In this day and age where we now have stricter regulations on animal testing, you will be surprised that there are still a lot of brands that test on animals one way or another. Beauty products such as makeup and skincare abuse animal testing the most.
Animal testing can be in the form of trial and error on which ingredients and formula work best. These ingredients that they are testing on animals may have toxic and harmful components. Imagine our animal friends with trendy red lipstick and blush. It can be visually pleasing for some, but this can lead to allergic reactions, pain, discomfort, or worse, the death of our animal friend.
Buying these brands’ products gives them more revenue and support in continuing these kinds of practices. So, bear in mind that there are a lot of cruelty-free skincare and makeup brands that we should try and give our full support to.
Here’s a list of beauty brands that still test on animals and their corresponding cruelty-free alternative to check out instead.
15 Brands That Do Test on Animals
Aveeno has been a staple skincare brand for over 70 years. It is well-known for its lotions that soothe and nourish dry and flakey skin. They claim that they are cruelty-free. However, they allow animal testing when it is required by law, as stated on their website.
“Our products are not animal tested, with the rare exception when it is required by law.”
Their products are sold in China, where animal testing is still required. This is why Aveeno is not a cruelty-free brand.
Cruelty-free Alternative: Acure. Acure is a 100% cruelty-free and vegan brand with a wide range of skincare, haircare, and body care products. Their Brightening Glow Lotion is a must-try to make your skin soft, refreshed, and energized.
Benefit claims to be a feel-good makeup line. But does their animal testing policy will make the animals feel good? Although Benefit explicitly said in their Frequently Asked Questions section that they do not test their products on animals, they still adhere to the countries’ rules and regulations where they operate. Benefit sells in China, and that makes them not cruelty-free.
Cruelty-free Alternative: Tarte. If you’re looking for a blush alternative, go check out Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in the shade Paaarty. It’s long-lasting and very pigmented! Definitely, a little goes a long way.
It may be true that CeraVe has been one of the sought-after skincare brands by many, but it’s saddening to know that the brand is not 100% cruelty-free. CeraVe is available in China, where animal testing for such products is mandatory by law.
Cruelty-free Alternative: Pacifica. It is 100% cruelty-free and vegan that has superb formula suitable for all skin types. One of their best sellers is Pacifica Beauty Sea Foam Face Cleanser. It has powerhouse antioxidants that can remove one’s makeup, cleanse the skin, and has coconut water and sea algae complex.
Yes, even luxury brands like Dior are not cruelty-free. As they sell their products to China, this is one of the reasons where Dior allows animal testing because the law requires it.
Cruelty-free Alternative: Hourglass. With its commitment to reinventing luxury cosmetics, Hourglass is a cruelty-free makeup brand and in the works of being 100% vegan. Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder is a perfect alternative to add to your makeup routine! It is suitable for all skin tones and skin types that blur any imperfections to give that glassy and youthful look.
5. Estee Lauder
Even though Estee Lauder has initiatives in being 100% cruelty-free, some of its brands and products are widely available in China. And that only means Estee Lauder allows animal testing when it’s mandatory.
Cruelty-free Alternative: The Ordinary. Reward your skin with cruelty-free, vegan, and paraben-free skincare products with The Ordinary Facial Treatment Set! It includes Hyaluronic Acid Serum, Niacinamide Serum, and Vitamin C Cream. All contain vital ingredients to make your skin bright and reduce signs of aging.
GlamGlow is a skincare brand owned by Estee Lauder, and yes, GlamGlow is not cruelty-free. It’s part of the list for the same reason as others – the brand allows third-party testing to countries that require it. Would you still feel that instant celebrity feeling knowing that there were animals harmed in the process of making these products?
Cruelty-free Alternative: Herbivore Botanicals. Just like the name suggests, Herbivore products are formulated with natural and plant-based ingredients. A great alternative for GlamGlow’s Supermud Mask is Herbivore Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask. It has BHAs and Blue Tansy essential oil that will work wonders in clarifying your skin and even out your skin texture.
Unfortunately, L’Oreal is part of PETA’s list of brands that test on animals. It’s the parent company of various skincare, haircare, and makeup brands. Although L’Oreal is making progress in becoming a cruelty-free brand, its products are available in China, where animal testing is still legal. So, if you’re conscious on the products you use are cruelty-free or not, guess L’Oreal’s one of the brands to avoid.
Cruelty-free Alternative: E.L.F. Cosmetics. It’s a promising drugstore brand that is worth every single penny! Go check out their bestselling 16Hr Camo Concealer that is highly pigmented and leaves your skin a matte finish for the whole day. And did we forget to mention that it contains Avocado Oil to moisturize your skin? Thank us later!
8. MAC Cosmetics
Also owned by Estee Lauder, MAC cosmetics is one of the brands that test on animals. Per their FAQ section on their website, they explicitly say that they do not test on animals nor hire third-party facilities to do so. But where went wrong? In order to cater to MAC Cosmetics’ fans, they are available worldwide, including in China.
Cruelty-free Alternative: Colourpop. Looking for a Ruby Woo shade alternative? Colourpop got you covered! Try its Love Life Lippie Stix, and it will not disappoint. It is very pigmented and lightweight with a matte finish.
Since L’Oreal owns Maybelline, it also shares the same practices and policies about animal testing. For their products to be imported and sold in China, Maybelline has to undergo the country’s animal testing policy. This makes Maybelline part of the brands that test on animals.
Cruelty-free Alternative: Makeup Revolution. Their Big Lash Waterproof Mascara is the bomb! It volumizes your lashes to give you that extra oomph without hurting your pocket too much. It has a wide-angle brush that emphasizes your lashes and will last you the entire day, rain or shine.
Sadly, Neutrogena is also a brand that tests on animals. Despite their ongoing efforts in totally removing animal testing of their products, some countries still require this policy which they need to comply with. One of their initiatives shared on Neutrogena’s website is to partner with research and advocacy organizations in seeking innovative alternatives to animal testing.
Cruelty-free Alternative: Tatcha. It may be on the pricey side, but hey, your skin deserves some TLC! A lot has been raving for the Tatcha Dewy Skin Cream. This aims to hydrate your skin and give that plump and healthy glow.
Being in the industry for more than a century, Nivea is one of the largest and most sought-after skincare brands worldwide. Indeed, many of us love this brand so much; however, Nivea is not a cruelty-free brand. Like the others, Nivea and its parent company, Beiersdorf, have products sold in China with mandatory animal testing.
Cruelty-free Alternative: Paula’s Choice. If you’re looking for a cruelty-free body lotion, this is your sign to buy one! Check out Paula’s Choice Ultra-Rich Soothing Body Butter. It’s packed with powerful ingredients like vitamin C, vitamin E, shea butter, and squalene to make your skin hydrated and moisturized from head to toe. This body butter is perfect if you have dry, flakey, or sensitive skin.
Sad to say that Nars is also part of the list. As much as we love their makeup and skincare products, there’s a point where our animal friends are harmed, and we should not let this pass. This is Nars’ take on animal testing as stated on their website:
NARS does not test on animals nor do we ask others to test on our behalf, except where required by law. NARS is actively working with industry and other partners to eliminate animal testing globally and is committed to the development and acceptance of alternative methods.
And China is one of those few countries which require animal testing.
Cruelty-free Alternative: Cover FX. Time to try this gamechanger foundation from a cruelty-free and vegan brand, Cover FX. Their Total Cream Foundation is so worth it! It serves as a foundation and a concealer packed with vitamins C, E, and F for added moisture.
Olay is an American skincare brand owned by Procter & Gamble. Olay advocates responsible beauty wherein they ensure to use clean ingredients and lessen their ecological footprint. But with the fact that Olay products are available in China makes them support animal testing indirectly. That’s why the brand does not include that their products are cruelty-free in their respective packaging.
Cruelty-free Alternative: Mario Badescu. Mario Badescu is a very straightforward yet effective skincare brand that aims to cater to all skin types. Its Vitamin C Serum is one of their bestsellers, and you should try it if you’re copping a youthful skin look.
Like the brands mentioned above, Revlon is a brand that tests on animals primarily because it adheres to regulatory requirements of some countries where animal testing is still legal.
Cruelty-free Alternative: Au Naturale. It is a brand with a purpose. Having its clean beauty revolution advocacy, it aims to reach everyone that clean beauty is possible. Give Au Naturale Eternity Lipstick in the shade Sangria a try to have that pop of color that will totally brighten up your OOTDs!
When you hear the word beauty brands, for sure Sephora’s on the top of the list. Yes, there are a lot of cruelty-free brand options available in Sephora, but unfortunately, the homegrown Sephora brand isn’t. The Sephora collection is being sold in China, where animal testing for imported products is required.
Cruelty-free Alternative: BeautyBio. Just started as a passion project, BeautyBio is a skincare brand formulated without harsh ingredients. They even have patented Rose Quartz Roller and GloPro Regeneration Tool perfect for your skincare regimen!
To be considered a cruelty-free brand, its ingredients, production, and sales process must not include animal testing. It also includes where these products are imported and sold. If a brand is imported and sold in countries where animal testing is mandatory, like China, this brand should not be regarded as cruelty-free. That’s why we have crafted a list of the brands that test on animals, and its equally good alternative you might want to check out!
Researching products and brands one by one, whether it’s cruelty-free or not, can be very taxing. Good thing that PETA and Leaping Bunny have a comprehensive list of the brands that do and do not test on animals. Check them out for more information.