How to Care for Your Eyes, the Cruelty-Free Way

Tammy@GFV By Tammy@GFV - Updated: September 19th, 2017
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How to Care for Your Eyes, the Cruelty-Free Way

Most people are shocked to find out that contacts are tested on animals, mainly rabbits. I was shocked too. I always knew that my contact solution was tested on animals, but I never even thought about my contacts.

The fact is that all contact lens brands sold in the US are tested on animals, and so are the contact solutions. All of these brands are owned by a handful of companies. Here’s a list of brands split by the manufacturer:

Contact lens manufacturers and brands that test on animals

Brands owned by Alcon:

- Air Optix
- DAILIES
- FreshLook
- Focus Monthly Softcolors
- Softcon

Brands owned by Bausch & Lomb:

- SofLens
- Bausch & Lomb Ultra
- Biotrue
- PureVision
- Optima
- Equate Monthly 6 Pack (Sold by Walmart)

Brands owned by CooperVision:

- Biofinity
- Proclear
- Avaira
- Biomedics
- Frequency
- Clariti
- Expressions
- ClearSight
- Vertex
- Encore Premium
- Provision
- MyDay
- Equate 2 Weeks for Astigmatism (Sold by Walmart)
- Equate 1 Day 90 pack (Sold by Walmart)
- Equate 2 Week 6 Pack (Sold by Walmart)

Brands owned by Johnson & Johnson – The entire Acuvue line.

Here’s an info-graphic you can download, pin, or share. This is convenient to have for the next time you visit your eye doctor or optician.

image

The only fool-proof cruelty-free alternative to contacts… glasses

People sometimes ask if glasses are tested on animals, and not in the manner that you are thinking ðŸ™‚ Glass lens technology is never tested on animals, making it the only surefire way to be totally cruelty-free with your eye care.

Unfortunately, glasses can cause headaches or migraines after extended wear. This is why some vegans and cruelty-free’ers (I know that’s not a word!) choose to wear contacts. This is the case with me. After a while glasses start to feel heavy on my nose, and the arms begin to feel tight behind my ears which gives me a headache.

daysoft, cruelty-free contact lenses not tested on animals

During my research for this post I was unable to find documentation from the FDA that explicitly says that contact lenses must be tested on animals. But I did find this incredibly helpful post from the National Anti-Vivisection Society. I consider them to be a credible source. They’ve been fighting animal testing since 1875.

The FDA recommends animal testing for contact lenses, although they do not legally require it. Contact lens manufacturers that decide to use an alternative testing method must prove to the FDA that the method is acceptable.

Luckily, there is one contact lens company that does not test on animals, and you’ve probably never heard of them because they’re not a big brand name. The name of the company is daysoft, and they’re headquartered and manufactured in the UK. Their contact lenses meet European, Canadian, and ISO (International Standards Organization) requirements. Here’s their reply to my email regarding their standing in animal testing:

Daysoft Limited is an independently owned company and is not part of a larger company.

The materials used to make Daysoft lenses are not of animal origin and the lenses we supply are not tested on animals.

Contact lenses are medical devices, and as such they must be approved by the relevant regulatory authorities before they can be sold. When we applied for approval, the regulatory body accepted that the safety profile of the materials was already well established and therefore we were not required to test the lenses on animals.

It is important to note that it is the regulatory authorities that have the final say before a product is approved and a company cannot independently decide on what tests are required.

I think it’s neat that they say that it is not up to them to decide, leaving it open to the fact that they will test on animals if they are required to do so. This totally sucks, but at least they are open about it. Most companies dance around the subject of animal testing, and it is refreshing to find a company who says “no we don’t, but we will if we have to.” Maybe it’s the European way.

daysoft only manufactures dailies which is much healthier for the eyes. And with dailies you also save money on contact solution which gets very expensive over time. Who else thinks that contact solution is overpriced?

One box of 32 daysoft lenses costs only $8.08! Plus shipping ðŸ™ I hate paying shipping for anything, but the shipping costs are really not too bad. Standard shipping for a 6-month supply costs $13.08.

The minimum order requirement is 2 boxes. If you are not satisfied with the contact lenses, they will refund your money as long as you’ve not used more than 7 pairs from the 2 boxes. If you are serious about going cruelty-free, there is no reason to not try them out. All you need to order is a current (not expired) contact lens prescription.

I have not tried these contacts, but I did place my first order today (on the day of this post) and I will write a review after wearing them for a few weeks. I’m super excited at the possibility of dumping Acuvue!

PLEASE talk to your eye doctor before switching to daysoft, or switching to any other brand for that matter. My eye doctor has never heard of them but he told me that it wouldn’t hurt to try for a few weeks.

Cruelty-free contact lens solution and eye drops

Like contact lenses, contact solution and eye drops are not required to be tested on animals but manufacturers opt to undergo animal testing regardless.

The only cruelty-free option for us animal lovers is Clear Conscience. Clear Conscience makes cruelty-free contact lens solution, lubricating eye drops, and redness eye drops. The drops are not for contact lenses.

You won’t find this contact lens solution at your local pharmacy, but you can buy Clear Conscience through Amazon.

I’ve been using Clear Conscience for some time and I can’t tell a difference from the Bausch & Lomb solution I used before. I would recommend this product without any hesitance.

While I was researching Clear Conscience (before I made the switch from Bausch & Lomb) I ran into some online threads where some people commented that Clear Conscience just did not work for them. We are all different, and what doesn’t work for me may work for you, and vice versa. Hopefully you have a good experience with Clear Conscience, but just in case I would suggest that your first order be the travel size.

Psst… If you switch to daysoft dailies, you won’t need contact lens solution. But if you need to stick with one of the brands that test on animals, you should consider making the switch to Clear Conscience.

Homemade contact-lens disinfecting solution

I’ve never tried any of these homemade saline solutions. Actually, I’ve never tried any homemade anything ðŸ™‚ I’ll probably keep it up for 1-2 weeks, and 2 weeks is pushing it. This is for you DIYers out there.

Before you start making your own saline solution, follow the link below to a notice from the FDA. This notice is dated January 24, 1989, but if you scroll down on the left-hand side you will see that it was updated in 2015.

FDA Notice: Homemade Saline Solutions for Lenses

Now that you’ve read the FDA notice, check out these recipes for homemade saline solutions from DIY Natural and eHow.

Again, I’ve not tried these homemade recipes and I am not recommending them. I’m just putting this out there for DIYers who are open to giving this a shot.

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See this post in my blog with all images and source links: How to Care for Your Eyes, the Cruelty-Free Way

If you like this article, please visit my blog, Guilt Free Vegetarian and follow me on FaceBook * Google + * Twitter * Pinterest

Useful Links: List of Companies that DO NOT Test on Animals / List of Companies that Test on Animals / List of Humanely Raised Meat & Dairy Brands