Clinique 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.
Clinique is owned by Estée Lauder, a company that is 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|
Clinique's Official Animal Testing Policy
“Clinique Laboratories, LLC. is committed to the elimination of animal testing. We are equally committed to consumer health and safety, and bringing to market products that comply with applicable regulations in every country in which our products are sold.
We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law. We evaluate our finished products in clinical tests on volunteer panels.
Clinique Laboratories, LLC. fully supports the development and global acceptance of non-animal testing alternatives. To this end, the Company works extensively with the industry at large and the global scientific community to research and fund these alternatives.”
What This Means
Clinique is being misleading. They open their statement by saying they’re “committed to the elimination of animal testing”, yet they continue by claiming that they do test on animals where it’s required by law.
In order for a company like Clinique to sell their products in stores in mainland China, they have to comply with their animal testing laws. Since Clinique does sell products in China, their products were most likely tested on animals there. Not only that, but it’s the brand itself who funds these animal experiments.
A company can not be considered cruelty-free if they allow their products to be tested on animals where required by law. Companies that are cruelty-free do not sell locally in China, or sell there online only, which doesn’t require any animal tests.
Even though Clinique claims not to test on animals, they make an exception for third parties (for example in China).
When it comes to their suppliers or third parties, Clinique claims that they do not “ask others to test on animals on their behalf”. This claim is meaningless and misleading. They may not ask others to test on animals on their behalf, but the fact remains that they could still test on animals on their behalf without being asked to do so. A cruelty-free company must ensure and verify that third parties don’t test on animals on their behalf.
We know for a fact that Clinique does allow third parties to test their finished products on animals in mainland China, which shows how meaningless the claim above is.
From Their FAQ
Here’s a screenshot of Clinique’s animal testing policy directly from their website:
Clinique In Sold China
Clinique products are sold in mainland China, where animal testing is required by law. The following screenshot shows us that Clinique is sold at Chinese Sephora stores.
Clinique is a mid-range skincare and makeup brand available at Sephora, Ulta, and multiple other retailers and counters worldwide. The brand was founded by the Estée Lauder group in 1968, and continues to be owned by them today.
Why We Classify Brands Like Clinique 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.