Last Updated: June 21, 2022

Is Clarins Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Clarins is a French luxury skincare, cosmetics and perfume company but is Clarins cruelty-free or vegan in 2022?

Ethical Analysis

Is Clarins cruelty-free or vegan? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on Clarins’s policies.
Clarins is NOT Cruelty-Free. Clarins engages in animal testing by allowing its products to be animal-tested.
Yes, Clarins sells its products in stores in mainland China under conditions where animal testing is still legally required.
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.


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Is Clarins Cruelty-Free?

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:

Is Clarins Cruelty-Free?

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:

Clarins sold in stores China and required to test on animals
Clarins sold in China, cannot be Cruelty-Free

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.

Cruelty-Free Policies

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.

Complete Cruelty-Free Checklist

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.

Is My Clarins Vegan?
Is Clarins Vegan?

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:

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What do you think

25 thoughts on “Clarins”

  1. I’m gutted. I’ve spent a couple of months trying samples for my hydrated skin. Finally settled on Clarins and a random comment on Facebook has led me to further investigation. I also thought they were cruelty free. I can’t, in all conscience invest in their products now.

  2. I have been using Clarins products for many years and was led to believe they did not use animal products or test on animals, l too will no longer be buying from this company until they cease the unacceptable testing on animals.

  3. I have made a decision to research all skin care & makeup to make sure they are truly cruelty free before buying. I think it’s a slow start but more & more people will do the same & others might just be shamed into It. Clairns should wake up to this & pave the way.

    1. Completely agree, Ruth – and if it means I’ll be buying products without an expensive logo slapped all over it, then so what? And if anyone cares about it enough, then perhaps they need to rethink whether they’re really as concerned about products being vegan as they say.

  4. So I gather everyone here thinks that Clarins should close their long established spa’s and put hundreds of thousands of people out of work both inside and outside of China so as not to be ‘greedy’. They were well established in China before anyone was concerned about animal testing. Do your research properly and see what a conscientious effort they are making on many fronts such as sustainability and protecting the environment. They are working to find a solution rather than turning their backs on their own people. None of their products outside of China are tested on animals.

    1. So Michelle if none of their products outside of China are tested on animals why on earth would it be a threat to the Chinese workforce if they did the same as the rest of the world?

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