A Big Win For Cruelty-Free Beauty

Animal testing for beauty products in China is no longer mandatory.


Last Saturday was the start of a new era for animal rights in China. Until now, China required animal testing by law –meaning that, despite animal testing for cosmetics being banned in Europe, if a beauty product was sold in China, it was not cruelty-free. But, as of May 1st, animal testing for “general” cosmetics in China is no longer mandatory. 

This is a really big deal, because China has the second largest cosmetic market in the world after the U.S., and this law made it impossible for cruelty-free beauty companies to import directly while sticking to their morals. According to Dr. Penny Hawkins, head of the RSPCA’s Animals in Science Department, “We believe there’s absolutely no justification for causing animals to suffer for testing cosmetics, and consumers across the globe have shown that they feel the same,” she went on to say, “Whilst we of course welcome this step forward for China, globally we still have a long way to go before we see our ultimate aim realized of all animal experiments being replaced with humane alternatives. [sic]”

Now, even though regulations have relaxed, this doesn’t mean China’s animal testing is over. New brands will have to pass a safety assessment to sell their products in China without animal testing, and they can’t market towards children or have "active claims such as anti-acne or anti-aging." according to WWD.

That said, this is a major win for humans everywhere and our animal pals, alike. As RSPCA’s international head, Paul Littlefair, says “This move is another signal that the Chinese authorities are increasingly seeing animal welfare as an important part of the country’s development.”

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