Animal testing and cosmetics: what's the deal?
As a consumer, you may be wondering if your mascara or shampoo has been tested on animals. The laws and regulations surrounding this issue can still vary from country to country. What's the deal?
First things first: The Netherlands
In the Netherlands, animal testing for cosmetics has been banned since 2013. This means that it is prohibited both to test cosmetics on animals and to use the results of animal tests for the development of new cosmetics. This applies not only to makeup, but also to all other personal care products, such as shampoo, toothpaste, soap and individual ingredients for these products. So far, so good.
But what about China?
Brands selling in China tested on animals until recently. Fortunately, there was good news in 2021: starting Jan. 1, 2021, imported cosmetics such as shampoo, blusher, mascara and perfume no longer had to be tested on animals for eye and skin irritation in Chinese laboratories. This was a major step forward in the fight against animal testing for cosmetics. In fact, before 2019, it was mandatory that all cosmetics sold in China be tested on animals, forcing many brands to weigh profit against ethical principles. Fortunately, the laws are constantly being updated, and relaxations have already been made in 2019 and 2021. For example, it is now possible to sell animal-free cosmetics online in China and in some cases there are opportunities to open physical stores without having to conduct animal testing.
While this rule applies to the majority of products sold in China, there are still many exceptions and complications. If you want to know all the details about this, read on here.
Is animal testing-free also vegan?
Please note, animal-tested does not automatically mean that the product is also vegan. A product that has not been tested on animals can contain animal ingredients. A vegan product, on the other hand, is always animal-free and does not contain any animal ingredients. Do you want to check your cosmetics label for animal ingredients? Then find the complete list here.
If you are looking for animal-free products, you can look for brands with a Leaping Bunny logo. Any brand with this certification is animal-free. If you want to make sure the product is also vegan, you can look for a vegan certification. For example, The Leaky Company is both animal-free and vegan.