Benefit 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|
Benefit is a mid-range makeup brand which is available in over 30 countries, including China. They specialize in cheek and brow products, though they have a full line of products. The company was acquired by LVMH, owner or Sephora, in 1999.
Benefit's Official Animal Testing Policy
“Benefit does not test our products on animals.
Since 1989, the Perfumes & Cosmetics companies of LVMH group (including Benefit Cosmetics) have not performed any tests on animals for our products – this was implemented long before the 2013 official ban set by the European Union.
We are deeply committed to the elimination of animal testing. We’re playing a leading role in developing alternative methods through our support of the “Fund for Alternatives to Animal Testing” in the United States. We also actively participate in validation studies of new alternative tests in the framework of the European cosmetics association, Cosmetics Europe. We are one of only a few companies to have invested in creating our own internal department to test raw materials and ingredients to further ensure the quality of our products and the satisfaction of our customers, which is our top priority.
As a result, all Benefit products undergo very strict tolerance tests using non-animal methods during the development of each product to ensure quality and safety prior to market.
Some customers expressed concern regarding the situation in China. Our products are made in Europe and for imported cosmetics, the Chinese health authorities order some test on animals: they require companies to make their products available to be tested in state-certified laboratories for registration purposes only, as it is currently their only recognized method to demonstrate product safety .
We are hopeful that alternative testing methods will be adopted worldwide and we will see an end to animal testing.”
What This Means
First of all, Benefit claims that they themselves do not test on animals. This claim alone does not make Benefit a cruelty-free company. Companies that are truly cruelty-free must also confirm that their suppliers and any third parties do not engage in animal testing, anywhere in the world, and that their products are not sold in mainland China.
Second, they claim to be “committed to the elimination of animal testing”. This implies that Benefit might test on animals under certain conditions. Many brands who test on animals where required by law, also claim to be committed to the elimination of animal testing and the development of alternative methods. This is a way for brands to gain trust and sympathy from cruelty-free shoppers.
Third, Benefit finally addresses their involvement in animal testing in China. They clearly state that they paid for animal tests to be performed on their products in the country. This means that no matter how “committed” benefit claims to be when it comes to eliminating animal testing, they’re showing their hypocrisy: Benefit does test on animals where required by law, and is therefore not a cruelty-free company.
From Their FAQ
Benefit’s animal testing policy can be found on their website, in their FAQ:
Presence In China
Benefit’s presence in China was announced on Twitter on their official account. Here’s a screenshot of the tweet, which dates from 2009:
Shin Kong Place is a high-end department store in Beijing, mainland China. Benefit has been present in China for over a decade now. They can also be found at Chinese Sephora stores:
Benefit’s Real Animal Testing Policy
Even though Benefit rarely admits to testing on animals “where required by law” or being available in mainland China, this tweet by them sums up their animal testing policy. Make no mistake: Benefit does test on animals where required by law, and they do sell products in stores in mainland China.
Why We Classify Brands Like Benefit 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.