What does cruelty-free mean?
A cosmetic can be defined cruelty-free when it is not tested on animals .
In Europe, the March, 11th 2013 the absolute ban on animal testing in the cosmetic sector has entered into force.
So are we sure that the cosmetic brands we buy in Italy are cruelty-free? No.
The law was in fact limited to ingredients created specifically for the cosmetics sector .
So, if an ingredient used within a product comes from the pharmaceutical or food industry, it may have been tested on animals.
In addition, ingredients tested on animals before the law came into force can be used for new products.
Some brands - the ICEA-LAV certified ones - use only ingredients that have been on the market for many years, part of a list declared safe as early as 1976 and therefore not subject to experimentation.
However, in general, most of the products sold in Europe are cruelty-free. But often the brands that produce them are not. A brand may not necessarily be cruelty-free just because it distributes in Italy products that are : a brand can produce cruelty-free cosmetics in Europe but not in the rest of the world.
In some countries, animal testing is still mandatory. All companies that produce or sell their products there, they must necessarily carry out the tests . Companies that decide to sell in these countries, they accept animal testing . For example, in China it is mandatory by law to test on animals . Therefore, a brand that also sells its products in China will certainly have to carry out animal testing on the Chinese territory.
How can brands market their products in China without testing? Selling only online, for example. In fact, selling online does not imply the obligation to test on animals.
Attention: Laws in China changed in May of 2021, for the latest news, you can check out this article .
On product labels, some symbols can be found to help us recognize a cruelty-free product. The most famous associations that issue cruelty-free certifications are Peta is Leaping Bunny (ICEA-LAV) , both recognizable with the symbol of the white bunny. But let's remember that if a product is cruelty-free, it doesn't mean that the brand doesn't test about animals.
THE tests in the cosmetic sector they are generally used to verify the reactions of chemical compounds. They consist of skin and eye irritation tests by putting chemical compounds in the eyes of animals and depilating them to test the compounds directly on the skin, forced ingestion tests by forcing them to eat compounds, and testing the maximum tolerated dose before getting cancer or dying. Approximately 200,000 animals , especially rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, mice, dogs (especially beagles) and monkeys.