Clean & Clear

Suzana Rose

Clean & Clear 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.

Clean & Clear is owned by Johnson & Johnson, a company that is not cruelty-free.

Clean & Clear

At a Glance

Finished products tested on animals No
Ingredients tested on animals Uncertain
Suppliers test on animals Uncertain
Third party animal testing Yes, where required by law
Sold in mainland China Yes

Clean & Clear's Official Animal Testing Policy

“We want you to feel good about how we make Clean & Clear® products. You can only do that if you have the facts. The fact is, Clean & Clear® doesn’t conduct animal testing of our cosmetic products anywhere in the world, except in the rare situation where governments or laws require it. At Clean & Clear®, we won’t ever compromise on the quality or safety of our products or stop seeking alternatives to animal testing.”

What This Means

Clean & Clear is trying to minimize their animal testing by using words like “rare situation” and “seeking alternatives”. However, as they state in their policy, the fact is that they do test on animals “where governments or laws require it”. They also sell their products in stores in mainland China.

In order to sell in China, companies like Clean & Clear must pay to have their products tested on animals. Most likely, their products have been tested on animals in China, which means they can’t be classified as a cruelty-free brand.

Throughout their policy, Clean & Clear is trying to mislead customers. They repeat the word “fact”, implying that the fact is they don’t test on animals. Since they make an exception where required by law, and they most likely paid for their products to be tested on animals in China, this is extremely misleading.

They also don’t mention their suppliers.

From Their Website

Clean & Clear’s animal testing policy can be found directly on their official site. At the bottom of the page, you can find a link to their “Animal Testing Policy“. When you click this link, you’ll see the following:

From PETA’s List

Clean & Clear can be found on PETA’s website as a brand that does test on animals. Here’s a screenshot from their website:


Clean & Clear is a drugstore skincare brand. They mainly offer products which target acne. Their products are similar to Neutrogena (not cruelty-free) but more budget-friendly. Both brands are owned by Johnson & Johnson, who acquired Clear & Clear from Revlon is 1991.

Why We Classify Brands Like Clean & Clear 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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