Cuddle weather season ☁️✨(📸 via @pugloulou)

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

This post may contain affiliate links.

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.

UPDATE (MAY 21, 2018): I’m happy to report that since the original publication of this post, Smashbox and Aveda have removed the disclaimer “except when required by law” from their animal testing statement and both brands are also still 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 brand owned by Estee Lauder.

Estee Lauder is not a cruelty-free brand and admits 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.”

UPDATE (MAY 21, 2018): Smashbox has removed the disclaimer “except when required by law” from their animal testing statement. Smashbox’s current statement reads Is Smashbox Cruelty-Free? Yes! We live for lipstick and are serious about primers—but we also really care about animals. That’s why we are a cruelty free makeup brand. We test our products on human volunteers, not animals.”


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.

EDITOR’S NOTE (MAY 21, 2018): Bath & Body Works still has the same animal testing statement.


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.

UPDATE (MAY 21, 2018): Aveda has removed the disclaimer “except when it is required by law” from their animal testing statement. It now says, Do you perform testing on animals?
Aveda is a cruelty-free brand. We do not test on animals and never ask others to do so on our behalf. Our products are “people-tested.” Being a cruelty-free brand is an important part of our mission to care for the world we live in and for those we live with, and has been since our founding in 1978. To learn more, click here.”


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?

 

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33 Comments
  • LD
    September 16, 2019

    Hi there!

    This conversation was brought up with myself and a coworker, as I had no idea B&BW was not cruelty-free. I did notice however, their statement on the website has changed and states they do not test on animals. Period. It looks like maybe they are doing their manufacturing IN vs importing into China, so they don’t have to worry about falling under the imported cosmetic animal testing law?

    I am just looking to clarify since your last update on this was in 2018 and from what I can tell their statement has changed. That being said, it also doesn’t look like they are on PETA’s list anymore.

    Thoughts?
    Thanks!

  • Amanda
    September 10, 2019

    It’s 2019… the fact that companies still test in animals is mind blowing. I will admit, I am in the process of changing over to Cruelty-Free cosmetics and skin care; it’s been a battle. I didn’t realize how much of what I had was tested in animals and it breaks my heart. It has been very hard to fine information on what companies do and don’t. I’m switching over to PCA skin as they do not. The rep for Jani Marini skin care will be at my work place so I will ask her for confirmation on if they test or not. As for all the bath and body works stuff I own, I think I will be taking it all back for a refund or just tossing it in the garbage where it belongs. I love Aveda, but it sucks that they are owned by este Lauder. I might just toss there stuff out too.

  • Sara
    February 3, 2019

    I just started paying attention to cruelty free logos. I have a product by Bath and Body Works stating, finished product is not tested on animals. To me it sounds like the ingredients to make product were used in testing , but not the final product. It is so sad animals go through torture, they can test product without using on animals.

  • Violeta
    October 10, 2018

    As far as companies owned by Estee Lauder who does test on animals, to support their affiliated companies is the same thing as buying Estee Lauder products. It’s hippocritical.

  • Shannon
    September 9, 2018

    I am cruelty free in skincare, body care, makeup, and hair care but I am not vegan. I am so conflicted about bath and body works because I absolutely love their candles, do you have any information regarding their candles? Do companies test candles on animals?

    • Debbie
      August 21, 2019

      As far as I’m concerned it doesn’t matter if the candles are tested on animals. The bottom line is this: if you are purchasing candles from a company who tests on animals “when required by law” then the money you just paid for those candles is going directly into the cost of testing on those animals. There are many truly cruelty free companies that produce candles that smell as good as those you like and you can actually spend your hard-earned cash on something that will continue to give you peace of mind.

  • Emma
    May 21, 2018

    Smashbox and Aveda are now listed on PETA’s website as cruelty-free, and both are using PETA’s cruelty-free logo. Yay!

    • Vicky Ly
      May 21, 2018

      Hi Emma,
      Thanks for leaving a comment and reminding me to update this post! Yes!! You’re right, Smashbox and Aveda had removed the disclaimer “except when required by law” from their animal testing statement. And both brands were always certified by PETA, so it’s good to know after all this time, they’re still certified CF!

      However, I would like to point out that Bath & Body Works still has the same animal testing statement that claims, they don’t test on animals, “except when required by law.” And they’re also still certified cruelty-free by PETA. So Bath & Body Works is still one of the brands certified by PETA that seems a little shady to me.

  • Ingrid
    May 18, 2018

    I’m sad as well that L’oreal and Estee Lauder are buying a lot of companies but I hope they decide to remain cruelty free like It cosmetics and too faced

  • Tara
    April 8, 2018

    Thank you so much Vicky! You are an angel for having this website for the preservation of love for animals. I just spent $300 at Aveda after being promised by their staff that they were vegan. I’m so disappointed but alas I felt strange in my gut when I was in the store & it’s another lesson for me to trust this intuition! It is a shame that so many companies advertise to be cruelty free & vegan yet the corruption is still unchecked. I look forward to your newsletter & to hearing from you soon. I’m curious to know….do all products that are vegan always have that advertised on the container? Do you know if the Wild Carrots, Pacifica, & Acure brands are vegan? I’m an animal lover & I have 3 cats. If you have pets & want to learn about the corruption of the pet food industry I strongly urge you to check out thetruthaboutpetfood.com. It’s not my website & im not affiliated with them. It’s just a fantastic resource for anybody with pets to learn the corruption & lack of regulation of the pet food industry & the pet foods that aren’t corrupted. It is shocking. Thank you again for sharing your wonderful knowledge.
    Most gratefully & sincerely, Tara✨?✨

    • Ewa
      June 8, 2018

      Pacifica is vegan. Not sure about the other ones.

  • 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

    • June
      August 31, 2018

      I refuse to purchase Estee Lauder any more I think if we stand together and do not support companies that torture animals for their own profits.

“Make ethical choices in what we buy, do, and watch. In a consumer-driven society our individual choices, used collectively for the good of animals and nature, can change the world faster than laws.”― Marc Bekoff

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