Frequently-Asked Questions

  • Does L’Oréal test on animals?

    • L’Oréal was able to end all animal testing for products as early as 1989, without making its products any less safe. This is thanks to its research & development of alternative methods to testing, particularly in the use of reconstructed skin models.
      However, for some of its new ingredients, there’s still a small gap between what the replacement tests can help us predict about the ingredient and what we need to know to ensure its full safety, for example when predicting the ingredient’s potential for skin allergy. For these reasons, the Group still needs to resort to some animal testing, which today represents less than 1% of its safety assessments.
      L’Oréal’s ambition is to replace the need for any animal testing, and the Group has already contributed to most of the replacement methods accepted today in the cosmetics industry, and continue to develop new ones.

  • What are tests for?

    • L’Oreal is committed to only market products whose safety has been proven. To do so, the Group has to be able to verify that there are no potential adverse effects when using any of its products. Traditionally, it was animal testing that allowed companies to perform safety assessment.
      L’Oréal’s ambition is to replace the need for any animal testing, and the Group has already contributed to most of the replacement methods accepted today in the cosmetics industry, particularly in the use of reconstructed skins.
      Thanks to these developments, L’Oréal was able to end all animal testing of its products as early as 1989 and is close to ending all animal testing of its ingredients (which today represents less than 1% of our safety assessments).

  • In which cases does L’Oreal still test?

    • In rare cases such as the potential skin allergy to a new ingredient. As a rule, for new ingredients, there’s still a small gap between what the replacement tests to animal testing can help us predict about the ingredient and what we need to know to ensure its full safety.
      For these reasons, the Group still needs to resort to some animal testing, which today represents less than 1% of its safety assessments.

  • Does L’Oréal still test in Europe?

    • For already many years, L’Oréal has not performed any animal testing in Europe or sold any finished products in Europe that were tested on animals. As of March 11th 2013, L’Oréal and any other cosmetics company no longer sells in Europe any finished product with an ingredient that was tested on animals (after that date).

  • If there’s a ban in Europe, why does L’Oréal continue to test abroad (outside of Europe)?

    • The EU Ban does not provide the solution for how to evaluate the safety of ingredients without the need for animals. If L’Oreal must resort to animal testing, it’s to ensure consumer safety and only when there is no alternative way to predict an adverse effect. Thanks to the Group’s 30-year investment into alternative testing strategies, the Group was able to replace all animal testing of our products (long before the law required it) and to conduct 99% of safety assessments of our ingredients without recourse to new animal testing.

  • What actual alternative methods to testing have been developed by L’Oréal?

    • The Group’s laboratories have contributed to most of the replacement methods accepted today by regulators– including skin corrosion, percutaneous penetration, phototoxicity, genotoxicity, and the test for skin irritancy on Episkin.
      These methods were validated by the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM) and have become international standards. More alternative methods are currently being validated, that are based on L’Oréal’s research on eye irritation, allergies and systemic toxicity.

  • Does L’Oréal need to test all of these new ingredients on animals?

    • Not necessarily for all of its ingredients. If the authorities require safety data and there are alternatives available to testing, the Group uses those alternative methods. However, where no alternatives are available, animal tests are done as a last resort.

  • What is L’Oréal doing to try to end animal testing for cosmetics purposes?

    • L’Oréal is charting a new course for “predictive” evaluation, which in due course will end the need for animal testing. Its laboratories have already contributed to most of the replacement methods accepted today in the cosmetics industry – including the tests on Episkin validated by the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM), which have become industry standards.
      Other alternative methods are currently being validated. L’Oréal also initiated, together with other companies, the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA) for the sharing of methods and scientific advances.
      L’Oréal has continued to pave the way by setting up in 2011 a worldwide center for Predictive Evaluation (near Lyon, France) which produces 130 000 reconstructed skin models per year, which permits us to test over a thousand L’Oréal products for safety per year but which also provides its skin models to other companies of other sectors.

  • L’Oréal already has hundreds of ingredients, why do they need more?

    • It is important to remember that some ingredients can be taken out of use due to their environmental impact or to minor secondary effects and that these ingredients then need to be replaced by new ones to maintain the efficacy and safety of the products.
      Some ingredients are also replaced by more effective ones. This is for example the case of new sunscreen filters in sunscreens that prevent cell damage.
      There’s also the need for new ingredients to respond to the new consumer needs, that are due in part to our aging population and to the increasing demand for more natural ingredients which still need to be as safe as other ingredients.

  • The Body Shop is part of L’Oréal, what is its testing policy?

    • Ever since the Body Shop was founded in 1976, one of its core values has been its opposition to animal testing. The Body Shop has always ensured that its products and ingredients are not tested on animals and never will. To do so, The Body Shop operates according to the Humane Cosmetic’s Standard, an internationally recognized standard that has a fixed cut-off date that ensures that none of its ingredients were tested on animals after that date (1990 for the Body Shop) and is independently verified by the BUAV.
      Joining the L’Oréal Group has enabled the Body Shop to pursue their commitment even further while innovating at the same time.

  • There are many images online of rabbits, dogs, monkeys that would have been tested on, are these true?

    • No, we assure you that L’Oreal has nothing to do with these images or those practices.
      The only laboratory animals used for testing purposes are rats and mice. L’Oréal’s ambition is to replace the need for any animal testing, and we’ve already contributed to most of the replacement methods accepted today in the cosmetics industry, particularly in the use of reconstructed skins.
      Thanks to these developments, L’Oréal was able to end all animal testing of its products as early as 1989 and we’re close to ending all animal testing of our ingredients (which today represents less than 1% of our safety assessments).

  • What about in China where animal testing is still required by the regulation? Don’t their authorities conduct tests on products?

    • In the specific case of China, the regulatory authorities continue to require tests on animals, which they carry out for all cosmetics products before they are placed on their market.
      As a responsible company, L’Oréal will always abide by local regulations. However, in keeping with our own values, we are trying to advance the cause of alternative methods to testing. L’Oréal has already set up a reconstructed skin facility specifically for Asian skin and we are participating in validating these methods with local authorities, in order to produce the skin models locally and make them available to other companies as well.
      More generally, we have shared our knowledge of alternative methods with Chinese authorities, including training. All of this is evidence of our Group’s commitment to eliminate the need for animal testing for cosmetics everywhere in the world.

  • Why doesn’t the Group have a label “not tested on animals”?

    • The Label “Not tested on animals” signifies that the company adheres to the principle of a “cut-off” date, where the company prohibits the use of any ingredients which would have resulted in tests after that date.
      L’Oréal offers its consumers innovative, safe and effective products. To carry out this task, L’Oréal must use new ingredients in order to replace those ingredients that have become prohibited or introduce ingredients that yield new benefits to consumers or that satisfy new regulations. These ingredients must undergo safety assessments and it’s only when there is no alternative way to predict an adverse effect that we must resort to animal testing, which represents less than 1% of safety assessments.
      Our continued efforts in research over the last 30 years in the development of alternative methods will one day allow us to end animal testing and continue to advance the science of beauty.