SkinCeuticals (L’Oreal)

Last Updated: March 6, 2024

How Ethical Is SkinCeuticals (L’Oreal)?

Make a positive impact by supporting companies with the same values and ethics as what matters most to you. To navigate and find ethical brands, here’s a summary of SkinCeuticals’ ethics and initiatives.

Ethical Analysis

Is SkinCeuticals cruelty-free or vegan? We’ve got the answers here! Read below to learn more about SkinCeuticals’ policies.
SkinCeuticals is NOT Cruelty-Free. SkinCeuticals engages in animal testing by allowing its products to be animal-tested.

SkinCeuticals is also owned by L’Oreal, a parent corporation that does engage in animal testing.
Yes, SkinCeuticals sells its products in stores in mainland China under conditions where animal testing is still legally required.
SkinCeuticals claims to offer some “vegan” options that are free of animal-derived ingredients, but because SkinCeuticals engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t classify anything sold or produced by SkinCeuticals to be vegan.

SkinCeuticals (L’Oreal)

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Is SkinCeuticals Cruelty-Free?

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

SkinCeuticals’ Animal Testing Policy

When asking, does SkinCeuticals test on animals? We must look beyond to ensure none of SkinCeuticals’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 SkinCeuticals’ website, they claim they do not test any of their products or ingredients on animals except if regulatory authorities require it.

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

Policies stating, “the only possible exception is if regulatory authorities required iusually imply the company distributes its products in countries that require animal testing, like mainland China.

Is SkinCeuticals Sold in China?

In my research, I discovered that SkinCeuticals products are indeed sold in stores in mainland China.

Below is a screenshot of SkinCeuticals’ 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 SkinCeuticals 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 SkinCeuticals) are still required by law to be tested on animals in 2023.

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

Complete Cruelty-Free Checklist

Is SkinCeuticals Certified Cruelty-Free?

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

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

Is SkinCeuticals Owned By A Non-Cruelty-Free Parent Company?

Yes. SkinCeuticals 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, SkinCeuticals is NOT cruelty-free, and neither is its parent corporation, L’Oreal.

Does SkinCeuticals Test on Animals?

To wrap up, SkinCeuticals allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law, like when selling in China. Therefore, we would NOT consider SkinCeuticals to be a cruelty-free brand.

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

Is SkinCeuticals Vegan?

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

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 SkinCeuticals

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

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