Avene is NOT cruelty-free.
This means that this brand either tests on animals, pays for animal testing, or sells in mainland China. Some brands that fall under this category test on animals where required by law, which means they're not cruelty-free.
At a Glance
|Finished products tested on animals||Yes, where required by law|
|Ingredients tested on animals||Uncertain|
|Suppliers test on animals||Uncertain|
|Third party animal testing||Yes, where required by law|
|Sold in mainland China||Yes|
Avene's Official Animal Testing Policy
“The European cosmetic legislation (directive 76/768/CEE amended the 1th March 2003) requires manufacturers to use alternatives methods to test new raw cosmetic material and finished products.
In compliance with this directive, we stopped tests on animals many years ago.
In practice, to test our products to ensure that they meet our high quality and safety standards, we use existing data concerning the safety of the specific ingredients used in the products. The tolerance of our finished products is then verified by tests on healthy volunteers.
Finally, we carry out physico-chemical and bacteriological tests to verify the identity on each batch of raw material delivered to our factories. This ensures the purity and quality of the ingredients entering our formulas.
These types of tests are also carried out on each batch of finished products to guarantee the safety and quality of each and every product.
We do sell our products in China and tests demanded by the local regulations are performed by officially homologated laboratories. Some of those tests are done on animals, what we do not approve, although we cannot avoid them.
Cosmetics Europe, together with other international associations of cosmetics industries is pursuing a dialogue with the Chinese authorities in order to put an end to these requirements. Eau Thermale Avène Laboratories, as member of Cosmetics Europe, do support every action aiming at convincing the Chinese Authorities to remove these tests on animals and to adopt alternative methods, like in Europe. We are convinced that things will progress through a common work with the Chinese authorities.”
What This Means
Avene claims to be in compliance with the EU animal testing ban. First, it’s true that all EU cosmetics brands must comply to these laws. However, this alone doesn’t mean that the company is truly cruelty-free. Some ingredients may still be tested on animals, and finished products may still be tested on animals outside of the EU.
Although Avene as a company do not test their finished products on animals, they nevertheless pay others to test their products on animals “where required by law”. This means that Avene is not cruelty-free.
When companies claim that they test on animals “where required by law”, it typically means that they sell their products in mainland China, where cosmetics are legally required to be tested on animals.
To learn more about animal testing laws in China, click here.
Why We Classify Brands Like Avene As “Not Cruelty-Free”
The term “cruelty-free” is unregulated. This means any brand can claim to be cruelty-free without breaking the law, even if they test on animals.
Because of this, we communicate with brands directly to gather information about their full animal testing policy.
Brands who are classified as “not cruelty-free” break one or more of the Cruelty-Free 5:
- Their company engages in animal testing
- Their suppliers engage in animal testing
- They allow third-parties to test on animals on their behalf
- They test on animals where required by law
- They knowingly sell cosmetics in stores in mainland China, where animal testing could be performed
A supplier is any company that sells the brand raw materials, ingredients, or finished products. A third-party is an outside company or entity, whether or not it’s hired by the brand.
What’s The Deal With China?
Many beauty brands choose to sell their products in China. It’s important to note that these companies can not be considered cruelty-free.
As of 2020, China still requires most cosmetics to be tested on animals in order to be sold in the country.
As for products which can bypass these mandatory tests, the Chinese authorities may still pull these products from the shelves and have them tested on animals. Although the chance is small, we believe that companies can not be considered “cruelty-free” while taking this risk.