Last Updated: October 8, 2014

Does Aesop test on animals?

does aesop test on animals

Aesop is cruelty-free. In addition to this, all their skincare products are vegan. The brand e-mailed me the following elaborate reply, containing their animal testing policy:

Dear Kitty

Thank you for your enquiry regarding Aesop’s position on animal testing.

Aesop does not use any animal-derived ingredients or animal-produced ingredients (such as beeswax or honey) in our formulations. None of our finished products have been tested on animals.

The only item for sale in Aesop stores which we cannot classify as vegan are our shaving brushes – as these contain animal hair. In saying this, we are in the process of phasing these out for that very reason, and they are made by an external company in the UK.

All new ingredients are reviewed by our research and development team prior to use. We research the registration status of these ingredients in world markets, and note any past testing. It is an unfortunate fact that some of the ingredients used in our products were historically tested on animals since this was standard practice with some ingredient testing until approximately twenty years ago.

All new products are tested during our product development process for safety using cumulative irritancy testing on human volunteers. Before our products are released to the public, formulations are also assessed for safety by a qualified external agency – either a chemist or toxicologist. These agencies also do not test on animals.

We are committed to ensuring that our finished products are not tested on animals. As you are aware, the cosmetic regulations in China currently require that any finished product imported into the country is required to undergo compulsory quality and safety testing which is completed on animals. In light of China’s requirements for compulsory animal testing, we do not distribute our products in this market. While the regulations have been amended recently to allow alternatives to animal testing for finished products produced in China, as yet this has not been extended to foreign companies. Until these reforms are extended to include foreign companies, we do not intend to distribute our products in China.

  • Hollie Hutton

    “All new ingredients are reviewed by our research and development team prior to use. We research the registration status of these ingredients in world markets, and note any past testing. It is an unfortunate fact that some of the ingredients used in our products were historically tested on animals since this was standard practice with some ingredient testing until approximately twenty years ago.”

    I think this paragraph is worrying. Yes there are ingredients that in the past (over 20 years ago) were tested on animals, most cruelty free products and BUAV approved products contain some such ingredients. However, they have not explicitly said that new ingredients they use have not been tested on animals, which true cruelty free brands do. I can’t find anywhere that they have stated this. I believe they may use new ingredients that are still tested on animals to this day . So while they don’t test the finished product on animals, there may still be current animal testing in the production line and until they state otherwise, I (very sadly) will not be buying their products.

    • Suzi

      Hi Hollie, thanks for your comment. I`ll be following up with the company to make sure. What I understand from that passage is that they do not test the new ingredients on animals themselves, but rather, they look into research and animal testing that has been done by other sources and take into account those results. They state that the ingredients are “reviewed” by their research team, and the following sentence also points to that (no animal testing, just gathering information based on possible animal testing). Could that be an evasive way of saying they do test ingredients on animals? I can`t deny that. I totally understand your position, as they don`t explicitly say their ingredients aren`t tested on animals to this day, but they did sign PETA`s pledge.

      • Ruby

        None of Aesop’s ingredients are tested on animals at all. They have a strong belief in science and history, so they would be saying that they may take information from past testing, but not test themselves. I used to work for them, Aesop language is often tricky and they pride themselves on not promoting anything too much which is why you won’t see “not tested on animals” on any of their products

  • Daniela

    This brand sells in China, isn’t it?

    • http://www.crueltyfreekitty.com/ Suzi

      Only in Hong Kong, which is except from mandatory animal testing.

  • http://www.floc.co.uk floc

    “None of our finished products have been tested on animals” = “We cannot guarantee that our ingredients haven’t been tested on animals”. Until companies are prepared to ensure that the entire supply chain is cruelty-free, then they’re not cruelty-free.