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Is NARS Cruelty-Free?
☠️ NARS is NOT cruelty-free in 2023. NARS allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law, including when selling in stores in mainland China.
NARS’ Animal Testing Policy
When asking, does NARS test on animals? We must look beyond to ensure none of NARS’ ingredients or suppliers test on animals. And they don’t sell in any country or under conditions that may require animal testing by law.
To assess whether brands are cruelty-free, I always start with the company’s official animal testing policy on their website.
On NARS’ website, they claim they don’t test on animals except where required by law.
Below is a screenshot of what is currently stated on NARS’ website:
Policies stating, “except where required by law,” usually imply the company distributes its products in countries that require animal testing, like mainland China.
Is NARS Sold in China?
In June of 2017, NARS announced on their Instagram that they have decided to start selling their cosmetics in China. As a result, NARS must allow its cosmetics to be tested on animals upon registration in China.
View this post on Instagram
We want you to know that we hear you. The global elimination of animal testing needs to happen. We firmly believe that product and ingredient safety can be proven by non-animal methods, but we must comply with the local laws of the markets in which we operate, including in China. We have decided to make NARS available in China because we feel it is important to bring our vision of beauty and artistry to fans in the region. NARS does not test on animals or ask others to do so on our behalf, except where required by law. NARS is committed and actively working to advance alternative testing methods. We are proud to support the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS), a globally recognized organization at the forefront of advancing non-animal methods in China and around the world. NARS is hopeful that together, we can work toward a cruelty-free world. For more on the good work IIVS is doing, see: http://bit.ly/2rVjnwV
“We want you to know that we hear you. The global elimination of animal testing needs to happen. We firmly believe that product and ingredient safety can be proven by non-animal methods, but we must comply with the local laws of the markets in which we operate, including in China.”
We have decided to make NARS available in China because we feel it is important to bring our vision of beauty and artistry to fans in the region. NARS does not test on animals or ask others to do so on our behalf, except where required by law. NARS is committed and actively working to advance alternative testing methods. We are proud to support the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS), a globally recognised organisation at the forefront of advancing non-animal methods in China and around the world. NARS is hopeful that together, we can work toward a cruelty-free world.”
But Doesn’t China No Longer Test on Animals?
With the recent changes to China’s animal testing laws, cosmetic companies can now export and sell some of their cosmetics in China without animal testing only if they meet ALL of the following preconditions first.
- ONLY sell ‘general’ cosmetics (like makeup, skincare, haircare, nail polish, and perfumes)
- must NOT sell any ‘special’ cosmetics like sunscreens, hair dye, hair perming, or other cosmetics claiming new efficacy
- must NOT sell products designed for infants or children
- must NOT sell products that contain a ‘New Cosmetic Ingredient’
- AND if post-market testing is required, then the company must have a policy in place where it will RECALL its products rather than allow its products to be tested on animals
Also, products must meet ONE of the following in order to avoid animal testing in China:
- manufactured in China, or the final assembly is in China
- if manufactured outside of China and then exported to China, companies must obtain the proper product safety certificates and documents
However, it’s not stated anywhere that NARS has taken any steps to meet the above preconditions in order to avoid animal testing while selling in China.
Follow the highlighted lines in the graphic below to see why most cosmetics sold in China (like NARS) are still required by law to be tested on animals in 2023.
Because NARS 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 2023.
Although NARS may not be conducting these animal tests themselves, they knowingly allow Chinese authorities to test their products on animals in order to sell in China.
For those reasons, we would not consider NARS to be cruelty-free by our standards.
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Many truly cruelty-free brands have chosen not to sell their products in China under conditions where animal tests may be required. Unfortunately, NARS 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 NARS already does not meet the last two, we cannot classify the brand as being cruelty-free.
Is NARS Certified Cruelty-Free?
NARS is not certified cruelty-free by any third-party cruelty-free certifications like Leaping Bunny or PETA.
Since NARS is not certified cruelty-free by a third party, no one is substantiating or auditing NARS’ cruelty-free commitments and claims.
Is NARS Owned By A Non-Cruelty-Free Parent Company?
Yes. NARS is owned by Shiseido, 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, NARS is NOT cruelty-free, and neither is its parent corporation, Shiseido.
Does NARS Test on Animals?
To wrap up, NARS allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law, like when selling in China. Therefore, we would NOT consider NARS to be a cruelty-free brand.
Currently, NARS is on our List of Brands to Avoid – Animal Tested.
Is NARS Vegan?
❌ NARS is NOT vegan. NARS claims to offer some “vegan” options that are free of animal-derived ingredients, but NARS engages in animal testing in some capacity, so we wouldn’t consider any NARS products vegan at this time.
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.
Below is a screenshot of what is currently stated on NARS’ website about their vegan status:
Cruelty-Free Alternatives to NARS
Looking for a cruelty-free makeup alternative to NARS? We recommend the following cruelty-free cosmetics brands: