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Is Neutrogena Cruelty-Free?
☠️ Neutrogena is NOT cruelty-free in 2023. Neutrogena allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law, including when selling in stores in mainland China.
Neutrogena’s Animal Testing Policy
When asking, does Neutrogena test on animals? We must look beyond to ensure none of Neutrogena’s 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 Neutrogena’s website, they claim they do not conduct animal testing except in the rare instance where governments require it.
Below is a screenshot of what is currently on Neutrogena’s website:
Policies stating, “except where governments require it,” usually imply the company distributes its products in countries that require animal testing, like mainland China.
Is Neutrogena Sold in China?
I found evidence of Neutrogena selling its products in mainland China via neutrogena.com.cn.
In addition, Neutrogena products are also sold in stores at Watson.
Below is a screenshot of Neutrogena’s Chinese website:
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 Neutrogena 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 Neutrogena) are still required by law to be tested on animals in 2023.
Because Neutrogena 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 Neutrogena 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 Neutrogena 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, Neutrogena 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 Neutrogena already does not meet the last two, we cannot classify the brand as being cruelty-free.
Is Neutrogena Certified Cruelty-Free?
Neutrogena is not certified cruelty-free by any third-party cruelty-free certifications like Leaping Bunny or PETA.
Since Neutrogena is not certified cruelty-free by a third party, no one is substantiating or auditing Neutrogena’s cruelty-free commitments and claims.
Is Neutrogena Owned By A Non-Cruelty-Free Parent Company?
Yes. Neutrogena 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, Neutrogena is NOT cruelty-free, and neither is its parent corporation, Kenvue.
Does Neutrogena Test on Animals?
To wrap up, Neutrogena allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law, like when selling in China. Therefore, we would NOT consider Neutrogena to be a cruelty-free brand.
Currently, Neutrogena is on our List of Brands to Avoid – Animal Tested.
Is Neutrogena Vegan?
❌ Neutrogena is NOT vegan. Neutrogena claims to offer some “vegan” options that are free of animal-derived ingredients, but Neutrogena engages in animal testing in some capacity, so we wouldn’t consider any Neutrogena 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.
Cruelty-Free Alternatives to Neutrogena:
Looking to switch to cruelty-free brands? Here are some cruelty-free options that are similar to Neutrogena: