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Benton is Cruelty-Free
Benton has confirmed they do not test their products or ingredients on animals or ask others to test on their behalf. Their suppliers also do not test on animals, nor do they allow their products to be tested on animals when required by law. And finally, their products are not sold in stores in mainland China or any other country that may require animal testing.
By our standards, we would consider Benton to be Cruelty-Free.
“We are a cruelty free company certified by PETA, meaning neither of our final products nor ingredients are tested on animals.“
What About China’s Animal Testing Laws?
As of May 1, 2021, some imported ordinary cosmetics can be exempt from animal testing under certain conditions. However, for the most part, animal testing is still legally required for most imported cosmetics in 2022.
But Benton has confirmed they do not sell their products in retail stores in mainland China; therefore, they are not required to test on animals.
“Also we are not directly selling to China, or in any form of distribution that requires animal testing.“
Note that 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, and by any third parties.
Also, note that Cruelty-Free and Vegan don’t always mean the same thing.
Benton is Not 100% Vegan
‘Vegan’ in cosmetics can refer to an entire brand that is 100% Vegan or a specific product is vegan.
In the case of Benton, not all of their products are vegan. But they have some products that are suitable for vegans.
How to know which of Benton products are vegan?
Currently, Benton has 16 products that are registered with The Vegan Society. Benton has listed them all here.
In 2020, I had also asked Benton which of their products are vegan and instead, they sent me a list of their non-vegan products:
“Following is the list of animal derived ingredients and Benton products containing them
-Snail Secretion Filtrate: Snail Bee Line, Aloe BHA Skin Toner
-Bee Venom: Snail Bee Line
-Propolis Extract (derived from beeswax): Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel, Dear My Best Friend Bar”
Some common animal products used 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 it’s sometimes 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’ve chosen to use were from non-animal sources.
Ethical Mica Mining Policy
Mica is a mineral that’s used in cosmetics to add a shimmery effect. But the mining of natural mica has been linked to child labor and human rights violations.
Unless a company discloses its mica mining policy, we have no way of knowing whether its mica is ethically sourced without child or forced labor.
So I asked Benton if their mica is ethically sourced without the use of child labor and they responded by stating,
“I’ve got a reply from our supplier. They said that both supplier and the raw material manufacturer have never hired any child labor at all, and both of company are based in China. And our supplier also received the declaration from them. We will keep our eyes on them very carefully.”