As I wrote back last summer, new EU regulations that come into force in 2013 would erroneously make you think that animal testing on cosmetics is a thing of the past. Firstly even within Europe, there is a get out clause for testing certain ingredients (those - like parabens - that may have an effect on the endocrine system). These can still be tested on animals for the foreseeable future. Moreover, cosmetic companies that sell their wares in China are required by the Chinese authorities to test on animals, so can get round things that way.
This makes organic certification of cosmetics - which bans animal testing or the use of animal ingredients (even things like the red colour of carmine / crushed beetles) - all the more attractive. And it also makes the work of organisations like Naturewatch - who monitor companies' animal testing policies - all the more relevant.
Naturewatch has been publishing the Compassionate Shopping Guide for the past 20 years (Essential Care have been endorsed in it every year since we've known about each other). The Guide helps identify cruelty free cosmetics, toiletries and household cleaning products. It also puts the spotlight on those companies whose animal testing policies, let's say, need improving.
Naturewatch has just launched a lovely new website www.naturewatch.org and to celebrate, they are entering everyone who purchases a copy of the Compassionate Shopping Guide into a competition to win cruelty free products. The Guide only costs £4 and is a great resource. Highly recommended!