosmetics and personal care products with more than 80% of all consumers likely to switch to shark free brands.

Commissioned by the Rob Stewart Sharkwater Foundation, the survey conducted by Research Co. supports the organization’s ongoing Shark Free initiative, a global effort in cooperation with the cosmetic and personal care products industry. Inspired by the work of internationally acclaimed filmmaker and conservationist, Rob Stewart, Shark Free is dedicated to working with industry to remove all shark ingredients from consumer products.

Squalene/squalane is a compound used as a moisturizer in cosmetic and personal care product brands often derived from shark liver oil. Sharks are a threatened and endangered species. Plant-based squalene/squalane is a viable alternative and readily available in a quality and quantity able to supply the personal care industry worldwide.

“Shark squalene has crept into products for decades; our study confirms that consumers are opposed to this and will seek out brands in line with their ethics. Many industry giants including Unilever, Shiseido and L’Oréal have already removed shark squalene from their products and we are working with others to determine the source of their supply as well as commit to non-shark-based alternatives,” commented Sandra Stewart, Board Director, Rob Stewart Sharkwater Foundation.

Personal Care Products Council President and CEO Lezlee Westine noted, “Protecting the planet is a responsibility, not a choice. Our member companies are committed to improving the well-being of people and the planet. We are actively engaged in managing the environmental impacts on biodiversity, the environment, and climate change.”

Cosmetic Alliance Canada, an early supporter of the Shark Free campaign, actively encourages their members to join the initiative. “It should be standard policy and practice not to engage in the trade of endangered species,” explains Darren Praznik, President/CEO, Cosmetics Alliance Canada.

Don Frey, President and CEO of the Independent Beauty Association supports the Shark Free program, and also encourages his membership to join, explaining, “IBA's mission is to foster the success of independent cosmetic and personal care industries. We believe in promoting environmental sustainability and ethical business practices to uphold the high standards that today’s consumers expect and deserve from our industry.”

“Nearly 200 companies, organizations, and individuals, including 100 cosmetic and personal care brands have already signed on to the Shark Free campaign, pledging their support to protect sharks through the responsible sourcing of plant-based alternatives to shark squalene,” said Lana Brandt, Executive Director of the Rob Stewart Sharkwater Foundation. “Together, we look forward to continuing to raise awareness, provide industry solutions, and help guide consumers in making better decisions.”

To learn more about the Shark Free initiative visit .

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