Last Updated: February 25, 2024

How Ethical Is L’Occitane?

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 L'Occitane’s ethics and initiatives.

Ethical Analysis

Is L’Occitane cruelty-free or vegan? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on L’Occitane’s policies.
L’Occitane is NOT Cruelty-Free. L’Occitane engages in animal testing by allowing its products to be animal-tested.
Yes, L’Occitane sells its products in stores in mainland China under conditions where animal testing is still legally required.
L’Occitane claims to offer some “vegan” options that are free of animal-derived ingredients, but because L’Occitane engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t classify anything sold or produced by L’Occitane to be vegan.


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L’Occitane is NOT Cruelty-Free!

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

L’Occitane’s Animal Testing Policy

On L’Occitane’s website, they claim they do not test their products or ingredients on animals and they require all of their suppliers to adhere to their no-animal testing policy too.

However, L’Occitane states in China, where their products are sold, imported beauty products must be tested on animals in government laboratories before they can be approved for sale in China.

As a result, L’Occitane’s decision to sell their products in China means they must agree to have their products tested on animals by Chinese authorities.

Below is (part of) a screenshot of what’s currently stated on L’Occitane’s website:

Is L’Occitane Sold in China?

Yes, L’Occitane confirmed in their animal testing statement that their products are sold in China.

In addition, below are a couple of screenshots I took of L’Occitane’s Chinese website and their store locator showing results in mainland China:

L'Occitane Sold in China; Cannot Be Cruelty-Free
L'Occitane Sold in Stores in China, required to test on animals and cannot be cruelty-free!

But Doesn’t China No Longer Test 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 specifically that L’Occitane has taken this route.

Although L’Occitane states this updated law in their animal testing statement (see below), it wasn’t clear if that’s what L’Occitane is specifically doing to bypass China’s animal testing requirements.

“This constructive dialogue has already led to a series of advances in Chinese regulations, including the decision in June 2014 to end animal testing on so-called ‘ordinary cosmetics’ (shampoo, perfume etc.) that are manufactured and packaged locally. Another major milestone was achieved in November 2016 when the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) approved the use of a non-animal test for the safety assessment of certain cosmetic ingredients. The National Institutes for Food and Drug Control (NIFDC) are currently evaluating other alternatives to animal testing.” (Source: L’Occitane)

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 L’Occitane) are still required by law to be tested on animals in 2022.

Because L’Occitane 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 L’Occitane 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 L’Occitane 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, L’Occitane 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, or by any third parties, including when required by law.

See below for our complete cruelty-free checklist. Since L’Occitane already does not meet the last two, we cannot classify the brand as being cruelty-free.

Complete Cruelty-Free Checklist

Is L’Occitane Certified Cruelty-Free?

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

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

Is L’Occitane Owned By A Non-Cruelty-Free Parent Company?

Yes. L’Occitane is owned by L’Occitane Group, 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, L’Occitane is NOT cruelty-free and neither is its parent corporation, L’Occitane Group.

Is L’Occitane Cruelty-Free?

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

Currently, L’Occitane is on our List of Brands to Avoid – Animal Tested.

Is L’Occitane Vegan?

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

Looking to switch to cruelty-free brands? Here are some cruelty-free and vegan-friendly options that are similar to L’Occitane:

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What do you think

1 thought on “L’Occitane”

  1. I love L’Occitane products but I am so disappointed to hear that they sell their products in China where animal testing is mandatory. This unfortunately means I will have to stop buying any of their products in future. I have been a very good customer with L’Occitane and it is such a shame they are not as ethical as I thought they were.

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