As of 11th March 2013 no new beauty products which have been tested on animals will be sold in the EU - and it’s about time, writes Judy Johnson

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It's a big day for both the cosmetics world and the animal kingdom. As of today - 11th March 2013 - any new beauty products that have been tested on animals cannot legally be sold in Europe, even if the testing itself took place outside of the EU.

The news is a huge victory for animal rights campaigners (not to mention our furry friends), with over 20 years of tireless work by the likes of PETA and the RSPCA finally making a difference to the way we purchase beauty products.

There have been smaller triumphs along the way - including the ban on testing finished cosmetic products in Britain back in 1998 and the ban on testing within Europe in 2009 - but this new law prevents multinational companies from selling newly-tested products on our shelves, giving us a guarantee that what we are buying (and its ingredients) has caused no harm to animals either here or elsewhere in the world.

Products that have previously been tested on animals will still be available, but as of this date you can be safe in the knowledge that the 'new and improved' mascara you see at the counter has not hurt a fly - or rabbit, or mouse, or any other creature for that matter. However, if you want to make sure you only purchase from companies that refuse to test on animals, make sure you look out for the leaping bunny cruelty-free logo for peace of mind.

The latest lotions and potions will now be tested with humane techniques, which are not only said to be more effective, but are far better measures for what's safe and what's not. Thanks to new technology, cosmetics can be tested on human tissues and cells which gives a far more reliable and accurate reading of whether or not something is safe for use. After all, it's us that wears the lipstick, not the rabbit - so it's about time we tested it on human skin cultures.

The EU is setting the standard for the industry with a very powerful message, and there's a good chance the rest of the world will follow suit so that no animal is ever harmed in the name of vanity ever again. What a beautiful thought.