Suzana Rose

Biore 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.

Biore is owned by Kao, a company that is not cruelty-free.


At a Glance

Finished products tested on animals Yes, where required by law
Ingredients tested on animals Yes*
Suppliers test on animals Uncertain
Third party animal testing Yes, where required by law
Sold in mainland China Yes

*Non-cosmetic ingredients may be tested on animals, as stated by Biore: “Occasionally, laws and regulations require testing of materials outside of the cosmetics category. “

Biore's Official Animal Testing Policy

“We know you LOVE animals and so do we! That’s why all the Bioré® products in our western markets are cruelty-free and vegan friendly. We do not test our products or the materials within them on animals and we do not use any animal-derived ingredients.

We follow the conventions of the EU and other governmental bans on animal testing for cosmetics. Occasionally, laws and regulations require testing of materials outside of the cosmetics category. Since the 1980’s, Kao Corporation has been actively working together with industry associations and relevant third parties to find robust alternatives to animal testing which have been successfully adopted as international guidelines.”


What This Means

Biore 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.

Biore clearly states that only their “western market” products are not tested on animals, which implies that their non-western market products are tested on animals.

This distinction is made because they sell their products in mainland China, where cosmetics are legally required to be tested on animals.

Biore also doesn’t mention whether or not their suppliers test on animals, which is a red flag.

From Their Website

Biore’s animal testing policy can be found on their official website, on a page titled “Our Committment”. On this page, Biore states that their company is “eco-friendly” as well as “cruelty-free”. Unfortunately, because they do test on animals under certain circumstances or allow third parties to do so on their behalf, their statement is false and doesn’t reflect their actual policy. Their “eco-friendly” statement is equally questionable and can be labeled as greenwashing.

You can see the page here.

Kao, Biore’s parent company, also states that they “comply with regulations”, which means they do allow third parties to test on animals on their behalf if governments require it:

“None of our beauty brands conduct or commission animal testing. We conduct world-class research and quality management to ensure all products are in compliance with safety and quality expectations and regulations.”

Why We Classify Brands Like Biore 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.

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