Neutrogena 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.
Neutrogena is owned by Johnson & Johnson, 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|
Neutrogena's Official Animal Testing Policy
“We want you to feel good about how we make Neutrogena products. You can only do that if you have the facts. The fact is, Neutrogena doesn’t conduct animal testing of our cosmetic products anywhere in world, except in the rare situation where governments or laws require it. At Neutrogena, we won’t ever compromise on the quality or safety of our products or stop seeking alternatives to animal testing.”
What This Means
Neutrogena 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, which means that they were likely tested on animals by the Chinese authorities.
In order to sell cosmetics in mainland China, companies like Neutrogena 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, Neutrogena 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
You can find Neutrogena’s animal testing policy directly on their website. In the footer at the bottom, click on “Product Testing”, and it will take you to the following page:
From Our Correspondence
When we reached out to Neutrogena about their animal testing policy, we received the following response:
“Thank you for contacting Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., makers of Neutrogena®. We appreciate your interest in our company.
The Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies does not conduct testing of our cosmetic or personal care products on animals and we do not ask others to test on our behalf, except when testing is required by law or specific government regulation. When it comes to the development of medicines, medical devices and other regulated health products, where animal use is often required, our policies reflect the highest animal welfare standards and meet or exceed all applicable local and national laws and regulations.”
It’s important to note that although Neutrogena claims not to “ask” others to test on animals, they can’t claim that others do not test on animals on their behalf. What does this mean? Although they confirmed that Neutrogena itself doesn’t test on animals, they’re not able to confirm the same when it comes to their suppliers or any third-parties. A cruelty-free brand must confirm all three of these.
Neutrogena is a popular American drugstore brand, available in most drugstores. You can find their products at Walmart, Target, Ulta, CVS, and Walgreens, among others. They mainly focus on skincare, but they also offer makeup as well as hair care products. Neutrogena was founded in 1930 and was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 1994.
Why We Classify Brands Like Neutrogena 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.