Testing cosmetic products and their ingredients on animals was banned in the UK in 1998 and across the EU in 2013. The legislation is part of EU Regulation 1223/2009 (Cosmetics Regulation). The ban was created because non-animal methods were developed to test the safety of the cosmetics. Animal testing for cosmetics In the UK and across the rest of the EU, testing cosmetic products or their ingredients on animals is banned.
This means that it is illegal to sell or market a cosmetic product if animal testing has taken place on the finished cosmetic or its ingredients before being sold in the EU. A ban on animal tested cosmetic products was first implemented in the UK in 1998 for finished cosmetic products and ‘ingredients intended primarily for “vanity” products’. The EU ban on animal tested cosmetic products was first passed in 1993 with the full ban taking effect in 2013.
Whilst the UK was a forerunner for banning animal tested cosmetics this legislation is now part of EU Regulation 1223/2009 (Cosmetics Regulation). What is a cosmetic product? The EU defines a cosmetic product as the following1: “any substance or preparation intended to be placed in contact with the various external parts of the human body (epidermis, hair system, nails, lips and external genital organs) or with the teeth and the mucous membranes of the oral cavity with a view exclusively or mainly to cleaning them, perfuming them, changing their appearance and/or correcting body odours and/or protecting them or keeping them in good condition” Therefore everyday hygiene products, such as soap, shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste, as well as luxury beauty items, including perfumes and makeup, are classified as cosmetic products.
Cosmetic products and animal testing Cosmetic products for sale in the EU (including the UK) must be deemed safe and it is the responsibility of the manufacturer to ensure that they (and their ingredients) undergo scientific safety assessments to prove that they are not toxic to human health. Before the ban on animal tested cosmetics was implemented, safety assessments involving the use of animal studies to determine toxicology endpoint were required.
The results gathered from these studies measured the effects the cosmetic and its ingredients had on human health and mainly involved the use of rodents and rabbits. When a safety assessment already existed for an ingredient in a new cosmetic product the animal study for the ingredient would not have to be repeated (the animal study for the finished cosmetic would still be required). However, for a new ingredient where a safety assessment did not previously exist, animal studies had to be conducted.
Due to the development of non-animal techniques it became apparent that these animal studies were no longer required and a ban on animal tested cosmetics and their ingredients was introduced. History of the UK ban In 1998 the Government announced a policy ban to end the use of animal testing for finished cosmetic products and ingredients. The definition of a cosmetic was in line with the concurrent EU description: “any substance or preparation intended for placing in contact with the various external parts of the human body (epidermis, hair systems, nails, lops and external genital organs) or with the teeth and the mucous membrane of the oral cavity with a view (exclusively or principally) to cleaning them, perfuming them or protecting them in order to keep them in good condition, change their appearance or correct body odours.
” The definition included toothpastes, sun creams and other products which were considered to be pharmaceuticals outside of Europe at the time. Whilst the ban in the UK was not part of any legislation, the companies involved with animal testing of cosmetic products relinquished their Home Office licences and were not able to renew them. History of the EU ban EU Directive 76/768/EEC (Cosmetics Directive) provided the regulatory framework for the phasing out of animal testing for cosmetics purposes across the EU and established a testing ban i.
e. it is prohibited to test a finished cosmetic product and its ingredients on animals in the EU; and a marketing ban i.e. it is prohibited to market a finished cosmetic product or its ingredients in the EU if they are tested on animals. Between 2007 and 2011 the EU spent €238 million on funding replacements which is as testament to how serious they are about animal welfare, the 3Rs and the quest to find non-animal methods.
In 1993 the 6th Amendment to EU Directive 76/768/EEC was passed and contained a ban on the sale of animal tested cosmetic products. To make sure that adequate time was given to finding non-animal methods, the deadline for the ban to come into effect was 1st January 1998. In 1997 the ban was delayed until 30th June 2000 due to a lack of alternative methods. In 2000 the ban was delayed until 30th June 2002 due to a lack of alternative methods.
In 2003 the 7th Amendment to EU Directive 76/768/EEC was passed and contained a phased-in ban on animal testing for cosmetics with a deadline of 2013: Ban animal testing on finished products. Ban animal testing on cosmetic ingredients. Ban the marketing of finished products tested on animals. Ban the marketing of cosmetic ingredients tested on animals. On 11th September 2004 the ban on animal tested cosmetic products came into force.
The sale of cosmetic ingredients tested on animals outside the EU using methods that have been replaced within the EU was also banned. On 11th March 2009 the ban on animal testing of cosmetic ingredients within the EU was implemented. The sale of cosmetic products containing newly animal-tested ingredients was banned, however animal testing was still allowed for complex human health issues such as repeat dose toxicity, reproductive toxicity and toxicokinetics.
On 11th March 2013 the full ban came into effect and it is now illegal to market or sell cosmetics in the EU where the finished product or ingredients have been tested on animals. As of 11th July 2013 EU Directive 76/768/EEC was replaced by EU Regulation 1223/2009 (Cosmetics Regulation) which contains all the same provisions. Exceptions to the EU ban REACH REACH is an EU regulation concerning the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals and is applied to substances manufactured or imported into the EU in quantities of 1 tonne or more per year.
The hazardous properties of chemicals cannot be sufficiently determined using only non-animal methods therefore animal testing is still required to determine certain human health and environmental data. In order to minimise the use of animals REACH requires companies to share data in order to avoid unnecessary testing. Those wishing to perform animal tests must obtain approval from the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) who oversees REACH.
Animal testing is to be avoided in favour of non-animal methods and registrants can only carry out tests involving the use of animals when there is no other way. Read more about REACH here. Substances that are exclusively used in cosmetics Animal testing is not needed to meet REACH requirements for human health data, with the exception of tests that are done to assess the risks to workers (those involved with the production or handling of the substance on an industrial site) exposed to the substance.
In this situation, animal testing is only required when there is no other way. Animal testing is required to meet REACH requirements for environmental data when there is no other way. Environmental data is used to determine the safety of a chemical in biological organisms and across ecosystems. Environmental studies required for REACH include the use of fish. Substances that have mixed uses i.e. not solely used in cosmetics Animal testing is only used to meet REACH requirements for human health and environmental data when there is no other way.
Cosmetic testing outside the EU USA In the USA cosmetics are regulated by the Food, Drug & Cosmetics Act, which prohibits the use of unsafe ingredients in a cosmetic product. The manufacturer has to verify if a cosmetic placed on the market presents any risk to consumer health using methods such as literature reviews, tests on animals or alternative methods, otherwise the cosmetic must bear the statement ‘the safety of this product has not been determined’.
New active ingredients in Over-The-Counter products (anti-acne, anti caries/anti-plaque, anti-hair loss, anti-dandruff, anti-perspirant products, skin whiteners, sun protection products) must prove their safety on the basis of animal studies and clinical trials. Whilst the USA does not prohibit animal testing, the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM) was set up in 1997 with the aim to reduce animal testing.
Once ICCVAM recommends that an alternative method has been adequately validated and the relevant test recommendations are accepted or endorsed by Federal regulatory agencies, the test becomes available for all toxicology purposes. Japan A number of products that are qualified as cosmetics in the EU are qualified as quasi-drugs in Japan. This includes hair dyes and decolourants, anti-hair loss products, hair permanents/straighteners, depilatories, anti-perspirant, deodorant, anti-acne, skin whiteners, bath treatment products, and medicinal cosmetics such as anti-dandruff shampoos.
These products are subject to the same regulations as pharmaceuticals and a toxicological dossier is required for approval of a new quasi-drug ingredient which includes animal tests when there are no alternatives available. China In China, the control of cosmetic products and new cosmetic ingredients is under the responsibility of the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration. For finished cosmetics, such as hair dye, sun protection products and for deodorants, a hygiene license or record-keeping certificate from the Health Administrative Department of the State Council is required and can only be obtained by the submission of animal data.
References and Links: http://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/cosmetics/index_en.htm Last edited: 22 August 2016 12:39See Also: Memorial Drive Animal Clinic
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The following list consists of companies that DO test on animals. Its main source is PETA, and I’ve supplemented it with my own research. I’ve organized the brands by category but you’ll notice that most of these brands are owned by a few big corporations. These corporations are L’Oreal, Estee Lauder, Procter & Gamble, Clorox, Johnson & Johnson, S.C. Johnson, Colgate-Palmolive, Reckitt Benckiser, Church & Dwight, Unilever, and Dial/Henkel.
These companies all have poor ethics when it comes to animal testing, and are making no efforts to change their policies. There are however two exceptions, the first one being Colgate-Palmolive, which have agreed to gradually change their policy. PETA currently lists Colgate-Palmolive as “working toward regulatory changes to reduce the number of animals used for testing”. This does NOT mean the company is or will be cruelty-free in the near future! It’s only a small step in the right direction, and the company still DOES test on animals at this point.
The second exception consists of a few select brands. While in most cases, brands that are owned by companies that test on animals are not cruelty-free, L’Oreal is one of the few companies to own brands that have kept their ethical stances and have remained cruelty-free under the ownership. The same goes for Burt’s Bees (now owned by Clorox but still cruelty-free) and Tom’s of Maine (Colgate-Palmolive).
All the brands mentioned on this list, however, do test on animals. Please note that this list is not exhaustive. This list only includes companies that claimed they test on animals at some point, or sell in China; there are many other companies who remained silent about their animal testing policy. Makeup To find brands that aren’t tested on animals, please refer to my Guide To Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands (link opens in a new window).
Almay Artistry (Amway) Avon Benefit Bobbi Brown Borghese Burberry Calvin Klein Chanel Chapstick Cle de Peau Clinique CoverGirl Demeter Dior Dolce & Gabbana Estee Lauder Flirt Giorgio Armani Givenchy Guerlain Helena Rubinstein L’Oreal Lancôme MAC Make Up For Ever Mary Kay Max Factor Maybelline OPI Pat McGrath Prescriptives Rimmel London Revlon Shiseido Shu Uemura Sinful Colors Sephora (brand) Tom Ford Tony Moly Yves Saint Laurent Skincare Algenist Ambi American Beauty Aveeno Avene Avon Bain de Soleil Bioderma Biotherm Bliss Boscia Caudalie Cetaphil Clarins Clarisonic Clean & Clear Clearasil Coppertone DDF DHC Dermablend Dr.
Brandt Dr. Jart Dr Sebagh EOS Eucerin Fresh Garnier Gatineau Glamglow Good Skin Labs Grassroots Jurlique Kiehl’s L’Occitane La Mer La Roche Posay Lab Series for Men Lubriderm Mederma Neutrogena Nivea Noxzema Nu Skin International Nuxe Ojon Olay Origins Oriflame Osiao Peter Thomas Roth Piz Buin Ponds ROC Rembrandt Sephora brand Simple SK-II Skin ID St. Ives Vaseline Vichy Walgreens Yves Rocher Hair Products Alberto V05 Aussie Bumble and Bumble Clairol Fekkai Got2b Head & Shoulders Herbal Essences Hoyu Joico John Frieda Just for Men Kao USA Kerastase Matrix Essentials Mizani Natural Instincts Nexxus Nice ‘n Easy Pantene Physique Redken Rogaine Schwarzkopf Sebastian Professional Soft & Beautiful SoftSheen Suave Sunsilk TRESemmé Vidal Sasson Soap and Bath Dial Dove H2O Plus Irish Spring Ivory Johnson’s Lux Purpose Shower to Shower Softsoap Wella Fragrance Acqua Di Parma Aramis Balenciaga Bvlgari Cacharel Christina Aguilera Perfumes Cire Trudon Coach Donna Karan Dunhill Fragrances Elizabeth Arden Escada Fragrances Gucci Fragrances Hugo Boss Jo Malone Lacoste Fragrances Marc Jacobs Fragrances Michael Kors Missoni Odin Ralph Lauren Fragrances Tommy Hilfiger Viktor & Rolf Kenzo Toothpaste & Oral Care To find dental care brands that aren’t tested on animals, please read my post HERE (link opens in a new window).
Aim Aquafresh Close-up Colgate Crest Listerine Mentadent Pearl Drops Reach Scope Sensodyne Signal Deodorant Arrid Axe Dry Idea FDS Lady Speed Stick Mitchum Deodorant Old Spice Right Guard Secret Soft & Dri Speed Stick Teen Spirit Ultrabrite Feminine Hygene Always Carefree Femfresh o.b Tampons Stayfree Razors and Hair Removal Bic Corporation Braun Gillette Co. Nair Schiek Veet Other/Personal/Household 3M Acuvue Arm & Hammer Band-Aid Hill’s Mead Off Pampers Puffs ReNu Savlon Vaseline Vicks Pet food For more information about animal testing in the pet food industry and to find brands that aren’t tested on animals, read my post HERE (this opens in a new window).
Blue Buffalo Iams Hill’s Science Diet Pedigree Purina Friskies Natural Balance Whiskas Eukanuba Sheba Bakers Complete K.Y. Cleaning Air Wick Ajax Armor All Calgon Clorox Dermassage Drano Easy-Off Ever Clean Fabuloso Fantastik Febreze Finish Formula 409 Fresh Step Glad Glade Green Works Joy Kaboom Liquid Plumr Lysol Melaleuca Mr. Clean Murphy Oil Soap Nature’s Source Old English Oomph! Oust OxiClean Palmolive Pine-Sol Pledge Raid Renuzit Resolve Rid-X S.
O.S. Scoop Away Scrubbing Bubbles Shout Soft Scrub Spray ’N Wash Static Gaurd Sunlight Swiffer Tilex Windex Laundry Comfort Downy Purex Suavitel Tide Woolite LIKE THIS POST? If you want to keep up with cruelty-free beauty updates, enter your e-mail below to join our newsletter! You’ll get a free updated list of cruelty-free brands that you can save for later or print. Further Reading