What is a Cosmetic Product?
To understand how UK law affects the testing of cosmetic products, we must first identify what products fall into this category. Cosmetics include;
- Shampoo and Conditioner
- Deodorant and Antiperspirant
- Body Lotions
- Hair Products
- Toothpaste and Mouthwash
Essentially, anything that is used on the body to decorate, clean or perfume is classed as a cosmetic product.
Animal testing for cosmetic research has been banned in the UK since 1998; this makes many believe that they can pick anything up off the shelves at not have to worry about how it was tested, but this is not the case. A shocking number of cosmetics (or the chemicals that go into them) are tested on animals elsewhere in the world before being stocked in the UK, so if you are not aware of the ethical stance your chosen brands take you could well be using a product tested on animals.
Over the last 10 years extensive lobbying has led to a deadline being set of 11th March 2013, after this point the sale of all cosmetic products containing an ingredient tested on animals will not be allowed in Europe. Whilst this is a huge step forward there are still plenty of companies we should be avoiding, especially those who sell their products to China, where cosmetics are required by law to be tested on animals before they can be sold.
What Can you Do?
We can’t rely on legislation to protect us from the cruel and unnecessary world of vivisection, therefore taking the time to educate ourselves together with friends and family is the only way forward at present. Organisations such as the BUAV work tirelessly to promote cruelty free cosmetics and you can find a list of BUAV approved products by clicking here.
Take a look through the list and see if your chosen brands get the leaping bunny seal of approval; if not, maybe it’s time to give your dressing table a cruelty free makeover.