Biore (Kao)

Last Updated: June 13, 2022

How Ethical Is Biore (Kao)?

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 Biore’s ethics and initiatives.

Ethical Analysis

Is Biore cruelty-free or vegan? We’ve got the answers here! Read below to learn more about Biore’s policies.
Biore is NOT Cruelty-Free. Biore engages in animal testing by allowing its products to be animal-tested.

Biore is also owned by Kao, a parent corporation that does engage in animal testing.
Yes, Biore sells its products in stores in mainland China under conditions where animal testing is still legally required.
Biore claims to offer some “vegan” options that are free of animal-derived ingredients, but because Biore engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t classify anything sold or produced by Biore to be vegan.

Biore (Kao)

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Biore is NOT Cruelty-Free!

Biore allows its products or ingredients to be tested on animals when required by law including when selling in stores in mainland China.

In addition, Bioré is owned by Kao, a parent corporation that is NOT cruelty-free.

Bioré’s Animal Testing Policy

Bioré claims on its website that its products in the western market are “cruelty-free” and “vegan friendly”. However, this is a misleading statement because some of Bioré’s products that are sold outside of the western market or USA are tested on animals, namely in mainland China where animal testing is required by law.

See below for a couple of screenshots of what’s currently stated on Bioré’s website:

Is Biore Cruelty-Free?

Notice how Bioré says “All Bioré US products are cruelty-free and vegan friendly”. Bioré made sure to state that the products they sell in the US or Canada aren’t tested on animals. And they avoided disclosing that the products they sell in China are tested on animals.

Why does this matter?

Truly cruelty-free brands will never allow their products or ingredients to be tested on animals, anywhere in the world. Cruelty-free companies have a policy where if the law requires them to test on animals then they will refuse to sell their products under those conditions.

For example, imported cosmetics sold in stores in mainland China are required by Chinese laws to be tested on animals upon registration. Therefore, truly cruelty-free brands have chosen not to sell in China in order to remain committed to their no animal testing policy.

Is Bioré Sold in China?

In my research, I discovered that Bioré products are indeed sold in mainland China.

Below is a screenshot of Bioré’s parent company, Kao’s website advertising Bioré to the Chinese market:

But Doesn’t China No Longer Tests on Animals?

Companies can bypass China’s pre-market animal testing by choosing to manufacture their ordinary or general cosmetics in China, but it’s not stated anywhere that Bioré has taken this route.

Additionally, the possibility of post-market animal testing is not completely ruled out and may be conducted on some cosmetics sold in physical stores in China.

As of May 1, 2021, cosmetic companies can also export and sell their ordinary or general cosmetics in China without animal testing only if they meet a set of preconditions first. However, meeting these conditions has proven difficult, and it’s still unclear what exactly is accepted according to the new regulations. So 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 Bioré and Kao) are still required by law to be tested on animals in 2022.

Because Bioré has decided to sell in mainland China stores, they must consent and pay to have their products tested on animals. That’s why most cosmetics brands selling in mainland China cannot be considered cruelty-free in 2022.

Although Bioré 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 Bioré to be cruelty-free by our standards.

Cruelty-Free Policies

Many truly cruelty-free brands have chosen not to sell their products in China because of its animal testing laws. Unfortunately, Bioré 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 Bioré already does not meet the last two, we cannot classify the brand as being cruelty-free.

Complete Cruelty-Free Checklist

Is Bioré Certified Cruelty-Free?

Bioré is not certified cruelty-free by any third-party cruelty-free certifications like Leaping Bunny or PETA.

Because Bioré is not certified cruelty-free by a third party, no one is looking into or substantiating Bioré’s cruelty-free commitments and claims.

Is Bioré Owned By A Non-Cruelty-Free Parent Company?

Yes. Bioré is owned by Kao, 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 become cruelty-free.

But in this case, Bioré is NOT cruelty-free and neither is its parent corporation, Kao.

Is Bioré Cruelty-Free?

To sum up, by choosing to sell in mainland China, Bioré must have its products tested on animals. Therefore, we would NOT consider Bioré to be a cruelty-free brand.

Currently, Bioré is on our List of Brands to Avoid – Animal Tested.

Is Bioré Vegan?

Bioré claims to offer some “vegan” options that are free of animal-derived ingredients, but because Bioré engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t classify anything sold or produced by Bioré to be vegan.

See below for a screenshot of Biore’s vegan claims:

Is Biore Vegan?

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 Bioré

Looking to switch to cruelty-free products? Here are some cruelty-free brands to check out:

Or check out our guide to Affordable Cruelty-Free & Vegan Skincare Brands!

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