Is L’Oréal cruelty free? Policy 2017

L’Oréal cruelty-free?
Hairdresseronfire (flickr) / CC BY 2.0

L’Oréal is without a doubt one of the leaders in the beauty industry which gives them a great power of influence. Such status can be a wonderful privilege or a weapon of destruction. It turns out that this company couldn’t care less about animals which shows through the way they bypass animal testing laws.
L’Oréal is proud of the fact that for more than a decade, they have been contributing to the research of alternative methods to product testing.  Amazing news and I’m personally grateful for the initiative but their words are only valuable when they are supported by action. Maybe they contributed to the research on Episkin and in vitro testing but this isn’t enough to call them cruelty-free.


Key facts:
  • Tested on animals where required by law? Yes
  • Sold in China? Yes
  • Certified? No
  • Parent company? No
  • Vegan? No
  • Ingredients tested on animals? Yes
Let’s have a glance at their FAQs

Their official statement may suggest that they have been cruelty-free for decades.

Does L’Oréal test on animals?
L’Oréal does not test any of its products or any of its ingredients on animals and has been at the forefront of alternative methods for over 30 years.

but then..

If you don’t test products on animals, why is L’Oréal still on the PETA list of companies who test?
L’Oréal does not test any its products or any of its ingredients on animals. Nevertheless, because our products are sold in China, L’Oréal still figures on the PETA list. In China, the health authorities still require and carry out animal testing for certain products.

In response to Daily Mail’s query regarding their trade in China, they responded with the below:

” In China, the regulatory authorities carry out within their evaluation centres animal tests for finished cosmetics products before these are placed on their market. We think these tests are unnecessary but we cannot prevent them “

We can see from their answers that they admit to selling in China. Their other FAQ’s outline how dedicated they are to end animal testing. Based on their answers, we can assume that their presence on the Chinese market is purely a means of influencing the Chinese authorities to change their stance. Read more of their FAQ’s here. 

Let’s be honest, the number 1 reason is the revenue. If animals were a number 1 priority, L’Oréal would continue working on the alternative methods and hold the sales whilst testing is required. There is no middle ground here. A truly cruelty-free company puts animals at the top of its priority list. For this reason, L’Oréal cannot be considered anywhere near cruelty-free.

Lies, lies, lies

Despite animal testing procedures, I am allergic to companies that purposely mislead their customers. Readers who partially read information might only see their main official statement and believe that a company is cruelty free. Rumors say that L’Oréal not only allows Chinese government to test their products on animals but conducts such tests themselves too. Some things are incredibly difficult to uncover and this is definitely one of them.

Ingredients used in L’Oréal products are not tested on animals only IF they have been tested after march 2013 or IF it is a cosmetic product. This information was confirmed by the company itself. Products such as restorative creams, acne lotions or rescuing shampoos – you name it – can all be defined medical or non-cosmetic. Disguising cosmetics as drugs is an effective way of allowing the use of ingredients tested on animals.

 When the ban of animal testing of cosmetics was being introduced a few years ago, L’Oréal was one of the companies that protested against it.

Next time you see a miraculous, new technology mascara by L’Oréal you will know the costs at which it was produced. Not only have the animals been exploited and tortured, but we as customers have been not been treated with respect. Do you really want to give your hard earned money to someone that treats you like a fool?

There are plenty of companies worldwide that put animal welfare as a top ethical standard. Consciously avoiding the trade in China to prevent contribution to animal exploitation. Such companies deserve the support and money you are willing to pay for the goods.  Make the smart and compassionate decision.

Unfortunately, L’Oréal is a parent company to many brands. Although some of them might be cruelty-free and vegan, a percentage of their revenue will go to L’Oréal  in turn supporting animal testing. I’ll let you decide how you feel about parent companies.
Some of these brands can be found on my list of cruelty-free and non cruelty-free brands.

Milena x