Shu Uemura (L’Oreal)

Last Updated: April 6, 2023

How Ethical Is Shu Uemura (L’Oreal)?

Shu Uemura is NOT cruelty-free in 2023. Shu Uemura allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law including when selling in China. We also wouldn’t consider any Shu Uemura products vegan at this time.

Ethical Analysis

Is Shu Uemura cruelty-free or vegan? We’ve got the answers here! Read below to learn more about Shu Uemura’s policies.
Shu Uemura is NOT Cruelty-Free. Shu Uemura engages in animal testing by allowing its products to be animal-tested.
Shu Uemura does not claim or market itself to offer any vegan-friendly options. And since Shu Uemura engages in animal testing in some capacity, we wouldn’t consider any Shu Uemura products vegan anyways.

Shu Uemura (L’Oreal)

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Is Shu Uemura Cruelty-Free?

☠️ Shu Uemura is NOT cruelty-free in 2023. Shu Uemura allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law, including when selling in stores in mainland China.

Shu Uemura’s Animal Testing Policy

When asking, does Shu Uemura test on animals? We must look beyond to ensure none of Shu Uemura’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.

Shu Uemura claims on its website that they do not use animals to test its products. However, others “might do animal testing pursuant to their local requirements.”

See below for a screenshot of what’s currently stated on Shu Uemura’s website:

Policies stating that others might do animal testing according to their local requirements usually imply the company distributes its products in countries that require animal testing, like mainland China.

Is Shu Uemura Sold in China?

In my research, I discovered that Shu Uemura products are indeed sold in stores in mainland China. View their Chinese website here where they also have a store locator.

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 Shu Uemura 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 Shu Uemura) are still required by law to be tested on animals in 2023.

Because Shu Uemura 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 Shu Uemura 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 Shu Uemura to be cruelty-free by our standards.

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Cruelty-Free Policies

Many truly cruelty-free brands have chosen not to sell their products in China under conditions where animal tests may be required. Unfortunately, Shu Uemura 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 Shu Uemura already does not meet the last two, we cannot classify the brand as being cruelty-free.

Complete Cruelty-Free Checklist

Is Shu Uemura Certified Cruelty-Free?

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

Since Shu Uemura is not certified cruelty-free by a third party, no one is substantiating or auditing Shu Uemura’s cruelty-free commitments and claims.

Is Shu Uemura Owned By A Non-Cruelty-Free Parent Company?

Yes. Shu Uemura is owned by L’Oreal, 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, Shu Uemura is NOT cruelty-free, and neither is its parent corporation, L’Oreal.

Does Shu Uemura Test on Animals?

To wrap up, Shu Uemura allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law. Therefore, we would NOT consider Shu Uemura to be a cruelty-free brand.

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

Is Shu Uemura Vegan?

Shu Uemura is NOT vegan. Shu Uemura does not claim or market itself to offer any vegan-friendly options. And since Shu Uemura engages in animal testing in some capacity, we wouldn’t consider any Shu Uemura products vegan anyways.

Cruelty-Free Alternatives to Shu Uemura

Looking to switch to cruelty-free products? Here are some cruelty-free brands to check out:

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