Last Updated: February 25, 2024

How Ethical Is Phyto?

Phyto Paris offers a range of hair care products but is Phyto cruelty-free or vegan in 2022?

Ethical Analysis

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


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Is Phyto Cruelty-Free?

Phyto is NOT Cruelty-Free!

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

Phyto’s Animal Testing Policy

Phyto claims on its website that they do not engage in animal testing, however, this is not enough information for us to classify any brand as being cruelty-free to our standards.

Animal testing for cosmetics can happen at various stages of product development, including at the ingredient level, and is often done by others and not the cosmetic company itself. This is why 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 any third parties.

Below is a screenshot of what’s currently stated on Phyto’s website:

Phyto Cruelty-Free Claims

So I emailed Phyto asking if any of its products or ingredients are tested on animals. Either by the company itself, commissioned to a third party to test on its behalf, or by any of its suppliers. They responded by saying,

“Thank you for contacting PHYTO PARIS.

We appreciate your concern for the environment and are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Please kindly be advised at this time absolutely all of our products are CRUELTY-FREE.

Here at PHYTO we follow the same regulations and respect the EUROPEAN ways.

However China may or may not.

Because of the amount of products we have, please specify which products you are interested in inquiring about as to which are vegan


In the email response, Phyto claims all of its products are “Cruelty-Free.” However, there is no standard or legal definition for the label, “Cruelty-Free.” Meaning any brand can call its products Cruelty-Free and it can mean whatever they want it to mean.

Phyto also states, “we follow the same regulations and respect the European ways. However China may or may not”. This implies the company is selling its products in mainland China where most cosmetics require animal testing upon registration.

Is Phyto Sold in China?

Phyto products are indeed sold in China. Below are a couple of screenshots I took from Phyto’s Chinese website, clearly showing several stores in mainland China selling Phyto products:

Phyto Sold in China; required to test on animals, therefore cannot be cruelty-free
Phyto sold in stores in mainland China; cannot be cruelty-free!

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 Phyto 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 Phyto) are still required by law to be tested on animals in 2022.

Because Phyto 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 Phyto 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 Phyto 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, Phyto 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 Phyto already does not meet the last two, we cannot classify the brand as being cruelty-free.

Complete Cruelty-Free Checklist

Is Phyto Certified Cruelty-Free?

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

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

Is Phyto Cruelty-Free?

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

Currently, Phyto is on our List of Brands to Avoid – Animal Tested.

Is Phyto Vegan?

I noticed some of Phyto’s products are indicated as being “VEGAN” in the product description of their website. But since we do not consider Phyto 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 Phyto 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 Phyto

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

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