For a long time, cosmetic products have been regularly tested on animals in order to evaluate their toxicity and harshness on the skin, among other things. But for a few years, gradually more brands have been placing logos on their labels and publishing messages saying that they do not test their products on animals.
This raises a few questions: Who still tests their products on animals? Is that still allowed?
Within the European Union, the answer seems to be rather simple. A directive for the ban was passed in 2003. Its application started in March 2009, when the Union banned safety testing on animals (photo-toxicity, abrasiveness, etc.). Then in March 2013, the span of the ban was extended.
Since then, the EU has banned:
– testing of finished products and cosmetic raw materials on animals,
– selling of products tested on animals,
– importing in the Union products which have been tested on animals.
Then, it would be impossible to find in a store, say in France, a product that has undergone such tests at some point of its making. Right?
Unfortunately, everything is not quite that clear and there are still a few gray areas.
One of such gray areas regards multi-purpose ingredients and actives from the pharmaceutical industry. Since animal testing is not prohibited in the medical field, an ingredient that has been developed in a pharmaceutical context can be tested on animals and can later be integrated into cosmetic products.
Therefore, that it is not completely a thing of the past. So it has not become useless to talk about animal testing in the European cosmetic industry.
As a consumer, if you are about to purchase a seemingly highly technological product and you find yourself overcome by doubt, take a step back and take the time to inform and reassure yourself. Or, go for the organic alternative. That one has truly never been tested on animals.