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Unfortunately, this is only partly true, and any company who sells cosmetics in mainland China puts their products at risk of being tested on animals. For this reason, I have officially removed Wet n Wild from my list of cruelty-free brands.
First Reaction: Staying Silent And Deleting Comments
After the news broke, Wet n Wild went completely silent. They continued to post on social media, refused to address any comments about the incident, and I was even told that they were deleting negative comments on their Instagram.
These screenshots were taken yesterday:
Wet n Wild's Official Response
Last night, Wet n Wild finally released a statement from Markwins' President.
“wet n wild does not test on animals. wet n wild is a global brand for beauty lovers, inclusive of all ages, ethnicities, skin colors, ideologies, and economic statuses. Cruelty-free has and will remain a key pillar of our brand. In 2018, Watsons began offering our products to beauty enthusiasts in China via a pilot program with 30 stores. wet n wild products sold in China are domestically manufactured in China, and as such do not require animal testing.
Since 2014, China no longer requires animal testing for domestic non-special use cosmetics. wet n wild products were able to enter the Chinese market maintaining our commitment to providing customers cruelty-free, high-quality, on-trend products they can feel good about buying and wearing. As a trusted leader in cruelty-free beauty, we will continue working closely with the Chinese government, and all governments, to adhere to our strict guidelines for cruelty-free beauty globally.
The Problem With This Statement
Unfortunately, the claims in their statement aren't entirely accurate. It's true that pre-market animal testing laws changed in 2014 and brands manufactured in China were no longer required to test on animals in order to sell there. The problem is with post-market animal testing, which may still be performed on products under certain conditions.
This means that any cosmetics company that sells in China may still risk having their products tested on animals post-market. In his statement, Stefano Curti addresses pre-market animal testing but not post-market animal testing.
I have written several posts about Chinese pre-market and post-market laws and their "loopholes". If you're interested in learning more, please visit the articles below.
1. China *Almost* Ended Post-Market Animal Testing, But Here’s Why It’s Not Over
2. The Nudestix Attempt: Can a Company Bypass China’s Mandatory Animal Testing?
I'm also attaching a screenshot where Humane Society International confirms that post-market animal testing is still a risk in China. This quote is in reference to an article claiming that "post-market animal testing was banned in China".
The Lack Of Transparency
If Wet n Wild was 100% aware of selling in China and genuinely thought they could be exempt of animal testing using loopholes, why did they lie to us about having retailers in China? In March, they told me:
“Thank you for contacting us. At this time, we do not have any retail partners located in China. We thank you kindly for your interest in our products.”
Wet n Wild apologized about this issue to me and brushed it off as a "miscommunication". But to a cruelty-free consumer, this is a misleading statement that shows lack of transparency from the brand.
Personally, I won't be supporting Wet n Wild after this news, and I have removed them from my cruelty-free list. There are many other affordable and drugstore makeup brands that are cruelty-free and much more transparent than Wet n Wild.
To search for cruelty-free brands, please visit my official list here.
Which Brands Are Cruelty-Free?
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Thank you for standing up for animals. The pain & suffering China has inflicted on animals is unforgivable yet celebrities and American companies still use them as a manufacturing base for their products.
A few weeks ago I saw a segment on cable news that showed government workers rounding up stray cats because there was a belief they were spreading Covid. Twenty to thirty cats thrown together in burlap bags and then put on the side of the road waiting to be picked up by sanitation workers. There were hundreds of these bags laying on the side of the road!
The poor cats were tossed every which way in those bags and were crying as they clawed at the bags to get out. I cried my eyes out, and still can’t get those images out of my head. I’m sharing this with you because I want you to know how genuinely important your work is.
I know it would be difficult to boycott every product made in China, but makeup should be an easy one. I’ve used Wet n Wild products in the past but not anymore. These companies are in a unique position to force China’s hand when their trade deals are made. Not hurting animals should be their number one stipulation. It seems like a no-brainer to me.
Thanks for all you do.
Thank you so much for digging in and giving so much data and information! Amazing to see someone who cares so much about others and fully ensure one can have ALL the facts in order to make an honest decision. On a simple google search they are unfortunately still listed as cruelty free. It is actually how i stumbled across your article. I hope your article reaches many more eyes of conscious consumers. And i am glad to say that based on all the information you’ve given, this is a brand I won’t touch. Thank you sincerely!!
I’m sad that they test on animals now.
I read on the PETA website that they didn’t. Now I’m confused and wonder if PETA website is wrong
Wet n Wild is clearly a dishonest company. If they truly were cruelty free, why have they remained silent for so long? Why were they deleting comments? That’s super shady. They’re also Peta certified and not Leaping Bunny certified, which is another bad sign since Peta’s cruelty free status is very lenient compared to other organizations against animal testing. I personally only buy Leaping Bunny certified brands now, whenever possible. Their standards for cruelty free are no joke, and they make sure that a company is truly cruelty free in order to be added to the list.
I’m happy to have a whole bunch of Covergirl makeup, a brand I always used and loved, I wanna get the Milk Makeup mascara, and once my postal situation is figured out and set up I seriously can’t wait to order makeup from Bang Beauty, Makeover Essentials, and maybe 100% Pure and Beautycounter. Stuff I haven’t used but can’t wait to try ?
They promised PETA that if any post market testing were to be required one day, they would pull all their products off China’s shelves. I hope this is true although still none of it sits too well with me. I can’t believe cover girl is more cruelty free than wet n wild. This is why we have to stay on top of these things. I have not looked at an updated list in a couple of years until now, and in the last 10 minutes I learned that cover girl is now cruelty free and even leap bunny certified yet wet n wild is selling in China. My whole world is turned upside down.
It’s been months and I’m still devastated by this news. WnW has been a favorite brand of mine, even before I made the switch last year to go 100% cruelty free. I’m upset that they still flaunt that they are so called “cruelty free.” There are people who haven’t heard this news and still buy the misleading products (at work, I mentioned it last week to a co-worker who was shocked and said she didn’t hear about this). It’s a sad situation all around. Even if WnW pulls out of China completely, I doubt I will go back to buying their products because of their shady principles.
This makes me wonder if Black Radiance is going to follow their sister brand to China.
Sad. I had hyped them up. I even bought some products not too long before this happened. I was so damn proud that such an affordable company sold great quality makeup while STILL being cruelty-free. This shows that it is not just about the damn money when companies like this profit each year heavily. Companies that are RICH, companies like Mac who remain far from cruelty-free and yet, it’s vivid that the money is a lot more important. Where are the morals? How can you allow animal testing on innocent animals just because WE want something, it’s not even a damn need? All living organisms deserve consideration. They all deserve care and nothing less than equal to us, so who are we do something like that because of a want? AS much as I love makeup, it’s just not worth IT. Makeup will never be essential. We could live without it. I don’t know what to believe of Wet N’ Wild but I’m sure as hell staying away from it. I didn’t become be Pescatarian and trying to move up to vegan or being vegetarian for companies to lie like this. I’m just glad there are a lot more companies like BH Cosmetics, NYX, Melani, and Colourpop that ARE cruelty-free. Thanks for the update!
I’m so sad. It was my favorite brand. Wnw ocuppies a big space in my small minimal makeup collection.
I don’t know what to do. Keep and use my items or throw them.
My heart’s broken.
But. Thank you Suzana for your hard work. Respect.
I would use them because you already have them (they’ve already been manufactured, the money’s already been spent, it would be a waste to throw them away, etc.), if that helps at all. “Waste not, want not” and all. To me it’s more disgusting to throw something away that you enjoy just because you found out about some disagreeable background info about it than it is to accept that background info, chalk it up as a learning experience and keep that info in mind for future purchases. Everyone should be given a chance to learn and change, and few people (relatively speaking) can just replace their stash of anything just like that when information like this come to light — so please don’t feel too bad or disheartened about it. If nothing else, just take a breath and consider it a learning experience, maybe searching out new products as you wear down your old ones. Sometimes that’s all we can do. ♡
Thanks for all you do to ensure we stay informed and empowered to choose who we want to give our dollars to. It’s greatly appreciated. <3
The cruelty free bunny WnW has on their products is a PETA approved seal isn’t it? I’m still very new to my cruelty free conversion but I do know that the leaping bunny emblem is the top tier and they have much stricter guidelines than PETA’s. Anyways, I feel like whoever is giving WnW that cruelty free seal should revoke it because I now no longer trust any product that has it. This is all so messed up on so many levels.
This makes me sad. I truly hope wet n wild makes the right decision to stop whatever “pilot” program they have and stop selling in mainland China so they can go back to being cruelty free. Love their products but agree I don’t want there to be a chance (no matter how small) that the makeup I use could be tested on any animal for any reason
is there any way to know when did they start to sell in china? or at least testing their products?
They claim they started selling in China in 2018.
Thanks this is super informative! I’m someone who is chinese american but tries to shop cruelty free. I hope one day China would change its laws concerning animal testing (I would assume having a list of approved ingredients would be enough to keep people safe??) but on the other hand I’m happy that these products are now available in China. I wish Wet n Wild could’ve waited until post market testing ends or just disclosed that they are selling in China and may not be cruelty free anymore.
Such a let down… I have no words. Just disappointed.
Thanks for the update. I’m definitely not buying from them anymore. Plenty of drugstore brands for me to chose from that are cruelty free