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Ask Suzi: What’s The Difference Between Cruelty-Free And Vegan?

It’s June 1st, and these are the questions I picked for the month! To ask me a question, head over to the Ask Suzi page.

1. Benefit & China

Hi Suzi!

I’ve loved your site for such a long time; it’s so refreshing to have a rational yet no-bullshit resource available for lovers of beauty products!

I’m looking to start up my own vlog channel featuring cruelty free makeup & beauty products, so hopefully people are more aware of the companies which aren’t cruelty free, and the distinctions between being a “no animal testing” company compared to a “cruelty free” company etc. etc.

I have a question for you:

I’ve been doing some research into Benefit just recently, and I cannot find evidence anywhere that they aren’t, in fact, a company which tests on animals. They do not, and have never tested on animals, according to their site. I couldn’t even find a statement requiring them to test on animals when required to by law. So could you clarify this for me? I know they’re sold in China, making it a bit of a blurred line concept, but the company states it doesn’t test at all on animals.
Thanks Suzi


Hey Elle,

Thanks so much for the super kind words!

I get asked why some “cruelty-free” brands are on my lists of brands that test ALL the time. And almost every time, it’s because they’re sold in China.

That’s the case with Benefit.

Pro tip: If anyone wants to find out if a beauty brand sells in China, look at Sephora China’s list of brands first. It lists ALL the brands that are sold in Sephora stores in China. I get the most questions about Dr. Jart, Caudalie, Dr. Brandt, Glamglow, and of course Benefit! You’ll find all these brands on that list.

Another thing everyone can do is e-mail the company and ask them clearly if their products are sold in mainland China. You only need to keep in mind that 1. only products sold in mainland China and not Hong Kong are subject to animal testing, and 2. only products sold in stores are tested on animals, and nothing that is sold online only.

Click here to read more about animal testing in China and to see what companies sell their products there.

2. Parent Company Confusion!

I don’t see The Body Shop on the cruelty free or list of companies that do animal testing. Do they or don’t they test.


Hey Stacey,

Okay, there’s way too much confusion with the parent companies on my list of cruelty-free brands!

Several people are asking me where Tarte, UD, and other cruelty-free brands went on that page. What happened is I moved them all the way to the bottom of the page, in a separate section for cruelty-free brands with parent companies that are not cruelty-free.

I really appreciate everyone’s feedback, and since this is too confusing, I’m going back to the old style. All brands will be included, and some will have an asterisk.

To answer your question: The Body Shop is indeed cruelty-free, but their parent company L’Oreal is not.

For those who are new to cruelty-free lingo, click here to learn more about parent companies.

3. Cruelty-Free Hair Dye

Are there any companies that sell hair color that do NOT test on animals?? Thank you



Click here to read my hair dye post.

4. Cruelty-Fee Designer Fragrances

Hello! I’m really annoyed to see Marc Jacobs perfume isnt cruelty free, is it that they sell in China or is it generally tested on animals? Either way I wont be buying it again! Is there any big name brands that are cruelty free? Couldnt see any on your list, but just wanted to check.

Thanks very much! Becky x

Hi Becky,

Marc Jacobs Fragrances are sold in China, and yep, that’s why they’re not cruelty-free. Unfortunately, this is pretty much the case with all designer fragrances. But please take a look at my cruelty-free perfume list and maybe you’ll find some alternatives!

5. Am I Ignoring Questions?!

To Suzi,

I’m trying my hardest to ask questions, but you’re not reading my questions. And you told us “please don’t hesitate to ask questions” but why are you ignoring my questions? Please don’t ignore my cruelty-free questions please!

My questions is: Do Kevyn Aucoin cosmetics is cruelty-free???


See Also

Hey Andrea,

Please know that I’m not ignoring you! I really apologize, but I couldn’t possibly answer all the questions I get. I only select some of them to answer here in blog posts.

That being said, I do read EVERY question, and I consider everyone’s feedback. I really appreciate everyone who’s participating, so I hope you understand this!

Generally when I get asked if a company is cruelty-free and I don’t have the answer, I try to reach out to the company. So I’ll do my best to look into Kevyn Aucoin for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

6. Marc Jacobs’s Policy

Hello, I am a 100% cruelty free beauty buyer, I have one thing to say tho. In your list of companies that do test on animals you have Marc Jacobs, yet they do not test on animals period. They have announced that they do not test on animals and their brushes (make up) are cruelty-free. I just wanted to say that, so people who do use Marc Jacob’s Beauty, do not have to stop. Thank you and great site ๐Ÿ™‚ xoxo


Hi Jared,

I only list Marc Jacobs Fragrances as being tested on animals. This is because they’re owned by Coty and sell in China, which means they’re NOT cruelty-free!

On the bright side, you’re right that Marc Jacobs Beauty (owned by Kendo) doesn’t test on animals.

If this is confusing to anyone, click here to read my full post on Marc Jacobs.

7. Paula’s Choice in China?

Hi, Paula’s Choice has a HK branch ( allows a flag e-store in mainland China to sell skincare items to mainland China. I believe THAT all skincare sold in mainland China has to be animal tested. Are they allowing this, or even if allowing this it is still cruelty free?


All good! If a brand sells to mainland China through an online store, there’s no animal testing.

8. Is it cruelty-free if it’s vegan?

Im sorry to keep messaging you lol but I was wondering if being a vegan company automatically means they don’t test on animals??

Hey Angelica ๐Ÿ™‚

If a company claims to be vegan, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re cruelty-free! So strangely, a company that doesn’t use any animal ingredients might still test on animals. Go figure. I really wish these labels were regulated.

Thanks so much to everyone who submitted a question! I read every question and do my best to answer those that keep coming up.

Follow me on social media to stay updated!

My Twitter: @crueltyfreecat
My Facebook: Cruelty-Free Kitty
My Pinterest: Suzi Grapefruit

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