Is Bath & Body Works Cruelty-Free?

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Is Bath & Body Works Cruelty-Free?

It's currently unclear whether or not Bath & Body Works is cruelty-free, since they haven't provided enough information. Some brands that fall under this category refuse to share their complete animal testing policy or answer questions about their cruelty-free status.

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“Bath & Body Works policy prohibits the testing of our branded products, formulations and ingredients on animals except in rare cases when required by government regulations. Through our involvement in the Institute for In Vitro Sciences, we are supporting research to develop alternative non-animal methods which we believe will ultimately result in the elimination of animal testing worldwide.”

2019 UPDATE: Bath & Body Works recently updated their animal testing policy. They now state:

“Bath & Body Works does not test any of our branded products, formulations or ingredients on animals. Period. The brand is expecting to pilot selling products in China during the summer of 2019. Any personal care products sold in China will be produced in China, which eliminates the Chinese government’s requirement for animal testing as that only applies to imported personal care products.”

Unfortunately, this does not mean that Bath & Body Works is a cruelty-free company. As of 2019, although brands can bypass pre-market animal testing in China, they’re not exempt from potential post-market animal testing. Because of the risk of animal testing involved, we can’t confidently conclude that this brand is cruelty-free.

2022 UPDATE: Bath & Body Works claim that they do not sell in Mainland China.

It is currently unclear whether they do sell  or do not sell in China at this point. We are currently waiting for confirmation regarding this and we will be updating their status if necessary.

Is Bath & Body Works owned by a parent company that tests on animals?

Bath & Body Works is not owned by a parent company that tests on animals.

In the beauty industry, it’s common for brands to be owned by a larger company. These are called parent companies, and they’re often global corporations such as L’Oreal, Estee Lauder, or Procter & Gamble.

Most of these parent companies are not cruelty-free, since they test on animals to some degree. They might also own several brands that are not cruelty-free.

However, some of the brands owned by these parent companies are cruelty-free and have strict policies against animal testing.

There are pros and cons to supporting cruelty-free brands owned by parent companies that aren’t.

You can either:

  • Choose to boycott them since they’re a part of a larger conglomerate that engages in animal testing.
  • Choose to support some of them based on the individual ethics of each parent company, or only purchase from them if there are no independent alternatives.
  • Choose to support them since they are 100% cruelty-free even though their parent company is not, therefore showing their parent company that consumers are favoring their cruelty-free brands.

In the cruelty-free community, the majority of conscious consumers purchase from cruelty-free brands even if they’re owned by a parent company that tests on animals. This is our stance at Cruelty-Free Kitty as well. We believe that supporting all cruelty-free brands is the only path towards a cruelty-free and more ethical beauty industry.

It’s also worth noting that subsidiary brands of parent companies are unique corporations by themselves. They act as independent branches and operate independently from the parent company, and can also be sold to other companies including cruelty-free ones.

Another aspect to consider is that many parts of the world only have access to limited brands, so their only cruelty-free options are owned by large corporations. This is a concern we hear about constantly from our international readers. Given this complex landscape, we believe that supporting all cruelty-free brands is ethical as well as practical.

A minority of shoppers choose to boycott brands owned by a parent company that tests on animals.

At Cruelty-Free Kitty, we make it easy for all of our readers to know which brands are owned by a parent company that tests on animals. At the top of each brand page, you’ll see a “parent company” note if that’s the case.

You can also filter our list of cruelty-free brands to only show brands that are not owned by any company that tests on animals.

Finally, for a list of brands owned by a parent company that tests on animals, click here.

Is Bath & Body Works certified cruelty-free by any organizations?

No, Bath & Body Works is not certified by any organizations.

While companies can be fully cruelty-free without being certified, it’s still a good indicator of their ethical practices. Leaping Bunny and PETA are the two organizations giving out cruelty-free certification.

Is Bath & Body Works vegan?

No, Bath & Body Works is not vegan. This means that some of their products may contain animal-derived ingredients. Bath & Body Works might offer some vegan products, however because this company is not cruelty-free, it's recommended to avoid any products they offer even if they are vegan.

Brands can be cruelty-free without being vegan, and claim to be vegan without being cruelty-free. This is because “cruelty-free” refers to the animal testing aspect, while “vegan” refers to the ingredients.

A “vegan” product contains no animal-derived ingredients, such as Beeswax (made by bees), Carmine (a red pigment made from crushed beetles), or Collagen (from mammal or fish skin).

A company is “cruelty-free” at company level, meaning they can’t have cruelty-free products unless the whole company is cruelty-free. However, a company can offer vegan products even if not all of their products are vegan. If all of their products are vegan, then we refer to the brand as “100% vegan”.

We have a list of 100% vegan brands, and you can also filter our official list of cruelty-free brands and choose to show vegan brands only.

Looking for vegan products from cruelty-free brands? Visit our Product Database and make sure you use the vegan filter.

Is Cruelty-Free Kitty reliable?

Founded in 2014 by Suzana Rose, Cruelty-Free Kitty is the largest and most trusted cruelty-free shopping platform.

We vet every single brand added to our database by contacting them directly and ensuring they adhere to our strict criteria we call "The Cruelty-Free 5".

For a brand to be listed as cruelty-free, it must satisfy the following:

  1. The brand itself does not test on animals, for either finished products or ingredients.
  2. Suppliers do not test on animals for products, raw materials, or ingredients.
  3. No third parties test on animals on the brand's behalf.
  4. The brand does not test on animals when required by law.
  5. The brand does not sell cosmetics in physical stores in mainland China.

At Cruelty-Free Kitty, we have an unwavering commitment to accuracy. The landscape of cosmetics animal testing is constantly evolving globally. Our team is diligent about staying current on changing laws, brand acquisitions, and policy updates that impact cruelty-free status.

To date, we’ve vetted over 1200+ brands and helped millions of conscious shoppers choose products that aren’t tested on animals. Please feel free to contact us with any questions by using our contact form.

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