China has become the world's largest cosmetics market and is expected to grow to $145 billion by 2025. However, for years, many Cruelty-Free (anti-animal testing) beauty brands have struggled to enter China's cosmetic market due to the cautious attitude to animal testing on cosmetics.
Global Trend of Animal Testing on Cosmetics
In 1998, the UK became the first country to ban cosmetics animal testing.
In 2013, the EU required a complete ban on the testing of finished cosmetic products and cosmetic ingredients on animals, as well as a ban on the sale of cosmetics and cosmetic product ingredients that had been tested on animals within the EU.
In 2022, New York passed the Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, becoming the tenth state in the U.S. to ban the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals.
In fact, the ban on animal testing for cosmetics is not only in developed countries and regions, but also in developing countries such as Colombia, Mexico, and India. As of January 2023, nearly 40 countries and regions worldwide have banned cosmetic animal testing.
China's Cosmetic Animal Testing Regulations
Prior to 2014, animal testing was required for all cosmetics sold within the Chinese Mainland. Chinese consumers can only purchase overseas cruelty-free cosmetics through "overseas purchasing".
In June 2014, China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) announced that animal testing is no longer mandatory for domestically produced non-special use cosmetics.
In March 2021, China NMPA issued the Rules for Registration and Notification Dossiers of Cosmetics, which stipulated that animal testing is no longer required for the marketing of general cosmetics that meet certain conditions.
Note: In addition to the territory of the Chinese Mainland, Chinese Taiwan officially implemented a ban on cosmetics animal testing in 2019. Until now, Hong Kong and Macau have not issued any specific regulations for prohibiting cosmetic animal testing.
Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Trend in China
Imported general cosmetics are exempt from China cosmetics animal testing is undoubtedly good news for all international cosmetic brands, which has greatly promoted beauty brands to enter the Chinese market.
In June 2022, Hourglass, which had delayed its offline shop in China due to its insistence on rejecting animal testing, opened its first offline shop in Hangzhou, China.
In July 2022, Aesop, which opposes animal testing, announced the opening of its first offline store in Chinese Mainland.
In August 2022, Aveda, also a supporter of Cruelty-Free, opened its first offline store in Shanghai, China.
It is certain that Cruelty-Free cosmetics have been the trend, along with the relaxation of restrictions on animal testing in China, more overseas anti-animal testing brands will enter China, and the Chinese cosmetics market will usher in more fierce competition.
Also, you can follow us on LinkedIn for the latest cosmetic and toothpaste compliance information.