Monday, 24 May 2010

L'Oreal - statement on animal testing policies

Following my post on YSL Touche Eclat, we have been contacted by L'Oreal and provided with the following information about their animal testing policies. I am reproducing it for public reference, as it came to us straight from the horse's mouth. It's not easy to find a statement from L'Oreal on this issue using Google.

As per below, L'Oreal no longer test their finished products on animals, and stopped doing so before the practice was definitively outlawed. However, there's nothing below about the current practice of testing ingredients on animals, which as per this statement provided to OxfordJasmine, still goes on as far as we are aware. What is emphasised is that L'Oreal are working hard to research alternatives. This is good news, as it means they're going to be well prepared for the absolute ban on testing cosmetic ingredients on animals, when it comes into force in 2013.

Good for their business, and good for the consumer as it means that hopefully there will be less reason for governments to contest the enforcement of the 2013 deadline.

All I can say is - good, but hurry it up! :)

L'Oreal's statement:

L’Oréal voluntarily stopped using animal testing for the evaluation of its entire range of finished cosmetic products in 1989.  It was possible to do this due to the considerable time and effort we have invested for over two decades, including developments of databases on ingredient toxicity profiles and the results of a large-scale programme carried out over several years to develop appropriate in vitro methods such as Episkin.  Moreover, we have also co-operated with our competitors in this common objective.

We are totally committed to a future without tests on animals.  We comply with all EU and national laws in ensuring the absolute safety of our products.  These are positions we share with The Body Shop whose policy of not using any ingredients that have been tested or retested on animals for cosmetics purposes since the end of 1990 remains unchanged.

The industry and many opinion formers believe that this common objective of eradication of animal testing for safety purposes can only be totally achieved through research, development and validation of alternative methods and approaches.  L’Oréal has invested more than any other company in this endeavour during the last 25 years.   This is a fact that was recognised and endorsed by Anita Roddick, the founder of The Body Shop and campaigner against animal testing for cosmetics.  Below is some more detailed information regarding this subject that you may find helpful.

Some of our achievements to date:
  • in the early 1980s, L’Oréal developed Episkin - reconstructed human skin models complete with a barrier function.  These have since been routinely used to obtain a better understanding of the biological mechanisms of skin and to evaluate the efficacy and tolerance of our products. Some of these models can be used to study skin pigmentation or its immune response;
  • a specific protocol, using the company’s reconstructed epidermis model Episkin, has been validated by the European Centre for Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM) for the purposes of evaluating skin irritancy and corrosion.  This method provides a full replacement for the corresponding animal test;
  • our researchers have also developed the first epidermal model containing Langerhans cells which play a decisive role in the skin’s allergic response.  Having been a pilot for a European Commission programme, similar models are currently being studied as alternative methods to skin allergy tests; and
  • the acquisition by L’Oréal of the tissue engineering company, Skin Ethic, is further testimony to our continued commitment to the development of alternative methods to replace animal testing.

L’Oréal is an active member of the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to animal testing (EPAA) led by the European Commission, and we are committed, in our field of expertise, to progressing and promoting this programme.

For your reference, please visit the website for Episkin -


  1. Sarah hunny, you'll have to put it to me straight in lingo Jo understands lol Do they or don't they? hahaha.


  2. Jo, if only it were that simple!

    You need to decide your criteria for "animal tested". Finished product tested on animals? Then no they don't do it.

    Ingredients used for finished product tested on animals? Yes, sometimes they do it, in accordance with EU law only.

    Bit more about that;
    The laws that demand animal tests only apply to new ingredients whose safety is unknown. So a company who invents a new ingredient has to test it, and some of those tests have to be on animals.

    That's why companies like Urban Decay are able to be cruelty free. They use only "old"/well known ingredients that were safety tested before a certain date (known as a Fixed Cut Off Date).

    That's as simple as I can get it! Feel free to email me to talk it over, I will give you as much info as I can, though I'm no expert.

    1. Amen!

      L'Oreal still tests ingredients, just not the finished products. A lot of these companies say they don't test on finished products to sound good but essentially they are still testing behind closed doors.

  3. Now I'm just confused :| I think I'll just stay away from them in the meantime anyway, though I dont think I even own any L'oreal products anyway!

  4. It's great that they are developing new ways of testing but i still wouldn't buy there products if the ingredients are still be tested on animals.
    However i think i now feel a lot more comfortable buying from the body shop and other L'oreal owned but non animal tested companies :)

  5. I am really pleased to see that they have invested a lot in to the in vitro skin equivalent methods. They seem to have made quite a lot of advances in the skin equivalents and I think they will be a really useful tool for testing cosmetics. Great to hear they are collaborating with other Pharma's on this and the product safety databases, it makes a change!
    Jane x

  6. Just another thought though, I wonder how they are making the SE's. Will have to check the link but some of them are made using primary cells rather than cell lines. I think it would be useful to know if they are using human or animal derived cells to produce the skin equivalent models.

  7. As far as im aware of... there is no policy that states a company HAS (by law) to test on animals, the reason they still do is because its cheaper than alternatives... Borjois, Revlon, Bobby Brown and Collection 2000, those companies for example DO NOT test any products or ingredients on animals so therefore there is no law saying that they have to test so why do companies still do it? if theres no necessity to do it then why? In my opinion, money is a small price to pay (especially for HUGE corps like L'oreal) to stop animal testing...

  8. I think in the US , when a company wants to have a waterproof product approved, FDA requires animal testing to approve it.

  9. They are working hard to find a research alternative? That's easy, put the criminals to good use, instead of putting them in jails that WE have to pay for. And I'm not talking about small crimes, I'm talkin about pedos, murderers, child and animal abusers etc. Put them to good use, the results will be far more accurate testing products for humans on other humans. I fail to see why an animal should have to suffer just so we can make outselves 'look pretty'. I'm all for make up but not at the expense of horrific suffering to an innocent. Our species really is sick sometimes.


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