When you’re trying to live an animal-friendly lifestyle, it can be really difficult to know where to start and what to avoid. This is especially hard when it comes to beauty products, since many of them aren’t cruelty-free. For some reason, the companies on this list haven’t yet gotten the message that testing on animals isn’t acceptable anymore. As consumers ourselves, we’ve decided to vote with our dollars, and we invite you to do the same.
Before we start, we have a small disclaimer. Some countries, like China, require all beauty products sold in the country to be tested on animals. This means that some brands might not test on animals while manufacturing their products, but can’t be considered cruelty-free.
As of May 1st 2021, China started allowing products to be sold without testing, although companies are required to jump through various hoops for this to happen. It’s a work in progress, but we hope that China will do its best to do away with this policy.
And so, without further ado, here’s a list of 35 brands that still test on animals (in alphabetical order).
Giorgio Armani Beauty is a well-known cosmetics company that can be found all over the world. Its parent company is L’Oreal, a company that is well-known for not being cruelty-free.
Armani also sells their products on Chinese Sephora, further proving that they test on animals.
Aveeno sells its products in stores in mainland China. On top of that, there’s no mention of their suppliers, and all cruelty-free companies must confirm that their suppliers don’t test on animals.
Their Animal testing policy states: “[…] AVEENO® doesn’t conduct animal testing of our cosmetic products anywhere in the world, except in the rare situation where governments or laws require it.”
It is currently unclear whether Avon is truly cruelty-free, since they haven’t verified that all of their ingredient suppliers are cruelty-free. They also sell their products in mainland China.
Axe is owned by Unilever, a company that tests its products on animals. They also sell their products in mainland China.
Bath & Body Works
Bath & Body Works put out carefully worded responses to make them seem cruelty-free. They are owned by L Brands, a company that specializes in women’s apparel and beauty products, which isn’t cruelty-free. They also sell their products in mainland China.
Some of their products also include ingredients that are animal derivatives.
Unfortunately, Benefit is not cruelty-free, however pretty their makeup and packaging are. They allow their products to be tested on animals, as they are sold on Chinese Sephora.
Some of their products also contain animal products, so they are not a vegan brand.
Bioderma is considered one of the best skincare brands for sensitive skin, which makes it even sadder that they aren’t vegan or cruelty-free. Some of their products contain ingredients derived from animals or their by-products. They also test their products on animals to sell them in China.
Bobbi Brown is a great makeup brand and they claim to be cruelty-free. However, their parent company, Esteé Lauder, tests on animals. They also sell their products in mainland China.
Their official animal testing policy goes as follows: “[…] We do not test our products or ingredients on animals, or ask others to test on our behalf, except where required by law.”
As many people know, Clinique isn’t certified cruelty-free by any organization because it sells its products in China and is an Esteé Lauder brand.
They also aren’t vegan, since they use lanolin and carmine in some products.
Colgate’s products are tested on animals when “necessary”. This is unfortunate because it’s such an easily accessible brand for so many people!
As we said before, Esteé Lauder is a multi-brand company that tests their products when required by law. A lot of their products contain animal-derived ingredients or by-products, which means they also aren’t vegan.
Head & Shoulders
If you have some dandruff you want to get rid of, we’re sorry to tell you that you might need to get a different shampoo for it. Head & Shoulders is not cruelty-free because their products or ingredients are tested on animals.
Head and Shoulders also is not 100% vegan as a brand.
Isdin is not cruelty-free. They may test on animals, either themselves, through their suppliers, or through a third party.
Johnson & Johnson
This might be a sad piece of news for parents all over the world, but J&J isn’t cruelty-free.
Their animal testing policy states: “[…] Johnson & Johnson operating companies have policies and guidelines in place that drive the ethical and humane treatment of the animals we use, and that promote the use of non-animal alternatives whenever feasible.”
Kerastase has some of the best hair products on the market, but it’s not cruelty-free. It’s not certified by any organization and it doesn’t state any of its ingredient sources. It is owned by L’Oréal, a company that tests on animals to sell them in China. Not only is Kerastase not cruelty-free but neither is its parent company.
Kiehl’s is a high-end skincare and body care brand available in department stores and drugstores worldwide. They inherit the animal testing policy of their parent company, L’Oreal. Although they claim not to test on animals themselves, they do admit to testing on animals where required by law, and Kiehl’s is available in stores in mainland China
We’re sorry to tell you that your favorite period products aren’t cruelty- free. Kotex is owned by Kimberly-Clark, a company that tests on animals. They don’t have any cruelty-free certifications.
La Roche Posay
Although La Roche-Posay as a company do not test their finished products or ingredients on animals, they nevertheless pay others to test their products on animals “where required by law”. This means that La Roche-Posay is not cruelty-free since they sell their products in China.
L’Oréal is one of the most unique cases since they have had a rigorous anti-animal testing policy for years. However, they still sell their products in China. L’Oréal has been working closely with the Chinese government to change these requirements, so we might see a change in the future! Fingers crossed.
Their animal testing policy goes as follows:
“In 1989, L’Oréal completely ceased testing its products on animals, […] Today, L’Oréal no longer tests its ingredients on animals and no longer tolerates any exception to this rule.
[…] L’Oréal has been the most active company working alongside the Chinese authorities and scientists for over 10 years to have alternative testing methods recognized, and permit the cosmetic regulation to evolve towards a total and definite elimination of animal testing. Thanks to this, since 2014, certain products manufactured and sold in China like shampoo, body wash or certain make-up are no longer tested on animals.”
MAC doesn’t state whether or not their suppliers test on animals, even though they claim their products don’t go through animal testing. Their products are also sold in China.
Apart from this, MAC is not a vegan brand.
Maybelline is another L’Oreal brand, which means that technically they don’t test on animals, but their products are sold in Chinese drugstores.
Make Up For Ever is an extremely popular makeup brand, which makes it disappointing that it isn’t cruelty-free. They don’t mention their ingredients or their suppliers and they have no statements about their animal testing on their website, even though they answer 50 FAQs on their website.
Apart from the very suspicious lack of information regarding animal testing, they definitely sell their products in China, which automatically takes them off the cruelty-free list.
NARS is a part of Shiseido, a company that tests on animals. Although they claim never to test on animals themselves, they do sell their products in China.
As a part of the Johnson & Johnson family of products, Neutrogena is not cruelty-free. Although Neutrogena claims not to “ask” others to test on animals, they can’t claim that others do not test on animals on their behalf.
Neutrogena is also available for sale in countries with mandatory animal testing.
Nivea and Beiersdorf, its parent brand, don’t test on animals. They do sell their products in China, though.
OPI talks about their cruelty-free policies on their FAQ, under “Animal Testing”. They only provide a vague answer with a link to Coty’s FAQ. This means that they inherit the animal testing policy of their parent company, Coty.
Their statement goes as follows:
“At Coty, we do not test our products on animals and are committed to ending animal testing across our industry. All our products are safe and have been developed, manufactured and packaged in compliance with the laws, regulations and guidelines that are applicable in each country in which they are sold.”
Olay is a popular drugstore skincare brand which also offers body care. Their cruelty-free FAQ is very misleading. They mention that they test their products on “lab skins”. However, they don’t mention whether or not they test their ingredients on animals, by themselves or by their suppliers. They also mention that they invest in cruelty-free research, but they don’t directly mention that they sell on the Chinese market.
Palmolive still tests on animals! They claim to be “working towards stopping animal testing”, but they still aren’t cruelty-free.
Here’s their animal testing statement:
“The Colgate-Palmolive Company has a longstanding worldwide policy to minimize and to ultimately eliminate animal testing for all consumer products. Central to this commitment are our 30-year long efforts to encourage the development of alternatives that are scientifically valid and can be accepted by safety regulators.”
Pantene is owned by Procter & Gamble, a company that tests on animals. They also sell their products in mainland China.
Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble, like many huge companies, is trying to get animal testing abolished in China and other countries that require it. They don’t personally test their products, but they still make the choice to sell their products in places where the law requires it. Therefore, most of their brands are not cruelty-free and can’t qualify for any certifications.
Revlon caused a stir in the beauty world when it started selling its products in China. The company had been on PETA’s list of cruelty-free brands for over two decades until then. Revlon hadn’t revealed the decision to sell in China to PETA. When they found out, the company was removed from their cruelty-free brand list.
Rimmel London is a part of Coty, so they have the same issues as O.P.I., which is that their products are tested on animals to be sold in China.
SkinCeuticals claims not to test their products on animals, but it’s unclear if their suppliers also follow this rule. They sell their products in China, as is the case for most members of the L’Oréal family.
Currently, as of 2020, Vaseline does not have an official Animal Testing Policy on their website. Vaseline is part of the Unilever family, a company that tests on animals.
Even though they claim to be cruelty-free, Victoria’s Secret is a part of L Brands, a company that tests on animals. They also don’t clarify if their suppliers are cruelty-free, and they sell their products in China.
Thankfully, there are now more brands ditching cruel animal testing than there are companies that still do it. Yes, tests on animals is a practice of the past—and we would hope that in the future, we as humans can live without doing this to any animal.
If you’re one of these brands and your animal testing status has changed, please let us know! We’re going to update this article as frequently as possible to keep up to date with all the changes in the industry.
If you want to buy products that you know won’t harm any creature—and help animal sanctuaries in the process— our Not to Die For shop is a curated space that offers natural, vegan, and cruelty-free products, so you can get your beauty and oral care products with a peace of mind. Take a look! We donate 10% of each purchase to animal sanctuaries.