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Why We Can’t Let Brands Like NARS or Benefit Get Away With Animal Testing in China

by Suzana Rose

Nov 18, 2020

Some brands are cruelty-free, and some test on animals. Out of the brands who test on animals, some do so because they sell their products in mainland China, where animal testing is required by law under most circumstances.

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These major beauty brands who sell in China include:

  • NARS
  • Benefit
  • Bobbi Brown
  • MAC
  • L'Oreal
  • Maybelline
  • Chanel
  • Clinique
  • Dior
  • Make Up For Ever
  • Lancome
  • Laneige
  • ...and more.

Though the companies themselves might not test on animals, none of them are cruelty-free. Unfortunately, some of these brands try to trick us since their products are "not tested on animals in the United States".

Giving these brands a pass because it's the "Chinese authorities" who perform the animal testing is wrong for a few reasons. I encourage you to look at the situation objectively, even though some of you might want to distance these brands from their cruel practices in China.

Here's why they should be held accountable.

1. These brands have a choice.

It's up to the brand to decide whether or not they wish to enter the Chinese market. It's also up to the brand to decide how they want to enter the Chinese market.

For instance, they can either sell in stores (which requires animal testing) or sell online (which does not). Brands can make a humane decision, which requires leaving money on the table. Some cruelty-free brands either stay out of China completely, or decide to only sell their products online, which preserves their cruelty-free status.

In short, brands can either:

  • Decide not to sell in China and maintain their cruelty-free status.
  • Decide to sell in China in stores, which requires animal testing.
  • Decide to only sell to China online, which does not require animal testing and maintains their cruelty-free status. Although this option is not as profitable as selling in stores, it's a great compromise for a large brand who wishes to remain cruelty-free.

2. These brands are paying for the tests.

If you don't believe that the brands should be "responsible" for animal testing performed in China, it might change your mind to know that it's the brand who has to fund these tests.

This means that brands are paying for their products to be involved in a practice that injures and kills over 100,000 rabbits in China every year. Without the financial support from these brands, animal testing for cosmetics in China would not be a popular practice.

3. That mascara you're using? The same one was used to torture a rabbit.

Doesn't it feel icky to know that a copy of the product you're using, whether it's a foundation, a lipstick, or a face cream, was tested on rabbits? These tests are extremely cruel, and the animals who suffer them are treated in the worst conditions.

Testing finished products on animals is a rare practice outside of China, as it's mostly the ingredients that are tested today. It should also be emphasized that testing these products in China has no real benefit, since all the ingredients were already tested and proven to be safe outside of China.

4. Cruelty to animals does not end outside of our own countries.

A company who allows their finished products to be used to torture animals can not be considered cruelty-free. It doesn't matter where the cruel tests are performed, whether it's in the United States, Canada, Europe, China, or anywhere in the world.

Animals are animals. A bunny in a laboratory in America is just as precious as a bunny in a Chinese laboratory. Why should animal cruelty get a pass if it's performed in China?

In Conclusion

If animal testing for cosmetics is a true concern, we must hold these brands accountable for their cruel practices in China. Remember: it's the brand itself that makes the decision to sell in China. If consumers are giving these brands a pass, more brands could follow suit.

Please remember to look at a brand's full animal testing policy, including any fine print. Watch out for language such as "unless required by law", or any mentions of China. These are hints that the brand is not truly cruelty-free.

As always, visit our list of cruelty-free brands if you're looking for vetted brands who do not sell in China, and do not use loopholes to test on animals.

Which Brands Are Cruelty-Free?

Download our list of 600+ verified cruelty-free brands straight to your device. Bring it with you everywhere you go, and never worry about supporting animal testing again. Click here to download

+ Show Comments (2) - Hide Comments (2)
  • Alina says:

    Thank you for your website! I learnt a lot about cruelty-free brands. It sucks that my favourite products were tested on animals, and you made it easier for me to find alternatives.
    Thank you, you’re very kind and sweet soul!

  • Chrys Starnes says:

    I completely agree with you. If they want to claim they are cruelty free then they should choose not to sell in China. Plain and simple. I wish people would stop buying them in order to force them to stop selling in China. Then perhaps China would cut the practice out and then the brands could return

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