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2021 Update! I am SO happy to announce that Garnier has been granted approval to become Leaping Bunny certified!
Last year, I posted my analysis of Garnier’s animal testing policy and it was confirmed that Garnier was no longer selling in China. However, I wasn’t able to get a clear answer from Garnier about the details of its animal testing policy.
But that’s all been resolved now as they have gone through the process to become certified cruelty-free via Cruelty Free International Leaping Bunny Program! In order to grant approval, “Garnier had to secure declaration from more than 500 suppliers, who source more than 3,000 different ingredients, from across the world”.
This is a HUGE win for the cruelty-free movement and I’m hoping to see more L’Oreal brands follow Garnier’s footsteps.
Garnier is *Cruelty-Free
Garnier 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 Garnier to be Cruelty-Free.
*Garnier is owned by L’Oreal, a corporation that is NOT cruelty-free because they allow some of their other brands to test on animals.
It’s your choice whether you want to support or boycott cruelty-free brands owned by a parent company that is not cruelty-free. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer to this. I encourage you to do what you’re comfortable with, but I think it’s important to disclose that L’Oreal owns Garnier.
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 2021.
But Garnier has confirmed they do not sell their products in retail stores in mainland China; therefore, they are not required to test on animals.
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.
Garnier 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 Garnier, not all of their products are vegan. But they have some products that are suitable for vegans.
Below is a screenshot I took from their website of Garnier’s vegan claims.
How to know which of Garnier products are vegan?
All of Garnier’s vegan products are clearly marked on the product packaging. Spot the ‘Vegan Formula’ logo or stamp on packaging.
Similar to ‘Cruelty-Free,’ there is no standard or legal definition for the label ‘Vegan.’ But it’s usually used in the context to describe something that doesn’t contain any animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products.
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 the 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 Garnier if their mica is ethically sourced without the use of child labor, but they never responded to any of my emails or messages.
I hope this article helped you to understand Garnier’s cruelty-free and vegan status and by choosing cruelty-free together, we can help end animal testing for cosmetics once and for all!