Finding cruelty-free drugstore brands isn’t easy. Target, Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart are flooded with non-cruelty-free makeup and most of the big brands such as L’Oreal, Maybelline, Revlon, and Rimmel London test on animals.

However there are plenty of cruelty-free alternatives out there! I’ve put together this list to help you make the right choices. Once you’re aware of the animal testing policies of these companies, you’ll find that it’s very easy to find good budget-friendly brands and products at your local drugstore.

The most common cruelty-free drugstore makeup brands are Covergirl, Milani, Hard Candy, Pacifica, Jordana, and Sonia Kashuk; the complete list can be found in the table below.

Choose these brands over L'Oreal, Garnier, Neutrogena, and others who test on animals.

As for cruelty-free skincare brands and personal care products, I personally do all of my shopping at Target, and I would recommend doing the same if you want the widest variety of brands that don’t test on animals. Target carries Yes To Carrots, Dr. Bronner’s, Alba Botanica, Kiss My Face, Avalon Organics, Jason, Giovanni, and Desert Essence. All of these companies except for Yes To Carrots are Leaping Bunny-certified.


Cruelty-Free Drugstore Makeup

BrandCruelty-Free?Where to find
AlmayNoTests on animals when required by law. Found on PETA’s list of companies that DO test on animals. Owned by Revlon, a company that is sold in China.
AnnabelleYesAnnabelle is owned by Groupe Marcelle, a Canadian company that doesn’t test products or ingredients on animals nor sell in China.Most Canadian drugstores.
ArdellYesArdell International signed PETA’s cruelty-free pledge. Their products are cruelty-free and vegan.Most drugstores.
Bonne BellYesSigned PETA’s cruelty-free pledge.Most commonly found at Walmart.
BourjoisNoSold in China.
Burt’s BeesGrey AreaBurt’s Bees is owned by Clorox, a company that isn’t cruelty-free. They recently started selling in China and there have been contradicting claims as to whether or not they only sell online.Most drugstores.
CovergirlYesWent cruelty-free! Now Leaping Bunny certified.Most drugstores.
e.l.f.YesSigned PETA’s cruelty-free pledge. No parent company. All their product except some brushes made of animal hair are vegan.Walgreens, K Mart, and Target. Canada: Select Target stores.
EcoToolsYesSigned PETA’s cruelty-free pledge. All brushes are 100% vegan.
FlowerYesSigned PETA’s cruelty-free pledge. Maesa, Flower’s parent company, is cruelty-free.Only available at select Walmart stores and FlowerBeauty.com.
GOSHYesSigned PETA’s cruelty-free pledge. No parent company.Available in the UK and Canada.
Hard CandyYesCruelty-free, not sold in China, independent company. “As the formulator and manufacturer of Hard Candy products, we stipulate that we do not test any of our finished products on animals. We do not test any of our raw materials used in the manufacturing process on animals. We do not require or ask any third party to conduct this testing on our behalf.”Available exclusively at Walmart.
JaneYesSigned PETA’s cruelty-free pledge. No parent company. “None of the products or ingredients have been tested on animals and that we adhere to a very strict no animal testing policy. ” Not sold in China.Available at Ulta.
JordanaYes.Signed PETA’s cruelty-free pledge. Not sold in China. Owned by Milani, a Leaping Bunny-certified company.
L’OrealNo.Found on PETA’s list of companies that DO test on animals. Sold in China.
Makeup Academy Yes.Cruelty-free and not sold in China. “We are pleased to confirm that our MUA products and their ingredients are not tested on animals.”UK: Superdrug. USA: CVS.
MarcelleYesMarcelle is owned by Groupe Marcelle, a Canadian company that doesn’t test products or ingredients on animals nor sell in China.Most Canadian drugstores.
MaybellineNoFound on PETA’s list of companies that DO test on animals. Sold in China.
MilaniYesLeaping Bunny-certified. No parent company.Most drugstores: CVS, Walgreens, K-Mart, Walmart.
Mineral FusionYesLeaping Bunny-certified. No parent company.Target, Ulta.
NYCNoNo clear stance against animal testing. Owned by Coty, a company that tests on animals and retails brands in China.
NYXYesSigned PETA’s cruelty-free pledge. Not sold in China. Owned by L’Oreal, a company that tests on animals. CVS, Target, Ulta.
PacificaYesSigned PETA’s cruelty-free pledge. Not sold in China.Select Target locations across the USA.
Physicians FormulaYesSigned PETA’s cruelty-free pledge. Not sold in China.Most drugstores.
PixiYesSigned PETA’s cruelty-free pledge. Not sold in China.Target (USA and Canada).
PrestigeYesSigned PETA’s cruelty-free pledge. Not sold in China in retail stores; online-only.Ulta.
RevlonNoFound on PETA’s list of companies that DO test on animals. Sold in China.
Rimmel LondonNoTest on animals when required by law. Owned by Coty, a company that tests on animals and retails brands in China.
Sonia KashukYes“Please know that all of our products are cruelty-free and we are completely against harming any animals in any way for the production of our products. We also ensure our manufacturers and suppliers do not test on animals as we are extremely against it! (…) We are not sold in China.”Target (USA and Canada).
Wet’n’WildNo longer cruelty-free.“We are happy to inform you that we do not test on animals at any point of our production nor do we purchase any materials from vendors who test on animals. Our products are made in China but not sold in China.”

bhcosmetics

Further Reading


View Comments (139)
    • Milani is still cruelty-free and their policy hasn’t changed. Not even 2 months ago in July, they claimed that their products or ingredients aren’t tested on animals at any point of production, and they haven’t entered the Chinese market (so far!). I know that it’s tricky to know for sure if a huge company is cruelty-free, but I have good reason to believe Milani still is.

    • I hope not. Being an inhumane company that goes cruelty-free is awesome. However, going from cruelty-free to inhumane? I just don’t get how in the world a company could do that, be ok with themselves and justify it. I’d file bankruptcy and live on the street before doing that if my company was somehow being forced into making noncruelty-free products. Trust me, I don’t put anything past big business but still… That would be horrible.

      • The problem seems to arise when previously-cruelty-free companies are bought by companies that aren’t. I think, for example, that that’s what happened to St. Ives and Aussie, both of which I think were previously cruelty-free? It seems most brands (of anything, from soda to beauty supplies) are now actually owned by a few big companies.

    • NYX is now owned by L’Oreal but the brand itself remained cruelty-free. They don’t sell in China right now, but if I hear anything and their status changes, I’ll be sure to update.

  • Hi, i visited Logical Harmony’s blog and they say Jordana isn’t cruelty free and it’s in their list of brands to avoid. Thought i should tell you cause i don’t know who to trust anymore ):

    • Jordana is owned by Milani, who is Leaping Bunny-certified! The Leaping Bunny is the most trustworthy cruelty-free certification available. Hope this helps!

    • There was some confusing information about Milani and Jordana for a few months, as there was a statement accidentally released by them and there was a lot of confusion for awhile, which is probably when they were on the ‘brands to avoid’ list at Logical Harmony. However, Milani and Jordana recently obtained the Leaping Bunny certification, so they are cruelty-free.

  • Great to see this list. Hopefully one day it’ll be bigger and or completely unnecessary because all companies will be cruelty free!

    • The only exception is Hong Kong, from my understanding. From lovelywitches.co.uk:
      “So when are cosmetics not subject to animal testing in China?
      – Products that are made and sold in Hong Kong. Although part of China, Hong Kong has separate animal testing laws, so cruelty-free companies can sell there. This why I specifically ask companies if they sell products in mainland China.

      – Products manufactured in China for foreign export only. If it’s not being sold to the Chinese public, their government says it’s ok. So there are cruelty-free companies who make their products in China, but don’t sell them there.

      – E-commerce. Products sold and posted directly to customers from e-commerce websites are not required to be tested on animals. So cruelty-free companies can sell to Chinese customers directly through their websites.”

  • It’s tricky, as some companies try to phrase things in a way that makes them appear cruelty-free. Rimmel is an example: if you read the fine print, they claim not to test on animals “unless required by law”.

  • I am really bummed to hear about Revlon no longer being cruelty-free. I guess I’ll start the search for new eyeliners and creme blush. On another note, I love Ellen DeGeneres but am disappointed in her affiliation with CoverGirl. Being vegan coupled with her love of animals, I would think she would not have become a spokes-model for the company.

    • When was Revlon EVER cruelty free? And it is very sad to see so many of the Hollywood elite advertising products that are not cruelty free. Anything for a buck I guess.

      • Revlon was cruelty free for many years but they now sell their products in China. I don’t know about the individual ingredients in their products but for a long time they did not test the final products on animals. That’s all changed now with their involvement in China.

  • Burt’s Bee isn’t cruelty free.. they have beeswax in their products, in ALL OF THEM. Bees wax does not belong to us. Nice try tho.

    • Burt’s Bees isn’t vegan (because bees) but the brand IS cruelty-free, meaning that they don’t test on animals (although their parent company Clorox does).

      “Cruelty-free” isn’t a flexible term and only refers to animal testing by definition, and I agree that it doesn’t take into consideration other forms of cruelty, sadly.

      • i’m sorry but there is nothing cruelty free about the harvest of bees wax. many bees die because of handling and most bee farmer’s rip the wings off the queen so they don’t leave the give and continue to reproduce. wax and honey is not cruelty free not any “cruelty free” product that has either in it. i won’t buy Bert’s for two reasons, this and because Clorox owns them and makes money off their sales. http://www.peta.org/about-peta/faq/whats-wrong-with-beeswax/

      • I don’t understand why you would choose to call a company like Burt’s Bees CF if they are a part of Clorox. I understand they say “they” don’t test, but being “owned by” a company means you are a part of the company. I don’t mean to sound rude, after all the hard work you do to find CF products, why give-in and perpetuate a company that profits from and contributes to a company who tests?

        • I’m aware this is an old comment, but you’re joking, right? You’re seriously bringing your ethics into something that has a set definition? Seriously? Cruelty-free means that they don’t test on animals. That’s it. Parent company has nothing to do it. Types of people using it has nothing to do with it. At the end of the day, Burt’s Bees is cruelty-free by definition and trade because they don’t test on animals nor do they sell in places that require testing on animals. Your morals and ethics are not really important when defining a company as cruelty-free. Support them or don’t because of their parent company all you want, but unless you have proof otherwise that they are testing on animals, they’re cruelty-free.

        • idk why I’m joining an old argument, but I wanted to point out that that is why BB is listed in yellow, and not green. Yellow is companies that are concerning, like the parent company being horrid.

  • This list is great and very helpful. Quite surprising really how many companies are now doing the right thing. Anyone know if PurMinerals sells in China. I’m hoping not as they have great make up.

  • It should be noted that the term “cruelty free” just refers to the testing. The products may still contain animal ingredients. If it’s not strictly a vegan brand, be on the safe side and check the ingredients.

  • Thanks so much for the kind words!! I’m so glad you found this helpful! There are definitely budget-friendly cruelty-free gems at the drugstore. 🙂

  • I see Prestige is cruelty free. But in their official website I see they has retail store in China. Are they still really cruelty free?

    • It’s only sold through a website! They have no physical retail stores in the country. The regulation doesn’t apply to online stores. 🙂

  • Thank you for this list. I am passionate about animal welfare and so many people have absolutely NO idea of the misconceptions on the labels of products. You really have to read between the lines. Cruelty free is only the beginning. I love when they say they don’t condone animal testing, like that makes a difference! And it is very important to find out if their ingredients were in any way animal tested as well. I am happy to be vegan and feel better about my choices in all that I eat, wear and use in my daily life and glad to see many others share my view.

  • This post was really helpful, but I was wondering if Apivita is cruelty- free. If anyone knows please let me know.

  • I just posted and came back, and now my comment is gone ( or is not showing up ) VO5 shampoos and conditioners say ‘not tested on animals’ on the back lower left hand corner of the bottle in small print.
    They are very inexpensive, and i see them nearly everywhere. I wanted to try the Paul Mitchell brand ( curious ), but just went their web site. The front page spread has a guy ( Paul Mitchell ) on the left side of the screen. On the right is a beautiful seductive woman with the text ” live beautifully ” .
    She is wearing a fur.
    What’s up with that ???
    I think I’ll stick to my cheap VO5.

    • I get where you’re coming from, but unfortunately the fact remains that V05 does test on animals while Paul Mitchell doesn’t. 🙁

      Paul Mitchell hasn’t tested on animals since the company was born and they’re very involved with various causes like animal rights and preserving the environment. I agree that the fur in their marketing is a bit off-putting, but they’re higher-priced and are looking for a more luxurious vibe. On the up side, the actual piece she’s wearing is probably faux fur.

      It’s totally fine if you choose to support V05 instead of Paul Mitchell and to each their own! Just know that V05’s labeling is misleading and they do test on animals under some circumstances.

  • LA Girl is also cruelty-free, as are Makeup Geek (even though I don’t support the brand because the owner is shady) and Real Techniques. 🙂

  • Hey Suzi, me again. I know back in the day I was under the impression that CVS brand was cruelty free, and actually picked up their generic of the Simple Sensitive Wipes (since Simple isn’t CF) because I needed oil-free makeup wipes for my lash extensions (synthetic, don’t worry). Now that I’m sitting here using one, I’m googling because I’m wondering if they’re still cruelty free and I can’t find info on it that is recent. Have you ever reached out to them?

    • I did reach out to CVS within the past year and their responses indicated that they’re cruelty-free. I don’t have the e-mail at hand right now but I’ll try to find it!

      • Hi,

        I’m constantly in contact with companies and this is the reply I got from CVS:

        “From: no-reply@cvs.com
        Date: 07/21/15 14:21:34
        Subject: Hello from CVS Customer Relations

        Dear Adry,

        Thank you for taking the time to contact CVS/pharmacy regarding CVS brand products.
        All CVS Health suppliers must comply with state and federal environmental laws and regulations as well as with our Suppliers Ethics Policy, which establishes the environmental and social criteria required of all suppliers.
        We also care about the ethical treatment of animals and have requirements that state that animal testing is strictly prohibited.
        For your convenience I have also attached the link to our CVSHealth.com page. Please refer to page 61 of the document.
        http://www.cvshealth.com/about-us/corporate-responsibility/2014-interactive-csr-report
        We appreciate your business and look forward to serving you again in the future.

        Sincerely,

        Kristina
        CVS Customer Relations”
        Thank you for all your work on this website :)!
        Adry

  • “Our products are made in China but not sold in China.”
    I don’t understand wet’n’wild. if products are made in china, they probably use animals it doesn’t matter, if it sells or not.

  • NYX has a large range of vegan friendly items, though they’re not certified there was a girl who wrote a blog post on when she contacted them and made a google doc of ALL their vegan (even Carmine free) products. Stinks to hear L’Oreal got their filthy hands on one of my favorite makeup brands. Also, Pacifica is entirely vegan to my knowledge, they don’t use carmine either. 🙂

  • Hong Kong is exempt from the animal testing laws! This means that any company that is sold in Hong Kong but not mainland China can still be cruelty-free. 🙂

  • Thanks! 🙂 Rimmel is still not fully cruelty-free though. If you read the fine print, you’ll see that they still test on animals when required by law, unfortunately.

    • That’s unfortunate…I just bought mascara from them. Can anyone reccomend a good mascara brand? I used to buy maybelline volum express, and would be looking for something comparable but without the cruelty

      • My favorite is Too Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara, I also love Buxom, and in terms of drugstore brand- Pacifica has an Aquarian Gaze Water Resistant Long Lash Mineral Mascara 🙂 I didn’t love LUSH, and I think ecco bella is just okay. Wet n Wild may be another good option to try out! 🙂

  • Hey Vic! In order for companies to sell their products in China, they HAVE to be tested on animals according to Chinese law. This applies to mainland China only (not Hong Kong). Hope this helps! I wrote a post about it.

  • L’oreal has actually recently become cruelty free. So anything under L’oreal should also be treated as cruelty free.

  • No problem! Urban Decay was bought by L’Oreal a few years ago. This doesn’t affect UD’s cruelty-free status and they’re still certified by the Leaping Bunny, but its parent company L’Oreal is NOT cruelty-free. I hope this helps! Feel free to ask if there’s anything else you want clarified!

  • I am so glad you brought this up. My husband and I aren’t vegans, neither are our children, but we are planning on establishing two hives on our property. Bees are dying out and we are planning on eating their honey, but I would never rip wings off of any animal. We have chickens and we eat their eggs and let me tell you, they couldn’t care less. They only go broody so many times a year and the rest would go to waste, but then I am not vegan nor vegetarian. That doesn’t mean I condone testing on animals for my beauty purposes.

  • Is Tarte still cruelty free? It’s surprisingly hard to find cruelty free brands here in Northern Europe:/ Fortunately we can order most of them online at least 🙂 And Thanks for your good work ❤️

  • So this is a lot of work and dedication, and I think you very much. I am transitioning, and my question today is what about the Up-n-Up and Kroeger store brands that mimic mainstream producst at a reduced cost? Walmart too I suppose, although I don’t know what their store brand is off the top of my head.

  • Hi,
    I have received a reply from Target last year about their “Up & Up” brand and also from Walmart regarding their Equate brand. Both companies stated that these brands are cruelty-free. They also confirmed that their products are made in the USA and not sold in China, only distributed in the United States.
    I do not have the emails anymore from them unfortunately.
    Adry

  • For anyone who has sensitive eyes and also hates that disgusting oily feeling of makeup removers.
    Marcelle’s Instant eye-makeup remover (oil free) is literally the best remover I have tried in life. It gets rid of makeup soooo easily and it feels GOOD on the skin. No oily mess and it doesn’t irritate and i seriously cannot emphasize how good it is along with how AFFORDABLE it is.

  • I had a question about the parent companies. If they have a child company that DOESN’T test on animals, why do they? I mean I would love the parent companies if they didn’t test on animals 🙁

    • A late reply, but my guess is that the parent company bought an already-cruelty-free company, and chose to keep it cruelty-free.

    • Unfortunately no. Coty is not a cruelty free brand. Apparently they even make their products in China now instead of in the USA. Recently found this out and am so disappointed because i love airspun 🙁

    • “Coty, a company that tests on animals and retails brands in China.”
      ^^ Found this under the NYC brand description. So sorry, not cruelty free:(

  • I know it’s late, but I just wanted to add that my understanding is that China’s law doesn’t require the companies themselves to test the products. Instead, either the government or a third-party handles it (not sure which). Thus is significant because some companies use this technicality to try to make it look like they’re not testing on animals. You’ll see statements like “X company does not test our production animals but we comply with all relevant laws for the safety of our customers.” They make it sound unavoidable, but in reality,they choose whether to see in markets that require animal testing. That’s why it’s really important to carefully read all the company’s statements and look for outside confirmation if needed. Unless the testing statement is something like “We don’t test in animals nor do we allow others to do it on our behalf,” there’s a good chance something questionable is happening.

  • I live in Harrison, AR. Not one animal testing free product is sold in the local Walgreens, as far as makeup is concerned.

    • “An exception could only be made if regulatory authorities demanded it for safety or regulatory purposes.”
      That means they do when it’s required by law. Selling in China, where it is required by law, is a choice — one one is forcing L’Oréal to sell in China. Since they sell there, nothing they say in regards to not agreeing with animal testing makes any difference — they still fund animal testing by choice.

    • You can look up and compare the logos on older packages of Airspun [with the blocky-looking logo, not the newer script-looking logo], and several Coty perfumes/colognes, such as Coty Muguet des Bois — they’re the same.

  • How about Profusion cosmetics?? I see on their website they say they are both cruelty free and vegan but I don’t see them on your list/ at logicalharmony.net

  • Hi! I noticed that you don’t include Boots No.7 on your cruelty-free list. This line maintains that they do not test on animals and do not out source animal testing to third parties. As a bonus, it’s available at Target!

  • Thank you for the list. It would be nice for the sake of looking on a small phone screen if the chart ONLY contained the list of companies which ARE cruelty free. It would make comparing while in the store much easier. Thanks!

  • Thank you so very much..im weeding thru all the makeup i have and buying all new items that are not tested on animals…next is all my house and body care items :). I cant wait till more companies decide to go cruelty free…i would rather see “tested on humans” than animals…test on death row criminals or something to that matter…not animals…they are innocent and cannot speak out for themselves to say NO YOU CANT DO THAT TO ME!!!…

  • It varies from brand to brand, but for elf it’s all plant derived. W/ the exception of their older/ cheaper brushes all of elf is actually vegan!

  • HI! I’m looking for cruelty-free hair care – shampoo, conditioner and styling options? Other than Paul Mitchell, what are the drugstore and salon options?

  • Burts bees is no longer cruelty free they only test on animals when nessisary, but you shouldn’t be testing in animals at all of course. I emailed the company directly and they have confirmed this. Just wanted to let you know.

  • I’m confused on something. If some companies test on animals as required by law, does this pertain to only those products sold in China? Otherwise, why are some companies/products not required by law to test?

  • please lmk if i can shop equate brand…im very new to this and i need to replace the shout i use to get the stains out. im not sure to believe the dif things im reading with google and i heard peta may not be as accurate as this site.
    chelsey

  • i also need help with tooth paste and mouth wash =/ … that and cleaning agents for the home are my biggest difficulty. please help.

  • To be very specific, while some of these companies may get the label “cruelty-free” because they don’t TEST on animals, some of the products made by these companies contain animal products and/or by-products. For some, that means these items are NOT cruelty-free. Always read the ingredients of all products to find what is right for you.

  • Thank you so much for these lists and all the effort you put into finding out whether companies are cruelty free or not. I’m slowly making the change not only with my beauty products but also with cleaning and hygiene products.

    Do you happen to know if Up & Up tests on animals? I’d like to know if they’re okay to use (though something tells me they aren’t.)

    Thanks again!

  • Hey! please can you contact Younique make up as they are cruelty free and don’t use any chemicals in the products this would be great for them to appear on your blog thank you!

    kind regards
    Sophie Elphick

  • my favorite brand for eyeliner, Jesses Girl (sold in rite aid) , says they do not test on animals. their liquid liner is honestly an exact dupe for Kat Von D – but its only $6USD!! The bottom of the website says that they are certified cruelty free <3

  • Does essence test on animals? It says on their website that they don’t but L’Oréal lied to me so I don’t know If i can trust essence.

  • Hi all,
    So glad to have found this site! I just learned that Dollar Tree (I live in NYC) is currently selling several items that are cruelty free. Salon Selectives Shampoo and Conditioner and all Dermasil lotions are not tested on animals and only $1 each!
    Will post pictures if able.
    Thanks!

  • I was so bummed to find out that so many of my beloved drugstore brands test on animals! Especially because in Germany where I live, almost none of the brands you listed as cruelty free are available in drugstores. German brands are forbidden to test on animals, but the quality of those usually is nowhere near American brands like elf or Milani. The only ray of hope is that Zoeva is completely cruelty free & a German brand, so it’s easily accessible – and their products are really dope!

  • FYI, I went to target knowing Sonia Kushik was cruelty free. However when I grabbed one of her brushes, it said made in China. ??

  • so glad I found this list! I’m just jumping to the CF world but out of those brands about 3 are available in Australian drugstores….

  • Really appreciate this. Spent two hours trying to just put regular shopping list together (detergent, toothpaste, deodorant, etc). Would have taken even longer without this site. Thank you.

  • Is Ariposa Or Mariposa makeup from Dollaramma cruelty free? I’ve heard it is but Iv’e also heard it is’nt and I can’t find it anywhere for the correct answer!

  • This needs to be updated as Covergirl received the “Hopping Bunny” certification as it being officially cruelty free.

  • This form it couldn’t see it by chrome of phone. The front of the brand name and the descriptions of the end couldn’t be seen the words.

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