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Big News! Brands Sold in China Can Now Be Cruelty-Free

by Suzana Rose

Jan 4, 2023

Important update: We've added several brands that are sold in mainland China to our cruelty-free list. These brands have bypassed pre-market animal testing and are no longer subject to post-market animal testing. This is exciting news for the future of a more ethical beauty industry in 2023 and beyond, and we're looking forward to more brands taking the humane route to enter the Chinese market.

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Following pressure from cruelty-free consumers around the world, animal welfare organizations such as Humane Society International and Cruelty Free International, as well as some of the largest corporations on the planet, China has gradually relaxed their animal testing laws.

Since 2021, the prerequisite for pre-market animal testing has been lifted for most cosmetics being sold in the country. In addition to this, we've confirmed that the practice of post-market testing no longer uses animals to determine safety.

We're happy to announce that starting in 2023, Cruelty-Free Kitty's database will include select brands that are available for sale in China. The select brands added do not engage in any animal testing in mainland China, and their products are not tested on animals at any point during production and beyond.

Considering the size of China's beauty market, this news is tremendously exciting for animal rights activists and cruelty-free consumers alike. With the lifting of animal testing requirements, large beauty brands will no longer have to fund animal cruelty in order to enter the Chinese market. This is a major step towards a more ethical and compassionate beauty industry, and we hope to see more brands follow suit.

These Brands Are Now Cruelty-Free

Here's a full list of brands that were added to our cruelty-free list following this update:

  • Herbal Essences
  • Dove
  • Wet n Wild
  • Physicians Formula
  • First Aid Beauty
  • Supergoop!
  • Rituals
  • Aussie
  • Simple
  • Suave

The Latest on China's Animal Testing Laws

China has been gradually relaxing their animal testing laws in recent years. Starting June 30, 2014, companies were able to enter the Chinese market without testing their products on animals as long as (1) the products were manufactured locally and (2) the products did not consist of special use cosmetics. Special use cosmetics mainly include sunscreen, deodorant, hair dyes, and skin-lightening products. This means that most cosmetics manufactured in China have been exempt from animal testing since 2014.

Since May 1, 2021, China extended the possibility to bypass pre-market animal testing to products that were not domestically-manufactured. This means that it's currently possible for any beauty brand to sell their products in China without having them tested on animals as long as they are not considered to be special use cosmetics (sunscreen, deodorant, hair dyes, and so on).

Post-Market Animal Testing No Longer a Threat

Although the possibility of pre-market animal testing has been "lifted" for over a year, we did not immediately consider all brands sold in China to be cruelty-free due to the possibility of post-market animal testing.

Post-market animal testing consists of testing cosmetics on animals once they've already hit store shelves. Although these cosmetics were tested on animals before being deemed safe to sell, the Chinese government holds the right to remove any product from the shelves in order to have it re-tested. This can happen in case of a safety concern or a customer complaint.

At Cruelty-Free Kitty, we've been monitoring for changes to both pre-market and post-market laws in China for the past decade. In recent years, official documents show that not only were there non-animal testing methods approved for post-market testing, but animals are no longer being used in these tests. As of 2023, we're confident that post-market animal testing is no longer a threat for beauty brands in China.

Moving Toward a Cruelty-Free Beauty Industry

China's animal testing laws are the main obstacle when it comes to eliminating animal testing in the beauty industry today. With the changes to pre-market testing and with post-market animal testing no longer being a threat, companies can now enter the Chinese market without funding animal cruelty.

On behalf of all of us at Cruelty-Free Kitty, I want to sincerely thank you for choosing to shop cruelty-free. Together, we're making a true impact and working towards a kinder vision for the beauty industry. I hope that our updated database will make it easier for you to shop ethically and make informed purchasing decisions. If you ever have any questions about a brand's animal testing policy, please feel free to search our database for more information.

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 (47) - Hide Comments (47)
  • Luana Cataldi says:

    Hello! That’s wonderful news indeed, but there is something bothering me… “as long as they are not considered to be special use cosmetics (sunscreen, deodorant, hair dyes, and so on)” means that dove still tests on animals right? Because they make deodorant which falls in the category of “special use”

  • E says:

    Why is it “pressure from cruelty-free consumers around the world, animal welfare organizations such as Humane Society International and Cruelty Free International” that makes the Chinese authority change its mind? Would that be too condescending to think that every corner of the world has to revolve around the Western mainstream?

  • Rachel says:

    This is incredible news!! Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Kyo says:

    Hello firstly I would like to thank you for making this lovely website of all the brands we can use that are free from animal testing <3

    With the animal testing not being required in China anymore, could we have an update regarding Korean products? I think some articles need updating, sometimes they say something is CF but then I check a more recent article and it says it is not anymore… but maybe I misunderstand.

  • Gail says:

    UK lifting the ban in place since 1998!!!
    With all going on in this world, why can’t this entity do something CONSTRUCTIVE with it’s time and power?????

  • Lynette says:

    Please reassess whether or not Demeter Fragrance is cruelty free. In an email they sent me back in 2016 they said they’re exempt from China testing laws and would not sell to China if they required it. Everything else on their website looks like they’re cruelty free. It would he helpful if you show emails from all brands where applicable.

  • Resa Hill says:

    That is great news.
    Does this mean that Issey Miyake fragrances can now be considered cruelty free too, including their new one ‘Drop fraiche’?

  • Louann Pirrman says:

    What about Neutrogena? I believe they did test on animals to sell in China?
    Do we know if they have stopped testing on animals? Such a large company should not!!!

  • Vicki says:

    Wohoo! I’ve missed some of these brands. I also got a bottle of Dove body wash for Christmas and have been debating on exchanging it. Now I know I can use it guilt-free.

  • Susan says:

    This is such good news! I have just recently become aware of this site, and was furious that my favorite sunscreen brand (Supergoop!) tested on animals. I have missed them. So, such good news to hear that they are not testing, even in China! Thank you so much for your research and advocacy.

  • Jeannette Turriciano says:

    Ok, so they don’t test but they still EAT ANYTHING WITH A HEARTBEAT!

  • Chris says:

    OMG thank you so much for this! Is there any way of finding out which, of these newly listed brands, are also vegan? I would love to use Dove face and skin products, and Aussie hair care stuff. But I do need to be sure that they are vegan ( to my mind, even if not tested on animals, if they have animal products in them they cannot then be considered cruelty-free, even though that is the accepted definition today )

  • Maureen plagge says:

    This is indeed wonderful news! I am so very grateful for all the amazing work your organization does on behalf of animals worldwide. I just pray that China doesn’t backtrack and begins to discontinue its cruel practices-like wet markets and trade in dog and cat meat.
    Thank you again!!’

  • Dianne Evans says:

    Thanks so much for increasing awareness about which beauty brands qualify as cruelty free. The pre-market/post-market animal testing in China is a little complex so I appreciate your explanation. Here’s looking forward to a completely cruelty free future!

  • Julz says:

    So excited to read this and as i read through the brands now cruelty free i was sooooo hopeful that Benefit cosmetics would be listed. I’m sure the list will be updated (?)
    Thank you for your research and hard work and keeping us informed.

  • Verónica Guerrero says:

    Wonderful news, thanks for all your efforts

  • Verónica Guerrero says:

    Wonderful news, I hope this year animal testing reduces more so animals will not suffer anymore because of “beauty”

  • Stacie L McCann says:

    This is awesome news, Thank you!

    We’re these companies cruelty-free originally and forced to to animal testing because of China or did they go cruelty-free after China said was ok??

    It sounds like China kind of controls companies testing on animals or if they just stopped requiring it, it would end all animal testing on beauty products/bath products…

    Thank you for all you do for the animals!

    Stacie McCann

  • Chris says:

    Omg this is HUGE! I switched to using all Five products several years ago, when they first claimed to be cruelty-free, only to be disappointed to find they weren’t actually.
    The main thing I love about this, is that these are mainstream companies; most people (let’s face it) really don’t care about animal testing, or at least only care in theory and continue to support brands that are unethical. Many more people will now be using Cruelty Free products, kind of like when people eat “accidentally vegan” foods. So it’s a giant leap forward in many fronts.



  • Donna says:

    Hallelujah!! Common sense and empathy finally meet! Yay China ! And Double Yay CFK for continuing to fight for cruelty free beauty! ♥️

  • Dianka says:

    Super super super excited with the news! I am really happy to hear this, hopefully we can see more brands to be added to the cruelty-free list.

    Thanks for the update!

  • E says:

    Oay to share?

  • Gina says:

    Hi! Thank you for what you do and all your information. This is great news however; cannot help but being a little skeptical and sincere hope this is the truth. Animal testing is absolutely disgusting and will never understand why every brand is not cruelty free. Continue what you do and never stop fighting for these beautiful animals that cannot defend themselves!! All the best and let’s go all cruelty free in 2023!!
    ♥️????‍⬛???? ???? ???? ???? ???? ???? ???? ???? ????♥️


  • Jen Jenkins says:

    This is such wonderful news to start 2023, I am smiling like a Cheshire cat ????

  • Donna Gantner says:

    Wonderful news!

  • Patricia S Johnson says:

    I am so very excited to hear this great news there are changes being made on this world and I’m so grateful that you are part of it thank you for all you do and all you continue to do may God bless you in everything you do

  • Dulce Camarillo says:

    Huge News!!!! Yesssss!!! Thank you CFK Team!!

  • Emily says:

    This is amazing news, thanks for sharing and for continuing to be a leader in the fight against animal testing!

  • Carol Rogne says:

    Hi Suzana!
    This is AWESOME news! There are several brands that I will now purchase because they are not tested on animals.
    News such as this is why I back cruelty free in every way I can. Keep up the great work for the precious animals ????????????????????.

  • Kate says:

    I am still left with negative feelings about these companies. I assume that the only reason they have agreed to be cruelty-free is because they can now continue to sell to China. When it meant losing the Chinese market, they apparently had no qualms about animal testing

    • Lynette says:

      Supporting them now is needed more than ever so they know they made the right choice to STAY in the Chinese market. Obviously they have changed. So why hold a grudge?

  • Nancy Sanders says:

    I am so unbelievably happy right now! I am crying like a baby! Hopefully it won’t be long before L’Oreal joins the party! I am grateful to you and your team in us informed. My heart was so broken at the thought of what those poor animals went through and are still going through! Being used up in a lab and sold to back alley street vendors for food is just devastating! I can’t wait to hear of more brands, going 100% cruelty, free! Thank you again so very much!
    Sincerely, yours
    Nancy Sanders????????❤️‍????????????✨????❤️????

  • Ailsa Wilson says:

    Fantastic progress ???? let’s hope one day all beauty will be cruelty free! Together we can .

  • Laura Isabel Davila says:

    I don’t understand. I hope it’s true. I cried tears of joy, but I have a seed of doubt. How can some brands “bypass” testing and others don’t or can’t?

    • Janine says:

      The ones that can bypass the testing can prove they have passed all the necessary non-animal testing safety tests to ensure their products are safe for consumers *and* can afford the absolutely massive costs of the registration and documentation.
      Smaller companies might theoretically also be able to bypass the requirements, but frankly probably can’t afford the certification processes.

  • Vegan Gal says:

    This is SUPERB news. I follow your list religiously as I do not trust the others list like I do yours as I feel you are the most thorough and the others are too lenient. Thank you for ALL you do for us and the animals.

  • Sarah Price says:

    Yay! I needed some good news today. Very encouraging development.

  • Sheila Talley says:

    This is extremely good news!

  • Stephanie says:

    What a relief! The year of the Rabbit is starting off well!

  • Alistair Higgins says:

    Can you please tell me if L’Occitane are going to be on your list please?

    I love their products but have stopped using them ever since I found out they were not on Peta’s list.

    Thank you

    Alistair Higgins

  • Diane says:

    Yay! Thank you for all you do to keep us informed:)

  • Helen davies says:

    I’m thrilled to hear this news, such amazing progress. It is madness, and barbaric to continue animal testing for any brand, I veto all of them that are not cruelty free simple as that. This has made me smile, I’m so happy about this news ????

  • Jade says:

    Was so excited to receive my email with this information! Aussie was one of my favourite brands and when I found out it wasn’t Cruelty Free I was devastated but now finding out that it is is great!

    It’s also such a big step forward for the beauty industry!

  • Jen says:

    This is great news! Thank you so much for keeping us up-to-date about it!

  • Brenda says:

    Thats amazing 🙂 ????

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