top of page
  • Writer's pictureKat

Cruelty-Free 101 - Beauty Brands That Test On Animals

Interested in going cruelty-free with your hair, makeup, skin & body products? A good place to start is to get familiar with some major companies that still test on animals in 2023.

makeup brushes in holders

What is Animal Testing?

For years, animals have been used to test the safety and effects of consumer products, chemicals, medications, and more, to ensure they will be safe for humans. Testing is generally done in labs and subjects animals to horrible conditions, such as physical and psychological pain and torture. These animals are either killed at the end of the experiment or go on to endure further testing. Some of the most common animals used are mice, rats, rabbits, primates, pigs, cats, and dogs, but the list really does go on.

So what's the problem with this? Animals are sentient beings that feel pain, and I shouldn't have to explain why doing any of this is wrong. Further, testing on animals doesn't really paint a clear picture of how human beings will react to the same chemicals and products because we are an entirely different species.

Cruelty-Free Basics

When a product is certified cruelty-free, that means:

  • It has not been tested on animals at any phase of the production process.

  • The ingredients in the product have not been tested on animals.

  • The product is not sold in countries where animal testing is required by law.

There are multiple certifying agencies that have criteria a company must meet in order to be certified. Some have more strict requirements than others, but as a general rule, Leaping Bunny is the gold standard.

If you're interested in going a step further, there are also products that are certified vegan. It is important to know that cruelty-free and vegan do not mean the same thing. Cruelty-free products can still contain animal-derived ingredients, they are just not tested on animals. It is my opinion that cruelty-free should mean vegan, but the world is not ready for that hot take.

Read my Non-Vegan Beauty Ingredient Guide for a list of ingredients to check for that contain animal products, which may be present in cruelty free products.

To muddy things even more, while a brand might be stating they are cruelty-free, its parent company could still be selling in countries that require animal testing by law. Some people will still buy these brands to show support and demand for cruelty-free options, while others will not because the company is still profiting from testing on animals. The beauty of ethical and informed consumerism is that we get to shift the direction a company goes by choosing what to and what not to spend our money on.

Check out my updated blog post: Parent Companies That Test on Animals for more information.

While laws to limit animal testing are being passed, and alternative testing methods are being developed, it is still a barbaric practice happening around the world. As more consumers become aware, we are able to vote with our dollars and demand change.

cruelty free 101 graphic

Getting Started

When shopping in-store or online, products and brands that are cruelty-free or vegan are generally labeled as such. Here are a few things to keep in mind though:

  • FDA labeling regulations are loose when it comes to cruelty-free products. This means that some labels can be misleading. That's why looking for the logo of a certifying agency is your best bet (before memorizing and reading through the extensive ingredient lists).

  • Just as a company can imply they are cruelty-free when they aren't, some companies actually are but maybe don't advertise it or aren't certified yet. If you're genuinely interested in a product, do some research to decide if it is worth your money.

tubes of pink and red lipsticks

Below is a list of some major beauty and skincare companies, their quoted statements on animal testing, and a list of their brands. As you'll see, many claim they do not test on animals, yet they sell in countries that require it. However, many are at least working towards alternatives and working with organizations and countries to make these changes, which do not happen overnight (unfortunately).

Click a link to jump to further information.

1. L'Oréal

Statement on animal testing:

"In 1989, L’Oréal completely ceased testing its products on animals, 14 years before it was required by regulation. Today, L'Oréal no longer tests its ingredients on animals. L'Oréal no longer tolerates any exception to this rule. Certain health authorities may nevertheless decide to conduct animal tests themselves for certain cosmetic products, as it is still the case in China. L’Oréal is the most active company working alongside the Chinese authorities and scientists for over 10 years to have alternative testing methods recognized..." Read more

updated 12/12/2023


L'Oréal tests where required by law and therefore is not 100% cruelty-free. Despite a seemingly strong stance against animal testing and "not tolerating exceptions" they still sell in countries that require animal testing.

List of Brands:

  • Aesop

  • African Beauty Brands

  • Atelier Cologne

  • Azzaro Fragrances

  • Biolage

  • Biotherm

  • Cacharel

  • Carita

  • CeraVe

  • Clarisonic

  • Decleor

  • Diesel

  • Essie

  • Garnier

  • Giorgio Armani

  • Guy Laroche

  • Helena Rubinstein

  • IT Cosmetics

  • Kératase

  • Kiehl’s

  • L’Oréal Paris

  • La Roche-Posay

  • Lancôme

  • L'Oreal Professional

  • Magic Mask

  • Maison Margiela

  • Matrix

  • Maybelline New York

  • Mixa

  • Mizani

  • Mugler Fragrances

  • Niely

  • NYX Professional MakeUp

  • Paloma Picasso

  • Prada

  • Proenza Schouler

  • Pureology

  • Ralph Lauren Fragrances

  • Redken

  • Roger & Gallet

  • Sanoflore

  • Shu Uemura

  • Shu Uemura Art of Hair

  • Skinbetter Science

  • SkinCeuticals

  • Stylenanda

  • Takami

  • Urban Decay

  • Valentino

  • Vichy

  • Viktor&Rolf

  • Youth to the People

  • Yue Sai

  • Yves Saint Laurent Beauté

2. Estée Lauder

Statement on animal testing:

"We don’t test our products on animals and we don’t ask others to test for us. We acknowledge our brands are sold in countries where animal testing on cosmetics or cosmetic ingredients is required by law. As a global company dedicated to bringing many of the beauty industry’s most beloved products and experiences to our consumers in over 150 countries and territories, we believe it is our responsibility to contribute to the sustainable solution to end animal testing for cosmetics, and we believe that through strong partnerships, sharing our science and engaging with our communities in a meaningful way, we can contribute to the global end of cosmetic animal testing." Read more

updated 12/12/2023


Estee Lauder tests where required by law and therefore is not cruelty-free.

List of Brands:

  • Aerin

  • Aramis

  • Aveda

  • Bobbi Brown

  • Bumble and Bumble

  • Clinique

  • Darphin

  • Dr.Jart+

  • Editions De Parfums Frederic Malle

  • Ermenegildo Zegna

  • Estée Lauder

  • Glam Glow

  • Jo Malone

  • Kilian

  • La Mer

  • Lab Series

  • Le Labo

  • MAC

  • NIOD

  • Origins

  • Smashbox

  • The Ordinary

  • Tom Ford Beauty

  • Too Faced

3. Revlon

Statement on animal testing:

"Revlon does not conduct animal testing and has not done so for decades. We comprehensively test all of our products using the most technologically advanced methods available to ensure they are both innovative and safe to use. We believe that all people should have the opportunity to express themselves through makeup and we sell our products in many markets around the world. Regulatory authorities in some countries conduct independent testing in order to satisfy their own mandatory registration requirements and a limited number of these countries have not yet adopted alternative testing methods. While Revlon complies with the requirements for safety in all of these countries, we continue to collaborate with other companies to advocate for the adoption of alternative testing methods and the elimination of animal testing around the world." Read more

updated 12/12/2023


Revlon tests where required by law, and therefore is not 100% cruelty-free.


  • Alfred Sung

  • Almay

  • American Crew

  • Arden

  • Britney Spears Fragrances

  • Charlie

  • Christina Aguilera Fragrances

  • CND

  • Creme of Nature

  • Curve

  • Cutex

  • Ed Hardy

  • John Varvatos

  • Juicy Couture

  • Mitchum

  • Sinful Colors

  • The Elizabeth Taylor Fragrance Collection

4. Coty, Inc.

Statement on animal testing:

"At Coty, we do not test our products on animals, and we are committed to ending animal testing across the beauty industry...Coty has also partnered with Cruelty Free International (CFI) and has already achieved Leaping Bunny approval by CFI for our COVERGIRL, Rimmel, Manhattan and Risqué brands...Of course, ensuring the safety of our products is a top priority. Every Coty product has been developed, tested, manufactured and packaged in compliance with the laws and regulations that are applicable in each country in which we sell them. Today, some governments or agencies still require the testing of certain products on animals, in accordance with their local legal and regulatory requirements." Read More

updated 12/12/2023


Coty, Inc. tests where required by law and therefore is not 100% cruelty-free.


  • Adidas

  • Bourjois

  • Bozzano

  • Bruno Banani

  • Burberry

  • Calvin Klein

  • Cenoura & Bronze

  • Chloe

  • Covergirl

  • David Beckham

  • Davidoff

  • Escada

  • Gabriela Sabatini

  • Gucci

  • Hugo Boss

  • Jil Sander

  • Joop!

  • Jovan

  • Katy Perry Perfume

  • Kylie Baby

  • Kylie Cosmetics

  • Kylie Skin

  • Lancaster

  • Manhattan

  • Marc Jacobs Fragrances

  • Max Factor

  • Mexx

  • Miss Sporty

  • Miu Miu

  • Monange

  • Nautica

  • Orveda

  • Paixao

  • Philosophy

  • Rimmel

  • Risque

  • Sally Hansen

  • Skkn

  • Tiffany & Co.

  • Vera Wang

5. Shiseido

Statement on animal testing:

"Shiseido has established a safety assurance system based on alternative methods and has discontinued animal testing in cosmetics/quasi drugs that are developed in April, 2013 or later. This excludes cases in which we must explain safety to society. This refers to cases in which we must prove again the safety of ingredients that are in the market and the only option in order to do so is animal testing, as well as cases in which animal testing is essential to assure the safety of cosmetics in some countries." Read more

updated 12/12/2023


Shieseido tests where required by law and therefore is not 100% cruelty-free.


  • Anessa

  • Clé de Peau Beauté

  • Drunk Elephant

  • D Program

  • Elixir

  • Inryu

  • IPSA

  • NARS

  • Perfect Cover Shiseido

  • Shiseido

  • Sidekick

  • The Ginza

  • Tory Burch

  • Ulé

6. Kosé

Statement on animal testing:

"With safety as a top priority, KOSÉ Group designs and develops cosmetic products (including quasi drugs) based on a policy for eliminating animal testing*.

*Except for cases where accountability for safety is demanded socially or requested by governmental authority/regulators." Read more

updated 12/12/2023


Kosé tests where required by law and therefore is not 100% cruelty-free.


  • Acneo by Dr. Phli Cosmetics

  • Addiction

  • Astaluxe by Kosé

  • Bioliss

  • Carté HD

  • Clear Turn

  • Decorté

  • Esprique

  • Fasio

  • Grace One

  • iMPREA

  • Infinity

  • Je l'aime

  • Jill Stuart

  • Lechéri

  • Magnifique

  • Maihada

  • Make Keep Mist

  • Nailholic

  • One by Kosé

  • Prédia

  • Sekkisei/Sekkisei Miyabi

  • Softymo

  • Stephen Knoll New York

  • Suncut

  • Tarte

  • Visée

  • X-Barrier by Dr. Phil Cosmetics

7. Henkel

Statement on animal testing:

"The well-being of people is close to our heart – and so is the well-being of animals. We have a clear commitment: We do not test our hair and body care products, our detergents and cleaning products, or our adhesives for industrial customers, consumers and craftsmen on animals. Unfortunately, we cannot claim that animal testing no longer plays any role at all. This is because there are some countries where animal testing is still mandatory to obtain market and/or regulatory approval for hair and body care products, detergents and cleaning products, or adhesives." Read More

updated 12/12/2023


Henkel tests where required by law and therefore is not 100% cruelty-free.


  • # mydentity by Guy Tang

  • Alterna

  • Authentic Beauty Concept

  • Bain de Terre

  • Bonacure

  • Better Natured

  • Blondme

  • Dial

  • Essensity

  • Fibreplex

  • got2b

  • Igora Royal

  • Joico

  • Kenra Professional

  • Osis+

  • Pravana

  • Schwarzkopf

  • Sexyhair

  • Sparks

  • Tone

  • Wellphoria

  • Zotos Professional

8. Unilever

Statement on animal testing:

"Occasionally, across our wider product portfolio, some of the ingredients we use have to be tested by our suppliers to comply with legal and regulatory requirements in some markets; and some governments still test certain products on animals as part of their regulations. We don’t agree that animal testing is necessary to assure the safety of our products or the ingredients in them, and we work with government authorities, NGOs and our suppliers across the world to increase the use of non-animal approaches for regulatory compliance purposes." Read More

updated 12/12/2023

Summary: Unilever has a robust webpage about their views on animal testing, and while they do have some cruelty-free products, they do still test where required by law.


  • Axe

  • Dove

  • Equilibra

  • Love, Beauty, & Planet

  • Lux

  • Sunsilk

  • Vaseline

9. Proctor & Gamble

Statement on animal testing:

"P&G no longer animal tests any consumer product unless required by law and we are committed to make animal testing obsolete." Read More

Updated 12/12/2023


Prcotor & Gamble tests where required by law and therefore is not 100% cruelty-free.


  • Always

  • Aussie

  • Braun

  • Crest

  • Fixodent

  • Gillette

  • Head and Shoulders

  • Herbel Essences

  • Ivory

  • Joy + Glee

  • Just

  • L.

  • My Black is Beautiful

  • Native

  • Olay

  • Old Spice

  • Oral-B

  • Pantene

  • Scope

  • Secret

  • SK-II

  • Tampax

  • The Art of Shaving

  • Venus

10. Reckitt Benckiser

Statement on animal testing:

"We are committed to applying alternative testing methods or existing data to demonstrate the safety of our products to replace all animal testing. It is our Policy not to conduct or commission tests, unless scientifically justified or required by government or scientific agencies. The same Policy is applied to our suppliers and third parties." Read More

Updated 12/12/2023


Reckitt Benckiser tests where required by law and therefore is not 100% cruelty-free.


  • Clearasil

  • Queen V

  • Veet

11. Kao

Statement on animal testing:

"In our development of cosmetics, we do not and will not conduct animal testing nor do we outsource this task to anyone. This excludes instances where we need to respond to societal expectations to evidence the safety of a product or when required to do so by government agencies in particular countries. For products other than cosmetics, our policy is to not conduct animal testing unless it cannot be avoided due to lack of availability of alternative methods, regulatory requirements or other similar reasons. If testing on animals is unavoidable, we keep such testing to a minimum following the principles of animal welfare of the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement)." Read More

Updated 12/12/2023


Kao tests where required by law and therefore is not 100% cruelty-free.


  • Alblanc

  • Allie

  • Athletia

  • Bioré

  • Curél

  • Goldwell

  • Jergens

  • John Frieda

  • KMS

  • Molton Brown

  • Oribe

  • Sensai

12. Beiersdorf

Statement on animal testing:

"At Beiersdorf, we are committed to making animal testing obsolete worldwide. We are convinced that animal testing is not necessary to prove the skin tolerability and effectiveness of our cosmetic products. This is why we do not conduct any animal testing for our cosmetic products and their ingredients, and do not have any animal testing done on our behalf – unless, in the very rare case, this is specifically required by law." Read More

Updated 12/12/2023


Beiersdorf tests where required by law and therefore is not 100% cruelty-free.


  • Aquaphor

  • Chantecaille

  • Coppertone

  • Eucerin

  • Gammon

  • Labello

  • La Prairie

  • Nivea

  • Skin Stories

  • Stop The Water While Using Me

13. Johnson & Johnson

Statement on animal testing:

"Johnson & Johnson is committed to ensuring the ethical treatment of animals involved in biomedical research to advance patient safety and well-being. Johnson & Johnson’s policies and guidelines promote and support the ethical and humane treatment of the animals and advocate the use of non-animal alternatives whenever feasible, including through regulatory submission." Read More

Updated 12/12/2023

Summary: Johnson & Johnson tests on animals and is therefore not 100% cruelty-free.


  • Aveeno

  • Clean & Clear

  • Johnson's Adult

  • Johnson's Baby

  • Listerine

  • Neutrogena

  • Rogaine

14. Colgate-Palmolive

Statement on animal testing:

"...there are government regulations in the United States and in many other countries that, as a condition of sale, specifically require animal testing be conducted to establish proof that a product is safe, and to determine labeling instructions. However, when Colgate is faced with these regulatory requirements, we always seek first to convince the regulatory agency to accept an approach not requiring animals. Colgate has achieved a number of successes through such discussions. There are also circumstances where safety demonstrations are necessary, but scientifically recognized alternatives to animal testing do not yet exist. However, our goal is to continually search for alternatives." Read More

Updated 12/12/2023


Colgate-Palmolive tests where required by law and therefore is not cruelty-free.


  • Colgate

  • Elmex

  • Elta MD

  • Filorga

  • Hello

  • Irish Spring

  • Lady Speedstick

  • Palmolive

  • PCA Skin

  • Protex

  • Sanex

  • Speedstick

  • Tom's of Maine

15. Kendo & LVMH

Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) is not a cruelty free company (you can see their products below) and many of their fashion brands use animal skins. Kendo is affiliated with LVMH but is considered to be cruelty-free as they do not sell in China where animal testing is required. Read More

Updated 12/12/2023


LVMH brands are not cruelty-free but Kendo brands are.

LVMH Brands:

  • Acqua Di Parma

  • Benefit Cosmetics

  • Cha Ling

  • Fresh

  • Givenchy Parfums

  • Guerlain

  • Kenzo Parfums

  • Loewe Perfumes

  • Maison Francis Kirkdjian

  • Make Up Forever

  • Officine Universelle Buly

  • Parfums Christian Dior

  • Stella by Stella McCartney

Kendo Brands (Although affiliated with LVMH, all Kendo brands are cruelty-free and are NOT sold in China):

  • Fenty Beauty/Fenty Skin

  • Kat Von D Beauty

  • Lip Lab by Bite

  • Ole Henriksen

16. Amorepacific

"As an enterprise seeking peaceful coexistence between nature, human beings and businesses, AMOREPACIFIC pledges elimination of unnecessary animal testing for cosmetics to respect all living creatures. *Exceptions to this principle will apply however, if animal testing is required or bound by local governments or laws." Read More

Updated 12/12/2023


Amorepacific tests where required by law and therefore is not 100% cruelty-free.

Amore Pacific Brands

  • Aestura

  • Amorepacific

  • Amos

  • Ayunche

  • B.Ready

  • Custom. Me

  • Espoir

  • Etude

  • Goutal

  • Hanyul

  • Happy Bath

  • Hera

  • Holitual

  • Illiyoon

  • Innisfree

  • Iope

  • Labo-H

  • Laneige

  • Longtake

  • Make On

  • Mamonde

  • Median

  • Mise en scene

  • Odyssey

  • Osulloc

  • Primera

  • RYO

  • Sienu

  • Skin U

  • Sulwhasoo

  • Vital Beautie

overhead view of flowers over makeup on table

1 Comment

swan swan
swan swan
Mar 29


bottom of page