Animal Welfare

100% free from animal testing*

essence Animal Welfare

Free from animal testing – since the very beginning*

Since the company was founded in 2002, animal welfare has been a matter that’s particularly close to our hearts. essence products have been 100% cruelty-free from the very beginning*. This means that essence has never conducted any testing on animals whatsoever. It’s an absolute no-go for us! No animal has to suffer because of our love of make-up, we believe in “beauty without cruelty”. *according to EU law

essence free from animal Testing

100% VEGAN ingredients!**

We believe that we all have the power to make the world a better place. essence wants to help you use all your positive energy – full of confidence and strength. PINK & PROUD. And now also vegan!

essence Vegan

For make-up without animal testing

Since essence has been on the market, we have never commissioned any testing on animals – neither for our products nor for the ingredients and neither in Germany nor anywhere else in the world. Animal welfare has been a matter that’s close to our hearts since the very beginning. Even before the introduction of the legal ban in the EU, we have exclusively produced cosmetics without animal testing – essence stands for cruelty-free cosmetics and is part of the official list of PETA Germany e.V. for cosmetics without animal testing.

We don’t want animals to suffer because of our love of make-up, and we strongly believe in “beauty without cruelty”, which is fortunately also required by EU law. The products are naturally still 100% safe and good!

Since the topic of make-up without any testing on animals is just as important to us as it is to you, we would like to provide comprehensive information on this complex topic and answer your questions openly:

1. What does the law say about “animal testing”?

Since 2004, no cosmetics product that has been tested on animals may be sold in Germany and throughout the European Union. By the way, the German cosmetics industry has voluntarily refrained from this since 1989. And since 2009, products with ingredients that have been tested on animals especially for cosmetics are also forbidden. A transitional period ended in 2013. This means that by law, any cosmetics product in Germany is free of animal testing.

But there’s another important fact: the so-called REACH regulation (registration, evaluation & authourisation of chemicals) came into force in 2009. This regulation covers chemical policy requirements, which say that all ingredients must be proven to be safe – no matter whether they are well-known or brand new, synthetic or natural. In this case, “safe” means that the ingredients in the finished product will not lead to any negative health effects upon application. Nowadays, the cosmetics industry implements alternative testing methods instead of testing on animals. Alternative methods include laboratory tests that are performed in vitro. These can be vegan or non-vegan. By the way, "in vitro" is Latin and means "within the glass".

Now comes the but: many cosmetics ingredients are also used for other purposes besides cosmetics. Almond oil, for example, is often used in cosmetics but it is also used for manufacturing other products such as pharmaceuticals. By law, medical ingredients can and must still be tested on animals to prove that they are safe for use. At least if no authourised alternative test is available.

Such ingredients may later also be used in cosmetics. The important thing is: the ingredients are not allowed to be tested on animals especially for cosmetics purposes.

If your head isn’t spinning yet, you can read more about it here:

2. Where does essence stand on animal testing?

Testing on animals is a no-go for essence. We do not conduct it or commission anyone else to do so. Not in Germany or anywhere else in the world. We never have and we never will. The contracts with our suppliers state that they must manufacture products according to EU law, and this clearly excludes animal testing. To us, this is a matter of course, and always has been on a voluntary basis – because we know that we can manufacture good and safe products without making animals suffer. In the cosmetics industry, alternative tests have been used for many years instead of testing on animals.

However, it is practically impossible to prove that a cosmetics product is totally free from animal testing. This applies without exception. The reason for this is that ingredients may, for example (as already mentioned in question 1), have already been tested on animals for medical purposes. If there is no alternative method available, the pharmaceutical industry must still rely on animal testing. Also, other laws apply to vendors in countries outside the EU. So, it could happen that an ingredient has been tested on animals somewhere in the world – but since 2013, not for a cosmetics company that markets its products in Europe.

3. Does essence test raw materials on animals?

No. This has been prohibited in Europe since 2009, but we did not conduct or commission animal testing before that either. Not for our products and not for our raw materials either. We believe that beauty is no reason to torture animals. There are very good ingredients available to us even without animal testing.

4. I have read several blogs that claim that essence does test on animals, is this true? Or maybe you tested on animals in the past?

No. We have never conducted or commissioned animal testing. Please take a look further up at point 2, where we explain what essence thinks about it!

5. Is a product that has never been tested on animals still safe?

You don’t have to worry about that in Europe! In addition to the chemical policy regulations, which require a safety certificate for all ingredients, the German Industrial Association for Personal Hygiene and Detergents (IKW) responds to the same question like this: “Only products with extensively validated ingredients come onto the market and may be sold. This is and will always be the case.”

Trained professionals confirm the safety of our products. So you can enjoy your essence products!

6. Can essence launch innovative products without animal testing?

essence has always had innovative, trendy products and we have never carried out any animal testing! With the help of alternative testing methods, we, like the rest of the cosmetics industry, are continuously working on assessing whether new raw materials are truly safe for use. So, you can always look forward to plenty of new and improved products by essence!

7. Even though testing on animals for cosmetics purposes is forbidden in the EU, I’ve heard that new ingredients must be tested on animals. Is that true?

First of all, the animal testing ban doesn’t just apply to finished cosmetics products, but also to the the raw materials used – if they are exclusively used for cosmetics! As the safety of all ingredients has to be ensured in accordance with the chemical policy regulations, the cosmetics industry uses alternative testing methods instead of animal tests. If these alternative methods cannot prove that a substance is safe, it will not be used.

But you should know that many raw materials are also used in pharmaceuticals, for example. As the safety of medicine is particularly important, the legislation is totally different here. In this case, ingredients are tested on animals if no other approved alternative methods are available. Although these tests are not conducted for the cosmetics industry, they do sometimes apply to ingredients that may later be used in the production of cosmetics.

8. If you use a new ingredient at essence – do you test it on animals?

No. According to EU regulations, this has been prohibited since 2009. At essence, we have always voluntarily refrained from animal testing for our products and their ingredients anyway. We love beauty, but we love animals too! And for us, this goes hand in hand.

9. Does cosnova still search for new ingredients?

Of course! Our innovation team is responsible for this. They scan all new ingredients available on the market that are safe for use in essence cosmetics. After all, we always want to be ahead of the trends and ensure that our products can offer that little bit extra!

10. What about essence products that are manufactured outside the EU, for example, in China? Do you test those on animals?

No, we do not conduct testing on animals for these products either! Firstly, because we don’t want to, and secondly, because we wouldn’t be able to sell our products here for legal reasons! Our suppliers have to comply with the rules of the country where the products are on the shelves. EU law clearly states that testing on animals for out for cosmetics products and their ingredients is forbidden. And to be sure, we have made additional agreements with our suppliers.

Until recently, animal testing was mandatory for products that were imported into China.

Therefore, we have always refrained from selling our products on the Chinese market. Online sales in China are not subject to this regulation, that’s why our products are available online there. The regulations for sales in stores in China fortunately changed in 2021. Since then, animal testing is no longer mandatory and can be replaced by alternative testing methods.

11. Can you really ensure that no testing on animals is conducted for products that are manufactured outside Europe?

Yes, we can, and we are even legally obliged to do so: Our suppliers must comply with our strict criteria and are bound by law to produce according to EU legislation. This states that testing on animals is forbidden. And as mentioned, we have made additional agreements with our suppliers just to be sure.

*in accordance with EU law

** Due to a raw material shortage we need to replace the vegan ingredient berry wax in the Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara with beeswax (marked on the product) for a limited time (starting in May 2023).