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Benefit is NOT Cruelty-Free!
Benefit allows some of its products to be tested on animals when required by law including when selling in stores in mainland China.
In addition, Benefit Cosmetics is owned by LVMH, a parent corporation that isn’t cruelty-free.
Benefit’s Animal Testing Policy
Below is a screenshot of what’s currently stated on Benefit Cosmetics’ website about its animal testing policy:
On Benefit’s website, they claim they do not test their products on animals and that the company and their parent corporation, LVMH group uses non-animal testing methods during the development of each of their product.
However, animal testing for cosmetics can happen at various stages including after product development like pre-market (before products hit the store shelves) or post-market (after products are sold).
In addition, animal testing is often done by others and not just the cosmetic company itself. This is why 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 regulatory authorities.
So, what isn’t Benefit Cosmetics telling us in their initial animal testing statement?
Benefit recently updated their FAQ page with a bunch more drop-down Q&A’s. I almost missed these extra sections myself. But I’m glad I caught it. Because the truth about Benefit’s animal testing policy is hidden in one of these drop-down items.
Below is a screenshot of another section of their FAQ page:
Here, Benefit states China’s new animal testing regulations and how General Cosmetics can be imported into China without animal testing. This is true but only if brands meet a set of preconditions first. And meeting these conditions has proven difficult where it’s still unclear what exactly is accepted according to these new regulations. There’s no word yet of any company that has successfully done so.
Follow the highlighted lines in the graphic below to see why most cosmetics sold in China (like Benefit and LVMH) are still required by law to be tested on animals in 2022.
Also, if you continue reading Benefit’s website, they go on and state, “however, the government authorities still require cosmetics companies to make “special” cosmetics available for testing.”
This means Benefit isn’t only selling “general” cosmetics which may theoretically be exported and sold in China without animal testing, but Benefit is also selling “special” cosmetics (defined as to include hair dyes, hair perming products, freckle-removing products, sunscreens, and anti-hair loss products) that still require animal testing in 2022.
Taking the same graphic as above, I’ve highlighted and shown the case for “special” cosmetics sold in China and how they still require animal testing per China’s latest regulations.
Even with the latest changes to China’s animal testing regulations, Benefit continues to still sell its cosmetics in China under conditions that still require animal testing in 2022.
Although Benefit may not be conducting these animal tests themselves, they knowingly allow Chinese authorities to test their products on animals to sell in China.
For those reasons, we would not consider Benefit to be cruelty-free by our standards.
Is Benefit Cosmetics Sold in China?
Below is a couple of screenshots I took from Benefit Cosmetics’ Chinese website, clearly showing several retailers carrying their products:
Many truly cruelty-free brands have chosen not to sell their products in China because of its animal testing laws. Unfortunately, Benefit refuses to do the same and therefore cannot be considered cruelty-free.
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, and by any third parties, including when required by law.
See below for our complete cruelty-free checklist. Since Benefit does not meet the last two, we cannot classify the brand as being cruelty-free.
Is Benefit Certified Cruelty-Free?
Benefit is not certified cruelty-free by any third-party cruelty-free certifications like Leaping Bunny or PETA.
Because Benefit is not certified cruelty-free by a third party, no one is looking into or substantiating Benefit’s cruelty-free commitments and claims.
Is Benefit Owned By A Non-Cruelty-Free Parent Company?
Yes. Benefit is owned by LVMH, a parent corporation that still engages in animal testing in 2022.
Some cruelty-free consumers may choose to purchase and support cruelty-free brands owned by animal-tested parent corporations as they hope it will convince the parent company to go cruelty-free eventually.
But in this case, Benefit is NOT cruelty-free and neither is its parent corporation, LVMH.
Is Benefit Cruelty-Free?
To sum up, by choosing to sell in mainland China, Benefit must have its products tested on animals. Therefore, we would NOT consider Benefit to be a cruelty-free brand.
Currently, Benefit is on our List of Brands to Avoid – Animal Tested.
Is Benefit Cosmetics Vegan?
Benefit does not claim or market itself to offer any vegan-friendly options. And since Benefit engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t consider anything sold or produced by Benefit to be vegan anyways.
In order for products to be considered vegan by ethical elephant’s standards, the products and their ingredients must not be tested on animals anywhere in the world. Also, they must not contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.
Cruelty-Free Alternatives to Benefit
Looking to switch to cruelty-free cosmetics? Here are some cruelty-free brands to check out: