I want to address this question because it keeps popping up in the comments and on our social media.

Are cosmetics made in China cruelty-free? In short, just because a beauty product is made in China, does not mean it’s tested on animals. Products are only tested on animals if they’e sold in stores in China.

Therefore, a product can be made in China and also completely cruelty-free. Since so many beauty brands manufacture products or packaging in China, it’s important to make this distinction. Otherwise, we’d be jumping to conclusions and accusing cruelty-free brands of testing on animals in China, when it’s not the case.

The Question

You’ve asked:

I was under the impression Becca was a cruelty free company, and have recently discovered that the production of my Jaclyn Hill Eyeshadow Palette was Made In China…? China has strict rules and regulations on animal testing cosmetics. How did Becca Cosmetics stay cruelty free with production in China? – Ava

I saw that some of my sisters L.A. Colors beauty products had a label that said “made in China,” so does that make L.A. Colors cosmetics non-cruelty-free??? – Hayley

I’m really curious at the moment about Barry M products and whether they are actually cruelty free as I am aware some of their products are made in china? – Claire

The Answer

If you see “Made in China” on your makeup, there’s no need to worry.

Products made in China are NOT tested animals. It’s only when a beauty brand enters the Chinese market and sells their products in China that it loses its cruelty-free status.

To understand why this is the case, it’s important that we understand what China’s animal testing law is and why it exists.

The mandatory animal testing law in China aims to protect the people of China. It’s a safety measure to ensure that no harmful cosmetics will be sold in China. It’s cruel and obsolete, but like all animal testing, the goal is to ensure that products are safe for human use.

Hence why cosmetics are ONLY tested on animals in China if they’re going to be SOLD there.

And if you want to dig a little bit deeper…

See Also

The current and updated law is this:

  • ALL foreign cosmetics imported into China must undergo animal testing in order to be sold there.
  • SOME cosmetics manufactured in China are able to skip the animal testing in order to be sold there.
  • The animal testing can be bypassed IF the company agrees to use alternative testing methods, and IF they only sell normal cosmetics.
  • Special-use cosmetics such as sunscreens, antiperspirants, hair dye, and whitening products HAVE to be tested on animals even if they’re manufactured in China.

China uses both pre-market and post-market animal testing. By selling their products in China, companies agree to both of these practices.

Pre-market testing means that the products are tested on animals before the products are able to hit the shelves.

Post-market testing isn’t mandatory, but it can happen: at any moment, the authorities can require that products already on the shelves be tested on animals.

This is why, even if a company manufactures products in China, they can’t under any circumstances sell their products in China and remain cruelty-free.

However, they can absolutely manufacture their products in China and remain 100% cruelty-free.

View Comments (20)
  • Loose wording, China is savage, they don’t care about human welfare. I will never support ANY cosmetics from them because its telling them that we’re stupid enough to by their garbage even when it contains feces, toxins and is more than likely tested on animals. China is dishonest and cares about 1 thing, your money.

  • It’s still disgusting that companies move factories for an extra income. It’s wrong for local economy. You can’t be sure what they do if there is no inspection. If I wanted to buy China poop I would just order some poop on Alibaba. I’m paying more to have quality and to support some values…

  • Such a relief to know that! thought a brand was cruelty free, then saw the made in China an I completely panicked! Thanks for the reassurance

  • Thank you for clarifying this issue. I was a bit worried as I bought a Nyx foundation which said made in China.

  • I’ve used clinique for over 45 years. Sensitive skin and just about everything else, including Arbonne, causes an allergic reaction. I’d hate to quit using clinique but I will if the brand tests on animals. Please advise!

      • There are other hypoallergenic lines that are cruelty free. I really like Marcelle—they’re a Canadian company. For things like base products and eye makeup, they punch well above their weight. Prices are decent and you can order them online from the US and Europe. For what it’s worth, I used to be a Clinique fan, so I know of what I speak.

  • First, thank you for helping put information out there about doing the right thing. Something is bugging me here. Even if a product/company does not test on innocent animals, how can they claim cruelty-free status if they choose to produce in a country that mandates this terrible practice? Maybe their product isn’t tested but they are still contributing to that economy. Still seems wrong to me. Personally I’ve filtered my cosmetic products and as many everyday products as possible up to the parent companies. Now I’m starting to revisit which are produced in China. And some like to get tricky- Anastasia “Beverly Hills” is made in PRC.

  • I have some products that I’ve had for a while that are from Kmart Australia, and they are made in China. Haven’t used them much but I’m freaking out cause I don’t know if they are tested or not. The brands are Beauty Care Co. but it’s weird because all the products I have by them are either from Australia or China, brought to NZ. Help ?

  • To the Jacquie Tractenberg of Tractenberg co. Ex More magazine editor Abby Perlman recently got involved in dirty coraption business with crazy CBS anchor Otis Livingston to steal money from Tractenberg company employees bank accounts. Never trust Abby Perlman and Otis Livingston they are nothing but crooks and belong in prison!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I am entering on this new beautiful world of cruelty-free but the bad thing is: I live in China. I will use Iherb to buy as much as possible the things I need, but I really wanna make a research about the chinese brands that are cruelty free.

  • Maybe I’m bit off here, but could it not also be that the cosmetic cases/bottle is made in china and not the product itself? 😀 Either way it’s good to know 🙂

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