Last Updated: April 4, 2023

How Ethical Is Aesop?

Make a positive impact by supporting companies with the same values and ethics as what matters most to you. To navigate and find ethical brands, here’s a summary of Aesop’s ethics and initiatives

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Ethical Analysis

Is Aesop cruelty-free, vegan, or sustainable? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on Aesop’s policies.
Aesop is *cruelty-free, but Aesop just got bought by L’Oreal, a parent company that is NOT cruelty-free.
All of Aesop’s products are 100% vegan and don’t contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.
Aesop is a B Corporation and Aesop’s Ethical Sourcing Program ensures their suppliers use environmentally responsible processes, have safe working conditions, and treat workers with dignity. In addition, Aesop is committed to taking climate action and reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2030.
Aesop is transitioning over 80% of their plastic bottles to a minimum of 97% recycled PET content and introducing a screw cap option to enable and encourage customers to re-use the plastic pump in their bottles. Aesop is also evaluating in-store packaging return and refill programs.

About Aesop

Aesop offers skin, hair and body care formulations created with meticulous attention to detail, and with efficacy and sensory pleasure in mind.
PRODUCTS MADE IN: Australia, England, Japan, France
PRODUCTS: Skincare, Bath & Body Care, Hair Care, Oral Care, Fragrance, Candles
CERTIFICATIONS: Cruelty Free International, PETA-Certified


This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

Is Aesop Cruelty-Free?

🐰 Aesop is a *cruelty-free brand. None of Aesop’s ingredients or products are tested on animals. Aesop has met all the criteria in our Cruelty-Free Checklist and is included in our Cruelty-Free Directory.

Does Aesop Test on Animals?

When asking, does Aesop test on animals? We must look beyond to ensure none of Aesop’s ingredients or suppliers test on animals. And they don’t sell in any conditions that require animal testing by law.

In our research, we discovered the following:

  • ✓ Aesop confirmed they do not test their products or ingredients on animals or ask others to test on their behalf.
  • ✓ Aesop confirmed all their ingredient suppliers do not test on animals
  • ✓ Aesop confirmed they do not allow or sell their products under conditions where animal testing is required by law

By meeting all of our Cruelty-Free Criteria, Aesop is a *cruelty-free brand by our standards.

*2023 Update! L’Oreal bought Aesop from Natura & Co. L’Oreal will now own Aesop. And L’Oreal is NOT cruelty-free because they allow some of their other brands to test on animals.

What is Aesop’s Animal Testing Policy?

Below is a screenshot of what’s currently stated on Aesop’s website about its animal testing policy:

Animal Testing in China – 2023 Update!

With the recent changes to China’s animal testing laws, cosmetic companies can now export and sell some of their cosmetics in China without animal testing only if they meet ALL of the following preconditions first.

  • ONLY sell ‘general’ cosmetics (like makeup, skincare, haircare, nail polish, and perfumes)
  • must NOT sell any ‘special’ cosmetics like sunscreens, hair dye, hair perming, or other cosmetics claiming new efficacy
  • must NOT sell products designed for infants or children
  • must NOT sell products that contain a ‘New Cosmetic Ingredient’
  • AND if post-market testing is required, then the company must have a policy in place where it will RECALL its products rather than allow its products to be tested on animals

Also, products must meet ONE of the following in order to avoid animal testing in China:

  • manufactured in China, or the final assembly is in China
  • if manufactured outside of China and then exported to China, companies must obtain the proper product safety certificates and documents

Is Aesop Sold in China?

Yes, in 2022, Aesop opened its first retail store in mainland China. Aesop also confirmed this to me in an email response:

“Before we consider entry into a new country, we extensively review the regulatory requirements to ensure that compulsory animal testing on our products is not required. Further to this, all available Aesop products are registered in Mainland China under the new regulation that allows us to avoid animal testing.”

I asked Aesop under what new regulation is allowing Aesop to sell in China while avoiding animal tests. And they told me:

“We are currently registering all Aesop products in China under the new regulation that allows us to avoid animal testing. We ensure product compliance by adhering to safety criteria, all products available via Tmall Domestic and Aesop signature stores in China are produced following good manufacturing practices (GMP) and also pass a product, safety assessment.

Some products are not available in China as they do not currently qualify for exemption from animal testing. We choose to incorporate high-quality, scientifically validated and skin-friendly ingredients in our products to perform specific functions, from a selection of reputable sources. We are proud to be Cruelty Free International Leaping Bunny approved, and to be included on PETA’s cruelty-free and vegan lists.

For your reference, the updated Cosmetics Supervision and Administration Regulation (CSAR) will outline removed requirements of pre-market animal testing for general cosmetics.”

To avoid animal tests, Aesop has confirmed it only sells general cosmetics that are produced following GMP standards and has obtained the proper product safety assessments that do not involve animal tests.

Follow the highlighted lines in the graphic below to see how Aesop avoids animal tests while selling some of its cosmetics in China.

Is Aesop Certified Cruelty-Free?

Aesop is certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny and PETA.

Cruelty-Free Policies 2023

Just because a brand claims it is ‘Cruelty-Free,’ doesn’t always mean that’s the case.

That’s because there is no legal definition for the label ‘Cruelty-Free.’ It can mean different things to different people. But Cruelty-Free is generally used to imply no animal testing. More specifically, the ingredients, formulation, or finished product are not tested on animals at any stage of product development.

At ethical elephant, we always assess a company’s cruelty-free policy using our Cruelty-Free Checklist. This ensures no animal testing was performed by the brand itself, its suppliers, or any third parties.

How We Assess Cruelty-Free Policies

Since starting my blog in 2015, I’ve been emailing companies asking about their animal testing policies and cruelty-free commitments.

And based on the responses I receive from companies, I’ll research to find any supporting facts needed before concluding whether the brand should be classified as “Cruelty-Free,” “Animal-Tested,” or “Grey Area – Unclear Policies.”

☕️ Every week, I continue to reach out to new brands while trying my best to keep current brands updated. If you found any of my posts or guides helpful, consider Buying Me A Coffee! I would greatly appreciate it! ❤️

What about Vegan?

Just because something is called Cruelty-Free, doesn’t always mean it’s Vegan. And vice versa.

Cruelty-Free only refers to no animal testing, while Vegan means formulated without animal products.

Some brands are Cruelty-Free, but not Vegan.

And some are Vegan, but not Cruelty-Free.

Another important distinction to know is, Vegan in cosmetics can refer to an entire brand is 100% Vegan, or a specific product is Vegan.

Is Aesop Vegan?

⭐️ Aesop is a100% vegan brand. All their products are vegan, and are formulated without any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.

The following is a screenshot of what’s currently stated on Aesop’s official website about its vegan products:

Where to buy Aesop? Check out, Nordstrom, and on Amazon!

Vegan Policies

Similar to ‘Cruelty-Free,’ there is no standard or legal definition for the label ‘Vegan.’ But Vegan is generally used to mean formulated without animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products.

Some common animal products in cosmetics include carmine, lanolin, snail mucus, beeswax, honey, pearl or silk-derived ingredients, animal-based glycerin, keratin, and squalene.

There are plant-based and synthetic alternatives to animal-derived ingredients. But unless a brand explicitly labels its ingredients or product as Vegan, it’s often difficult to know with certainty whether a product is vegan just by reading the ingredient list.

So it’s best to ask the company and manufacturers to ensure the ingredients they chose were from non-animal sources.

Where are Aesop’s products made?

I asked Aesop where their products are manufactured and they told me:

“All Aesop products are manufactured in Australia, with the exception of our shaving accessories, which are manufactured by skilled artisans in England and Japan, and our Fragrance, Aromatique Candles and Room Spray ranges which are manufactured in France. We are headquartered in Melbourne, with offices and stores in many parts of the world, and are owned by our Brazilian parent, Natura &Co.”

I hope this article helped you to understand Aesop’s cruelty-free and vegan status and by choosing cruelty-free together, we can help end animal testing for cosmetics once and for all!

If you found this helpful, consider Buying Me a Coffee. So that I can continue to keep this site running and updated.

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