Clean & Clear (Kenvue)

Last Updated: June 6, 2023

How Ethical Is Clean & Clear (Kenvue)?

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 Clean & Clear’s ethics and initiatives.

Ethical Analysis

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

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

Clean & Clear (Kenvue)

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Clean & Clear is NOT Cruelty-Free!

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

In addition, Clean & Clear is owned by Kenvue (a spin-off of Johnson & Johnson) and a parent company that is NOT cruelty-free.

Clean & Clear’s Animal Testing Policy

On Clean & Clear’s website, they claim they do not conduct animal testing on their products except where governments or laws require it.

See below for a screenshot of what’s currently stated on Clean & Clear’s website:

Policies stating, “except when required 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 Clean & Clear Sold in China?

In my research, I discovered that Clean & Clear products are indeed sold in stores in mainland China.

Below is a screenshot of Clean & Clear’s 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 Clean & Clear 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 Clean and Clear) are still required by law to be tested on animals in 2022.

Because Clean & Clear 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 Clean & Clear 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 Clean & Clear 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, Clean & Clear 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 Clean & Clear already does not meet the last two, we cannot classify the brand as being cruelty-free.

Complete Cruelty-Free Checklist

Is Clean & Clear Certified Cruelty-Free?

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

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

Is Clean & Clear Owned By A Non-Cruelty-Free Parent Company?

Yes. Clean & Clear is owned by Kenvue (a spin-off of Johnson & Johnson) and a parent corporation that still engages in animal testing in 2023.

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, Clean & Clear is NOT cruelty-free and neither is its parent corporation, Kenvue.

Is Clean & Clear Cruelty-Free?

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

Currently, Clean & Clear is on our List of Brands to Avoid – Animal Tested.

Is Clean & Clear Vegan?

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

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

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

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