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Clarins is NOT Cruelty-Free!
Clarins allows its products or ingredients to be tested on animals when required by law including when selling in stores in mainland China.
Clarins’ Animal Testing Policy
On Clarins’ website, they claim that they don’t conduct animal testing except in cases when required locally by law and that they comply with all applicable regulations in every country in which their products are sold to.
See below for a screenshot of what’s currently stated on Clarins’ website:
Policies stating, “except when required locally by law,” usually imply the company is selling its products in mainland China. That’s because cosmetics sold in stores in mainland China are required by law to be tested on animals.
Is Clarins Sold in China?
In my research, I discovered that Clarins products are indeed sold in stores in mainland China.
Below are a couple of screenshots of Clarins store locator showing results in mainland China and their Chinese website:
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 Clarins 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 Clarins) are still required by law to be tested on animals in 2022.
Because Clarins 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 Clarins 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 Clarins to be cruelty-free by our standards.
Many truly cruelty-free brands have chosen not to sell their products in China because of its animal testing laws. Unfortunately, Clarins 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 Clarins already does not meet the last two, we cannot classify the brand as being cruelty-free.
Is Clarins Certified Cruelty-Free?
Clarins is not certified cruelty-free by any third-party cruelty-free certifications like Leaping Bunny or PETA.
Because Clarins is not certified cruelty-free by a third party, no one is looking into or substantiating Clarins’ cruelty-free commitments and claims.
Is Clarins Cruelty-Free?
To sum up, by choosing to sell in mainland China, Clarins must have its products tested on animals. Therefore, we would NOT consider Clarins to be a cruelty-free brand.
Currently, Clarins is on our List of Brands to Avoid – Animal Tested.
Is My Clarins Cruelty-Free?
In 2019, Clarins launched a skincare line called My Clarins targeted at the younger generation. The company claims these products from its My Clarins line are both cruelty-free and vegan but I wouldn’t buy from this line.
Clarins states its My Clarins line is free of animal ingredients and that since its My Clarins line isn’t sold in China and those products have not been tested on animals, that means they’re cruelty-free.
However, My Clarins is just one small product line operating under the same umbrella as Clarins.
If Clarins really cared about helping to end animal testing for cosmetics, then they should stop testing their main product line, Clarins, on animals!
When evaluating a brand’s cruelty-free status, I review the overall brand itself and whether they conduct, commission, or condone any type of animal testing on their ingredients, formulations, or finished products.
To see Clarins produce a separate line of “cruelty-free” and “vegan-friendly” skincare while trying to paint a picture that they’re “partially” cruelty-free does NOT mean they’re truly cruelty-free in our books.
Is Clarins Vegan?
Clarins claims to offer some “vegan” options that are free of animal-derived ingredients, but because Clarins engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t classify anything sold or produced by Clarins to be 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 Clarins:
Looking for cruelty-free options similar to Clarins, here are some of our recommendations: