If you’re planning on building a cosmetics company, you likely have heard about cosmetic testing. You may be wondering how to go about doing it. Here are some important tips to remember when working with your products. Of course you want to create safe products, so testing is important. Here is what you need to know.

First of all, according to the FDA cosmetics are considered to be anything applied to your body for beautifying, cleansing, altering the appearance of or promoting attractiveness. That means if you’re just creating small batches of fragrant soap, you are a part of the cosmetics industry and have to follow all the regulations that entails. The only exception is soap that makes no claim other than to clean its user; this is not under the category of cosmetic or drug.

If your product has any medical claim, then it also falls under the category of a drug. For example, let’s say you make toothpaste. If it is only for cleansing the teeth, then it is a cosmetic. If however, you advertise it as having anti-cavity ingredients, then it’s a drug. Knowing how advertising changes the requirements, per the FDA is crucial. Be sure to read up on all regulations.

Second, animal testing is prohibited by the FDA. Though this was common a few decades ago, companies have shored up laws to protect animals. No longer are tests to be conducted with animals as the guinea pigs. China on the other hand is a country that has mandatory animal testing. This is important to know if you at some point are going to source ingredients that you use to create your product. China can also test a product on animals post-production. So your product may be “anti-animal testing” when it leaves your manufacturing center, but once it gets shipped to China, it may be used on animals.

Thirdly, there are many viable alternatives to animal testing. One sure-fire way to avoid animal testing is to use ingredients that are already safe. If your products are made from organic, natural ingredients, the end result (under the right production conditions) will also be safe. This is the way that companies striving to be socially conscious manufacture their products.

Because of changes in the global economy, such as the EU mandating that cosmetics that are animal-tested are not allowed, developers are looking for new ways to test products without it.

Fourthly, cosmetic testing is a burgeoning science. There are a lot of advancements already, but as the world becomes more aware of protecting animals you can expect more options to be introduced. Many of these options will be affordable even for small-batch manufacturers. Stay connected to the industry to understand the latest developments in testing and how you can use it for your own manufacturing of cosmetics.