Last Updated: May 16, 2021

Is Rimmel Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Rimmel is a British cosmetics brand, most known for its affordable range of mascaras, but is Rimmel cruelty-free or vegan in 2021?

Ethical Analysis

Is Rimmel cruelty-free or vegan? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on Rimmel’s policies.
Rimmel is NOT Cruelty-Free. Rimmel engages in animal testing by allowing its products to be animal-tested.
Yes, Rimmel sells its products in stores in mainland China under conditions where animal testing is still legally required.
Since Rimmel’s products are animal-tested, we wouldn’t consider anything sold or produced by Rimmel to be vegan.


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Is Rimmel Cruelty-Free?
Is Rimmel Cruelty-Free?

Rimmel is a British cosmetics brand, most known for their affordable range of mascaras, but we wanted to know is Rimmel cruelty-free?

Is Rimmel Cruelty-Free?

Rimmel is not cruelty-free; Rimmel products are sold in mainland China and are required by law to be tested on animals.

It should also be noted that Rimmel is owned by Coty, a parent corporation that does test on animals when required by law.

Rimmel Animal Testing Policy

As noted, Rimmel is owned by Coty, a parent corporation that owns several subsidiary brands (like Bourjois, Max Factor, Wella, Lancaster, OPI) that are sold in-stores in mainland China and are required by law to test on animals.

On Rimmel’s website, it appears they have the same animal testing policy as Coty which states,”At Coty, we do not test our products on animals and are committed to ending animal testing across our industry… Some governments or agencies stipulate the testing of finished products on animals in accordance with local legal and regulatory requirements.”

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

Rimmel Animal Testing Policy in 2019
Rimmel Animal Testing Policy

Then they go on to state that they continue to be involved in a dialogue with the Chinese authorities to find alternatives to their use of animal testing. This implies that Coty (and Rimmel) have some sort of stake in China’s profitable and growing consumer market in order for them to be in a dialogue or have any influence to China’s animal testing laws.

Rimmel Sold in China?

In 2015, I received confirmation that Rimmel products are indeed sold in China and are required by law to test on animals.

Chinese consumers have made it clear they want Rimmel London. It would not be right to deprive them of the products they want to use and enjoy. Our industry continues to work together in encouraging the Chinese authorities to accept more modernized non-animal safety testing methods.

I also noticed since the original publication of this article in 2015, Coty has changed the wording of their animal testing policy and has removed the following from their statement:

“We do not perform, nor do we ever commission any third parties on our behalf to perform, testing of our products or ingredients on animals. The only exceptions are the very few countries where, by law, the regulatory authorities require us to submit our products or ingredients to them for testing on animals as a mandatory part of their regulatory protocols in compliance with their local regulations”

Below is a screenshot taken from Rimmel’s website back in 2015:

Rimmel Animal Testing Policy in 2015.
Rimmel Animal Testing Policy in 2015.

Although the wording is different, Coty’s animal testing policy remains the same: Coty continues to sell some of their brand’s products in China where animal testing is required for all imported cosmetics. Although Coty may not be conducting these animal tests themselves, but they are knowingly allowing the Chinese authorities to test their products on animals before they’re allowed to sell in their country.

Verdict: Rimmel is NOT Cruelty-Free

Unfortunately, because of Rimmel and Coty’s decision to sell their products in China, they must consent and pay the Chinese government to test their products on animals and therefore we would not consider them to be cruelty-free.

Coty recently had one of their subsidiary brands, CoverGirl become Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free and state on their website, “We are going to explore certifying other brands, and we are committed to at least one additional Coty brand becoming Leaping Bunny certified by 2020.” I hope Rimmel is next on the list!

Cruelty-Free Alternatives:

Looking for cruelty-free alternatives to Rimmel? We recommend the following cruelty-free drugstore makeup brands:

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What do you think

22 thoughts on “Rimmel”

  1. “It would not be right to deprive them of the products they want to use and enjoy”

    Oooph! Poor consumers, how will they ever get by without Rimmel Mascara? It’s their basic human right to waterproof lashes!

    Most hilarious response I’ve read in ages. Thank you so much for the work you do!

    1. Haha! I know, right?! It’s like they want us to sympathize with their issues. I’m sure you guys get a lot of hilarious responses from companies too! We should start a tumblr page for all of these funny responses that we get! =)

  2. Ugh! “wouldn’t be right to deprive them” – of all the hundreds of brands they have access to on the Chinese market, Rimmel MUST absolutely give the consumers what they want! What a crock, absolutely disguting, vile attitude! So irritated by that answer!

    1. Totally! They made it sound like they had absolutely no choice but to sell in China and have their products tested on animals! =( Glad we caught on though!

  3. I’m so disappointed. I’ve been cruelty-free for years now and recently saw this on Rimmel’s website and thought ‘great!’ What a sneaky thing to do. And their response is just sickening ‘deprive them of products’…

    I’m glad it’s only one item I’ve purchased from them in the last few months.

    1. I know the feeling of what a disappointment it is to hear that Rimmel isn’t cruelty-free. They’ve been touting around as a ‘cruelty-free’ brand for quite some time now! =( It’s unfortunate how brands can easily shift their ethics in the name of profits.

  4. Sharon Wineman

    I just trashed all my Rimmel products! I’m a vegan and I am disgusted that I’ve been putting these torture products on my face. F**k off Rimmel London. Word out any way you like in your fancy essay. My response is pain as day.

  5. Thanks for this Vicky! Very informative! They should’ve used the fact that Chinese consumers wanting their products as a chance to convince the Chinese authorities to rethink their animal testing policies. If they had refused to sell their products there, that would definitely make the consumers more aware of animal testing and demand a ban on it.

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