Animal testing for cosmetics in present times is unnecessary, outdated, and inhumane. Here you’ll see a lot of brands that you thought were cruelty-free but aren’t. Most of the brands mentioned below sell their products mainly in China, where animal testing is mandatory per law for most imported cosmetics. If you’re a vegan or simply love animals, read the policies of any cosmetic product before buying it. Many products claim to be cruelty-free but then include a clause in their policies stating “except when required by law.” Many brands have to test on animals to sell their products in China. For instance, L’Oreal, which doesn’t test on animals in the United States, has to pay for deadly testing in China, where painful experiments on animals are required to sell cosmetics.
Here are some cosmetic brands that still test on animals. Also, here are a few cruelty-free brands you should support instead.
Makeup brands that still test on animals
Once used to be a cruelty-free brand, NARS is not cruelty-free anymore. Unfortunately, NARS has updated its policy to support its decision to join the Chinese market. From now onwards, NARS will test its products on animals wherever required by law which means it’s not a cruelty-free brand anymore.
L’Oreal has said they are a cruelty-free brand, and they say that the brand no longer tests any of its products or any ingredients on animals, anywhere in the world. Nor does L’Oréal give this task to any third parties. But L’Oréal does sell its products in China, where animal testing is mandatory according to the prevailing law. The brand addressed this issue by claiming in their policy that they would make an exception if the authorities require it for human safety or regulatory purposes.
In other words, L’Oreal does pay for animal testing in China, where they sell their products. L’Oreal also owns many other brands that are sold in China and follow the same exception policy.
The brand claims they are strictly against animal testing, but they do it where required by the law. Since Estee’ Lauder sells their products in Chinese markets where animal testing is required, they aren’t a cruelty-free brand. Like L’Oreal, Estee’ Lauder also owns several other companies that follow the same policy. For example, the double-wear liquid foundation from Estee’ Lauder is very popular, but it isn’t cruelty-free.
Who doesn’t love MAC? Many people think MAC is a young, fresh, and cruelty-free brand, but sadly this isn’t the case. MAC cosmetics is one of the most loved and popular makeup brands of all time. Since MAC also sells its products in China, they have to go through animal testing.
Yes, it’s a big surprise, isn’t it? Benefit uses this innocent imagery for marketing its products, but in reality, they pay for cruel testing on animals to sell their products in China. Benefit also sells its products in Sephora stores in China and shows no interest in pulling off the markets.
Make Up For Ever
You might love Make Up For Ever’s concealer and foundation, but sadly they had it tested on animals. Make Up For Ever is a French brand owned by LVMH (Louis Vuitton/Moet Hennessy). It is sold at Sephora stores and used by many makeup artists. Unfortunately, they test their products on animals as they sell their products in China, where the law requires animal testing.
Another popular drugstore brand Maybelline also follows the same policy as their parent company L’Oreal. They conduct animal testing to sell their products in China. That is why Maybelline can’t be considered a cruelty-free brand.
After years of adopting the policy of not hurting animals, Victoria’s Secret has let down many loyal customers by choosing profits over principles. The brand wanted to expand its sales to China, and for that, it started to pay for animal testing of its products.
Though Rimmel London claims to be a cruelty-free brand, in reality, they sell their products in China. When asked why the brand wants to sell in China despite being against animal cruelty, they said Chinese customers wanted Rimmel London. Therefore, it wouldn’t be fair to deprive them of the products they want to use. In addition, Coty, the parent company of Rimmel, also shares the same policy.
Bobbi Brown is clear with their policies; they test on animals where the law requires it. And since the brand sells its products in China, it can’t be considered a cruelty-free brand. Bobbi Brown owns Estee’ Lauder, which shares the same animal testing policy.
Another big and popular brand on the list, Chanel, is also not cruelty-free. You cannot find Chanel’s animal testing policy anywhere on their website, but since they also sell their products in China, they test on animals. Due to this, Chanel is not a cruelty-free brand.
Avon was the first major cosmetic brand to stop animal testing more than two decades ago. You may be surprised to know that Avon pays the Chinese officials to test their products on animals so they can sell those in China. While they claim to have “a deep respect for animal welfare,” but in reality, they are not cruelty-free.
Some Of The Best Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands
These brands do not perform any animal testing on their products, ingredients, or process. So you can shop for these brands without any worries as they are 100 % cruelty-free. Also, this list doesn’t include products that have exception policies against animal testing.
There are chances that you’ve picked up e.l.f products from your drugstore before. Many beauty bloggers and influencers love this brand as it is cruelty-free and very affordable. You can find many products that cost you less than $10. Guilt-free beauty is the brand’s motto, and they omit banned ingredients during their production.
Wet n Wild is one of the most affordable and widely available cosmetic lines. The brand got a great response on its vegan brush line and planned to use even more vegan ingredients in its products. You can choose vegan products from Wet n Wild to enhance your beauty without any guilt.
Tarte has an excellent selection of must-have products like gloss, primer, or foundation. Also, you can get vegan brushes and beauty blenders. All these items will surely woo your vegan heart.
The brand is a really popular drugstore brand, and they recently took a great step of being a cruelty-free brand. The process took years, but now they’re certified by the gold standard for cruelty-free certification in the beauty world – Leaping Bunny.
This revolutionary makeup line by Rihanna needs no introduction. The brand is famous for its 50 foundation shades and vegan skincare offshoot. Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin both are cruelty-free, and they don’t fund any third parties to test on animals on their behalf.
The luxury brand is quite new to the list as it went through processes. In 2021, Hourglass Cosmetics is officially cruelty-free and vegan. The brand is famous for its complexion products. However, Unilever being the parent company of Hourglass Cosmetics, sells its products in markets requiring animal testing, but they are also trying to end the practice by 2023.
Yes, that’s right, Too Faced is also cruelty-free. The users of the brand got concerned when they heard Estee Lauder was acquiring it in 2016; since the parent company does animal testing to sell products in China. But the founder Jerrod Blandino has assured that the brand will stick to its ethics to provide fun makeup that has never been tested on animals.
If the name sounds familiar to you, that’s because you must have seen the brand’s popular blush on Pinterest. This high-quality drugstore line is entirely cruelty-free. Milani stands out for its blush, but users also love 2 in 1 foundation + concealer from it.
The Bottom Line
Animals don’t harm us for their benefit, and we shouldn’t either. So if you’re vegan or simply have a love for the planet, avoid using products that are not cruelty-free. Instead, support these brands working very hard to save animals and provide you with the best products.