Are Cosmetics in The EU Truly Cruelty Free?

Are Cosmetics in The EU Truly Cruelty Free?

This is a guest post written by Sophie of Naoki, a cruelty free and green living beauty blog. As a trusted blogger and friend, with news of the EU ban on animal testing, I reached out to Sophie and asked her to write a guest post with some of the important details about this ban. Running a cruelty free beauty blog and living in the EU, I couldn’t think of anyone better to assist me in explaining what the ban may mean and important details to pass on to caring consumers.

You might have heard about the new EU law that sets into motion on March 13, 2013. Tashina wrote an article on this last week. From that date on, cosmetic companies are no longer allowed to sell cosmetics in The EU that have been tested on animals. This is great news and definitely a step into the right direction. However there are a few important things that are not very clear about this law and that EU consumers need to know about:

On March 13, 2013 there will be a ‘cut off date’ implemented on all new cosmetics, including recently developed ingredients and the finished products. All products that are for sale now (and might have been tested on animals) will remain in the stores, this law will only be applied to new products from March 11, 2013 on.

Even though new cosmetics in The EU will be cruelty free, cosmetic companies are still allowed to test on animals abroad, just not in The EU. This will force cosmetic companies to make a decision: either change their policies and become completely cruelty free or create 1 set of products for the EU market and a different set of products for other markets. This is particularly important for those cosmetic companies selling in China: seeing as how animal testing is still required on finished products in China, companies will no longer be able to introduce new collections in China while selling them in The EU and likewise, if a company introduces a new collection in China, it will not be allowed into The EU.

So although new products being introduced in the EU market as of March 11, 2013 will be cruelty free, its company might not be depending on what they do outside of The EU. Do they still develop new ingredients and test these ingredients on animals? Then the company is not cruelty free. Does the company sell in China where the finished products are tested on animals? Also not cruelty free. It’s up to the EU consumer to decide what is cruelty free and what is not: when just looking at the product on the shelves, yes it might be cruelty free, but the company overall might not be cruelty free.

So do you live in The EU or are planning a trip over here? Be careful as to what cosmetics you buy: companies might want to make you believe they’re cruelty free because of the law, but it’s still important to check what the company is doing internationally so you can make an informed and truly cruelty free decision.

Want to read more from Sophie? Check out her site – Naoki. I suggested downloading the Google Translate toolbar or opening it in Chrome so that you can translate the content to the language that is easiest for you to read and understand. Naoki is full of many great articles and is a great resource for cruelty free and vegan consumers!


  1. If we perhaps buy Mac cosmetics in EU stores will they only have cruelty free products? Or they have all products that are being sold on China in EU stores as well? I am very worried about buying Mac in EU now because I don’t know if it qualifies as a cruelty free brand here in EU

  2. thank you for posting this. i have been wondering if there was a cut off and how this would impact companies who sell in China. we can only hope all countries realize how cruel and unnecessary animal torture for beauty really is.

  3. OMG, I had no idea that Clorox owns BB’s! It is so difficult to find out who owns what. Any suggestions on how to get to the bottom of it all?

    Thanks, and great post!

    1. If the company is owned by a larger brand, it will usually be noted on their website and/or in emails from them. I find it usually good to always ask if they have a parent company when contacting brands as well.

  4. I agree. I live in Croatia, which is near Italy in Europe. Most of the cosmetics made here or neigbour countries is CF, esp the local homemade natural cosmetics, which are also vegan. I still don’t but from companies that sell in China and test there but are CF in general like Avene or are CF in general and are owned by a parent company which is not CF like OPI, Burt’s Bees and recently Urban Decay. I don’t support animal testing in ANY way, so why buy from companies which mother-company is testing? makes no sense for me. I also try to find more vegan options and the hardest ingredient to avoid is beeswax or even carmine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.