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Neutrogena is NOT Cruelty-Free!
Neutrogena allows its products or ingredients to be tested on animals when required by law including when selling in stores in mainland China.
In addition, Neutrogena is owned by Johnson & Johnson, a parent company that is also NOT cruelty-free.
Neutrogena’s Animal Testing Policy
On Neutrogena’s website, it states:
“Neutrogena does not conduct animal testing on our cosmetic products anywhere in the world, 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 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 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:
Because of Neutrogena’s decision to sell its products in stores in mainland China, they must register and pay the Chinese government to test their products on animals.
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 Neutrogena 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 Neutrogena and Johnson & Johnson) are still required by law to be tested on animals in 2022.
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 2022.
Although Neutrogena 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 Neutrogena to be cruelty-free by our standards.
Many truly cruelty-free brands have chosen not to sell their products in China because of its animal testing laws. 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, and 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.
Because Neutrogena is not certified cruelty-free by a third party, no one is looking into or substantiating Neutrogena’s cruelty-free commitments and claims.
Is Neutrogena Owned By A Non-Cruelty-Free Parent Company?
Yes. Neutrogena is owned by Johnson & Johnson, 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 go cruelty-free eventually.
But in this case, Neutrogena is NOT cruelty-free and neither is its parent corporation, Johnson & Johnson.
Is Neutrogena Cruelty-Free?
To sum up, by choosing to sell in mainland China, Neutrogena must have its products tested on animals. 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 has started to label one or more of its products as “vegan” but since we do not consider Neutrogena to be cruelty-free as their products are tested on animals when required by law, we also wouldn’t consider anything sold or manufactured by Neutrogena 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 Neutrogena:
Looking to switch to cruelty-free brands? Here are some cruelty-free options that are similar to Neutrogena:
- Derma E – 100% Vegan
- Yes To – some vegan options
- Pacifica – 100% Vegan
- Andalou Naturals – some vegan options, check labels