drugstore-brands

Finding cruelty-free drugstore brands isn’t easy. Target, Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart are flooded with non-cruelty-free makeup and all the big brands such as L’Oreal, Maybelline, Revlon, Rimmel London, and CoverGirl test on animals.

However there are plenty of cruelty-free alternatives out there! I’ve put together this list to help you make the right choices. Once you’re aware of the animal testing policies of these companies, you’ll find that it’s very easy to find good budget-friendly brands and products at your local drugstore.


The most common cruelty-free drugstore makeup brands are Wet’n’Wild, Physicians Formula, Milani, Hard Candy, Jordana, and Sonia Kashuk; the complete list can be found in the table below.

Choose these brands over L'Oreal, Garnier, Neutrogena, and others who test on animals.

As for cruelty-free skincare brands and personal care products, I personally do all of my shopping at Target, and I would recommend doing the same if you want the widest variety of brands that don’t test on animals. Target carries Yes To Carrots, Dr. Bronner’s, Alba Botanica, Kiss My Face, Avalon Organics, Jason, Giovanni, and Desert Essence. All of these companies except for Yes To Carrots are Leaping Bunny-certified.


Cruelty-Free Drugstore Makeup

Brand Cruelty-Free? Where to find
Almay No Tests on animals when required by law. Found on PETA’s list of companies that DO test on animals. Owned by Revlon, a company that is sold in China.
Annabelle Yes Annabelle is owned by Groupe Marcelle, a Canadian company that doesn’t test products or ingredients on animals nor sell in China. Most Canadian drugstores.
Ardell Yes Ardell International signed PETA’s cruelty-free pledge. Their products are cruelty-free and vegan. Most drugstores.
Bonne Bell Yes Signed PETA’s cruelty-free pledge. Most commonly found at Walmart.
Bourjois No Sold in China.
Burt’s Bees Yes Leaping Bunny-certified. Although Burt’s Bees doesn’t test on animals, the brand is owned by Clorox, a company that isn’t cruelty-free. Most drugstores.
CoverGirl No Owned by Procter & Gamble. Tests on animals.
e.l.f. Yes Signed PETA’s cruelty-free pledge. No parent company. All their product except some brushes made of animal hair are vegan. Walgreens, K Mart, and Target. Canada: Select Target stores.
EcoTools Yes Signed PETA’s cruelty-free pledge. All brushes are 100% vegan.
Flower Yes Signed PETA’s cruelty-free pledge. Maesa, Flower’s parent company, is cruelty-free. Only available at select Walmart stores.
GOSH Yes Signed PETA’s cruelty-free pledge. No parent company. Available in the UK and Canada.
Hard Candy Yes Cruelty-free, not sold in China, independent company. “As the formulator and manufacturer of Hard Candy products, we stipulate that we do not test any of our finished products on animals. We do not test any of our raw materials used in the manufacturing process on animals. We do not require or ask any third party to conduct this testing on our behalf.” Available exclusively at Walmart.
Jane Yes Signed PETA’s cruelty-free pledge. No parent company. “None of the products or ingredients have been tested on animals and that we adhere to a very strict no animal testing policy. ” Not sold in China. Available at Ulta.
Jordana Yes. Signed PETA’s cruelty-free pledge. Not sold in China. Owned by Milani, a Leaping Bunny-certified company.
L’Oreal No. Found on PETA’s list of companies that DO test on animals. Sold in China.
Makeup Academy  Yes. Cruelty-free and not sold in China. “We are pleased to confirm that our MUA products and their ingredients are not tested on animals.” UK: Superdrug. USA: CVS.
Marcelle Yes Marcelle is owned by Groupe Marcelle, a Canadian company that doesn’t test products or ingredients on animals nor sell in China. Most Canadian drugstores.
Maybelline No Found on PETA’s list of companies that DO test on animals. Sold in China.
Milani Yes Leaping Bunny-certified. No parent company. Most drugstores: CVS, Walgreens, K-Mart, Walmart.
Mineral Fusion Yes Leaping Bunny-certified. No parent company. Target, Ulta.
NYC No No clear stance against animal testing. Owned by Coty, a company that tests on animals and retails brands in China.
NYX Yes Signed PETA’s cruelty-free pledge. Not sold in China. Owned by L’Oreal, a company that tests on animals.  CVS, Target, Ulta.
Pacifica Yes Signed PETA’s cruelty-free pledge. Not sold in China. Select Target locations across the USA.
Physicians Formula Yes Signed PETA’s cruelty-free pledge. Not sold in China. Most drugstores.
Pixi Yes Signed PETA’s cruelty-free pledge. Not sold in China. Target (USA and Canada).
Prestige Yes Signed PETA’s cruelty-free pledge. Not sold in China in retail stores; online-only. Ulta.
Revlon No Found on PETA’s list of companies that DO test on animals. Sold in China.
Rimmel London No Test on animals when required by law. Owned by Coty, a company that tests on animals and retails brands in China.
Sonia Kashuk Yes “Please know that all of our products are cruelty-free and we are completely against harming any animals in any way for the production of our products. We also ensure our manufacturers and suppliers do not test on animals as we are extremely against it! (…) We are not sold in China.” Target (USA and Canada).
Wet’n’Wild Yes “We are happy to inform you that we do not test on animals at any point of our production nor do we purchase any materials from vendors who test on animals. Our products are made in China but not sold in China.” Most drugstores.

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100 Comments on "Cruelty-Free Drugstore Brands"

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Emily NA
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Isn’t Milani now no longer cruelty-free?

KristenM1030
Guest

I hope not. Being an inhumane company that goes cruelty-free is awesome. However, going from cruelty-free to inhumane? I just don’t get how in the world a company could do that, be ok with themselves and justify it. I’d file bankruptcy and live on the street before doing that if my company was somehow being forced into making noncruelty-free products. Trust me, I don’t put anything past big business but still… That would be horrible.

Destiny Miller
Guest

Isn’t NYX no longer a cruelty free brand?

yollies
Guest

This is great! Thnk you(:

Madeline
Guest

Hi, i visited Logical Harmony’s blog and they say Jordana isn’t cruelty free and it’s in their list of brands to avoid. Thought i should tell you cause i don’t know who to trust anymore ):

Hanusia
Guest

There was some confusing information about Milani and Jordana for a few months, as there was a statement accidentally released by them and there was a lot of confusion for awhile, which is probably when they were on the ‘brands to avoid’ list at Logical Harmony. However, Milani and Jordana recently obtained the Leaping Bunny certification, so they are cruelty-free.

Bria
Guest

Great to see this list. Hopefully one day it’ll be bigger and or completely unnecessary because all companies will be cruelty free!

Suzi
Guest

When a foreign cosmetics company decides to sell in China, their products must be tested on animals by law.

Michelle
Guest
The only exception is Hong Kong, from my understanding. From lovelywitches.co.uk: “So when are cosmetics not subject to animal testing in China? – Products that are made and sold in Hong Kong. Although part of China, Hong Kong has separate animal testing laws, so cruelty-free companies can sell there. This why I specifically ask companies if they sell products in mainland China. – Products manufactured in China for foreign export only. If it’s not being sold to the Chinese public, their government says it’s ok. So there are cruelty-free companies who make their products in China, but don’t sell them… Read more »
Suzi
Guest

It’s tricky, as some companies try to phrase things in a way that makes them appear cruelty-free. Rimmel is an example: if you read the fine print, they claim not to test on animals “unless required by law”.

SueW
Guest

I am really bummed to hear about Revlon no longer being cruelty-free. I guess I’ll start the search for new eyeliners and creme blush. On another note, I love Ellen DeGeneres but am disappointed in her affiliation with CoverGirl. Being vegan coupled with her love of animals, I would think she would not have become a spokes-model for the company.

Carola Becker
Guest

When was Revlon EVER cruelty free? And it is very sad to see so many of the Hollywood elite advertising products that are not cruelty free. Anything for a buck I guess.

SueW
Guest

Revlon was cruelty free for many years but they now sell their products in China. I don’t know about the individual ingredients in their products but for a long time they did not test the final products on animals. That’s all changed now with their involvement in China.

VEGAN&CRUELTY FREE OR NOTHING
Guest
VEGAN&CRUELTY FREE OR NOTHING

Burt’s Bee isn’t cruelty free.. they have beeswax in their products, in ALL OF THEM. Bees wax does not belong to us. Nice try tho.

Suzi
Guest

Burt’s Bees isn’t vegan (because bees) but the brand IS cruelty-free, meaning that they don’t test on animals (although their parent company Clorox does).

“Cruelty-free” isn’t a flexible term and only refers to animal testing by definition, and I agree that it doesn’t take into consideration other forms of cruelty, sadly.

gnomedepetit
Guest

i’m sorry but there is nothing cruelty free about the harvest of bees wax. many bees die because of handling and most bee farmer’s rip the wings off the queen so they don’t leave the give and continue to reproduce. wax and honey is not cruelty free not any “cruelty free” product that has either in it. i won’t buy Bert’s for two reasons, this and because Clorox owns them and makes money off their sales. http://www.peta.org/about-peta/faq/whats-wrong-with-beeswax/

virtuallyvegan
Guest

I don’t understand why you would choose to call a company like Burt’s Bees CF if they are a part of Clorox. I understand they say “they” don’t test, but being “owned by” a company means you are a part of the company. I don’t mean to sound rude, after all the hard work you do to find CF products, why give-in and perpetuate a company that profits from and contributes to a company who tests?

jellyfish.
Guest
I’m aware this is an old comment, but you’re joking, right? You’re seriously bringing your ethics into something that has a set definition? Seriously? Cruelty-free means that they don’t test on animals. That’s it. Parent company has nothing to do it. Types of people using it has nothing to do with it. At the end of the day, Burt’s Bees is cruelty-free by definition and trade because they don’t test on animals nor do they sell in places that require testing on animals. Your morals and ethics are not really important when defining a company as cruelty-free. Support them or… Read more »
in the name of the moon
Guest
in the name of the moon

idk why I’m joining an old argument, but I wanted to point out that that is why BB is listed in yellow, and not green. Yellow is companies that are concerning, like the parent company being horrid.

Krista
Guest

Just so you know, Hard Candy is owned by LMVH, who are not cruelty free. 🙁

Suzi
Guest

Not quite right! LVMH sold Hard Candy in 2003. They only briefly owned them.

Mandy
Guest

This list is great and very helpful. Quite surprising really how many companies are now doing the right thing. Anyone know if PurMinerals sells in China. I’m hoping not as they have great make up.

Suzi
Guest

They don’t sell in China!

Candice Rose
Guest

It should be noted that the term “cruelty free” just refers to the testing. The products may still contain animal ingredients. If it’s not strictly a vegan brand, be on the safe side and check the ingredients.

virtuallyvegan
Guest

good distinction to point out 🙂

Suzi
Guest

Thanks so much for the kind words!! I’m so glad you found this helpful! There are definitely budget-friendly cruelty-free gems at the drugstore. 🙂

Ammi TheOctane
Guest

I see Prestige is cruelty free. But in their official website I see they has retail store in China. Are they still really cruelty free?

Suzi
Guest

It’s only sold through a website! They have no physical retail stores in the country. The regulation doesn’t apply to online stores. 🙂

Carola Becker
Guest
Thank you for this list. I am passionate about animal welfare and so many people have absolutely NO idea of the misconceptions on the labels of products. You really have to read between the lines. Cruelty free is only the beginning. I love when they say they don’t condone animal testing, like that makes a difference! And it is very important to find out if their ingredients were in any way animal tested as well. I am happy to be vegan and feel better about my choices in all that I eat, wear and use in my daily life and… Read more »
Suzi
Guest

That’s wonderful and I fully agree with you. Thanks for your support! 🙂

Kats5dogs
Guest

I was told elf now sells in China

Suzi
Guest

They make their stuff in China, but they don’t sell it there!

Spyridoula
Guest

This post was really helpful, but I was wondering if Apivita is cruelty- free. If anyone knows please let me know.

Suzi
Guest

Yes!

S.B.
Guest
I just posted and came back, and now my comment is gone ( or is not showing up ) VO5 shampoos and conditioners say ‘not tested on animals’ on the back lower left hand corner of the bottle in small print. They are very inexpensive, and i see them nearly everywhere. I wanted to try the Paul Mitchell brand ( curious ), but just went their web site. The front page spread has a guy ( Paul Mitchell ) on the left side of the screen. On the right is a beautiful seductive woman with the text ” live beautifully… Read more »
Suzi
Guest
I get where you’re coming from, but unfortunately the fact remains that V05 does test on animals while Paul Mitchell doesn’t. 🙁 Paul Mitchell hasn’t tested on animals since the company was born and they’re very involved with various causes like animal rights and preserving the environment. I agree that the fur in their marketing is a bit off-putting, but they’re higher-priced and are looking for a more luxurious vibe. On the up side, the actual piece she’s wearing is probably faux fur. It’s totally fine if you choose to support V05 instead of Paul Mitchell and to each their… Read more »
Kyla ruchi amora
Guest

Is City Color and BYS cruelty free?

Michelle
Guest

LA Girl is also cruelty-free, as are Makeup Geek (even though I don’t support the brand because the owner is shady) and Real Techniques. 🙂

Beth Brootality
Guest

Hey Suzi, me again. I know back in the day I was under the impression that CVS brand was cruelty free, and actually picked up their generic of the Simple Sensitive Wipes (since Simple isn’t CF) because I needed oil-free makeup wipes for my lash extensions (synthetic, don’t worry). Now that I’m sitting here using one, I’m googling because I’m wondering if they’re still cruelty free and I can’t find info on it that is recent. Have you ever reached out to them?

Suzi
Guest

I did reach out to CVS within the past year and their responses indicated that they’re cruelty-free. I don’t have the e-mail at hand right now but I’ll try to find it!

Adry
Guest
Hi, I’m constantly in contact with companies and this is the reply I got from CVS: “From: no-reply@cvs.com Date: 07/21/15 14:21:34 Subject: Hello from CVS Customer Relations Dear Adry, Thank you for taking the time to contact CVS/pharmacy regarding CVS brand products. All CVS Health suppliers must comply with state and federal environmental laws and regulations as well as with our Suppliers Ethics Policy, which establishes the environmental and social criteria required of all suppliers. We also care about the ethical treatment of animals and have requirements that state that animal testing is strictly prohibited. For your convenience I have… Read more »
Metal Guru
Guest

“Our products are made in China but not sold in China.”
I don’t understand wet’n’wild. if products are made in china, they probably use animals it doesn’t matter, if it sells or not.

Suzi
Guest

Check out my post on animal testing laws in China!

Jade-Yue-Ryu
Guest

China does not require products MADE there to be tested, only if a product is being sold to Chinese consumers. As WNW is not sold on the Chinese drugstore market they are not required to do so.

Mira
Guest

NYX has a large range of vegan friendly items, though they’re not certified there was a girl who wrote a blog post on when she contacted them and made a google doc of ALL their vegan (even Carmine free) products. Stinks to hear L’Oreal got their filthy hands on one of my favorite makeup brands. Also, Pacifica is entirely vegan to my knowledge, they don’t use carmine either. 🙂

Suzi
Guest

Hong Kong is exempt from the animal testing laws! This means that any company that is sold in Hong Kong but not mainland China can still be cruelty-free. 🙂

Suzi
Guest

Thanks! 🙂 Rimmel is still not fully cruelty-free though. If you read the fine print, you’ll see that they still test on animals when required by law, unfortunately.

disqus_2Q2ezUuL79
Guest

That’s unfortunate…I just bought mascara from them. Can anyone reccomend a good mascara brand? I used to buy maybelline volum express, and would be looking for something comparable but without the cruelty

virtuallyvegan
Guest

My favorite is Too Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara, I also love Buxom, and in terms of drugstore brand- Pacifica has an Aquarian Gaze Water Resistant Long Lash Mineral Mascara 🙂 I didn’t love LUSH, and I think ecco bella is just okay. Wet n Wild may be another good option to try out! 🙂

Alie
Guest

Essence cosmetics also state that they are cruelty free!

Susan Von Scoville
Guest

What is the column with yes and no? What am I missing?

Suzi
Guest

The cruelty-free status. 🙂

Suzi
Guest

Lol I know, I’m just hoping really hard they’ll come back!!

Suzi
Guest

Hey Vic! In order for companies to sell their products in China, they HAVE to be tested on animals according to Chinese law. This applies to mainland China only (not Hong Kong). Hope this helps! I wrote a post about it.

Sarah Bakker
Guest

L’oreal has actually recently become cruelty free. So anything under L’oreal should also be treated as cruelty free.

Suzi
Guest

L’Oreal is still not cruelty-free, unfortunately.

Suzi
Guest

No problem! Urban Decay was bought by L’Oreal a few years ago. This doesn’t affect UD’s cruelty-free status and they’re still certified by the Leaping Bunny, but its parent company L’Oreal is NOT cruelty-free. I hope this helps! Feel free to ask if there’s anything else you want clarified!

virtuallyvegan
Guest

it’s crazy how much i’ve gotten into (and LOVE) making my own products for skincare and home cleaning things once I decided to avoid animal testing by using this method!

virtuallyvegan
Guest

They sell in china. Hate when a company would mislead, it’s really a disgusting practice!

virtuallyvegan
Guest

That still counts as testing, and is never okay. I’d happily go with a different brand!

Eveline Hecklinger
Guest
I am so glad you brought this up. My husband and I aren’t vegans, neither are our children, but we are planning on establishing two hives on our property. Bees are dying out and we are planning on eating their honey, but I would never rip wings off of any animal. We have chickens and we eat their eggs and let me tell you, they couldn’t care less. They only go broody so many times a year and the rest would go to waste, but then I am not vegan nor vegetarian. That doesn’t mean I condone testing on animals… Read more »
Mariel
Guest

Is Tarte still cruelty free? It’s surprisingly hard to find cruelty free brands here in Northern Europe:/ Fortunately we can order most of them online at least 🙂 And Thanks for your good work ❤️

Suzi
Guest

Tarte is still cruelty-free but their parent company isn’t. 🙂

Suzi
Guest

Thank you Sophia! Really glad it’s helpful to you!

InsaneJane
Guest

So this is a lot of work and dedication, and I think you very much. I am transitioning, and my question today is what about the Up-n-Up and Kroeger store brands that mimic mainstream producst at a reduced cost? Walmart too I suppose, although I don’t know what their store brand is off the top of my head.

Adry
Guest

Hi,
I have received a reply from Target last year about their “Up & Up” brand and also from Walmart regarding their Equate brand. Both companies stated that these brands are cruelty-free. They also confirmed that their products are made in the USA and not sold in China, only distributed in the United States.
I do not have the emails anymore from them unfortunately.
Adry

Suzi
Guest

Hi Jennifer! China has a law that requires all foreign cosmetics to be tested on animals. This means that any brand selling in China can’t be cruelty-free.

Suzi
Guest

Hi Kay – L’Oreal still tests on animals in some cases, such as where required by law.

Suzi
Guest

Attitude is on my cruelty-free list!

Jessica Wong
Guest

For anyone who has sensitive eyes and also hates that disgusting oily feeling of makeup removers.
Marcelle’s Instant eye-makeup remover (oil free) is literally the best remover I have tried in life. It gets rid of makeup soooo easily and it feels GOOD on the skin. No oily mess and it doesn’t irritate and i seriously cannot emphasize how good it is along with how AFFORDABLE it is.

Trish
Guest

I see they don’t test on animals but are they vegan products?

Seren Ford
Guest

I had a question about the parent companies. If they have a child company that DOESN’T test on animals, why do they? I mean I would love the parent companies if they didn’t test on animals 🙁

amanda perez
Guest

Is Coty Airspun Cruelty Free ?

Havi
Guest

Unfortunately no. Coty is not a cruelty free brand. Apparently they even make their products in China now instead of in the USA. Recently found this out and am so disappointed because i love airspun 🙁

Meg B
Guest

“Coty, a company that tests on animals and retails brands in China.”
^^ Found this under the NYC brand description. So sorry, not cruelty free:(

tsukinon
Guest
I know it’s late, but I just wanted to add that my understanding is that China’s law doesn’t require the companies themselves to test the products. Instead, either the government or a third-party handles it (not sure which). Thus is significant because some companies use this technicality to try to make it look like they’re not testing on animals. You’ll see statements like “X company does not test our production animals but we comply with all relevant laws for the safety of our customers.” They make it sound unavoidable, but in reality,they choose whether to see in markets that require… Read more »
Charlotte Parnell
Guest

I live in Harrison, AR. Not one animal testing free product is sold in the local Walgreens, as far as makeup is concerned.

MelissaM
Guest

No Wer n Wild, Jordana, or Milani? I’ve never seen a Walgreens w/out at least Wet n Wild!?

Ciao Bella
Guest

Is airspun cruelty free?;o

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