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Model and actress Lily Cole has become the forerunning spokesperson advocating against the use of shark liver oil in face and skin creams. Labeled under the name “squalene oil,” the substance is extracted from the liver and used in luxury face creams. Cole will speak out against the use of shark oil at the Hay Festival in May.

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Known as an animal rights campaigner and activist, Cole has taken endangered sharks under her wing, advocating to protect them from the cosmetic industry. Already hunted for their fins popular in Chinese cooking and medicine, Cole is faulting the cosmetic industry as another offender. Squalene oil helps sharks to remain buoyant.

Popular British retailer Selfridges will also join Cole in the flight, having creative director Alannah Weston join the model at the Hay Festival to announce the department store’s banning of shark-derived squalene products from its shelves. Selfridge’s daring new policy is an incredible example of support for ethical products.

Many cosmetic companies in Europe use loopholes to avoid divulging the source of squalene in their luxury creams and lotions. This loophole puts sharks directly in danger, especially deep sea sharks like Gulper sharks, whose livers have a higher content of the oil. The oil can command over $27,000 a ton, a price high enough to encourage an industry around it.

Many brands, like L’Oreal, Procter & Gamble and Dove, have already responded by phasing out squalene from their products, but Cole, along with Selfridges, wants to see it banned altogether.

[Via the Daily Mail]