5-brands-people-assume-cruelty-free

New cruelty-free shoppers need to be careful! For one reason or another, the following brands have gained the reputation of possibly being cruelty-free, although they are not. I’ll give you cruelty-free alternatives for each and every one of them!

Edit: I added 2 brands to this list so there’s now 7.

Benefit: Not Cruelty-Free

I don’t know exactly what it is about Benefit, but it’s one of those brands people always assume is cruelty-free. Despite their claims, this is a brand that can’t be considered cruelty-free.

Benefit’s animal testing policy, however, is clear about the fact the company tests on animals where required by law. We also know that Benefit products are sold in mainland China, as Chinese Sephora stores carry the brand.

From the FAQ: We do not test our products on animals nor do we permit others to do so except where it is required by law.

If you like Benefit, try these cruelty-free alternatives:

too-faced


Nuxe: Not Cruelty-Free

Nuxe is marketed as a natural brand that uses safe ingredients and botanical extracts. It makes some sense for a small, natural company to be cruelty-free, but Nuxe is anything but that! They’re big. They’re not all that natural. They also sell in mainland China, and not only online, as confirmed by their Paris headquarters. This is not a cruelty-free company.

If you like Nuxe, try these cruelty-free alternatives:


L’Oreal: Not Cruelty-Free

L’Oreal has recently published that they’ve taken major steps towards ending animal testing within their company, which has led to a mass disinformation. This is why I felt the need to dedicate a full post to L’Oreal’s animal testing policy, and how their change in status does not mean that the company is cruelty-free. Their fine print clearly mentions loopholes: they still test new ingredients on animals, and they still continue to retail their products in China and test on animals.

From the FAQ: L’Oréal no longer tests any of its products or any of its ingredients on animals, anywhere in the world. Nor does L’Oréal delegate this task to others. (…) An exception could be made if authorities required it for human safety or regulatory purposes.

If you like L’Oreal, try these cruelty-free alternatives:

milani


Rimmel London: Not Cruelty-Free

Maybe it’s because it’s one of the smallest drugstore brands, or maybe it’s because it’s a British company, but many people assume that Rimmel London is cruelty-free. Looking at their website, there’s a message saying “Rimmel London against animal testing. Find out more.” When you click that, you have to click again (it’s like a russian doll; they don’t want to admit to the testing) and what you find out is that Rimmel does test on animals when required by law. Boo!

From their animal testing page: The only exceptions are the very few countries where, by law, the regulatory authorities require us to submit our products or ingredients to them for testing on animals as a mandatory part of their regulatory protocols in compliance with their local regulations.

If you like Rimmel, try these cruelty-free alternatives:

elf


Organix: Not Cruelty-Free

This is a hair care brand that loves greenwashing as well as convincing its customers that they’re cruelty-free. On social media, they swear up and down that they don’t test on animals, but when you ask them about selling in China, they go very quiet. PETA has removed Organix from their cruelty-free list and moved them to the list of companies that do test on animals. Below is their official stance. You can read more about Organix and animal testing in this post.

From the official website: Given that there are countries that require animal testing by law, we do our best to respect governing law and regulations set by that governing body.

If you like Organix, try these cruelty-free alternatives:


Yves Rocher: Not Cruelty-Free

Yves Rocher doesn’t test on animals unless required by law, and they do sell their products in mainland China. Hence, they can’t be considered cruelty-free.

If you like Yves Rocher, try these cruelty-free alternatives:


Younique: Not Cruelty-Free

Younique is NOT cruelty-free. They currently claim that they don’t test on animals, and neither do their manufacturers. However they can’t be considered a cruelty-free company. Here’s their animal testing statement before it was deleted:

This means that Younique isn’t able to confirm that ther ingredients aren’t tested on animals, which is one of the big pillars of being a cruelty-free brand. Younique is also currently expanding to new markets, which could possibly include China.

If you like Younique, take a look at my cruelty-free makeup guide here with over 100 cruelty-free brands to choose from!


Are there any other non-cruelty-free companies you feel you should warn people about?

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103 Comments on "5 Brands Most People Assume Are Cruelty-Free But Aren’t"

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Jennifer
Guest

E.O.S sells in China, but they used to be cruelty-free.

Helen
Guest

A lot of people like to assume their favourite brands are lovely and animal friendly when sadly 8 times out of 10 this isn’t the case.
I notice you mentioned REN as a CF substitute but they have just been bought by Unilever, one if the biggest testers of animals on the planet. This is such a shame as I really liked REN so won’t be buying from them again now that they’ve sold their soul.

Suzi Scheler
Guest

It came as a shock to me too. I’ll definitely give another update about REN in the upcoming months to see what happens, but their cruelty-free status (as a brand) should stay.

gricel
Guest

A very long time ago, I read something about benefit not testing on animals (a VERY long time ago), which led to my using them in the first place. I think they even had it printed on their packaging, but that is definitely no longer the case.

Ally
Guest

Nyx is owned by Loreal, is it not? How is that a cruelty free alternative?

Suzi Scheler
Guest

NYX is still cruelty-free as a brand!

Melyssa
Guest

Different people have different “rules” or guild lines of what is and whats not cruelty free. NYX is still on the Peta not testing list with a note that their are owned by L’oreal. In my eyes, NYX is supporting L’oreal, so I don’t buy from them. But this is a really blurry line.

guest
Guest

In my eyes Peta is supporting L’oreal.

Helena Fox
Guest

Exactly, when you buy NYX, the money you think you are paying for a cruelty free product ends up in L’Oreal’s full of blood hands!!! I don’t buy NYX or Burt’s Bees either anymore because of their owners.

ellie
Guest

Ok that’s like saying you shouldn’t go to a supermarket and buy vegan food because it goes to the supermarket. Like don’t be so nit-picky.

Emmychu
Guest

Mother companies and sister companies can be different in many ways including being cruelty free or not. Many companies are owned by L’Oréal and they don’t test on animals. Look at Urban Decay, they don’t test on animals but are owned by L’Oréal. NYX is its own company, it can make the choice of being cruelty free or not.

Jemma
Guest

Thank you for this! I buy Organix products a lot, so that won’t be happening in the future. I’d much rather spend my money on Giovanni or Alba Botanica.

Suzi Scheler
Guest

I love both of those! 🙂

Emma Everleigh
Guest

Thanks for posting this! Most of these I was aware of, but I’m disappointed to see OGX/Organix there, as I had enjoyed using their products. It’s such a shame when companies change their policies and/or get bought out by larger companies. I always research brands before purchasing, but will have to make sure I check for updates on brands I already use. xxx
http://www.justemma.co.uka fashion, beauty & lifestyle blog

Katherine
Guest

I don’t get why Wet N Wild is “cruelty free”, yet alot of their products are made in China ! doesn’t make sense to me ??

Suzi Scheler
Guest

Products made in China are NOT tested on animals by default! They’re cruelty-free as long as the company doesn’t retail in mainland China.

Emily
Guest

Wet N Wild is sold in China

Suzi Scheler
Guest

They’re online only.

Emily
Guest

That’s still selling in China, no? It doesn’t matter though anyways because makeup made & sold in china doesn’t have to be tested on animals! 🙂

Tiffany Huynh
Guest

China requires a law where in order to sell to consumers within their territory, the product must be tested on animals. However, products made in china are not required to test, unless they decide to sell there also.

Valerie Prather-Stricherz
Guest
Valerie Prather-Stricherz

More & more these days, when I pick up a product & see the word China anywhere, I have a sudden urge to put it right back down….

ajs916
Guest

AVON!!!! Read this! They pay for the tests, which in my book is the same as testing yourself. They also sell in China, so there you have it! http://www.peta.org/action/action-alerts/avon-mary-kay-estee-lauder-and-revlon-are-paying-for-tests-on-animals/

Sue
Guest

I stopped buying Avon 15 years ago because of their animal testing reputation, much to the shagrin of 1 friend who sold it, and still does. I remember their announcement shortly after that, that they had decided to stop animal testing. It’s a shame they are doing this again, even after they’ve lost so many customers due to this cruel practice. If companies would just take a stand against this in places like China, refusing to sell products there until changes are made pertaining to the laws requiring animal testing, but I guess greed has no bounds. 🙁

Sharon
Guest

How about Organics and Kiehls

timelesseyes
Guest

Kiehl’s has never been cruelty-free as I had looked it up previously. I think they are definitely one of those companies that seems to be but are not.

Suzi Scheler
Guest

Agreed!

Elizabeth Vigneault
Guest

I noticed you mentioned Marcelle as an alternative to L’Oréal products. As someone who lives in Montreal, where their products are made, I see them in every drugstore and I have never noticed a cruelty-free logo on their products, neither have I seen it mentioned on their website. Did you have to contact the company personally to get the information? I find it odd that a company wouldn’t pride itself by advertising that they are cruelty-free.

Suzi Scheler
Guest

Yes, I contacted them.

CynfullyMe
Guest

Please mention Younique, the MLM scam/makeup brand that says they don’t test on animals but I found out this is NOT true. Thanks ??

Suzi Scheler
Guest

Hey CynfullyMe! Don’t hesitate to reply here or e-mail me at suzi@crueltyfreekitty.com with any info you found.

Trudy Rose
Guest

Hi Suzi, great post. I hope you wouldn’t mind me using this information. I’ve Joined Maëlle who are PETA approved and Leaping bunny certified. Would you do a review on Maëlle? I know you dislike the MLM companies but I have made some income just through selling their products. I have yet to recruit but that’s not my goal right now. I want to promote good makeup/skin care and I feel that Maëlle tick those boxes. What do you personally think? TIA

Suzi Scheler
Guest

Girl, you know how I feel about those. 🙂 Every MLM wants to pretend they’re not like those other MLMs, which should tell you there’s something off. It’s your right to do whatever you want to do, but Maelle is no different. Arbonne is also certified cruelty-free and vegan, still a pyramid scheme though.

Erin Apodaca
Guest

Just because someone sells in china automatically means they aren’t cruelty free?? Can someone explain this?

Lynette
Guest

because China requires all products sold there to be tested on animals. They are taking steps to stop it, but havent yet. So, if a company decides to sell in china, they are also deciding to test their products /ingredients on animals to comply with Chinese law. Also, products can be made in China but not tested on animals, if they are not sold there.

Emily
Guest
So this is the most current disclaimer on the Benefit site, “Benefit does not test our products on animals. Since 1989, the Perfumes & Cosmetics companies of LVMH group (including Benefit Cosmetics) have not performed any tests on animals for our products – this was implemented long before the 2013 official ban set by the European Union. We are deeply committed to the elimination of animal testing. We’re playing a leading role in developing alternative methods through our support of the “Fund for Alternatives to Animal Testing” in the United States. We also actively participate in validation studies of new… Read more »
Elisha
Guest

This is on the first page of results when you google ‘is Benefit sold in China’: http://marketingtochina.com/what-is-benefit-cosmetics-strategy-in-china/

Laura Carter
Guest

How do the companies which “require” animal testing know the product has been testing on animals in the first place? Does the company have to declare or show some sort of proof? If so, what kind?

Gina Hanlon Oslick
Guest

I am a Younique presenter and I am extremely proud to say that our products are cruelty free plus we have products that are gluten free and vegan friendly. If anyone would like to look at our website, please visit http://www.youniqueproducts.com/GinaOslick15239. I can also be found on Facebook.

CatLewis1912
Guest
Younique isn’t cruelty free. They may quote that the end product is not tested on animals but their official reply includes a statement indicating that a complete and in depth study has not been conducted on individual ingredients… This means that the ingredients could have been tested on animals and therefore the product wouldn’t be cruelty free. Also when questioned they refuse to disclose whether or not they have plans to expand sale to China which is a country that requires all products sold in that country to be tested on animals by law… a lot of people will see… Read more »
Suzi Scheler
Guest

It doesn’t matter where the products are manufactured. If they’re SOLD in the Chinese market, that’s when the products have to be tested on animals.

Rhiannon Adams
Guest

origins is another one that I assumed was cruelty free but sadly their website states that they test “when required by law” so I stopped buying from them.

Teri May
Guest

A lot of people think Bourjois are cruelty free and are surprised when I tell them otherwise, I don’t know why they are one in particular people assume don’t test!

Teri-May xxx
http://www.acupoft.co.uk

celina
Guest

All the no animal testing sites (Bunny Free, Cruelty-Free and Cruelty-Cutter) does not list “theBalm”. Does that mean the company does in fact test on animals?

Amy
Guest

If you’re still interested TheBalm are listed as being cruelty free on Logical Harmony.

Jamieson
Guest

Tarte’s parent company – Kose is not cruelty free and so by default neither is Tarte.

CynfullyMe
Guest
Please mention Younique, the MLM markets scam/makeup brand. I became a presenter for them under the EXTREMELY false pretenses that they were made in the US, that they were all natural, mineral based, and most importantly, that they were cruelty free. NONE of these facts are true, and I want to spread the message that this company is basically ripping off women and calling it empowerment. When it’s really just a scam targeted at women, and that’s not okay. I’m trying to spread awareness, and I’d love it if you’d help ???✌?️ Thank you by the way, I really appreciate… Read more »
Suzi Scheler
Guest

Thanks for the lovely words and most importantly, I’d really love to hear your experience! Please e-mail me at suzi@crueltyfreekitty.com.

Anna Elizabeth
Guest

So basically, China’s laws are screwing things up for everyone else? I absolutely love OGX, and want to encourage them to become a vegan company… do people really think that stopping buying a vegan product from a non-vegan company will encourage them to stop animal testing? I’m just trying to think very logically. Cheers

Kelley
Guest

For me, it’s a personal preference to not spend my hard earned money on products that have been tested on animals just so billion dollar companies can continue to make billions of dollars. Knowing the level of cruelty required to bring these products to market is not something that I can, in good conscience, participate in.

Suzi Scheler
Guest

Thumbs up for this!

BecIsSuchAHatefulPerson
Guest
BecIsSuchAHatefulPerson
I have a question. So, basically for a brand to be cruelty free they can’t sell it in certain countries (bc of the “where required by law.”)? So a GIANT company has to pull out of a multi-billion dollar makeup economy to be cruelty free…right? I’m mainly referring to China. How is that fair to a company, who themselves do not believe in testing on animals, but a country (or countries) requires it by law? IMO it’s the stupid country that should be boycotted…not the makeup company. But hey, to boycott an entire country is kinda hard to do of… Read more »
Silja
Guest
When has this list been updated??? Estee Lauder do not test on animals, BUT they sell in china and allow others to test their products on animas…. – Estee Lauder owns: Estée Lauder, Aerin, Aveda, Aramis, Bobbi Brown, Bumble & Bumble, Clinique, Darphin, Donna Karen New York, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, Ermenegildo Zegna, Glamglow, Goodskins labs, Jo Malone London, Kiton, La mer, Lab series, Le Labo, MAC, Marni, Michael Kors, Ojon, Origins, Osiao, Prescripives, Rodin Olio Lusso, Smashbox, Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger, Tory Burch. – Shiseido (Opdateret liste 9/6-16) ( http://www.shiseidogroup.com/brands/?rt_bt=menu-brands_001 ) Owns: Perfumes: Serge Lutens, Narcisso Rodriquez, Issey… Read more »
Fiona Virginia
Guest

Are Anastasia Beverly Hills and NYX cruelty free? ABH Dipbrow Pomade apparently is made in China and I just realised that an hour ago and I used this product a million times! (feel bad).

Urban Decay iconic Naked Palette (the original, I wouldn’t know about the other Naked palettes since I don’t own them), is also made in China… and some of the NYX blushes are also made in China. How can products made in China cruelty free?

Julia
Guest

Products made in China are not necessarily sold in China. The Chinese government only requires animal testing on products sold in China, which means that ABH and NYX are indeed cruelty free because they just have products made there, not sold there.

Charlotte Fowler
Guest

Rule of thumb is that if they sell in China then they do, or at least hand products over to other companies to test them.

Noemi Guzman
Guest

Do you know if Honest Beauty is cruelty free? I emailed them but have not heard back yet.

Suzi Scheler
Guest

They told me they would verify and get back to me, but never have.

Jules
Guest

On their website it says they’re cruelty free. Do you think they’re telling the truth?

Suzi Scheler
Guest

Thanks Marge! 🙂

Anna Pottinger-Priest
Guest
Anna Pottinger-Priest

I’m new to this page, so glad I found it! VERY glad I read this article… I have bought Organix for the family for years since they carried the bunny logo. Time to change that!
(I personally use Natures Gate, cruelty free & vegan, but the family doesn’t like it… gotta find a different brand for them!)

Colleen Kenten
Guest

When was this list updated last? I was just looking at benefits FAQ page, and it does not say what you quoted.

Isis Calder
Guest
Benefit does not test on animals, this is on their website! “Benefit does not test our products on animals. Since 1989, the Perfumes & Cosmetics companies of LVMH group (including Benefit Cosmetics) have not performed any tests on animals for our products – this was implemented long before the 2013 official ban set by the European Union. We are deeply committed to the elimination of animal testing. We’re playing a leading role in developing alternative methods through our support of the “Fund for Alternatives to Animal Testing” in the United States. We also actively participate in validation studies of new… Read more »
kat
Guest

Benefit still sells in China, China requires makeup brands to test on animals, ergo benefit tests on animals. Sadly. I use to love Benefit.

Cheryl
Guest

I use Arbonne products which are cruetly-free and vegan and know they will be opening a location in Taiwan and selling there. Does Taiwan have the same stance as China in regards to animal testing as I cannot find anything on this. If they are I will have to find new products.

Suzi Scheler
Guest

Hi Cheryl! Taiwan doesn’t have the mandatory animal testing laws that mainland China has. Just watch out for them having distributors in mainland China.

Cheryl
Guest

Thank you, I will.

Valerie Prather-Stricherz
Guest
Valerie Prather-Stricherz

That’s a great point!

Suzi Scheler
Guest

Younique uses being cruelty-free as a marketing tool, but it clearly states on their website that they test on animals.

And I 100% agree that multi-level marketing is a scam. I want to write a post about it pretty badly but my goal isn’t to offend anyone.

Gayle Bynum Cardosa
Guest
I am curious to know where on their website you’re finding that information. I am specifically not buying it from an acquaintance due to this question but I look on their website and it very clearly says that they do NOT test on animals though they are not seeking certification at this time. Can you tell me where you find this information on their website? As for the MLM…I couldn’t care less really. It’s a free country. MLM “businesses” are not illegal and so it’s not my business. I’m only here to worry about the suffering of animals. Thank you.… Read more »
Suzi Scheler
Guest

Of course they changed their statement now. It used to be in their FAQ and you can probably find it using waybackmachine (or send them an email and ask them if they test on animals where required by law).

Birdlover
Guest

how is multi-level marketing a scam? it’s just a business model. I think you’re thinking of pyramids which are illegal. there’s a huge difference–learn them. with pyramids, there’s no product, no service. there’s nothing wrong with MLM, if it’s done with integrity, and there’s a product and a service. and, on this site, we’re worried about whether or not there’s animal testing and cruelty.

Suzi Scheler
Guest

If you don’t want to read my opinions about MLM/pyramid schemes, by all means, don’t read my blog. But don’t tell me what I am or am not allowed to talk about on my own blog.

I care about more than animal testing, and I’m sure many other people here do too. There’s a lot of human exploitation going on in MLMs which isn’t something I want to be silent about.

Julia
Guest

I’m very interested in reading more of your opinions of these companies. Have you or are you planning to write any articles about them? Thanks!

Mindy
Guest

I agree with regard to MLM’s. Vulnerable women get sucked into these schemes and many lose so much money. Don’t get me started in the aggressive sales tactics and pushers who think their products are oerfect one size fits all. These sales models should be illegal in my opinion.

Suzi Scheler
Guest

But do they make money by selling products, or by recruiting other sellers? If they’re making money, they’re most likely recruiting others (and those people need to recruit more people to make a living, making it a neverending cycle that only truly benefits those at the top). It’s a flawed system. You’re making your family and friends lose money in order to keep your rank.

Shelly
Guest

Pur cosmetics is also certified cruelty free…I love all their products!! Vegan friendly, cruelty free, paraben free U.S. company….and they work like a dream!!

Amy Marino
Guest

Revlon and Almay have told me they’re cruelty free, but we know they’re not. I asked them once, and they swore they were CF, but we know the difference. Why are these companies a bunch of liars?

Regan
Guest
If you go one benefit’s website now, it says this: “Benefit does not test our products on animals. Since 1989, the Perfumes & Cosmetics companies of LVMH group (including Benefit Cosmetics) have not performed any tests on animals for our products – this was implemented long before the 2013 official ban set by the European Union. We are deeply committed to the elimination of animal testing. We’re playing a leading role in developing alternative methods through our support of the “Fund for Alternatives to Animal Testing” in the United States. We also actively participate in validation studies of new alternative… Read more »
Suzi Scheler
Guest

Yes they’re not giving you a complete answer. They test on animals where required by law.

Kaitlyn Verastegui
Guest

On Benefit’s FAQs, they answer a question about animal testing and it does not say “except where required by law”. I think that is where the misleading comes from. I have not personally contacted the company, that is just what their website says. https://www.benefitcosmetics.com/us/en/help/faqs

Klara
Guest

Guys, i hot confused with my cosmetic at home. Could you tell me whether NYX and Korres are cruelty free? And i mean everywhere not just for some countries.
Thanks

Aurelas
Guest
*Sigh* Before I knew that animal testing didn’t mean just rubbing some lipstick on an animal and making sure their fur didn’t fall out or something, Rimmel was my go-to brand for makeup and nail polish. The funny thing is, while I’ve never found exact dupes for my favourite Rimmel products (Rimmel themselves no longer make them either), your recommended alternative brands are the very ones I’ve turned to! I love that even if you are poor, as I am, with Wet n Wild and E.L.F. you can still get good makeup and not have to worry about what poor… Read more »
Marie Fawcett
Guest
You do know that companies who have their products made in china don’t always test. They can make products in china but still not test. The reason they make them in china is because it’s cheaper for them to make it. As for Benefit seeling in china if they sold in hong kong and only hong kong then they can be classed as cruelty free. They can’t sell to businesses because of the law in china. That’s like when MAC counter girls tell people that the products in the UK aren’t tested on animals so they’re cruelty-free. It’s lies and… Read more »
Suzi Scheler
Guest

I definitely think something changed within the company, but I’m not able to find out what. Maybe time will tell!

Cristy
Guest

I just checked the FAQ section for benefit and they say they are cruelty free. I could have misread but I’m pretty sure I understood they are. I could be wrong but could you double check on it? I took a screenshot of their response from their FAQ page but couldn’t see a way to post it on here. Thank you 🙂

Caitlyn
Guest
Please take the Body Shop off this list as an alternative! The Body Shop is owned by the company Neslte which is a horrible country regarding the environment. Nestle is taking water from drought ridden places, bottling it, and selling it back at at much higher price. All the while people who actually live in these places have restrictions on how much water they are allowed to use while Nestle can take almost as much as they want. They are a predatory company when it comes to profiteering in the water business with no regards to the implications it has… Read more »
Lex
Guest

Wow, thanks a lot for this! I always used to think L’ORÉAL was cruelty-free because of all the things I’ve heard about it, and I really feel bad that I’ve been buying my products from them for so long. Thank you for informing us about this! It was really helpful, as well. 🙂

Aly Laughlin
Member

Hi Lex, Thanks so much for your comment! I’m so glad it was helpful! 🙂

Carla Norris
Guest
Some people may assume that Cover Girl is cruelty-free because Ellen Degeneres is/was their spokesperson, but they aren’t. I’ve never shopped them, and likely never will. I honestly can’t think of an animal-testing company whose products could entice me to ignore their cruelty policy. For example, I used to be a TOTAL MAC-head, but dumped them when they started selling in China. I’ll admit that it hurt, and I would love to shop them again, but I won’t until and unless they change their ways. There are so many cruelty-free alternatives out there. For example, Silk Naturals’ lipsticks are every… Read more »
Diana Mihaela
Guest

I’m really sad that Yves Rocher is not cruelty free. Now I have to try something else.

Roxanne
Guest

L’Occitane en Provence are another company that aren’t cruelty free. They sell in China and explain this on their website.

Hope
Guest

Really disappointed with Yves Rocher. I tried their foundation before and it’s one of those few foundations that suit my skintone and have a natural finish.

Milena
Guest

I kept thinking benefit and soap&glory are cruelty-free. They are not!

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