Back in 2003, the EU banned the sale of cosmetics that test on animals.

But did this legislation put an end to the practice altogether? The short answer is no.

There are loopholes in the law, as well as many brand policies, that mean many of the companies we use and know, identify themselves cruelty-free when in reality they may actually not be.

According to animal rights organisation PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), several big brands are guilty of testing their products on animals ‘at some stage of development’.

Here are 10 of the biggest brands that use animal testing in some phase of their cosmetic production. (Despite many claiming they are cruelty-free)

10. L’Oreal

L’Oréal has only confirmed that it does not test its finished products on animals. Any statements include no mention of ingredient testing. Companies who sell in China are required to animal test by law. The company is currently on Peta’s Do Test List

09. Estee Lauder

The company resumed animal testing to meet testing requirements in Chinese markets, where it is required by Law.

08. Olay

Owned by Procter & Gamble, Olay is one of the largest skincare companies in the world.

According to their publicly available material, Olay carries out 400,000 safety tests for its products each year.  While It’s unclear how many of these tests are conducted on animals, its absence from the Leaping Bunny list and inclusion on PETA’s Do-Test list, it is likely that animals are used.

07. Revlon

As the company sells its products in China, the company definitely tests its cosmetics on animals.

06. Clarins

This cosmetic company continues to buy and use chemical ingredients that have recently been tested on animals by their suppliers.

05. Benefit

Benefit products are for sale on the Sephora China website. Again, China is one of the few places that require that beauty products be tested on animals before going to market.

04. Bobbi Brown

Big surprise but Bobbi Brown is owned by Estee Lauder. And for once a company states truthfully on their website that they test on animals: where required by law. Hint: the answer is  China.

03. Yves Saint Laurent

Another company that sells in china, and does, in fact, use (in some stages of production) Animal testing. 

02. Mac

M.A.C. Cosmetics is part of the parent company, Estee Lauder. In 2012, Estee Lauder resumed animal testing, after claiming to have sworn off the practice, to meet testing requirements in Chinese markets.

01. Johnson’s

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is one of the largest health-care companies in the world, producing a broad range of health-care products, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and over-the-counter drugs. Government regulations prescribe a certain amount of testing on animals for medical products; however, companies are afforded a certain degree of flexibility in choosing the tests that they will use to establish the safety and effectiveness of a new substance or formulation.


  1. This is sad. I never thought that these companies test their products on animals. Why would they do this? Is it because they can know if their products are safe for humans to use? I just wonder. By the way, thanks for the information.

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