Shiseido 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.
At a Glance
|Finished products tested on animals||Yes, where required by law|
|Ingredients tested on animals||Yes, if there are no other alternatives|
|Suppliers test on animals||Uncertain|
|Third party animal testing||Yes, where required by law|
|Sold in mainland China||Yes|
Shiseido's Official Animal Testing Policy
“Shiseido does not test its cosmetic products or ingredients on animals except when absolutely mandated by law, or where there are absolutely no alternative methods for guaranteeing product safety. Shiseido’s mission is to provide safe and effective products to customers, and to comply with the cosmetics regulations in force, while understanding and respecting the principles behind animal protection.
Shiseido has established a safety assurance system based on alternative methods and has discontinued animal testing in cosmetics/quasi drugs that are developed in April, 2013 or later. This excludes cases in which we must explain the safety to society.
We will continue to develop effective alternative methods in the future and proactively and sternly work with administrative agencies in various countries with the aim of establishing alternative methods as official methods (to be certified as official experimental methods according to laws and regulations of various countries/regions).”
What This Means
Shiseido claims that they actively test on animals under certain circumstances, which means they are not cruelty-free.
Watch out for the “safety as a priority” trick. When a brand emphasizes “product safety”, like Shiseido does above, this generally means that they prioritize safety at any cost — even if this means testing on animals to prove safety.
Why We Classify Brands Like Shiseido 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.