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Research & Development

Global Product Safety Standard | R&D Green Team | Animal Welfare

Though regulatory requirements differ among the more than 100 markets in which Avon conducts business, the company maintains a single Global Product Safety Standard for the nearly 1,000 beauty products developed in Avon labs every year. Through this commitment, Avon is proud of its safety record.

Avon Global Product Safety Standard The safety of every beauty product must be substantiated prior to product introduction. We are vigilant in monitoring the safety of our beauty products in the hands of consumers. We will remove any ingredient from our cosmetic products should new evidence emerge that would no longer support its safe use.

Sufferen BuildingWhen evaluating a new cosmetic or personal care product, the scientists of Avon's Product Safety and Integrity team based in Suffern, N.Y. (U.S) conduct a thorough evaluation to determine safe and effective ingredients as well as the appropriate concentrations of every ingredient. The safety evaluation process includes the following steps:

  • Every ingredient must undergo a careful review of available safety information, including scientific literature by toxicologists, before it is considered for use in a product formulation.
  • A review of ingredients used in previously approved products is also conducted. Avon maintains a comprehensive database of product information to assist with this process.
  • All products are carefully formulated (e.g., through the use of effective preservative systems) to ensure that they present no risk of contamination by micro-organisms. Each production batch must be tested and must meet stringent product specifications as part of routine manufacturing quality assurance procedures.
  • Product safety substantiation includes assessment of skin compatibility, including determination that the final product formulation will not cause irritation.
  • Clinical testing is conducted to confirm skin compatibility (mildness) and to substantiate product clinical claims.
  • All finished products must comply with applicable cosmetic and/or other (e.g., drug) regulations, including those governing product composition (e.g., ingredient restrictions, volatile organic compound (VOC) content, etc.) and special packaging requirements (e.g., child-resistant packaging for certain products.
  • Avon scientists participate in industry-wide and professional scientific organizations to access and evaluate the latest information to ensure the continued safe use of individual ingredients.
  • In addition to internal safety reviews, Avon consults with independent, recognized experts in relevant scientific fields on specific questions related to ingredient and product safety.

To read about Avon's position on the Precautionary Principle.


Environmental Considerations from the Start

Green teamDuring the research and development (R&D) phase, Avon also evaluates the potential environmental impacts of a product. In 2009, Avon formally assembled its "Green Team," a group of Associates representing various areas of R&D, to explore the evolving landscape of sustainability in the cosmetic industry.

An important first step was meeting with Avon suppliers to learn how each supplier defines "sustainability" for ingredients, and to identify which suppliers (self-declared) offer ingredients a reduced environmental impact. The Green Team compiled and maintains this database for use when exploring ingredient options that may help further reduce the environmental impact of Avon products.


Commitment to Animal Welfare

Avon is known for its leading efforts to eliminate animal testing. On June 2, 1989, Avon became the first major cosmetic company to announce a permanent end to animal testing on all Avon-manufactured products. Avon independently substantiates the safety of its products without any animal testing.

In place of animal testing, Avon's safety evaluation process uses data from in-vitro tests (non-animal test tube/cell culture methods) or clinical tests (on human volunteers), and references any existing external animal-testing data. Avon does not require its suppliers to conduct animal testing on raw ingredients or finished products.

Avon has for decades worked to advance alternatives to animal testing, partnering with scientific organizations, other cosmetic companies and trade organizations such as the Personal Care Products Council.

Avon will conduct animal testing when required by law, at the request of government health or medical authorities, and only after having first attempted to persuade the requesting authority to accept non-animal test data. In 2011, less than 0.3 percent of the more than 9,000 products sold by Avon were tested as required by law in a small handful of countries. Avon's goal is to get this number to zero.

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