wet n wild

Last Updated: February 3, 2023

Is wet n wild Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

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 wet n wild's ethics and initiatives.

Ethical Analysis

Is Wet n Wild cruelty-free or vegan? Here’s what we know! Read below for more details on Wet n Wild’s policies.
It is currently unclear whether Wet n Wild is truly cruelty-free.
Wet n Wild does sell some of its products in mainland China stores. But Wet n Wild claims these products are domestically manufactured and not required to be tested on animals.
Because Wet n Wild’s cruelty-free status is unclear, we would not consider any of their products vegan at this time.

About wet n wild

Wet n Wild is a color cosmetics brand based in Los Angeles, California.

wet n wild

This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

Is Wet n Wild Cruelty-Free?

❓We cannot classify Wet n Wild as a truly cruelty-free brand until they are more transparent with their animal testing policy while selling in China. Therefore, Wet n Wild is listed as Grey AreaBrands with Unclear Policies.

To be a truly cruelty-free brand, companies must meet ALL of the following:

  • Company does not test its products or ingredients on animals or ask others to test on its behalf
  • Company can ensure none of its ingredient suppliers test on animals
  • Company does not allow or sell its products under conditions where animal testing is required by law

Based on our research, it is not clear if Wet n Wild has met all of the above cruelty-free criteria. For those reasons, we are unable to classify Wet n Wild as a truly cruelty-free brand.

Learn more about our findings and why Wet n Wild’s cruelty-free policy is unclear below.

Wet n Wild’s Animal Testing Policy

When asking, does Wet n Wild test on animals? We must look beyond to ensure none of Wet n Wild’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 its website.

Wet n Wild claims on its website, “As a Peta-certified, cruelty-free brand, we’re proud to say we have never and will never test on animals. We also make it a point to work with cruelty-free, third-party vendors.”

See below for a screenshot of what’s currently stated on Wet n Wild’s website:

What is wet n wild®’s animal testing policy?

As a Peta-certified, cruelty-free brand, we’re proud to say we have never and will never test on animals. We also make it a point to work with cruelty-free, third-party vendors. wet n wild® loves our furry, scaly, and feathery friends!

However, 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, its suppliers, or any third parties.

Wet n Wild’s statement that they never test on animals is not enough information for us to classify them or any other brand as being cruelty-free according to our standards.

So I reached out to Wet n Wild to ask for more information about their animal testing policy. More specifically, I wanted to know if they commission or allow others to test, not just their finished products but their ingredients on animals, including when selling in countries that require animal testing (like mainland China).

And Wet n Wild responded by saying,

“Thank you for reaching out!

As a Peta-certified, cruelty-free brand, we’re proud to say we have never and will never test on animals. We also make it a point to work with cruelty-free, third-party vendors. wet n wild® loves our furry, scaly, and feathery friends!


Unfortunately, Wet n Wild responded back to me with the same copy found on their website’s FAQ.

Cruelty-Free Policies

Just because a brand claims they are ‘Cruelty-Free,’ doesn’t always mean that’s the case.

That’s because there is no legal definition for the label ‘Cruelty-Free.’ It can mean different things to different people. But Cruelty-Free is generally used to imply no animal testing. More specifically, the ingredients, formulation, or finished product are not tested on animals at any stage of product development.

Then, there’s the issue of cosmetic companies selling in China, where animal testing is required by law for some cosmetics sold in stores in China.

Is Wet n Wild Sold in China?

In 2019, pictures started circulating of what appeared to be Chinese store displays of Wet n Wild makeup products.

At first, Wet n Wild denied selling in China. It wasn’t until their followers and customers demanded answers and an explanation, the brand finally addressed the pictures on their social media.

In an Instagram Stories post, Wet N Wild explained in a statement from its Global President confirming Wet n Wild products are indeed sold in stores in China — since 2018, a year after the pictures started circulating.

“wet n wild does not test on animals. wet n wild is a global brand for beauty lovers, inclusive of all ages, ethnicities, skin colors, ideologies, and economic statuses. Cruelty-free has and will remain a key pillar of our brand. In 2018, Watsons began offering our products to beauty enthusiasts in China via a pilot program with 30 stores. wet n wild products sold in China are domestically manufactured in China, and as such do not require animal testing.

Since 2014, China no longer requires animal testing for domestic non-special use cosmetics. wet n wild products were able to enter the Chinese market maintaining our commitment to providing customers cruelty-free, high-quality, on-trend products they can feel good about buying and wearing. As a trusted leader in cruelty-free beauty, we will continue working closely with the Chinese government, and all governments, to adhere to our strict guidelines for cruelty-free beauty globally.”

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

Based on the statement Wet n Wild posted on their IG, the brand claims that they only sell domestically manufactured ‘general’ cosmetics in China which do NOT require animal testing.

I tried, on multiple attempts, asking Wet n Wild about its animal testing policy while selling in China. And how the brand is handling, in the unlikely event, that post-market animal testing is required for its products sold in China. However, I would always get the same canned response and copy found on their website’s FAQ.

And the responses I received from Wet n Wild, the brand would never address or confirm selling in China.

My Thoughts:

It doesn’t sit well with me how Wet n Wild sneakily started selling in China. The brand denied its presence in China, and when pictures started circulating of its Chinese store displays, the brand went radio silent.

It wasn’t until their followers wouldn’t stop commenting on their IG posts is when they felt the pressure to come clean. And they only posted on their IG Stories, which disappears after 24 hours.

This all went down in 2019. It’s now 2023, and Wet n Wild still does not have an official statement on their website about selling in China. Nor do they provide their customer service team with any statements or a template response when their customers email them asking if they sell in China and how they can remain to be cruelty-free.

It’s 2023, and conscious consumers expect brands, especially those that claim to be “100% Cruelty-Free” to be more transparent about how they are conducting business around the world. And the level of transparency can be the deciding factor on whether we choose to support and buy from them.

Because of Wet n Wild’s shady past and lack of transparency to this day about selling in China and its cruelty-free commitments, I am unable to consider Wet n Wild as a truly cruelty-free.

Is Wet n Wild Certified Cruelty-Free?

Wet n Wild is certified cruelty-free by PETA, but NOT Leaping Bunny certified.

In an undated post on PETA’s site, PETA confirmed Wet n Wild is sold in China. But assures that the brand is working with PETA to “take the additional steps required that no animal tests will be conducted for its products in the future.”

“The company wet n wild has expanded the sale of its products to China, but it doesn’t test on animals there or anywhere else in the world. It has also worked with PETA to take the additional steps required to ensure that no animal tests will be conducted for its products in the future.” […] “In order to be eligible for inclusion on PETA’s Global Beauty Without Bunnies cruelty-free list, companies that sell in China may only sell domestically manufactured (made in China), non-special use cosmetics. They must commit to not introducing any products that would require tests on animals; to withdrawing their products from the region rather than allowing any tests on animals, should they become required; and to informing Chinese authorities of this policy to ensure that they are notified and can withdraw from the market in the unlikely event that animal tests become required for their products. We’re happy to report that wet n wild has met all the requirements of our Global Beauty Without Bunnies program and remains animal test–free while selling products in China.” (Source)

The issue I have with PETA’s cruelty-free program is the lack of transparency on its formal auditing and vetting process of brands.

Did PETA know from the start that Wet n Wild was about to sell in China before the pictures started circulating? Was Wet n Wild already working with PETA to take those additional steps to ensure no animal tests will be conducted before the brand started selling in China?

If so, why didn’t PETA release an official statement earlier to inform us that there’s a pilot program in the works with Wet n Wild which would allow the brand to sell in China while remaining cruelty-free?

It’s also unclear how closely PETA is continuing to work with Wet n Wild, or if there’s any type of post-market auditing that PETA does to ensure Wet n Wild products are still not being subjected to animal tests while selling in China years later.

I would feel more comfortable if Wet n Wild was part of Leaping Bunny’s China Qualification Program. Where brands will need to complete both a Pre-Market Audit and a series of Post-Market Audits to meet Leaping Bunny’s extensive criteria and standards.

Who Owns Wet n Wild?

Wet n Wild is owned by Markwins Beauty Brands, Inc.

Does Wet n Wild Test on Animals?

Unfortunately, Wet n Wild failed to clarify how they are currently able to sell in China while remaining truly cruelty-free.

As a result, we cannot classify Wet n Wild as a truly cruelty-free brand until they are more transparent with their animal testing policy.

Currently, Wet n Wild is on our Grey Area Brands List – Brands with Unclear Policies.

Is Wet n Wild Vegan?

Wet n Wild is NOT vegan. Wet n Wild claims to offer some “vegan” options that are free of animal-derived ingredients, but because Wet n Wild’s cruelty-free status is unclear, we wouldn’t consider anything sold or produced by Wet n Wild to be vegan at this time.

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.

Vegan Policies

Similar to ‘Cruelty-Free,’ there is no standard or legal definition for the label ‘Vegan.’ But Vegan is generally used to mean formulated without animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products.

Some common animal products in cosmetics include carmine, lanolin, snail mucus, beeswax, honey, pearl or silk-derived ingredients, animal-based glycerin, keratin, and squalene.

There are plant-based and synthetic alternatives to animal-derived ingredients. But unless a brand explicitly labels its ingredients or product as Vegan, it’s often difficult to know with certainty whether a product is vegan just by reading the ingredient list.

So it’s best to ask the company and manufacturers to ensure the ingredients they chose were from non-animal sources.

Cruelty-Free Alternatives to Wet n Wild

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

And check out our Guide to Affordable & Drugstore Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands!

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