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Why Aveda, Smashbox, Bath & Body Works Are Not Considered Cruelty-Free By Some

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Why Aveda, Smashbox, Bath & Body Works Are Not Considered Cruelty-Free By Some

Very rarely do we ever hear a company just come out and say that they test on animals.

Although it would make our lives so much easier if companies just confessed to testing their products/ingredients on animals, but companies know that it’ll hurt their bottom line if customers knew what they were doing.

Most of the time, it feels like an uphill battle trying to figure out if a company is cruelty-free or not. It also doesn’t help when there are conflicting and confusing animal testing statements surfacing the interweb.

I want to mention 3 companies that have been scrutinized through the years as they claim they do not test on animals “except when required by law” but at the same time, they’re all also certified cruelty-free by PETA.

I’ve noticed many cruelty-free shoppers feel conflicted on whether to support these 3 companies or not and I respectfully understand why.

Let’s get into it!

Why Smashbox Is Not Considered To Be Cruelty-Free By Some

Smashbox Animal Testing Statement

Smashbox is a cosmetic line owned by Estee Lauder.

Estee Lauder is not a cruelty-free brand and has admitted to testing on animals.

Smashbox has assured us that none of their products are sold in mainland China where it is required by law to test on animals. However on Smashbox’s website, they state “We don’t test on animals, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except where required by law.”

Why Bath & Body Works Is Not Considered To Be Cruelty-Free By Some

Bath & Body Works’ Animal Testing Statement

Bath & Body Works is a popular American retail store mall brand.

On their website, they state “Bath & Body Works policy prohibits the testing of our branded products, formulations and ingredients on animals except in rare cases when required by government regulations”

Bath & Body Works have also denied that they sell their products in mainland China.

Why Aveda Is Not Considered To Be Cruelty-Free By Some

Aveda’s Animal Testing Statement

Aveda is known for their spa and salon products. Aveda, like Smashbox, is owned by Estee Lauder (a company that does test on animals)

On Aveda’s website, they state Aveda does not conduct animal testing, nor ask others to do it on its behalf, except when it is required by law.

Aveda has also claimed that none of their products are available for sale in mainland China.

Is it required by law to test on animals in US and Canada?

By now, you may have noticed a trend between these 3 animal testing statements. Despite PETA verifying that these companies do not test on animals, how is it possible that they can continue to state in their policy that they support, condone, and commission animal testing “when required by law.”

Currently in the US and Canada, there are no laws that require cosmetics to be tested on animals for consumer safety. But at the same time, it is also not banned in the US and Canada. Therefore it is ultimately up to the company to decide if they wish to use animal or non-animal testing methods.

“The FD&C Act does not specifically require the use of animals in testing cosmetics for safety, nor does the Act subject cosmetics to FDA premarket approval.” (Source: FDA)

When is it “required by law” to test on animals then?

According to Tashina at Logical Harmony, there are some rare instances where animal testing may be required by law:

  • All imported cosmetics in mainland China are required by law to be tested on animals
  • The FDA and EPA require animal testing on some chemicals used in household products and cosmetics
  • In other cases that are not related to consumer safety (like worker health and environmental toxicity)

Despite some online articles and blogs claiming that Bath & Body Works, Aveda, and Smashbox are sold in mainland China, I have not received written confirmation from these brands that they do in fact sell in China. When I asked PETA about Smashbox, they have reassured me that Smashbox products are not sold in China.

So in what “rare cases” are they required by law to test on animals then?

All three companies have failed to respond to me with further clarifications on what they meant when they added the disclaimer “except when required by law” to their animal testing policy.

At this point, many ethical and caring consumers have personally decided to boycott Aveda, Smashbox, and Bath & Body Works despite that they’re PETA approved and because they believe these brands are supporting, condoning, or commissioning animal tests on their products/ingredients in some form or another.

How do you feel about these brands that claim they do not sell in mainland China and that they do not test on animals “except when required by law” but at the same time, they’re all PETA approved cruelty-free.

Do you choose to continue to support these brands?


22 Responses
  • Angela
    February 18, 2018

    Estée Lauder is buying everything! Shame on the companies selling out. If we all keep up boycotting all Estée Lauder owned companies due to it being the umbrella company of self processed cruelty free and vegan companies maybe it will get the message. It is very hard to stay committed but I believe we can make a difference

  • Anne McPhillips
    February 8, 2018

    Well explained, thank you Vicki. Just like in all marketing it’s using a play on words and twisting the true meaning of what is going on here.
    Another recent example is L’Occitane Who just last year started selling their products in mainland China. The play on words or games that they choose to play states that oh no they are not doing the testing it’s a third-party. They (tests) are done by Chinese labs, approved by local authorities “on a limited animal panel”.
    So if they torture a few animals it’s ok! THIS IS DISGUSTING AND ALL IN THE NAME OF PROFIT.

  • Ron
    December 3, 2017

    Great post and very informative! I’m glad I stumbled across you while researching BBWorks. I’ll no longer purchase from them on principle if they cannot fully commit to being vegan and cruelty-free. In my opinion if a company is not vegan then they still have a hand in animal cruelty. All companies should be completely transparent regarding their core beliefs, however if that actually occurred I’m afraid we would just see dollar signs as their mission statements.

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