Animal testing in cosmetics: the facts

Animal testing for cosmetic products is a discussion-provoking topic that is often clouded with misinformation. But let’s clear one thing up. Paula’s Choice believe that animal testing has no place in cosmetics and we have never tested our products on animals. We stand for cruelty-free skincare and we always want to bring you the facts and share the truth – even when it is not popular. On this page you will find the latest information about animal testing for cosmetics in Europe. We have also included resources for those that want to find out more information or take further steps.


Cruelty-free skincare: the current situation

  • In 2004, the European Union banned the testing of cosmetic products on animals.
  • In 2009, it banned the testing of cosmetic ingredients on animals.
  • In 2013, it stopped the sale of cosmetic products that have been tested on animals.

So, animal testing for cosmetics is banned, that's good, right?

Well actually there is a loophole, which allows animal testing for cosmetics ingredients in certain situations under REACH – the regulation that governs chemicals – and undermines the cosmetics regulation which clearly prohibits animal testing. What’s more, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is now requesting new animal tests for ingredients with a history of safe use – even those solely used in cosmetics – which effectively overturns the EU’s ban on animal testing for cosmetics. The truth is that through the development of leading-edge safety science over the last 40 years, animal testing should not be needed to prove that cosmetics products, or the ingredients in them, are safe.

For more information about the loophole mentioned above, please check the ECHA website.

ECHA website

What are cruelty-free products tested on?

Apart from removing the need to test on animals, these non-animal methods have been developed to be human-relevant. This means they give us a truthful idea of how the human body will react to a particular ingredient or product.

What is being done to stop animal testing in cosmetics altogether?

Over 100 animal protection organisations have started a European Citizen's’ Initiative (ECI) calling to stop all animal testing in Europe and have united with brands from across the industry to call on the European Commission to uphold the ban. This initiative calls upon the European Commission to:

  • Protect and strengthen the current cosmetics animal testing ban to prevent testing on animals for any purpose at any time.
  • Transform EU chemical regulation to ensure that ingredients are safe for use without the need for new animal testing requirements.
  • Support the innovation of alternative testing methods to verify the safety of cosmetic products and ingredients.

This ECI is an important way for consumers to speak out and help to prevent cosmetic ingredients from being tested on animals.

Once the ECI hits a millions signatures, it will be brought before the European Commission.

What can I do to stop animal testing?

If you’re an EU citizen, you can sign the ECI and find out more about it and its mission to end animal testing in Europe.


When it comes to animal testing in cosmetics, there is a lot to talk about. If you would like to continue the conversation, please reach out to our customer care team with your questions and comments.