Herbal Essences 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.

Herbal Essences is owned by Procter & Gamble, a company that is not cruelty-free.

Herbal Essences

At a Glance

Finished products tested on animals Uncertain
Ingredients tested on animals No
Suppliers test on animals No
Third party animal testing Uncertain
Sold in mainland China Yes

Herbal Essences's Official Animal Testing Policy

“And even though Herbal Essences is sold in China, where tests on animals are required for many products, the brand has worked within Chinese regulations to make sure that will never happen.”

What This Means

Herbal Essences is now certified by PETA. However, we don’t consider them to be cruelty-free. This is because they still sell in China, where there’s a small risk of post-market animal testing. Please read this post for all the details.

Why We Classify Brands Like Herbal Essences 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.

View Comments (2)
  • I am wondering the same thing too!! I am wondering if they are saying it’s not cruelty free is that some of the bottles have the bunny logo and some do not

  • I’m so confused as to why PETA has certified both Aussie and herbal essences to be cruelty free if they aren’t actually cruelty free. 😩 also, both Aussie and Herbal Essences state that they are indeed cruelty free on their websites. Is this just a really new development, or am I missing something?

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