Share: do you avoid brands that test on animals?

Increasingly, more beauty brands pledge against animal testing. I see plenty of such pledges on their labels and while I do take note but I do not base my purchase decisions on them. This is because I often wonder if the pledges are for real since we can’t tell for sure what goes behind closed doors and I understand that since no specific laws exist regarding cruelty-free labeling of products, so companies can take liberties.

Do brands honor their pledge?
According to Peta, which and is the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 2 million members and supporters, the pledge is more a matter of trust. Companies are putting their integrity on the line when they respond to consumers and hence, a company that has publicly announced an end to its animal tests and states in writing that it doesn’t test on animals would face a public relations disaster and potential lawsuits if it were caught testing on animals. So chances are, they would honor what they pledge for the sake of their reputation.

How to know which companies test/do not test on animals?
While I don’t base my purchase decision on such pledges, but neither would I support a brand that is well known for conducting animal testing – provided I know about it. Now, the question then is, which are these companies? I don’t always know but the good thing is, we can find out about these companies by downloading the list from Peta (click through). Surprisingly, a number of big brands are still on the list.

Why do cosmetic companies test on animals?
Actually I also wonder why cosmetic companies test on animals since animals’ skin are different from ours. I mean how accurate is product testing performed on animals to measure the levels of skin irritancy, eye tissue damage, and toxicity caused by various substances used in the manufacture of cosmetics? From my understanding, brands that do not test on animals are using more advanced methods of testing for such issues; namely using only computers and human tissues.

Are no animal ingredients the same as no animal testing?
Do note that a brand that pledges against animal testing does not necessarily mean that their products are free of animal ingredients. Ingredients like honey, beewax, lanolin are in fact animal products and I do see it in a lot of the products I use, even from natural/organic brands. As far as I know, only those that indicate that their products are vegan are free from animal products. Even then, you need to read the labels carefully.

What is your stand about animal testing?
So what is your stand about animal testing?  Do you deliberately purchase products that indicate that they are not tested on animals?  Or do you consciously avoid brands that you know conduct animal testing?


  1. vonnie says:

    i don’t look into it, so i wouldn’t know either way. so no, i don’t AVOID brands that test on animals, i wouldn’t know if they did because I don’t set aside any time/desire to research it
    vonnie last post is: GIVEAWAY: Get Your Skin in Order with Specific Beauty

  2. TheUndercoverGypsy says:

    This was an interesting and thought provoking post. The issue of animal testing has always been a moral quagmire which we all try to negotiate in the best way we know. We all know of the huge grey area inhabited by certain companies which are very, very strongly against animal testing, but are owned by huge conglomerates which do test on animals.
    And then we have companies that claim that they do not test their products on animals – which means it is only the finished product, bearing the company’s name and logo that is not tested, however, we may not know if the (independent) supplier/s of the materials and ingredients do or do not condone animal testing. So, all of this to say, unless I buy completely indie brands that know exactly where they source their ingredients from, I am pretty painfully aware that my pennies are probably being funnelled into a large research facility that probably doesn’t give a damn what my beliefs are.

    The beauty and the bullshit’s excellent take on this subject is a must read:

  3. EcoBeauty says:

    I will try to avoid but I won’t throw a fit if a product doesn’t claim anything. BUT I am more inclined to support it more if it doesn’t since I love animals. It seems that most natural/organic/eco-friendly and handmade products don’t test on animals, though–and I think it’s because they’re stretching their brand’s integrity as much as possible. I mean, if you’re claiming to save mother earth with eco-friendly products, it’ll be such a shame if you skip animal rights in your brand values.
    EcoBeauty last post is: Mixed Lovies Giveaway (Worldwide)!

  4. Carrie says:

    Wow! Had just browsed the PETA site and recognized a lot of old brands I used to use test on animals! (Good to know I don’t use them anymore, though my other family members still do.) For me personally, I am against animal testing as I do agree with your views above and also, I think it is cruel and unfair to those poor animals. And yes, I do try to stay away products that are tested on animals, but not necessarily avoiding products that contains honey and beeswax. At the moment the brands I am using are Trilogy, Sukin, Thursday Plantation and [A’Kin]. I’ve also asked my mom to sample some Antipode (another NZ brand that does not test on animals) products and she’s really enthusiastic in trying them once she used up all her old stuff!!

  5. Emily Chia says:

    I dun avoid it but if it is a new brand, I might be reluctant to try them. I find it hard to avoid products that is tested on animals. It is not really an issue to me. ?
    Emily Chia last post is: Haul from Sample Store and BHG

  6. Krys says:

    I don’t avoid brands that test on animals. The thing is, animal testing is (at the moment) a necessary evil because this entails safety for us users. More importantly, even those who claim to “not test” are actually using ingredients that have been tested on animals by earlier companies/laboratories/etc.

    Also, I don’t really trust PETA. There are a lot of other organisations that do not employ militant means to further their agenda.
    Krys last post is: Review: Obagi Condition & Enhance Toner

  7. sesame says:

    I don’t mind if they use the ingredients that are already tested…but I still don’t really get how testing on animals can benefit us fully. Like when it comes to clinical studies of drugs, they will always qualify the test is done on mice, and then leaving room for differences.

    I know that for some indie companies, when they formulate products, they’ll test it on people. They’ll start with themselves and then other volunteers. That is kind of fair to me because the data would be closer.

  8. sesame says:

    Yes, it’s not easy to avoid unless we want to make a conscious effort. I don’t make a conscious effort unless I learnt something about the brand being excessively cruel…but again, this is not something that is reported.

  9. sesame says:

    I definitely do not avoid animal ingredients. Oh, I eat them anyway and so why should I avoid them. But if I read about cruelty to animals due to testing, then it’ll prick my conscience and I might avoid the brand. However, I haven’t consciously avoided any brands because of that still.

  10. sesame says:

    I think I’ll with you – not throwing a fit and supporting those that do not test on animals although that alone cannot influence my purchasing decision.

    But like you pointed out, most natural/organic brands do not test on animals because of the whole eco/green/friendly image in their corporate responsibility and so in that way, I guess we’re covered. Agree that it’s funny that they should promote their brand as natural and yet test on animals…very “salah” in our local context. Haha…

  11. sesame says:

    I like your last statement – that your pennies are probably being funnelled into a large research facility that probably doesn’t give a damn what your beliefts are. Very sad, but very true. I also think that this whole “against animal testing” is more of a facade for some large companies and whether they really practice it is another matter.

    Actually the reason I wanted to ask this is to find out if there are people who are really against animal testing. More and more I find that this whole statement is more of a marketing tool, like how we call a product organic when only 2 ingredients in there are certified organic. It’s gone a bit hollow.

  12. sesame says:

    I can see where you’re coming from; if a product catches my fancy on the shelf, and it doesn’t bear a “against animal testing” logo, chances are, I would just buy it without trying to find out more about the brand’s position on that. I might find out later and then avoid but that’s more of an afterthought.

    So while it maybe a consideration for me, but my buying decision is not based on this position alone.

  13. Carrie says:

    Hey Sesame,

    I just realized I couldn’t use the reply function, that’s odd. But anyhow, the reason I avoid products that are tested on animals is mainly because I am a vegetarian. So would like to practice what I preach whenever I can. I also try to avoid leather and silk products if possible (except for wool, coz it’s too cold in NZ, and it does not involve killing sheep), but people may find this approach a bit extreme LOL The bottom line is that it makes me feel better to know the products I use do not involve animal cruelty (if the claims are true, and I sincerely hope they are).

  14. Emily Chia says:

    Hi Sesame,

    I can’t reply your comment too. Unless there is report on a certain brand “torturing” the animals, I will avoid at all cost. Just like what you say, there is no way to know it too. ?
    Emily Chia last post is: Haul from Sample Store and BHG

  15. Jane says:

    I definitely avoid. Which means I buy products with special marks on them or do not buy products about which everywhere you can read that they were tested on animals. Some brands say they do not test on animals, but they actually use the ingridients that were tested on animals. Or give their products to do tests to special laboratories. Or some even say they can not make any cosmetics whithout testing on anomals, like for exampe Shiseido ? So for now I try to use only organic cosmetics and cosmetics with labels “not been tested on animals”. As I know in EU there will be adopted a law to ban animal testings at all. I hope it will.

  16. Stephanie/Yukaeshi says:

    I’m an animal lover, so I try not to purchase from brands that don’t mention that they don’t test on animals as much as I can, or from brands which have a reputation for testing on animals haha ? I don’t really know how to put it, but for me it’s easier to avoid if it’s cosmetics/skincare in my opinion, but harder when it comes to hair products or bath and body products, especially since I tend to have special needs that require a certain brand, though thankfully most of the things I’m using are as animal cruelty-free as possible and it makes me happy ?
    Stephanie/Yukaeshi last post is: Current List Of Obsessions

  17. Chris says:

    I certainly try to buy cruelty free products. As you said, animal skin is different from ours, so what could really be gained from using animals for testing? I understand that some people eat animals and raise them for milk and meat, but animal testing for cosmetics is going too far. I just think that we have to stop taking and taking from nature at some point.
    Chris last post is: EOTD: Golds with Poison Ivy Liner

  18. Julia says:

    I really tried using “cruelty-free” products, but then I did some research and some thinking, and while you say
    “From my understanding, brands that do not test on animals are using more advanced methods of testing for such issues; namely using only computers and human tissues.”
    which might be true to some extent, some cheap brands we have here in Europe (and elsewhere, too, I guess) claim to not test on animals, yet I doubt they have the money for those new methods. So what they do is, they use the research some other company conducted …. on animals, which makes them even worse in my opinion, as they are complete hypocrites.

    I think the EU just issued a new law against animal testing, so I hope companies will test their new ingredients on human tissues etc.
    Julia last post is: Has anyone tried mineral foundation?

  19. Diane Stalder says:

    Interesting post Sesame!

    While it is true that there are still a lot of brands that test their products on animals nowadays and this fact may upset a number of individuals (especially pet lovers & advocates), but one should also consider the reason behind this.

    Surely, companies would not make use of animals if it weren’t for a greater cause – and that is to ensure the safety of their products.

    Why? Do you think humans would prefer to be tested for a product that hadn’t been proven to be safe in the first place?

  20. Soos says:

    Perhaps going to the PETA website is a start.
    Soos last post is: What Makes You Read?

  21. Jasmine says:

    While I’m not craving for some puppy to have lipstick applied on its lips a hundred times to test for toxicity, I have to admit that for me, animal testing, just as human testing, is up to a matter of necessity in practice. Even if PETA and other animal lovers argue or put forth a series of appeals and explanations as to why animal testing is cruel and “wholly unnecessary”, the real issue is about implementing a simple alternative such that large companies can follow suit if they wish to.

    Again, sometimes it sounds nasty, but the vast majority of consumers have no gravitation towards ethics whatsoever and loudly shouting from a moral high ground is a very hamfisted way of evangelising in the free marketplace of opinions and products. I may not be interested in being cruel to animals, but I certainly am not willing to agree with a militant PETA advocate who gives me no good reason or solution to do so.

    My last issue is about the credibility of such studies and tests. Cosmetology or cosmeceuticals (‘pharmaceuticals’) today involve themselves in the practice of verifying their product’s desired qualities through a number of tests, statistics, and other marketing campaigns. As any statistician can tell you, any correlation can be proven, and as any hard capitalist can tell you, any kind of satisfaction can be induced. Animal-testing or not, is there much we can trust even from company-sanctioned information? Are we better off keeping our own records, maintaining our networks and reading blogs? After all, such information are the result of very human testing…

  22. sesame says:

    You raised very sound concerns. I also question the credibility of such studies. Like you mentioned, they are possibly skewed to fit the brand’s agenda. I would say it’s best to do our own research too but not all consumers want to do that and hence, they’ll just rely on what is stated on the packaging.

    Anyway, even if a product has been tested on animals or on individuals, there are no guarantee it’ll work well on all so it’s still depends on the individual’s skin condition. As consumers, many a times we just have to take chances. And for those with sensitive skin, best to conduct their own patch tests or be aware of ingredients they do react to.

  23. sesame says:

    I think for those who are concern, then at least there is a list for reference there.

  24. sesame says:

    It’s a moral issue; while I love pets but I’m not a strong advocate against animal testing as long as it’s not done cruelly. That is why I stopped short of trying to find out how such tests are done against animals.

    I use mostly natural/organic stuff these days and many of them bear the “no animal testing” label. I just accept that they honor what they pledge and not try to think more. But I also know some of the smaller companies basically use themselves and volunteers…I’ve spoken to one doctor who wanted to introduce a new product and she basically used her family and her network of friends/relatives to conduct the test. According to her, she had to throw out several batches.

  25. sesame says:

    I haven’t thought about it that way – that the companies are hypocrites for making use of data that are used by other companies and then claiming they do not test on animals. Now that you’ve raised it, yes, it’s contentious.

    Oh it’s good that EU issued a law against animal testing. That’s a good start; I always have the impression that European products are more “ethically” produced due to the stringent requirements.

  26. sesame says:

    I was no science student so it was something I often wonder about…I suppose the testing would test for safety/toxicity but I wonder how much allergies would surface from using animal skin, which are different from our skin. I suppose it gives some peace of mind to pple that products are being tested and in the earlier years, no one raised issues against such testing. However, with advancement in technology and more pple fighting for animal rights, then there is a pressure to look at other ways of testing.

  27. sesame says:

    I know what you mean…if you love animals then it’s very hard to use something that was tested at the expense of some of them. Your comment also reminds me of a big brand that promotes no animal testing all along but their products usually do nothing for me and I know for a fact that many pple have reacted badly using their products too.

  28. sesame says:

    Oh they give their products to special laboratories and then claim they do not test on animals? Tsk tsk. So as in most situations, there is always a gap somewhere where companies will exploit.

  29. sesame says:

    Thanks for highlighting about the reply issue…I’ll check it up. Maybe a glitch due to the new template.

  30. sesame says:

    I think you do what you feel comfortable cos at the end of the day, the peace belongs to you and not others and so it doesn’t really matter what they say. No point pleasing others right?

    Thanks for telling me about the reply issue; I will look into it soon. Probably something to do with the new template.

  31. xin says:

    to be honest, my decision to buy a product or not will not be based on this. but of course, it does not mean that i support animal cruelty. as a consumer, i just want to make sure that what i buy will not kill me & more concerned about the product efficacy. just wondering, why are all the ‘no animal testing’ logos that i see are rabbits?
    xin last post is: Your Say: Do You Wear High Heels?

  32. MissHu says:

    Well, I actually try to avoid most cheap brands that claim to do no animal testing. My skin gets very sensitive during colder or harsher climates and I discovered that most of these products didn’t work as advertised. The labels read “gentle, soothing, non-harmful, etc.” but it’s all bullshit marketing. Those that test on both animals and humans work better for me.

    Most small-time brands that use human testing are a big no-no for me ‘cos they only have a small budget and have very limited range of testers. I’m not that enamored with organic or natural products really ‘cos many are too rigid and refuse to include “artificial ingredients” that deliver well, have few side effects and are much cheaper for the consumer.

  33. sesame says:

    I don’t know…seems that the test results I read are always on mice…maybe they test on rabbits too. I don’t think they use big animals.

  34. sesame says:

    Okay, understand your point of view. I think most consumers prefer to get brands that are established, well tested, endorsed and preferably with certifications too.

  35. Diane Stalder says:

    Hi sesame!

    I was suppose to reply to your comment but the ‘reply’ script seems broken, so I’ll just post it here.

    I think you may have a point. With the number of companies proclaiming that they aren’t doing animal testing, it would be hard to determine who are the legit ones. It’s better to just honor them and try to think no more as mentioned.

    Lastly, I’d like to express my admiration to the doctor whom you’ve spoken to. It’s actually a great way of testing your own products. However I wonder what happened to those friends/relatives of his that had tried the batches that were throwed out?

  36. mmi says:

    I’m a veg so I think it would be hypocritical if I didn’t eat animals but if I used products tested on animals.

  37. sesame says:

    I see…it’s hard to ignore that if you are a vegan.

  38. sesame says:

    Apparently, the doctor was trying to bring in a new formula but she did not mention anything about allergies so I’m not sure if anyone had reactions to it. Going by what she told me, it appears that she threw out the products cos some of them couldn’t last quite as long (she brought in some natural formulations).

    I’m sorry the reply button doesn’t work…I’m still scratching my head to figure that out.

  39. Wendy says:

    I definitely avoid buying from brands that test on animals. And that goes for both skin and hair products.

    I do think its hard for people to do this though, it took me a lot of research to find out what I can buy and what not. But now that I know, its easy for me to just stick to certain brands i love and dont test on animals.

    I went to a store the other day and realized that I couldnt buy any hair shampoo there because they did not have any brands that do not test on animals, which is shocking since it was such a big isle full of products.

    I think a lot of people dont know exactly what happens to animals when they are used for testing products or ingredients, but it’s terrible and I think if they knew they might want to not buy things that are tested on animals anymore.

    But the problem is still that there is not enough information about it out there, its not something you hear about every day, and if you want to change it for yourself, it requires some effort.

    So I think its great if people search for alternatives themselves, and I hope that many other people still do. But I also think that what would really make a difference is if companies make a huge effort to find other ways to test things, and for animal-cruelty free organizations/companies to work WITH them to find solutions, instead of only pointing it out and making them ‘the enemy’. It could benefit both of them in the end.

  40. sesame says:

    Yes, I agree. It’s quite hard to know which products are not tested unless they specifically say so on their packaging. Plus, we usually make decisions on the spot so there is no time for research unless we did that before purchasing. Truly, I don’t want to find out what they do to animals but I have a sense because I read briefly about it. And so I try…but I’m sure there are products I’ve purchased that are tested on animals but I wasn’t aware.

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