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Was Your “Cruelty Free” Makeup Tested on Animals?

Was Your “Cruelty Free” Makeup Tested on Animals?

There’s some troubling news for those of us who go out of our way to purchase personal care products and cosmetics that haven’t been tested on animals. A federal class action lawsuit has been filed against Estee Lauder, Avon and Mary Kay alleging that the companies are falsely claiming their products are “cruelty free.

What’s happened is this: these companies are required to test their products on animals in order to sell them in China and other foreign markets, but they’ve continued to use cruelty free labeling on the US versions of those same products. They’ve taken advantage of this label for two decades, even having their products promoted by animals rights groups like PETA.

The five women leading the class action suit state that this misleading representation has given the companies a commercial boost among consumers who are concerned about animal welfare, and that by failing to adequately disclose the fact that testing was being done for the Chinese market, they’ve taken advantage of their customer base and reaped hundreds of millions in sales.

Avon and Mary Kay have both released statements insisting that they remain committed to animal welfare, “except where required by local law.” That may be, but it doesn’t excuse failing to disclose that these are still companies participating in animals testing in some parts of the globe. Just because a company is “deeply committed to the elimination of animal testing” doesn’t mean that they can claim to be cruelty-free while still participating in those tests.

PETA, naturally, has expressed that they are “extremely upset” over the revelations, and has removed the three companies from its list of cruelty free cosmetics. Este Lauder was the only company which did not respond to a request for comment.


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Photo credit: Richard Schatzberger

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2:56PM PDT on May 16, 2014

Unfortunately, I recently read that BareMinerals had succumbed to the lure of the Chinese market and are now adhering to that country's rules for animal testing. I liked the product, but it is no longer found in MY makeup drawer.

5:11AM PST on Jan 27, 2014

Who can you trust nowadays... ? The best thing to do is stop buying ! Ladies, we are naturally pretty, we don't need their crap, and the man who can't see that isn't worth it !!!

12:03PM PST on Dec 15, 2013

Just don't buy their crap.

3:48AM PDT on May 8, 2013

Avon, Estee Lauder and Mary Kay still test on animals for products to be sold in China. They say it is because they have to by Chinese law but the question is - why do they have to sell to China? If they were left with just the Chinese market they would soon re-think their policy!

5:02AM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

Grate job..
I also write something about this topic i will appreciate if all of you will give me some feedback..

1:48AM PDT on Jul 2, 2012


2:35AM PDT on Jun 11, 2012

I used to sell Avon. I am so glad I quit.
I wrote the company and told them how I feel about testing on the innocent animals. It was not a pretty letter.

2:16AM PDT on May 5, 2012

Congratulations to these five woment. I hope their lawyer pushes for the companies to be fined and for the money so secured to be distributed appropriately to animal rights and welfare groups.

5:29AM PDT on Apr 5, 2012

thanks for sharing

10:42AM PDT on Mar 17, 2012

I brought this up with higher ups in both Avon and Mary Kay. If you don't test on animals why is the bunny logo not on each of your skin care and make up products?

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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Julie M. Rodriguez Julie M. Rodriguez is an arts, green living, and political writer based in San Mateo, CA. Her work... more
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