Some cruelty-free brands are owned by bigger companies that do test on animals. Just recently, L’Oreal bought Urban Decay as well as NYX, and Tarte was sold to Kose, a Japanese company with less strict rules when it comes to animal testing.

Cruelty-free consumers sometimes have divergent views when it comes to this issue: should brands such as Urban Decay, NYX, and Tarte still be considered cruelty-free?

This issue is anything but black and white.

If you’re switching to cruelty-free products, there are a few things you should consider.

1. These brands are still cruelty-free

As long as a cruelty-free company remains certified by the Leaping Bunny — and their certification has to be renewed yearly — it is still cruelty-free. As long as a brand does not test anything on animals, at any point during the making of their products, I consider it to be cruelty-free.

As long as these companies will maintain certification or maintain their cruelty-free policies and NOT sell in mainland China, the brands themselves are cruelty-free regardless of the parent company. As much as I love some NYX products, they wouldn’t be worth it if NYX didn’t remain a truly cruelty-free brand.

2. Choosing to buy the cruelty-free brands sends a message

By continuing to buy NYX and Urban Decay while boycotting other L’Oreal brands, a message is sent to these giants of the industry: consumers truly value cruelty-free cosmetics and care about the ethics behind the products. 

If everyone boycotted Lancome in favor of Urban Decay, L’Oreal would surely be forced to change their animal-testing policies.

3. Profits Go To The Parent Company

All that being said, there’s something else we can’t overlook: the profits ultimately go to the parent company. When a cruelty-free company is acquired by a new parent, the big guys at the top (those who get all the profits) also change. This means that by purchasing Urban Decay products, you’re really giving your money to L’Oreal.

Because this is financing a company that tests on animals, this also means that you might indirectly be funding further animal testing. That’s so far from what we want to accomplish by purchasing cruelty-free products!

Bottom Line

I hope the points raised above helped you come to your decision. No matter what this decision is, it should be something you truly personally believe in and are comfortable with. It should work within your lifestyle. And remember that there’s no right or wrong way of looking at this issue, since a cruelty-free brand is a cruelty-free brand.

Personally, I’ve come to the following decision:

Supporting brands that are 100% cruelty-free is my priority. I believe that this is the best attitude when it comes to cruelty-free brands, and my site to reflect this. My list of cruelty-free brands only mentions brands that are 100% cruelty-free.

About 90% of my beauty and household purchases are from brands that are 100% cruelty-free, but I still believe that supporting cruelty-free brands owned by companies that test on animals is better than purchasing from brands that aren’t cruelty-free.

How do you feel about cruelty-free brands owned by a parent company that tests on animals?

From The Cruelty-Free 101 Series:

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Suzana Rose
By Suzana Rose|
Suzana is the founder of Cruelty-Free Kitty. She believes in ethical businesses and wants to see a global ban on animal testing. She loves cats, debunking myths, and shoegaze music.