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Is Kiehl’s Cruelty-Free? or Does Kiehl’s Test on Animals?

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Most consumers believe when a brand tends to use more “natural” ingredients in their products, that the company is also consciously against using animals to test their so-called “natural” products.

That’s a popular belief about the personal care brand, Kiehl’s.

However after some digging, I discovered that Kiehl’s unfortunately sells in Mainland China and therefore they consent to have their products tested on animals by Chinese local authorities.

Kiehl’s is also owned by L’Oreal, a corporation that continues to test on animals.

Related: Reasons to Support or Boycott Cruelty-Free Brands Owned by Parent Company

Kiehl’s Animal Testing Policy (2017)

Let’s take a look at Kiehl’s animal testing statement found on their website.

Kiehl’s claims that they “do not conduct animal testing on [their] products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on [their] behalf, except when required by law.”

The statement “except when required by law” is the catch.

When is it required by law to test cosmetics and its ingredients on animals? Importing and selling cosmetics in Mainland China requires animal testing. So this begs the question, is Kiehl’s selling their products in Mainland China?

Kiehl’s Selling in China?

Kiehl’s has a website dedicated for Chinese consumers and on this website is where I discovered a store directory of where Kiehl’s products are available in China.

This sadly is proof that Kiehl’s is indeed selling their products in China therefore they must have their products tested on animals before being allowed to sell in these Chinese stores.

Kiehl’s is NOT Cruelty-Free!

I’m sure both Kiehl’s and L’Oreal are doing some great work to help eliminate the use of animals for cosmetic testing however at this time, since Chinese laws require all imported cosmetics to be tested on animals before being allowed to sell in their country, and any company agreeing to this practice should not be considered cruelty-free. And sadly that is the case for Kiehl’s and they are not cruelty-free.

4 Responses
  • Chris
    August 31, 2017

    I really like Kiehl’s products. I was disappointed to read that they allow their products to be tested for sale in China. I’m inclined to not use them anymore. But is it really Kiehl’s or is it China to blame? Yes, of course, Kiehl’s and others could choose to not sell there. And eventually that might make a difference on China’s policy. But my US purchased products are not tested on animals. So in that respect, they are cruelty-free, right?

    • Melissa St Moore
      October 16, 2017

      That’s how i think of it. But Chris has a good point that if you boycott those brands, maybe China will change their policies. I mean, as a vegetarian I don’t buy leather but im not going to shop at only places that carry non leather things right? But with products and clothes im more inclined to go with the vegan & cruelty free brands. I love the kiehls moisturizers and consider it a lot more ethical then wearing neutrogena or johnson & johnson products.

  • Adrienne
    August 25, 2017

    My husband just returned from a trip to Dubai with some products. I was horrified as I know they test on animals. The girl in duty free assured him they didn’t. Staff don’t even know!! Not a cheap mistake either and made me look so ungrateful

  • Amy
    July 7, 2017

    That’s disappointing. I do like their products, but I can’t bear the animal testing. Thanks for your good work.

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