non cruelty-free parent companies

Some cruelty-free brands are owned by bigger companies that do test on animals. Just recently, L’Oreal bought Urban Decay as well as NYX, and Tarte was sold to Kose, a Japanese company with less strict rules when it comes to animal testing.

Cruelty-free consumers sometimes have divergent views when it comes to this issue: should brands such as Urban Decay, NYX, and Tarte still be considered cruelty-free?

This issue is anything but black and white.

If you’re switching to cruelty-free products, there are a few things you should consider.

1. These brands are still cruelty-free

As long as a cruelty-free company remains certified by the Leaping Bunny — and their certification has to be renewed yearly — it is still cruelty-free. As long as a brand does not test anything on animals, at any point during the making of their products, I consider it to be cruelty-free.

As long as these companies will maintain certification or maintain their cruelty-free policies and NOT sell in mainland China, the brands themselves are cruelty-free regardless of the parent company. As much as I love some NYX products, they wouldn’t be worth it if NYX didn’t remain a truly cruelty-free brand.

2. Choosing to buy the cruelty-free brands sends a message

By continuing to buy NYX and Urban Decay while boycotting other L’Oreal brands, a message is sent to these giants of the industry: consumers truly value cruelty-free cosmetics and care about the ethics behind the products. 

If everyone boycotted Lancome in favor of Urban Decay, L’Oreal would surely be forced to change their animal-testing policies.

3. Profits Go To The Parent Company

All that being said, there’s something else we can’t overlook: the profits ultimately go to the parent company. When a cruelty-free company is acquired by a new parent, the big guys at the top (those who get all the profits) also change. This means that by purchasing Urban Decay products, you’re really giving your money to L’Oreal.

Because this is financing a company that tests on animals, this also means that you might indirectly be funding further animal testing. That’s so far from what we want to accomplish by purchasing cruelty-free products!

Bottom Line

I hope the points raised above helped you come to your decision. No matter what this decision is, it should be something you truly personally believe in and are comfortable with. It should work within your lifestyle. And remember that there’s no right or wrong way of looking at this issue, since a cruelty-free brand is a cruelty-free brand.

Personally, I’ve come to the following decision:

Supporting brands that are 100% cruelty-free is my priority. I believe that this is the best attitude when it comes to cruelty-free brands, and my site to reflect this. My list of cruelty-free brands only mentions brands that are 100% cruelty-free.

About 90% of my beauty and household purchases are from brands that are 100% cruelty-free, but I still believe that supporting cruelty-free brands owned by companies that test on animals is better than purchasing from brands that aren’t cruelty-free.

How do you feel about cruelty-free brands owned by a parent company that tests on animals?

From The Cruelty-Free 101 Series:

Leave a Reply

21 Comments on "Companies That Test On Animals: Should We Boycott Their Cruelty-Free Brands?"

Notify of
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted

You have a good point!


What about Wet n’ Wild ? many of their products are made in China, but are on the cruelty free list ???

Conchita Quilt

I’m no expert but if they sell China they can’t be Cruelty Free in book based on the fact that China has strict laws insisting on cruel animal testing if products are to be sold there.


Cosmetics that are made in China aren’t necessarily tested on animals. It’s the case for a lot of cruelty free brands- made in China however not sold there.

Those companies are using the fact that people feel less guilty about buying those products as they seem to be cruelty free. While you may think that you’re supporting the brands that are cruelty free and actually having an effect on the bigger companies, you’re just buying make up that might not have been tested on animals but which consists of the same ingredients that have been tested on animals for e.g LOreal products. Of course they don’t need to be tested especially for NYX, Urban Decay etc. as they’ve already been tested for others. If you don’t want to… Read more »

I’m sorry that this is a very late reply, but you’re wrong. Loreal has nothing to do with the ingrediants in the Urban Decay products. It’s exactly the same. What Loreal does is just owning the company and getting money.

seymourLlama .
“I’m not contributing to the funding of animal testing” “by funding L’Oreal”, you are. “a message is sent to these giants of the industry” the message is that people will buy products even if they are owned by animal-testing companies, because people’s “ethics” matter less than hoarding makeup. “If everyone boycotted” animal-testing companies “in favor of” companies that actually don’t test on animals and don’t fund companies that test on animals, THEN it would make a difference. This is like going to mcdonalds and buying fries. Technically, it’s vegan. Realistically, the money goes directly to the exploitation and slaughter of… Read more »

Thanks for your support Marta. I totally agree, of course. 🙂

It’s great to read someone’s opinion on this. As I’ve been yoyo’ing on my decision. I feel a company won’t ever change what they are doing until it is deemed not to be too risky. If the cruelty free companies they acquire are becoming more profitable than the non cruelty free ones they will start to look at why and I think that’s a good thing as it could mean changes in the future. If we boycot them because of who owns them, and they fail they might just think oh well cruelty free didn’t work let’s stick with what… Read more »
Ashlee Tomlin-Byrne

Wow, you literally said that buy those products funds companies who test on animals.. and yet you choose to still buy those products. You have picked apart INGLOT cosmetics for POSSIBLY (no proof, just your accusation) purchasing ingredients from someone who tests on animals and deemed INGLOT not cruelty free, also slamming PETA for listing them as cruelty free. But here you encourage people buy brands who give profit to animal testing companies! You’re a hypocrite and have lost all validity.

Ashlee Tomlin-Byrne

I have screenshot this in case you choose to delete it rather address the issue.


I’m really interested in learning more about this. Are you aware of any parent companies that have changed their animal testing policies after acquiring cruelty-free brands? I guess if there is evidence that this is happening that would be good, but I can’t think of any that have actually ever changed their animal testing policies. A lot of people seem to assume that companies would eventually do this… but have any ever? For e.g. L’oreal bought out the Body Shop ten years ago and still test.

I think that as long as the brand is cruelty free it’s ok and as you say going in the right direction. Yes the parent companies get the money but if everyone followed suite then the people at the top who will also get reports about where the money is coming in from. Will see that the money is coming from the cruelty free sales. Hopefully that will then push them in that direction. If sales stop on the non cruelty free products they will decommission them as they won’t be worth their time. They want to make money that’s… Read more »

Cruelty is cruelty free – on every level. You can’t have it both ways.


How do we know that cruelty free Brands owned by parent companies that are not cruelty free, are really cruelty free?
The parent company does the testing instead of the cruelty free brand and then, the cruelty free brand uses the same ingredients etc tested by its parent company.
Or how does it work?

Getting Better

I am appreciative of all your research and effort you put into your website and use it regularly as a resource. Reading this and the comments has given me a renewed desire to stop supporting the non-cruelty free parent companies. These companies are reaping the financial rewards of their acquired cruelty free companies but still practicing cruelty. The sellout companies should be ashamed to sell to a company that doesn’t put their values to work.

Franca Palombi

We should ABSOLUTELY BOYCOTT all these parent companies who own cruelty free companies. This is no more than another loop hole. Again more BS to deceive people. These are even bigger cowards/losers who hide behind what used to be an ethical company & want to come across that way. Grow some balls and do what’s right. Either become totally cruel free as a parent company or STFU and be like the rest of the greedy money grabbing giant scums that you are.

Franca Palombi

I wish all these companies who test on animals go bankrupt.


That is why, before buying any product I check if the company is truly cruelty free in few resources. Besides. if we think that buying NYX or Urban Decay is ok, because they do not test on animals, then we should also feel ok with buying any cosmetics in Europe. For few years now it is banned to test on animals in Europe so theoretically all the cosmetics are cruelty free. But in the reality brands such as repeatedly mentioned L’oreal is far from being cruelty free.

Hi Suzi, This is a great resource, thanks for all the time and effort you put into it! Regarding buying cruelty free brands that are owned by parent companies that do, I wouldn’t support them. Why would a company buy a cruelty free brand in the first place? The cruelty free brands are taking money out of the big corporations business so they buy them to get the money back in their own pockets. It’s an anti-competition measure. It’s a nice idea that by continuing to buy the cruelty free brand that was aquired by a parent company you are… Read more »
paulette vint

i have for many many yrs used Olay now regenerist..Just spent quite a bit of money updating..but after last night i intend to throw it shocked and so disappointed at all the products not animal free..Here is a quote i saw while meditating which is SO true…IT IS EASIER TO FIGHT FOR ONES PRINCIPALS THAN TO LIVE UP TO THEM..I could not bring myself to ever use that again..unless they change ..I have been told what a great complexion I have(and i am 72) but i could never abuse an animal.for it